WordPress 6.3, the next major release of the WordPress platform, will be on released August 8, 2023. The fourth beta release became available this week. Our team at Outcome Labs has started to verify the release against our sites and for our customers under WordPress Care Plans. We will complete site verification against all three planned release candidates and the final production release.
Lots of Improvements
This WordPress release includes more than 500 new features and enhancements and 400+ bug fixes. There are a number of improvements targeting LCP performance. Support for PHP 8.x versions has also been improved. Sites using “classic” PHP-based themes will see improvements across the Block Editor. This includes new blocks for details and footnotes, along with better handling of image aspect ratios and improved fallback states. Spacer blocks now include presets, and the cover block gets updates for managing text colors and layout support.
Are Block Themes Ready for Prime Time?
Much of the new functionality available in this release is in the Site Editor. This functionality will only be available on sites using a block theme like Twenty Twenty Three. The Outcome Labs team has an ongoing project to evaluate each major update of the Site Editor to identify the type of projects that can be successfully implemented with a block theme. We feel like 6.3 will raise the bar significantly. Please check back here for updates on this from the team over the next several weeks.
Will Patterns Finally Come Into Their Own?
One of the areas we are most excited about is the unification of reusable blocks (now called synched patterns) and traditional block patterns (unsynced patterns) within the Editor. A new option allows you to assign patterns to templates, adding the ability to have starter patterns to speed up the creation process. Site creators can now easily create, save, and manage custom synced and unsynced patterns, as well as browse a directory of curated patterns. We will be doing specific follow-up articles to share our experiences and recommendations.