WordPress 5.3! Named “Kirk” in honour of jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Introduces a more refined user experience with improvments to the block editor. It has more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility that increase design freedoms and give you additional layout options and style variations.
It also brings the annual release of the bundled theme – Twenty Twenty.
Block Editor Improvements
There are over 150 new features and usability improvements, including improved large image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from your smartphone or other high-quality cameras. Combined with larger default image sizes, pictures always look their best.
Accessibility improvements include the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improved styles fix many accessibility issues: color contrast on form fields and buttons, consistency between editor and admin interfaces, new snackbar notices, standardizing to the default WordPress color scheme, and the introduction of Motion to make interacting with your blocks feel swift and natural.
For people who use a keyboard to navigate the dashboard, the block editor now has a Navigation mode. This lets you jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.
Expanded Design Flexibility
WordPress 5.3 adds even more robust tools for creating amazing designs.
- The new Group block lets you easily divide your page into colorful sections.
- The Columns block now supports fixed column widths.
- The new predefined layouts make it a cinch to arrange content into advanced designs.
- Heading blocks now offer controls for text and background color.
- Additional style options allow you to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature.
Introducing Twenty Twenty
As the block editor celebrates its first birthday, we are proud that Twenty Twenty is designed with flexibility at its core. Show off your services or products with a combination of columns, groups, and media blocks. Set your content to wide or full alignment for dynamic and engaging layouts. Or let your thoughts be the star with a centered content column!
As befits a theme called Twenty Twenty, clarity and readability is also a big focus. The theme includes the typeface Inter, designed by Rasmus Andersson. Inter comes in a Variable Font version, a first for default themes, which keeps load times short by containing all weights and styles of Inter in just two font files.
Improvements for Everyone
Automatic Image Rotation
Your images will be correctly rotated upon upload according to the embedded orientation data. This feature was first proposed nine years ago and made possible through the perseverance of many dedicated contributors.
Improved Site Health Checks
The improvements introduced in 5.3 make it even easier to identify issues. Expanded recommendations highlight areas that may need troubleshooting on your site from the Health Check screen.
Admin Email Verification
You’ll now be periodically asked to confirm that your admin email address is up to date when you log in as an administrator. This reduces the chance of getting locked out of your site if you change your email address.