WordPress 5.2 Introduces a ‘Site Health Check’ Feature

WordPress 5.2 is now officially out and if you’re reading this you should have this version updated and installed onto your live sites soon!

5.2 is a pretty big release and offers improved options to highlight potential issues with the configuration of your WordPress website via the new and improved ‘Site Health’ option.

This is a very interesting new feature for WordPress users, let’s take a look…

The new ‘Site Health’ Option

You can find one of the most significant changes to WordPress under the Tools and then Site Health area of the Dashboard.

This area of the Dashboard shares important information about your WordPress configuration and will highlight any issues that might need attention.

Think of it as the WordPress equivalent ‘warning lights’ on your car Dashboard!

The experience of using the Site Health tool is very slick and easy to use and is split into “Status” and “Info” sections:

  • Status: Run tests and get information about your WordPress site
  • Info: More technical/server-based information

Building on the Site Health features introduced in 5.1, this release adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues. It also adds space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers.

WordPress 5.2 Release Notes – via WordPress.org

Running Tests

You can use the new Site Health section to ‘test’ your WordPress install for potential issues and highlight any potentially misconfigured settings.

The health check is incredibly detailed and gives you a report detailing the configuration of your Server, Database and even File Permissions and more!

Is this feature useful for a WordPress Agency?

As a specialist WordPress Agency our team will get little value from the new Site Health feature because we already have measures and tests in place that are linked to our hosting, support and maintenance platform that ensure that all of the WordPress installs that we manage are configured to a high standard.

So although Site Health is a very cool and very welcome addition to WordPress the majority of experienced WordPress users with a technical background will not get any real value from it.

In fact we’ll likely ‘hide’ this feature from the Dashboard for clients who have Hosting & Maintenance packages with our agency just so it doesn’t cause any confusion!

What else does 5.2 have?

Site Health is just a small part of the 5.2 release. To get a more indepth overview of this release check the release notes on WordPress.org.

Some important highlights are:

  • PHP Error Protection (no more “White Screen of Death”)
  • New Dashboard Icons
  • Minimum supported PHP version bumped to 5.6.2
  • Addition of webpack and Babel packages into core scripts
  • Block Editor (Gutenberg) Updates:
    • Performance & Accessibility Improvements
    • Introduction of New Core Blocks
    • New Block Manager Tool (so you can Disable certain blocks!)

Big thanks to the 327

327 people contributed to WordPress 5.2. This geneourse bunch dedicated their own time and effort to make this release happen. Whenever a new release drops I’m always reminded just how important contribution to the platform is!

Fancy giving back? Contributing your time to WordPress is a great way to give back to the community and help the next version of WordPress a reality.

You can learn more about volunteering on the Make WordPress site or the by following the core development blog.

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