- WordPress.org has released its long-awaited version 6.3, allowing users to do everything from their site editor for the first time.
- The update comes with over 400 bug fixes and more than 500 improvements to elevate your WordPress experience
Affectionately nicknamed Lionel, WordPress 6.3 has finally arrived. Packed with improvements and updates, WordPress states that its 6.3 release has been designed to “give users confidence and allow them to more easily manage their sites.”
The platform’s newest update has been much anticipated, and is, unsurprisingly, a treasure trove of new tools and controls for users to explore and experiment with. Below, we’ll take a look at the highlights, running you through the biggest and most impactful changes.
Covering everything in WordPress’s newest release would take a lot of time and a ton of words. Instead, we’ve distilled the key changes and highlights for you below, so if you’re planning to build a website with WordPress.org, you’ll be armed with information on all of the most important updates and improvements.
Do Everything in The Site Editor
Long gone are the days when WordPress users would have to flick between multiple pages to edit and manage their site. Now, everything can be done from the Site Editor. 6.3 sees the centralization of the editor, meaning that creators can make changes to their content with their template in view, browse and edit their pages, access page information and settings, and publish one or many pages all from one place. This update maximizes convenience and works hard to increase ease of use.
Make Use of The Command Palette
Speaking of ease of use, WordPress has introduced a new feature called the Command Palette. This allows users to search their site for specific functionalities and access common commands quickly. The idea of this is that you won’t need to go hunting to find what you’re looking for – the Command Palette will do all the searching for you. Users can access this via handy keyboard shortcuts (⌘+k on Mac or Ctrl+k on Windows), by clicking directly on the sidebar search icon in site view, or clicking on the Title Bar.
Preview Block Themes
If you’re unsure whether a block theme will suit your overall design, you can now preview these before making the switch. Users can also customize their block directly before committing, meaning that creative control is firmly in your hands.
Create and Sync Patterns
On the subject of blocks, WordPress 6.3 now allows you to arrange and save collections of blocks as ‘”Patterns”. These new elements will then be available for you to use across your site, so you won’t have to repeatedly fiddle around with replicating the exact layout. If you’ve already used a particular set of blocks across your site more than once, you can choose to “Sync” them, so that the saved Pattern applies to all of them. This means that if you want to make future changes to the pattern, you only need to do it once, and it’ll roll out across your site.
New Tools for Sharper Designs
WordPress 6.3 comes with an array of new controls to help you nail your designs more easily. Users can now customize captions from the Styles interface without the need to code, as well as be able to manage duotone filters from the same menu. Additionally, the Cover block has been improved, with new settings allowing users to adjust text color, layout, and borders.
One of our favorite parts of the 6.3 release is the improved impact it will have on performance. It comes with over 170 performance updates, including block template resolution and support for image and emoji loading. Crucially, these improvements will increase website load time, which will have a positive impact on your visitors’ experience.
Shining a Spotlight on Accessibility
Sometimes overlooked, accessibility is a huge part of website design, and WordPress 6.3 recognizes this. Improved labeling, optimized tab and arrow-key navigation, new heading hierarchy, and extra controls in the admin image editor all work together to help users create a website that is accessible and navigable for everyone.
Although we’ve picked out some of favorite parts of WordPress 6.3, there’s a ton that we haven’t covered, too. Here are a few extra honorable mentions:
- Set aspect ratios: specify different aspect ratios across images
- Distraction-free designing: enable the distraction-free mode in the Site Editor for focused building
- Improve Top Toolbar: the Top Toolbar has been improved for improved functionality
- List View improvements: drag and drop to every content layer, deleting blocks in the updated List View
- Pattern-led template building: use unique patterns as a jumping-off point for template creation
If you’re as excited by WordPress 6.3 as we are, it can be installed through an automatic update in the user dashboard. Navigate to the Updates menu to get started and roll 6.3 out across your site.
With so many new improvements and updates included in the new release, we’ve only barely scratched the surface. The best way to find out what WordPress 6.3 can offer is to go and try it out for yourself. If you haven’t had a chance to explore yet, let us know what you’re most looking forward to experimenting with, or if you’ve already set to work investigating, we can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the new features and tools below in the comments!