Posted on — Last updated on January 14, 2024

Recently 4.0: New Recently block! PHP 5 Support Dropped, Minimum Supported WordPress Version Changed

A brand new Recently block is here. PHP 7.2 and WordPress 5.3 are now the minimum requirements.

Like WordPress Popular Posts before it, Recently has too dropped PHP 5 support. We also have a brand new Recently block!

It’s been a while since Recently’s last update so let’s see what’s new.

PHP 5 Support Has Been Dropped

Not too long ago WordPress Popular Posts bumped its minimum required PHP version to 7.2. And now Recently is following suit: PHP 7.2 is now its minimum required version.

As for the reasons why support for PHP 5 has been dropped, to sum it up it’s so Recently can take advantage of newer features introduced by PHP 7 and also to help the community move towards faster, more secure versions of PHP.

Minimum Required WordPress Version Changed

WordPress 4.9, Recently’s minimum required WordPress version, released back in November 2017. That’s almost 5 years ago (at the time of writing). Changes such as a new editing screen, block-based widgets, etc have been introduced since then and so Recently is also being updated so it can make use of these new features. WordPress 5.3 5.7 is now the minimum required version to use Recently.

If you’re using an older version of WordPress please consider upgrading as soon as possible, not only so you can keep using Recently but also so that your site can benefit from all the new features, performance improvements, and security enhancements introduced by the WordPress team with each new release after WordPress 4.9.

Recently Has Its Own Block Now

Fan of the new Gutenberg editing experience introduced by the WordPress team with the release of version 5.0? Even if you are not (yet), Recently is now available as a block so you can place it on your posts, pages, and your block-based Widgets screen.

The Recently block has all the same features as its “classic” widget counterpart so you won’t miss anything by making the switch.

What’s going to happen to the classic Recently widget?

Nothing (for the time being at least). The classic Recently widget will continue to be included with the plugin for as long as possible since you can still use it with newer versions of WordPress if you have installed the Classic Widgets plugin on your site.

However, once the Classic Widgets plugin stops being maintained the classic Recently widget will likely stop working. If you’re using WordPress 5.0 or newer please consider switching to the Recently block before that happens for ease of mind.

Other Changes

  • Improved compatibility with Polylang and WPML.
  • Fixed an issue where you couldn’t override Recently’s widget themes from a WordPress child theme.
  • Only users with the edit_others_posts capability (usually Editors and Administrators) will be able to access certain areas of Recently’s dashboard for enhanced privacy.
  • Users will no longer be able to add the “classic” widget to the block-based Widgets screen, only the Recently block.
  • Back-ported some code improvements from WordPress Popular Posts.
  • Security enhancements.
  • Minor improvements and fixes.

Minor Updates & Hotfixes


Version 4.0.3, released on January 14, 2024, introduces yet another min. WordPress version requirement change. Recently now requires at least WordPress 5.7 to work. Also, the plugin has been updated to better support PHP 8.

Additionally, this release fixes an issue that prevented Recently from loading its recent posts list on WordPress themes that don’t explicitly provide support for HTML5 scripts.

Finally, Recently’s data caching feature has been removed in favor of WordPress built-in data caching introduced with version 6.1. If you’re using an older version of WordPress I highly recommend upgrading to 6.1 or newer to take advantage of all of the performance enhancements that have been introduced with the past few releases.


Version 4.0.2, released on October 2, 2022, fixes an issue where the post excerpt was not being truncated at the specified length when truncating by character count. User @dimalifragis reached out via the Support forum to report this so thank you!

Additionally, @dimalifragis also reported a PHP warning being generated by the function that generates the excerpt itself. This has been fixed as well.

Finally, plugin development dependencies have been updated to their latest version.


Version 4.0.1, released on September 9, 2022, fixes an issue where the post excerpt might render broken HTML code under certain conditions affecting how Recently’s posts list is displayed on screen.