What’s New in WordPress 5.3

Ritesh Vatwani

Ritesh Vatwani

December 25, 2019

Before the official release date of the WordPress, core WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden on 8th August 2019 summarized the updates and improvements one could expect in WordPress 5.3.

She revealed that the focus of this version of WordPress was to polish current interactions and increase the user-friendliness of user interfaces. Have a look at the progressions –

  • Grouping options to support your page for dividing into a section
  • Support for visual motion when moving or arranging blocks which will rotate correctly according to the EXIF orientation.
  • Improved Column patterns and predefined layouts
  • Support for saving progress after a big image fails to upload. And get non-optimized, high-resolution pictures straight away from the smartphone.
  • Improvements to Site Health checks to identify areas that require troubleshooting.
  • Better administration of emails to reduce the chance to be locked out of your site when you change your login email address.

What are We Likely to See After the WordPress 5.3 Release?

On November 12, 2019, the new version of WordPress 5.3 has been released and already available with new features and enhancements in the WordPress Dashboard.

It is one of the finest and the last major release of this year with significant changes.

Unlike previous WP in which Gutenberg plugins have to seem 12 additional updates, you get all those updates rolled into the core version.

Even you get to see a drastic change in how media images improve rapidly for larger images with the efficient upload. And lastly, the latest theme version named Twenty-Twenty has been given personalized features.

We have been following the development closely and are very excited about its new features, block editor improvements, and user interface update. So, let’s show you what’s stored for you in WordPress 5.3

  • Newly Modified Gutenberg Block Editor

As we have previously mentioned that in Gutenberg block editor, 12 releases of the Gutenberg plugin will be merged into 5.3.

It will enable fresh characteristics in terms of visualization and user-friendliness. Even the new Accessibility Navigation Mode will allow free flow navigation among the blocks.

This will greatly impact the UX feature and give enhancements in editing.

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Here are some more features of Gutenberg Block Editor:

  1. The Columns Block: WordPress 5.3 comes with some major changes to the columns block. You can set a layout for columns and adjust their width. You can also set an individual column to be wider, and the rest of the columns will automatically adjust.
  2. Improved Button Block: WordPress 5.3 makes it easier to feature buttons in posts or pages with an improved button block, which can allow you to select border-radius yourself. You can open button links in a new window and make it nofollow if needed.
  3. Block Previews: The block editor shows a block preview which is only available while using the Add new block icon on the top.
  4. Heading Colors: You can choose a color for sub-headings inside your articles.
  5. Reorder Gallery Images: The new and improved gallery block allows you to reorder images inside the gallery.
  6. Image Block Styles: Image block now lets you choose a style for your images. Currently, it shows two styles: Default and Circle mask.
  7. Improved Table Block: Table block allows you to select styles and add stripes to table rows. You can also add header and footer rows.
  8. Improved Latest Posts: WordPress 5.3 allows you to add the latest posts with excerpts and display them in a grid layout. But, it does not show featured images for the latest posts.
  • User Interface Upgrade for More Visibility

WordPress 5.3 transforms the overall appearance of the WordPress UI with features that manage more visibility. The cosmetic changes make it more coherent especially in the admin area. The new interface includes handy borders around form fields that ensure better noticeability and accessibility, highlighting the experience for users.

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  • WordPress Admin Email Address Verification

Previously WordPress allowed users to change the email address from the Settings feature. This address enabled WordPress l resets along with a host of important notification emails.

This changes were required with WordPress 5.3, since verification of the new email address, is essential in this version so that admins do not miss out future emails. Every six months admin will get a notification to verify that admin still has the same email address or a way to update it if they have changed it.

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  • Latest Default Theme: Twenty Twenty

The highly anticipated feature of WordPress 5.3 is Twenty Twenty which is a default theme that will support the block editor and help developers to find the right design.

It has been originated from the earlier theme of Chaplin. But this new addition will give an elegant style to typography providing various widths of fonts.

This can help to create impressive content layouts for various posts and pages making them more prominent and crisper. And lastly not to forget this, it works with all best WordPress page builders as well.

  • Extra Enhancement

The minimum PHP version required has now risen from 5.6 to version 7.2, while version 7.1 has already ended on Dec 1, 2019.

The highest version support is now 7.4, which is not yet out on several hosts as of now. This means that the newest WordPress version is ensuring a huge jump on PHP version support and that is a great thing for developers.

  • Admin Interface Enhancement Features

Some parts of Gutenberg styles are also installed into the admin interface to fix several accessibility issues.

This may grant some improved color contrasts to all form fields and buttons, and upgrade the WordPress color scheme.

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So, I hope understanding the latest features and enhancements in WordPress 5.3 has given you choices to choose and differentiate between both versions of WordPress. And if you are creating a multisite network, then you will find these improvements quite helpful too.

Ritesh Vatwani

Ritesh Vatwani

Ritesh Vatwani is Head of Operations at Zestard Technologies Pvt Ltd. Working from the last 8 years on Open Source platforms, he now leads a team of CMS and JavaScript (Angular & React), developers. He is well-versed with agile and waterfall methodologies. His vision is to safeguard and augment the efficiency of operations to accelerate development. You can find Ritesh on Linkedin and Twitter.

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