WordPress 5.3 Version Released

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WordPress 5.3 version was released on 12th November 2019. This improvement-focused upgrade introduces more than 150 new functionality and improvements, so we have limited them to the top 20. In this blog, we’re going to cover what’s new in this WordPress edition so you can get ready.

Before updating: Don’t forget to take a Backup of your site

Before you run any major WordPress update, ensure to backup your WordPress site.

To run a complete website backup, use a WordPress backup plugin such as BackupBuddy. This whole site backup should include your WordPress database, files for WordPress, themes, plugins, media library, etc.

Top 20 advance functionality and enhancements in WordPress​​​​ 5.3

WordPress 5.3 “Kirk,” focuses on growing and improving the WordPress Gutenberg Editor, also known as the Block Editor, which is first introduced in WordPress 5.0. Most of the additional features and enhancements that are more noticeable are related to Gutenberg.

Also, this release contains some other impressive improvements, including better image handling, WordPress admin UI updates that enhance usability and more.

1. A quicker and most intuitive block editor for WordPress

Overall, you will notice that you will feel more “smooth” while working with the Block Editor. You may tell that great effort has been made to enhance the overall experience of the Block Editor to build posts and pages.

WordPress 5.3 introduces Motion to “look fast and natural” to communicate with your blocks. In addition, the Block Editor is now considerably lighter as page loads have been reduced from 60 milliseconds to 44 milliseconds. It might not seem like that, but it does matter for milliseconds!

2. Better block previews

WordPress 5.3 extends the information contained in the “Add Block” menu at the top left. Now you’ll see a preview of how the block looks with a great explanation of what the block is doing.


This small addition greatly enhances the process of selecting the appropriate block if you’re not sure which one to use. To see these, in the top navigation menu, click the “+” symbol. Turn over any block in the list to see the right change information.

3. Major support for images

WordPress 5.3 contains improved support for high-resolution image uploading (such as pictures taken from your mobile or other high-quality cameras). WordPress 5.3 integrates large image detection and produces a maximum web-optimized size of them automatically.

When uploaded, images are instantly resized to 2560px, becoming the new size “full.” If the image is resized automatically, “scaled” is added to the name of the file. Also, if it failed due to server timeouts, WordPress would retry producing image sizes.

This version is great to win for people who may not realize how much large images your website can slow down as well as for people who need to educate customers to optimize images for their websites.

4. Latest twenty twenty default WordPress theme

Twenty Twenty is WordPress’s latest default 5.3 WordPress theme. “Designed at its core with versatility”,  it is a bold and vibrant theme. You will either love it or hate its style.

The primary reason to examine Twenty Twenty is to see what’s possible when the Gutenberg Block Editor completely integrates a theme. Developers are likely to dig into the theme files to see how much of this on the backend is accomplished.

Designers can admire that the design of Twenty Twenty themes comes with the Inter typeface. As the first default theme for WordPress, Inter comes in a Variable Font version, which keeps down load time by having all font sizes and font styles in just two font files.

5. Changes to the WordPress admin interface’s look

You’re likely to notice any improvements to the WordPress admin UI look right away. These improvements mainly focus on increasing accessibility. The Welcome Admin dashboard screen is a place where you will notice some of the improvements in WordPress 5.3 immediately.

Here are a few updates you will see in the admin user interface:

  • Buttons no longer have a box-shadow
  • Darker tables and meta boxes borders have been introduced for a better hierarchy between interface elements
  • Stronger color contrasts on form fields and buttons
  • Focus styles on form fields and buttons
  • Content behavior on text zoom

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6. Better preview of the page/ post editor

If your theme supports it, as you use the Block Editor while building a post or page, you may see an entire new preview experience. For instance, you can see the background color used by your theme instead of just a plain white background screen. This preview reflects better the final “posted” design you will see on your site’s front end.

The latest Twenty Twenty WordPress theme reveals what is probable by offering a preview of blocks when you use them in the post/page editor, which undoubtedly enhances the use of blocks experience.

7. The mode of navigation

A new Navigation Mode was introduced to the Block Editor in WordPress 5.3 to improve functionality for screen readers. Now you can use the Tab key to switch from block to block. You can also navigate between blocks using the arrow keys.

When you reach the block that you want to edit, by hitting the Enter key, you can enter the Edit Mode. To move back to the Navigation Mode, use the Esc button.

8. New group block

Many latest WordPress blocks were released in WordPress 5.3 as the Block Editor celebrates its first birthday. The new group block enables you to group other blocks, so you can easily split your page with background color options into colorful parts. This way, for each block, you don’t have to go and set a background color.

9. New spacer block

Rather than hitting back to space your content a couple of times, WordPress 5.3 integrates a dedicated Spacer block. This block can be found under “Design Components.” You can display Block Settings in the top toolbar to set the spacer height in pixels.

Or you can activate a new “interactive” sizer with the blue dot, which is also pretty impressive. The pixel height will be adjusted automatically.

10. Improvements in the column block

Improvements were made to the Column Block. Now the block of columns promotes fixed widths of columns, the capability to resize columns, and align columns. When you add a column, there’s also a new wizard.

11. Enhancements to cover block

Now you can set the Cover Block background color, the block that enables you to add a text overlay image or video, like a header. You can also change the size of the header block using the same interactive slider.

12. Button block obtain border radius

You can modify the Block editor’s border radius of your button blocks in WordPress 5.3. Border radius may be a little bit of detail, but it means you don’t have to do it through CSS.

13. Updates of table block:  header/footer rows & alignment

The Table Block now supports header and footer rows, which are available in Block Settings. There is also a new table alignment option, not just text alignment.

14. Change the color of header blocks

WordPress 5.3 now provides text and background color controls. Your theme can determine the default colors (seen here, as in Twenty Twenty). You can also use a color picker’s Custom Color link.

15. Improvements in overall accessibilty

WordPress 5.3 contains a major push for improvements to accessibility. These enhanced styles fix many accessibility problems, such as color combinations on fields and buttons, consistency between editor and admin interfaces, new “snackbar” notices, and standardization of the default color scheme for WordPress.

16. Automatic rotation of the image

A function proposed nine years ago and made possible by many dedicated contributors ‘ perseverance, now WordPress finally promotes automatic rotation of images. Upon upload, the images will be rotated correctly according to the data of the embedded orientation.

17. verification of email administration

You will now be prompted regularly to verify that when you sign in as an administrator, your admin email address is up to date. This reduces the chance that your website will be locked if you change your email address.

18. Improvements in site health

The changes implemented in 5.3 make the detection of problems even easier. Extended guidelines highlight areas from the Health Check display that may have to be troubleshooted on your website.

The specific updates include improvements to the rating indicator upgrades to email recovery and new filters for completed site health status testing.

19. Fixes of the date/time factor

Programmers can now work more efficiently for dates and timezones. Many new API features for simplified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability, as well as many bug fixes, have been provided for the date and time functionality.

20. Compatibilty with PHP 7.4

Programmers will be pleased to hear that WordPress 5.3 aims to promote PHP 7.4 in its entirety. WordPress 5.3 includes multiple updates to delete deprecated features and make it compatible. WordPress, as always, encourages all users to run the latest PHP versions.

Check out this additional video walk-through by our own Timothy Jacobs, programmer of the iThemes Security plugin, for even more details on WordPress 5.3 at a recent WordPress NYC Meetup.

PHP 7.4

How to update WordPress 5.3

On 12 November 2019, WordPress 5.3 got released. you will see the update of the WordPress version available in your WordPress Admin dashboard. Again, before updating, don’t forget to back up your website!

Read the official release of WordPress 5.3 here. Upgraded to WordPress 5.3 and still facing  some technical issues? Consult WordPress Management Services for taking care of WordPress core updates.

We hope this blog will provide full knowledge of the latest improvements that come with WordPress 5.3. If you have any questions or comments regarding this blog post, then you can leave the message in our comment section.