WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

WordPress 5.3 official poster

Today on 12th of November 2019 the new version of WordPress is released. The version is 5.3 and it is named Kirk after the jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, known for his onstage vitality, during which virtuoso improvisation was accompanied by comic banter, political ranting, and the ability to play several instruments simultaneously.

The latest version of WordPress is available for download and update in the admin dashboard.

The 5.3 version expands and clarify the block editor with more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility. Some of the new features in the editor are:

Increased design freedom
Over-and-above layout options and style variations. This will allow designers to have more control over the look of a website

This WordPress release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme, which provide the users with more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. This will allow creating beautiful web pages easily as well as advanced layouts.

Improvements over the Block Editor

This is an enhancement focused update introducing over 150 new features and usability improvements. This includes improving large image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from smartphone and other high-quality cameras. Combined with larger default image sizes, pictures will always look their best.The accessibility improvements include integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improved styles will fix many accessibility issues such as: 

The accessibility improvements include integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improved styles will fix many accessibility issues such as:

  • Color contrast on form fields and buttons
  • Consistency between editor and admin interfaces
  • New snackbar notices
  • Standardizing to the default WordPress color scheme
  • Introduction of Motion, which will make interacting with blocks to feel swift and natural

For people who use a keyboard to navigate the dashboard, now the block editor has a new mode – Navigation mode. This new mode allows you to jump from one block to another block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.

Design Flexibility Expanded

In the WordPress 5.3 are added even more tools for creating new amazing and great designs:

  • A new “Group block” that let the user to easily divide the page into colorful sections
  • A new “Columns block” that supports fixed column widths
  • A new predefined layouts that will make it a piece of cake to arrange content into advanced designs
  • As from this version the “Heading blocks” offer control for text and the background color
  • Additional style options will allow the user to set their preferred style for any block that supports this feature

Introducing new theme – Twenty Twenty

Since the Block Editor celebrates its first birthday, WordPress present us the Twenty Twenty theme that is designed with flexibility in mind. With the new theme you can show off your services and products with a combination of columns, groups, and media blocks. The user can set their own content to wide or full alignment for more dynamic and even more engaging layouts.

The clarity and readability are also on a big focus as it fit with a theme called Twenty Twenty. The new theme includes the typeface Inter, which is designed by Rasmus Andersson. Inter comes in a Variable Font version, the first for default themes, which helps to keep the load time short by containing all styles of Inter in just two font files.

More improvements for better experience

Automatic Image Rotation

The images of your website will be correctly rotated upon upload according to the embedded orientation data. Interesting fact: this feature was first proposed nine years ago and made possible through the perseverance of many dedicated contributors. A big round of applause for all of the WordPress contributors out there!

Improved Site Health Checks

The improvements over the Site Health tool introduced in WordPress 5.3 will make it even easier to identify issues. Recommendations are expanded and there are highlight areas that may need troubleshooting on the website from the Health Check screen.

Admin Email Verification

With this new security feature the website admin will be periodically asked to confirm that their admin email address is up to date when they log in as an administrator. This will reduce the chance of getting locked out of your website if you change your email address.

Goodies for the developers

Date/Time Component Fixes

Now the developers will be able to 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 which are removing deprecated functionality and ensure compatibility. We at WPCacheOn encourage all users to use the latest and greatest versions of PHP for maximum optimization and security.

Miscellaneous statistics

In the new WordPress 5.3 over 362 bugs are squashed, 157 enhancements and feature requests are added.

More information

You can see more information about each of the new features and updates in WordPress 5.3 in the WordPress Field Guide.

WordPress 5.3 and WPCacheOn 1.2.5

WordPress 5.3 bring us more optimized and more secure platform. But we know that the speed can be improved even more, this is where WPCacheOn comes in place to provide cache, gzip and other features that will speed up your WordPress website.

We have performed thorough tests on WordPress 5.3 and WPCacheOn 1.2.5 and we are very happy to announce that the WordPress speed up plugin is 100% compatible with WordPress 5.3. With that in mind, go ahead and update your WordPress website as soon as possible in order to benefit from the latest WordPress release!

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