The latest version of the WordPress 6.x series, WordPress 6.3, will be released on August 8th, 2023. The upcoming version promises many new features and improvements that will surely enhance your website-building experience.
The team members of WordPress 6.3, including Anne McCarthy and Rich Tabor, along with Nathan Wrigley, hosted a live demo of their upcoming version and its highlighted features. More than 100 attendees watched the demonstration video of the most anticipated product features, including the revolutionary Command Palette and a range of innovative design tools.
In this article, we’ll look into the features of the WordPress 6.3 RC1, giving you an exclusive preview of what you can expect from WordPress 6.3.
What’s new in WordPress 6.3?
In WordPress 6.3, you will get many exciting new features and improvements that will enhance your website-building experience.
Here are some of the highlights to look at:
WordPress 6.3 came up with a new site editor with various new features and options to make the development process easy and fast.
In WordPress 6.2, there were only two options available: Templates and Templates parts. The WordPress users were limited to edit the site using the site editor. But, not now! In WordPress 6.3, there are many new options are available for editing. Those features are: Navigation, Styles, Pages, Templates, and Patterns.
Navigation in websites is a display of a menu of links that helps us to move between different pages or sections on the site. This site editor feature has make it simple to customize, edit, remove, create, rearrange, and view the links from this GUI.
So, easily update the links menu of your site with this new option of site editor and preview the changes at the same time.
Create and Manage Web Pages
Previously, we used to add new pages in WordPress using the backend. You must click “Add New” to open the block editor and create content and build the page. Now, in the latest version of WordPress, the page creation process has become easy with the site editor.
Create new pages with the site editor quickly:
- Browse and view existing pages directly within the Site Editor interface. No need to toggle between editors.
- Create new pages seamlessly in the Site Editor using the new drafting flow. Click “Draft New Page” and build the page structure and content.
- Publish the finished page right from the Site Editor. No need to open a separate publishing panel.
Synced Patterns is another new and intuitive feature coming in WordPress 6.3. It will allow you to manage patterns directly on the site editor. Synced Patterns allows you to create reusable blocks across the website. You need to create only one pattern, and you can use it in multiple places on the website. Making changes to a pattern will affect wherever it is used on the website. That means if you want to change your patterns, you do not need to edit them at all the places you have used. Just make edits in the original pattern, and it will automatically change all the other synced patterns across the website.
For example, you want to create an “About the Author” pattern that includes the author’s bio, image, and social links. Now, you want to add at the end of each blog post. So, instead of adding it individually on each blog, create a synced pattern and add the details. If you want to edit the details in the future, you can edit it in the original pattern, and it will automatically make changes everywhere else on the whole site.
Command Palette is a newly introduced feature in WordPress 6.3. It appears at the top of the site editor and makes performing any task easier. It enables easy accessibility for opening templates, patterns, blocks, pages, posts, and other items. You can access any of these items easily by pressing a shortcut or command that is CTRL + K (or Command ⌘ + K if you have a Mac). This command will open a command palette where you can search for any item to open just by entering its name in the search bar.
Apart from that, Command Palette API is also available for developers. Developers can use the Command Palette API to register their commands into the palette.
Previously, if you wanted to reuse a design in your website or revert a style, it required manual changes. You need to edit CSS manually or track previous theme versions, etc. But, that’s not the case anymore!
In this version of WordPress has introduced a new feature called “Style Revisions.” You can now easily revert any style or design on your website. It gives you visual options to revert to any style you want in just one click, including fonts, colors, spacing, etc. It allows you to browse the timeline to preview how your site looked at any previous point visually, and you can revert it just by clicking on it if you do not like the recent changes.
For example, if you are using one font currently but want to try some other options and you made changes to your website. After making changes, you realize that the previous font was better and want it back. Open the Style Revisions timeline and preview the site before the font change. If this is what you want, restore it in just one click.
Distraction Free Mode
This is one of the most beneficial feature to keep you focused while editing the content on your site. This feature hides sidebars, top panels, etc to reduce distractions when editing content. It was available in previous WordPress version but was accessible only on the individual posts/pages not in the site editor. Now, you can use this feature in the site editor.
If users want to access the panels they can access at the top toolbar option. The top toolbar moves the block toolbar to the top panel. Before WordPress 6.3, the top toolbar took more space by adding a layer. Now, the toolbar is embedded so it doesn’t increase editor space.
New Design Tools and Blocks
WordPress 6.3 is introducing three new design tools and blocks that are:
Aspect Ratio Controls: It allows you to specify the aspect ratio while inserting an image into patterns to ensure that images display correctly across the website.
For example, you can set a hero banner always to be 16:9 ratio, and it will automatically scale correctly.
Footnote Block: You can easily add footnote citations to your content that link to the corresponding footnote text. The reader can click the citation to jump to the footnote and click again to return.
For example, you could write, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”  And add the actual footnote text “ This is an example footnote.”
Details Block: It lets you hide and show additional content in a clickable block. It helps collapse long passages, FAQs, additional information, etc.
For example, you could create an accordion FAQ with the questions visible, but answers are hidden until clicked.
These tools and blocks in WordPress 6.3 allow more customization for content building and layouts.
Websites will be faster with these performance improvements coming in WordPress 6.3.
- Faster image loading improves overall page speed. The images will load by itself rather than waiting for the entire page to get loaded.
- Speed optimizations apply to both Classic themes and new Block themes.
For example, if you’re using an older Classic theme, you’ll still see performance gains from Core Web Vitals improvements.
Sites running WordPress 6.3 will load faster and more responsive, incredibly complex pages with many images. The “hallway hangout” mentioned is a live stream where the WordPress performance team will provide more technical details.
But in summary, all types of sites, whether photo blogs, e-commerce stores, or small content sites, will see significant improvements in speed and performance with the latest optimizations.
This is in continuation with WordPress 6.2 where performance improved by 12 to 18 percent for Block themes and up to 5% percent for Classic themes. These improvements are a part of WordPress.
When deployed on optimized WordPress hosting, you may get blazing fast load times due to optimizations.
WordPress 6.3 is a major release that brings various new features with many improvements. The significant features expected to come in WordPress 6.3 are Command Palette, Site Editor, Synced Patterns, Style Revisions, New Design Tools and Blocks, and Performance.
Something extraordinary is on its way! So, developers and users get ready for better results.