Unveiled on August 8, 2023, WordPress 6.3 will mark the end of phase 2 of WordPress development, greatly enhancing the website editor.
This update, still in beta phase, enables smoother design and more efficient content management, all in a single interface with no coding required, featuring a new composition of tools.
By integrating 10 versions of the Gutenberg plugin into the core, those not using Gutenberg will see a significant overhaul of the web editor's interface. The changes offer a new way of exploring block themes and using the editor, with improvements such as optimized navigation, distraction-free mode, themed block previews, and the introduction of a new palette of commands.
Discover all these new features in WordPress 6.3!
Optimized navigation in the site editor
WordPress 6.3 greatly enhances site editor navigation, enriching the editing experience and control. Continuing the advances of version 6.2, the new update lets you select and modify templates, pages, styles and menus directly from the editor browser, making editing more intuitive and ergonomic.
Users can customize theme styles, reorganize navigation menus, create and manage custom templates more efficiently, without having to switch tools. WordPress constantly aims to reinvent itself to meet the evolving expectations of its community, making the user experience more limpid and instinctive.
Restructuring navigation menus
Here's a clear and concise summary of the recently revised menus:
Navigation: This menu contains the links to your navigation block, making it easy to reorganize or delete items. However, new links cannot be added.
Styles: Allows you to select and preview the different style variations of your theme, with shortcuts to the style book and universal style panel.
Pages: This menu shows all the pages on your site, including drafts. What's new is the ability to open and modify a page directly via the site editor, without having to go through the specific page editor.
Templates: Gives access to all available templates and allows their selection for modification. It also allows you to create a new template.
Patterns: Replacing the former model parts menu, this menu includes model parts as well as patterns, whether synchronized or not.
Revision management: simplified cancellation of style changes.
WordPress 6.3 offers extended revision functionality for site editor styles, making it easy to track and undo theme changes. Simply select the style or block to be modified, click on 'Revisions', then 'Revision History' to view and revert to a previous version.
The revision history, accessible in the Styles panel, displays a chronology of modifications with author details and date. Further improvements to revisions are expected in Phase 3.
Optimized system for managing block templates in the editor.
WordPress 6.3 offers more efficient template management via the site editor, organized by category, including synchronized (changes applied to all instances) and non-synchronized (changes specific to one instance) templates.
To manage your patterns, click on 'Manage all my patterns'. Reusable blocks are renamed to 'Synchronized patterns', regular block patterns to 'Non-synchronized patterns'. You can create these patterns directly from the site or publication editor.
In addition, block patterns retain the aspect ratio when replacing an image, making it easier to replace images in block patterns.
Performance improvements and technical advances for developers
WordPress 6.3 offers a host of performance and development efficiency enhancements. Key updates include :
- Integration of deferred and asynchronous support in the WP Script API to optimize loading times,
- Improved emoji loader to reduce script loading time,
- A restore option for failed plugin and theme updates,
- The option to ignore delayed loading of images outside the loop in classic themes,
- Improved prioritization of image loading,
- Merge the get_posts() and get_pages() functions for better data management,
- The end of support for PHP 5 to encourage the use of more recent versions,
- Support for HTML 5 async and defer attributes to improve script loading performance,
- A development mode to facilitate developer workflow.
Cover block evolution: new blocks, design tools and extended color and layout support.
WordPress 6.3, the next update, is a veritable treasure trove of improvements and new features for easier content creation. Footnote and Details blocks have also been added, simplifying and enriching editing.
Users will now be able to add notes directly from the toolbar, avoiding the previous laborious process. The Details block offers clickable content that reveals additional info, useful for various content such as FAQs or product details.
The Cover block has been enhanced with a number of improvements, including layout options, support for two-color filters and greater text flexibility.
Finally, the new Reading Time block and an improved Duotone filter optimize the editing experience. WordPress 6.3, an update not to be missed!
Securing updates : Automatic rollback on WordPress
The rollback function offers additional security when updating themes and extensions on WordPress. In the event of a failed update, it automatically restores the previous version, guaranteeing site availability.
It avoids resource-intensive processes by relying on file movement. A backup is made in a temporary folder, which is emptied after the update. In addition, the system checks available disk space for a secure update.
Future implementation for WordPress 6.4 will also address automatic updates. It will include a check to ensure that no fatal PHP errors are introduced by plugin updates. These new features are currently being tested through the Rollback Update Failure plugin.
Integration of the new 'Command Palette' in WordPress 6.3
WordPress 6.3 features a new quick command tool, accessible via CTRL + K (or Command + K on Mac). This tool facilitates access to frequent actions by listing search results such as templates, blocks, publications and more.
One click on an element and you're redirected directly to the site editor for smoother management.
What's more, the Command Tool lets you add custom commands using the new Command Palette API. There are several types of commands you can save:
- Static commands: these can be added by developers using the wp.data.dispatch( wp.commands.store ).registerCommand action or the React hook wp.data.useCommand.
- Dynamic commands: These are included in the instruction list according to the search term entered by the user in the instruction palette input field, or when an instruction is only available when certain conditions are met.
- Context-sensitive commands: these take precedence in specific contexts, meaning they automatically appear in the right context (e.g. when you're editing a model). The "Reset model" and "Delete model" commands are examples of contextual commands.
The ordering tool is initially available in the site and post editors, but should be extended to the entire administration in the future. It's a powerful addition that offers a multitude of use cases and improves the efficiency of site navigation and management.
Wordpress 6.3 video
And finally, what's new in Wordpress 6.3
The new WordPress 6.3 release, which marks the end of Phase 2: Customization of the Gutenberg development roadmap, brings significant enhancements to the publishing experience, including new features in the site editor, a more flexible block template system, new blocks, improved performance, as well as accessibility and internationalization improvements.
In November 2023, the next version of WordPress will launch Phase 3: Collaboration, with the main aim of adding advanced collaboration capabilities to the editor.
Updating your WordPress site to the latest version is crucial not only to benefit from the latest improvements and features, but also to correct bugs and secure the site against potential flaws.
The new features in WordPress 6.3 offer many opportunities to improve site management efficiency while maintaining security levels.
Users are encouraged to test these features in a development environment and share their impressions.