This momentous release opens new possibilities for the creative expression of designers, creators, and builders. Powerful tools and refined controls give users confidence and allow them to easily manage their sites. This is precisely what makes WordPress the biggest player in the website building and CMS markets.
We delve into all the new and exciting features to be found in WordPress v6.3.
“This marks a major chapter in the evolution of WordPress as a tool for expression. It’s the culmination of years of work from hundreds of contributors, bringing a more powerful and cohesive editing experience for crafting websites with blocks. It continues the quest of making web publishing approachable for everyone – so it’s also just a new beginning!”
– Matías Ventura, WordPress 6.3 Release Lead
Use the Site Editor as a central console
With WordPress 6.3, the editing experience has been significantly improved. Development has mainly focused on the Site Editor resulting in increased functionality, and enhanced interface and usability. There’s improved navigation, distraction-free mode, block theme previews, style and template revisions, a new Command palette, and so much more.
Website creators can design layouts and manage content within the same interface, without having to jump from one admin area to another and without having to write a single line of code. The improved editing experience also introduces distraction-free writing, all to help with fostering a more cohesive user experience throughout the WordPress ecosystem.
Furthermore, styles now support revisions, enabling users to review and revert to previously saved styles. This makes for a significantly less frustrating experience, particularly when reverting a change that didn’t quite work out how was expected.
Shortcuts made easy with the Command Palette
Keyboard shortcuts have always been a great way to increase your productivity while working on any program. WordPress now comes with a Command Palette offering an extensive array of navigation and creation options anywhere within your site dashboard. Beyond the built-in capabilities, the new command palette provides support for custom command creation to give users the flexibility to perform any navigation or automation actions.
Third-party developers can also add their own commands since the command palette tool has an API.
Pattern management is far better
WordPress has significantly improved its pattern management experience. Reusable blocks are renamed to ‘synced’ patterns to better describe what they achieve within the editing experience. Naturally, just like the reusable blocks, these can be used across multiple pages.
Additionally, a new feature has been introduced to allow the assignment of patterns to templates, giving the initial page creation process an additional kick-start and to aid streamlining a user’s creation workflow. With these changes a user is able to create, save and manage custom patterns, granting extra visibility on which elements the site is built up of.
In addition to patterns, there are several notable updates assisting page design. These include updates to the duotone filters and captions in the styles interface, improved padding and margin controls, as well as an enhanced drag-and-drop visual indicator.
Uplifted performance and accessibility
WordPress v6.3 brings many changes and new features designed for improving site performance and developer workflows. With 170+ performance updates WordPress continues to raise the bar with a series of speed-related updates implemented throughout the platform.
Improvements include the incorporation of support for asynchronous scripts to prevent browser render blockages, lazy loading of images in block themes, and refinements to block templates. These performance enhancements contribute towards improved Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) performance – one of the key metrics of Google’s Core Web Vitals.
Similarly, by Incorporating more than 50 accessibility improvements across the platform, WordPress v6.3 is far more accessible than ever. Key enhancements include refined login forms, improved labelling, optimised keyboard navigation, revised heading hierarchy, and new controls in the admin image editor, providing an augmented enhanced experience for users relying on assistive technologies.
To sum up
With WordPress v6.3, we get to the end of Phase 2: Customisation of the Gutenberg development roadmap. This new release is impressive and brings significant improvements in the editing experience, including new editing features within the site editor, a more flexible block pattern system, new blocks, better performance, improvements to accessibility and internationalisation, and much much more.