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What’s new in WordPress 5.3? Newly added features in the WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” release

Today we’re going to go through the latest features with WordPress 5.3, you’ll also learn why this update is so awesome!

WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” was released on November 12th 2019. This article will reveal all the new changes in WordPress. We’ll also tell you what you can expect in terms of usability and higher efficiency when working with blocks in WP editor.

To update, you can update automatically from the Dashboard –> Updates menu in your site’s admin area or visit the WordPress Downloads page.

Highlights

5.3 expands and refines the block editor introduced in WordPress 5.0 with new blocks, more intuitive interactions, and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers to complete control over the look of a site. This release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme giving the user more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. Creating beautiful web pages and advanced layouts have never been easier.

Block Editor Improvements

This enhancement-focused update introduces over 150 new features and usability improvements, including improved large image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from your smartphone or other high-quality cameras. Combined with larger default image sizes, pictures always look their best.

Accessibility improvements include the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improved styles fix many accessibility issues: colour contrast on form fields and buttons, consistency between editor and admin interfaces, new snack bar notices, standardizing to the default WordPress colour scheme, and the introduction of Motion to make interacting with your blocks feel swift and natural. For people who use a keyboard to navigate the dashboard, the block editor now has a Navigation mode. This lets you jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.

Expanded Design Flexibility

WordPress 5.3 adds even more robust tools for creating amazing designs.

  • The new Group block lets you easily divide your page into colourful sections
  • The Columns block now supports fixed column widths
  • The new Predefined layouts make it a cinch to arrange content into advanced designs
  • Heading blocks now offer controls for text and background colour
  • Additional style options allow you to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature

Introducing Twenty Twenty

As the block editor celebrates its first birthday, we are proud that Twenty Twenty is designed with flexibility at its core. Show off your services or products with a combination of columns, groups, and media blocks. Set your content to wide or full alignment for dynamic and engaging layouts. Or let your thoughts be the star with a central content column!

As befits a theme called Twenty Twenty, clarity and readability is also a big focus. The theme includes the typeface Inter, designed by Rasmus Andersson. Inter comes in a Variable Font version, a first for default themes, which keeps load times short by containing all weights and styles of Inter in just two font files.

Improvements for Everyone

Automatic Image Rotation

Your images will be correctly rotated upon upload according to the embedded orientation data. This feature was first proposed nine years ago and made possible through the perseverance of many dedicated contributors.

Site Health Checks

The improvements introduced in 5.3 make it even easier to identify issues. Expanded recommendations highlight areas that may need troubleshooting on your site from the Health Check screen.

Admin Email Verification

You’ll now be periodically asked to confirm that your admin email address is up to date when you log in as an administrator. This reduces the chance of getting locked out of your site if you change your email address.

For Developers

Date/Time Component Fixes

Developers can now work with dates and timezones in a more reliable way. Date and time functionality has received a number of new API functions for unified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability, as well as many bug fixes.

PHP 7.4 Compatibility

WordPress 5.3 aims to fully support PHP 7.4. This release contains multiple changes to remove deprecated functionality and ensure compatibility. WordPress continues to encourage all users to run the latest and greatest versions of PHP.

Conclusion

WordPress 5.3 update is a pretty big update in comparison to its previous updates. WordPress just keeps getting better and better and we always look forward to their releases.

You can read a more detailed update regarding this version over on the official WordPress Page.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the update!

 

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