What is New in Latest WordPress Version 5.3 “Kirk”?
WordPress, World’s most popular CMS has released its newest version (WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”) on November 12, 2019.
This latest WordPress version is equipped with tons of new features, such as you can refine and expand the block editor with more improved accessibility and intuitive interactions.
You’ll find the new features in the editor to increase the design freedoms, also provides additional layout options and style variations which enable designers to control the look of your website.
There is much more to know about this latest WordPress version so let’s have a quick discussion about it.
About WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”
Every WordPress lover is quite excited after the launch of WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” because it is the most refined version ever launched by WordPress.
But there is something more exciting in this launch, this new update is named after the renowned American Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
You will get a matchless user experience with an enhanced block editor and can easily update or download the latest edition of WordPress from your dashboard.
It comprises of a new default theme named Twenty-Twenty, latest block editor features and user interface enhancements.
What are New Features of WordPress 5.3 Kirk
1. Block Editor (Gutenberg)
The Latest WordPress version 2019 has given its focus on refining and expanding the WordPress Gutenberg Block editor, which was earliest introduced in WordPress 5.0.
WordPress 5.3 includes the current state of Gutenberg, version 6.5, into core and that is an immense update.
You will find some awesome additions in this release which include Twenty Twenty theme, admin interface enhancement, improved image handling and more.
Here I am giving you the ideas of all important changes so let’s have a look:
- Grouping interactions and Group block
- Gallery block improvements (caption support, reordering inline)
- Accessibility Navigation Mode, which will enable you to navigate with the keyboard between blocks without going into their content.
- Columns block improvements
Also, the Block Editor is remarkably more lightweight and the page load has been tremendously decreased from 60miliseconds to 40 milliseconds.
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2. Widen Design Flexibility
WordPress 5.3 adds some more powerful tools for creating amazing designs such as:
- With 5.3 Kirk, now the columns block supports fixed column widths.
- The new group block enables you to easily divide your page into colorful sections.
- Now heading blocks offer controls for background color and text.
- The new predefined layouts provide ease to arrange content into advanced designs.
- Now there is an additional style option that enables you to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature.
3. Support High and Large Resolution Image
This new version of WordPress 5.3 provides you improved support for uploading large and high-resolution images.
It introduces large image detection that automatically generates a web-optimized maximum size of them.
Now images are immediately resized to 2560px on upload. If the uploaded image is been automatically resized, the scale will be added at the end to the file name.
WordPress will also retry generating images sizes if it failed to upload because of server timeouts.
4. Better Performance
This new WordPress 5.3 introduces over 150 new improvements and features which includes large size images and high-resolution pictures that you may want to upload which simply means better-looking images on your website.
5. Introduce a Brand New Theme Twenty Twenty
WordPress introduces us with a new default WordPress theme Twenty-Twenty. The has been designed with a special focus on Gutenberg and comes with a three post/page templates and a single column layout.
It also gives freedom to WordPress admins and designers to create their custom layouts directly from Block editor.
The amazing thing about Twenty Twenty is that it is designed with flexibility which means if you want to use it for business or for an organization, you can combine columns, media, and groups with wide and full alignments to create dynamic layouts to represent your products and services.
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6. Navigation Mode
Navigation mode enables you to move from one block to another block without using the arrow keys or tab.
Now you just need to go to the Edit Mode from the Navigation mode by hitting Enter or FSC key.
7. Website Health Tool Changes And Improvements
New WordPress version 5.3 Kirk also introduces site health toll and improvements. It allows you to see the state of your WordPress installation.
A battery of tests acts to detect the problems, suggest fixes and report on their seriousness.
WordPress 5.3 improves on this tool by tweaking the user-interface, notably changing the presentation of suggest fixes and move the score grade with one of two states and i.e, Good or should be improved.
If you get an email from WordPress warning that means there is a problem with your website, now this will be enhanced with important information to help you debug the situation.
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8. Advance Admin Email Verification Screen
Being a new security feature, you will find the new administration email verification screen. This screen will pop up every six months, after connecting as admin, and asking you to confirm the website email address.
This screen will help you to verify that your website administration email has not been changed unexpectedly.
If you find it changed without any knowledge, you might have security issues to deal with.
9. Improved Loading Time
It has been observed that there is a significant improvement in overall loading performance, thanks to code optimization. A test with 1000 blocks/36000 words shows an improvement of around 1 second of loading time.
Improvements for Developers
1. Compatible with PHP 7.4
WordPress 5.3 is fully compatible with PHP 7.4. You can see multiple changes in this release, to remove deprecated functionality and ensure compatibility.
It removes the old functionalities to make sure that there is full compatibility with the latest PHP version.
2. Date/Time Component Fixes
The most beneficial thing for developers is they can now work with dates and timezones more reliably.
Date and time have received several brand new API functions for PHP interoperability and unified timezone retrieval as well as numerous bug fixes.
This latest WordPress version of 5.3 Kirk has to provide numerous changes to the CMS. It improves the performance of the website, better accessibility and provides a better user experience.
But before update this latest version of WordPress, please take some time to backup your entire website.
You also need to make sure that you update the latest PHP version, install a premium WordPress theme and plugin updates just to make sure that your WordPress is secure and functioning properly.