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Today, we released WPML 4.4.7, which focuses on compatibility with the upcoming WordPress 5.6 major version and includes support for PHP 8.

WordPress 5.6 is expected to be released tomorrow, December 8th and will include several updates including:

  • Support for PHP 8
  • Updates to latest jQuery scripts
  • New default theme, Twenty Twenty-One
  • Block Editor (Gutenberg) update to latest version with new features
  • Automatic updates for major WordPress core releases

And more.

PHP 8: new features, performance improvements and breaking changes

The most important WordPress 5.6 feature is support for PHP 8. PHP 8 is a major version containing new features and performance improvements. 

Some important new features include:

  • JIT compiler – While it’s reported to make drastic performance improvements, it remains to be seen what the actual performance benefits will be for WordPress.
  • Union Types – allows specifying more than one type where either can be used. You can now use these types in function signatures rather than adding them in phpdoc annotations.
  • Attributes v2 – attributes, or annotations, that allow adding metadata to classes without needing to use docblocks. This makes it easier to read metadata and keep your code simple.

For a full list of features, please see the PHP 8.0 RFCs.

Breaking changes in PHP 8

PHP 8 also includes some inevitable breaking changes.

These breaking changes will affect every plugin and theme. It’s important to install all available updates and test these releases on a development site. It will help you avoid problems when you update to WordPress 5.6.

Updating to WPML 4.4.7

WordPress 5.6 is available now. We strongly recommend trying WPML 4.4.7 and WordPress 5.6 on a development site to work out any potential issues with other plugins or themes.

We have made the release available to clients immediately. If you don’t see the update available, go to the Plugins → Add New page, click the Commercial tab and then click the Check for updates button.

Manually installing WPML plugin updates

You can also download the plugins manually from your WPML account’s Downloads page.

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