WordPress 5.9 Revised Release Schedule

With an updated release schedule for WordPress 5.9, the new final release is planned for January 25, 2022. Causes for the delay mostly can be pinned on issues related to major features planned for the release, including Full Site Editing. With WordPress 6.0 likely coming out in April, the core team felt this would have been too long for the community to wait if those features were punted. Tonya Mork explains the decision-making process and notes that there were "seasonal considerations" with not enough people available to develop, test, and review critical items in December.

Remember when WordPress 5.0 launched with Gutenberg? Many people called for a delay then, but Matt pushed forward:

Deadlines are not arbitrary, they’re a promise we make to ourselves and our users that helps us rein in the endless possibilities of things that could be a part of every release.

Gutenberg’s initial release was challenging. The release date pressed volunteers to ship 5.0 before the State of the Word, a high-pressure deadline. Over the next six months, Josepha did a lot of listening, reflection, and communication on the breakdowns that occurred.

More than serving an ecosystem of products, the WordPress project also has to keep in mind its user base and community contributors. What is in their best interest? This time the consensus was to postpone a major release. That’s something everyone can be proud of, for the growth it indicates.