You may have noticed that the function of drag and drop meta boxes doesn’t seem to appear anymore. This should be noticeable if you’re testing the newest development version of WordPress in the recent week.
This isn’t a bug or a problem but a function that has been made certain changes to, for making the user experience better. The users will have to click the screen options tab on the dashboard to change the option to rearrange meta boxes.
The last major release of WordPress introduced drop zones which made it easier for users to know where to drag and drop or move metaboxes. This update was to fix issues from the previous update. WordPress will eventually fix these problems with meta boxes with the passage of time.
The effort to change how users interact with meta boxes. The issue he would like to solve stems from a change in WordPress 5.5
For some users who have switched to block editors, there should be a good chance that the meta boxes could be on the Dashboard admin screen. Nowadays many WordPress Plugins also use the meta box system on custom admin screens.
An Option or Liability?
Meta boxes seem to look and feel like draggable elements, it should be active at all times. It shouldn’t be an option to activate or select rather it should be a default option.
It is basically a debate since one side claims the WordPress 5.5 implementation to be a broken experience for users while the others consider this new method as broken.
Changing the standard user experience which is more than a decade old is more likely to be a problem for a huge amount of users. Without backing up the data, which is the best option cannot be known by anyone.
This proves out to be an unnecessary change which is not at all needed or no fix is required but since this is how they want to roll, before making these changes, huge discussions and constant testing is required before making anything official.
Prior to this change, users could rearrange those meta boxes with simple dragging and dropping function but with the forthcoming change, the users won’t be able to rearrange them without understanding the ways to unlock the interface
After the update of WordPress 5.6 if the current changes are not reverted then many users will start believing that there is some sort of bug in the plugin which makes it crash.
“Is there a plan for letting existing users know that moving metaboxes is now only when Screen Options is open?” asked Helen Hou-Sandì, the core tech lead for 5.6, in the ticket. “I’m not sure I would ever discover that as an existing user and would be convinced everything was broken if I updated with no context.”
Dropping information regarding the changes in the What’s New section seems to be a way but not a lot of people actually check that section.
For now, most people have various reasons as to why this isn’t a great idea. With no public support, it is still in the development version of WordPress. If nothing is done about it, there is a fat chance for it to be included in WordPress 5.6