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What’s New in WordPress 5.3

What’s New in WordPress 5.3

What are we likely to see when the WordPress 5.3 release gets to be a reality?

And now you can start looking forward on it. The official release date of the WordPress core was allocated on November 12, 2019. Earlier today, the beta version was discharged. You are able to test on the beta version of WordPress 5.3 by downloading the plugin (WordPress Beta Tester). However, you are strongly recommended to test it with your staging site or a testing site instead of your production site.

The scope for this release is consistent with the 2019 objective of Matt Mullenweg to tighten the CMS in order to enhance current features and functionality. And the coordinator, Francesca Marano indicated that the focus of this version of WordPress is to polish current interactions and increase the user-friendliness of the UIs. 

On 8 August 2019, the WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden revealed an overview and summary of updates and improvements that could be included in the upcoming WordPress 5.3:

Grouping: support for dividing your page into a section
Motion: support for visual motion when moving/arranging blocks
Column patterns and widths: support for fixed column widths, and predefined layouts
Big images: support for saving progress after a big image fails to upload
Media accessibility: some fixes and a lot of polish as a result of the a11y audit
PHP 7.4: support for the new version coming late in November’
And also: Build/Test updates, better administration of emails, and a lot of under the hood improvements

Besides, the new default theme will be introduced together with the release as well, which is known as Twenty Twenty.

And finally, the beta version has released now. To get the understanding of the progressions, keep your eyes open on the following.

Gutenberg Block Editor

Block editor iterations are a significant component of this release. 12 releases of the Gutenberg plugin will be merged into 5.3, which implies a long list of interesting fresh characteristics will be available. Some improvements are available on the group, column, table, gallery, separator, latest post, list and button blocks in term of visualization and user-friendliness. And there is a new Accessibility Navigation Mode which will allow you to navigate between blocks without entering their content with the keyboard. The new animations and micro-interactions of the editor are trying to improve the UX. 

There are also some minor enhancements of the editor, including data module API, inserter help panel, snackbar notices, typewriter experience and fixing a number of acccessibility report issues.

The new default theme: Twenty Twenty

One of the highly anticipated elements in WordPress 5.3, the new default theme is also available in the beta. The idea and design of the theme came from one of the WordPress themes, Chaplin, which released on the WordPress.org theme directory earlier this summer. The new default theme is going to provide full support for the block editor and empowering users to find the right design for their message.

Admin interface enhancements

The team is also attempting to integrate some parts of Gutenberg styles into the admin interface and aim to fix several accessibility issues, improving color contrasts on form fields and buttons, adding consistency between editor and admin interfaces, upgrading the WordPress color scheme, improving zoom management, and more.

Some other notable additions to 5.3 that need to be tested include:

Support for resuming uploads on large file sizes: Users are able to upload non-optimized, high-resolution pictures straight away from smartphone.
Automatic image rotation during upload: When uploading your images, they will rotate correctly according to the EXIF orientation.
Improvements to Site Health checks: The tools make it easier to identify and understand areas on your site that may require troubleshooting.
Admin email verification: Reduces the chance to be locked out if your site when you change your login email address.

For Developers

Time/Date component fixes
PHP 7.4 Compatibility and removal of deprecated functionality
Improvements to multisite
Save database version in site meta
Code modernization
Toggle password view


We hope this article helped you in understanding the upcoming new features and enhancements in WordPress 5.3. Kindly remind to follow the step-by-by tutorial when you are updating the WordPress version. Feel free to share your comment below about which features you like or any interesting features you are looking forward in the future.


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