WordPress pushed out the 5.6 update this past week. I didn't update Sites 1 and 2 yet, but I I had to update Site 3 because I transferred it to a new server. The new server's WordPress install was automatically 5.6 and I didn't feel like manually doing a 5.5 install.
I won't be updating on Sites 1 and 2 until the next maintenance update, 5.6.1, that fixes any bugs with this release. These are jQuery updates that can cause issues with plugins that aren't always kept up to date instantly, especially any free plugins. Developers are less incentivized to update and shore up any potential security holes.
Here're some 5.6 resources for you:
Wordpress Blog Announcement - WP's own blog article discussing the update.
Test jQuery Updates - Plugin to test your site for potential issues before updating.
jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin - to help fix any potential jquery issues with your site.
Wordfence Blog Article on 5.6 - They discuss a potential risk with Application Passwords in 5.6, because now WP will allow external applications to connect to the site and generate a password to your site. You can disallow application passwords in Wordfence though.
WP Crafter Video on 5.6 Features - He gives a good overview of the main features.
If you do decide to update, be sure you have a way to revert back to your current setup. I use WP Reset Pro (paid) and UpdraftPlus (free). They offer different backups.
UpdraftPlus, Free - The traditional backup plugin that makes a copy of your site and you'll be able to restore the whole site as-is. The only issue is you'll need access to your WP dashboard, so if the update gives you the white screen of death, you may need to start all over with a fresh WP installation.
WP Reset Pro, Paid - This plugin takes snapshots of your site whenever you make updates to your site, so you can always revert back to pre-update. If you get the white screen, they give you an emergency recovery page that will give you the option to roll back to pre-update, as well as disabling any plugins for debugging. They do have a Free version, but I haven't used it before, so not sure of its capabilities.
If you're signed up with Google Adsense, you probably received the below email. Those text ads that can sometimes feel like actual content put there by the blogger is going away. Here's a nice comparison of text vs display ads, even though it's a moot point now with Google.
I copied the first couple sections as that's most relevant.
We've decided to retire link ads. This is in order to modernize our available ad formats, based on the feedback from users, publishers and advertisers. Going forward, we’ll be focussing on improving and developing other ad formats to help you grow.
What does this mean?
- You will no longer be able to create link ad units.
- Your link ad units will be renamed with [previously link ad unit] added to the end of the ad unit name. This will apply to both responsive and fixed-size link ad units.
- Responsive link ads will begin to serve display ad units on your site(s).
- Fixed-size link ads will stop serving on your site(s). We will collapse each ad unit where possible. In other cases we will show a blank ad.