There was much talk in the tech world about the official launch of WordPress 5.3 “Kirk,” and the long-drawn wait is now over. The latest edition of WordPress, at last, got released on November 12th, 2019. The exciting part is, this WordPress update is named after the renowned American Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk. It is considered to be one of the most refined versions ever launched by WordPress. It provides matchless user experience with enhanced block editor. You can now download or update the latest edition of WordPress from your dashboard.
Let’s now look at some of the exciting things covered in this WordPress update. WordPress 5.3 comprises of a new default theme called Twenty Twenty, user interface enhancements, and latest block editor features. In all, 645 volunteers contributed towards this WordPress release. It was led by Francesca Marano, David Baumwald, and Matt Mullenweg. You will be amazed to know this: WordPress 5.2 was downloaded 84 million times before the official release of WordPress 5.3.
If you wish to run WordPress 5.3 or later, it is mandatory to utilize the PHP native JSON extension. This is not a major concern for the majority of the users as the extension has been bundled with PHP by default since the year 2006. In case, the extension is missing, WordPress will send out an error and cancel the process of update. If you are unable to update will need to get in touch with their web hosts to have the extension enabled.
In the forthcoming sections of this write-up, we will divert our attention to some of the sparkling features of WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” that can prove to be a blessing in disguise for WordPress developers. We promise after reading this piece of content; you will be able to utilize WordPress 5.3 for your ingenious development needs effectively.
Without further delay, let’s get started with the features.
Block Editor Enhancements
This feature consists of more than 150 new features and usability enhancements that integrate substantial image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from your smartphone or other high-quality cameras. When it is merged with larger default image sizes, the pictures look amazing.
There are also accessibility enhancements present including the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. With the help of these improvements, it is possible to fix several accessibility issues like consistency between editor & admin interfaces, new snack bar notices, color contrast on form fields and buttons, and the introduction of Motion to make communication with your blocks seamless and fast.
If you love using a keyboard to navigate the dashboard, there is a piece of good news for you. Navigation mode has been added to the block editor. Through its help, you can jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.
Expanded Design Flexibility
WordPress 5.3 integrates quite a few robust tools for creating scintillating designs.
1. With the help of the new Group Block, it is possible to effortless bifurcate your page into colorful sections.
2. The Columns block now aids fixed column widths.
3. The heading blocks provide more control over the text and background color.
4. It is possible to select extra style options that enables you to opt for your choice of block supporting this feature.
The New Twenty Twenty
It has been one year since the block editor came into existence. Twenty extends it by providing supreme flexibility at its core. Display your services or products with a combination of media blocks, columns, and groups. You can even set your content to wide or full alignment for dynamic and engaging layouts. Alternatively, reflect your thoughts using a centered content column.
This theme is all about readability and clarity. It includes the typeface Inter which has been designed by Rasmus Andersson. You will see Inter in a Variable Font version, a first for default times. It assists in keeping load times short by including weights and styles of Inter in only two font files.
Automatic Image Rotation
It enables automatic correction of images upon upload according to embedded orientation data.
Enhanced Health Site Checks
With the help of this update, it is much easier to ascertain issues. It is possible to see expanded recommendations that highlight areas that require troubleshooting on the site from the Health Check screen.
Admin Email Verification
With this update, you will get periodic prompts to confirm whether your admin email address is up to date whenever you log in as an administrator. This way, there are fewer chances of getting locked out of your site if there is a change of email address.
Date/Time Component Fixes
WordPress 5.3 now allows developers to work with dates and timezones more reliably. It consists of several new API functions that provide unified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability along with bug fixes.
PHP 7.4 Compatibility
The good news is that WordPress 5.3 is fully compatible with PHP 7.4.
If you wish to update to the latest version of WordPress, please take out some time to backup your entire site before updating to WordPress 5.3 Kirk. Also, make sure that you update to the latest PHP version, install a premium theme, and plugin updates to ensure that your WordPress website is secure and functioning at a precision rate. Take advantage of this trend by availing the best WordPress development services from a professional WordPress development company today!
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