A week with us: One week to Feature Freeze

The release of WordPress 5.9 is fast approaching. Next week marks the Feature Freeze moment, which is the deadline for including enhancements and new features. After that moment, the core contributors will only focus on fixing bugs and getting ready for Beta.

Our WordPress core developer team at Yoast is working in multiple areas, as always. From kicking off the performance team initiatives to working on performance, e2e tests and theme development, there is never a dull moment during our week ;-)

Our weekly team updates


Webfonts API

The window to merge the webfonts API in WordPress 5.9 is now very short, so I continued working on it. I pushed some improvements and minor tweaks. I also reached out to theme-developers, bringing the new API to their attention. Since theme developers will be the ones using this API, it makes sense to gather as much feedback from them as possible.


This week I performed a lot of code reviews, trying to move the project forward. I also fixed a double <title> issue in Gutenberg (#36133). Things don’t stop there though… In an effort to improve the overall performance for users, I started experimenting with splitting block scripts on the frontend of a site, and then conditionally loading them when needed. One example of this is the navigation block. Its frontend script includes a script for modals – but that script is not always needed. Splitting it will allow us to only load that part when it’s needed (depending on what option the user has set on that block).

Performance team

We had our first meeting! After a lot of organizing, we managed to get things going on that front. The new team will focus on performance improvements in WordPress and Gutenberg. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do some good, improve the overall performance of the web and as a consequence of that, its total carbon footprint.


Gutenberg and Twenty Twenty-Two

I have tested the Twenty Twenty-Two theme and the related Gutenberg and Trac issues this week. The theme is looking better and better.
I made two small contributions to the footer block patterns of the theme: #199 #200.

The developers are making many last-minute changes to Gutenberg since the feature freeze for version 11.9 is on Friday, November 5.
The WordPress 5.9 Must-haves project board shows that there are a few enhancements left that are still in progress. I opened a pull request to move the Site Editor menu item to the appearance menu according to the proposed design, but I have mainly done testing and reviews.

I was glad to see more accessibility improvements and to test and merge this update: Add announcement on formatting change for screen readers by Alex Stine, team representative of the WordPress.org accessibility team. A problem with saving template parts was also solved, and this fix will make it easier for us to update designs in block themes: #35827.

Speaking of WordPress.org team representatives, several teams are looking for new volunteers! The Nominations Call for the themes team representatives ends on November 5th. In addition, the deadline for Nominations for Core Team Reps 2022 is November 10th.


Team performance WordPress

After the proposal a few weeks ago to have a performance team in WordPress, the first meeting of the team was held. While waiting to have representatives for the team, I’m in charge of the organization of the meetings, the communication and other various administrative tasks. So I hosted the first meeting this week, and here is the recap.

Core e2e tests

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the commits in Core over the last few days, you’ll notice that some of our e2e tests have been merged; such as the passwords application and the post editing e2e tests. But also the implementation of visual regression testing. So I’m continuing my efforts for a better coverage of tests in WordPress Core. I have among other things reviewed this PR for plugin uploads and I’m currently working on theme upload tests.


I also continue my efforts to create documentation for a number of internal Yoast projects.

Read more: Last week: Webfonts, Twenty Twenty Two and WordPress 5.9 »