The world’s most popular web builder is expected to release its last major update of 2019 on 12 November. The open-source platform is making some huge improvements to its various components. In this post, we are listing the upcoming WordPress 5.3 features that are already creating a huge buzz. The beta version 3 was made available on 8 October and the Release Candidate 1 came out on 15 October 2019. The coming of the Release Candidate means that the version is ready for release but in order to be sure that there are no anomalies, it will undergo a few checks before it becomes available for use. If you want to check out the version, then you must do so in a staging environment and not on a production site. The following are the main features of WordPress 5.3.
1. New Default Theme
Themes provide the framework on which you can quickly create your interface. Even when you look to migrate website to WordPress from any other platform, you will have to break the existing code and integrate it into the theme structure of WordPress. Only then you will be able to get your new website. Every WordPress installation comes with a default template. The latest one is called Twenty Twenty and is based on a product called Chaplin that was added to the official theme directory earlier this year. It has the Inter typeface that will be available in the Variable Font version. This means that all the styles and weights will be contained in only two font files. This will reduce the number of requests from a browser and improve website performance.
2. Much Improved Block Editor
Gutenberg became the default editing tool of the CMS in version 5.0. It marked a new beginning for the open-source platform which finally adopted a block-based editor. Since its inception, the editor has undergone numerous improvements. In 5.3, you will come across a much more refined variant of the tool as 12 releases of Gutenberg will be consolidated.
You will now be able to create groups of blocks based on group interaction. Simply select the block that you want to group together and then hit the ellipsis icon and choose the Transform to Group option.You will be able to define a custom width for your columns as a sliding control for the purpose has been added to the block settings. Apart from this, a layout picker has also been added to the column blocks.The table block now contains styling options and you can add stripes to rows apart from including header and footer rows in tables. The gallery, latest posts, separator, lists, and button blocks have also been enhanced.
3. Improved Admin User Interface
Another one of the most important upcoming WordPress 5.3 features is an enhanced admin user interface. An e-mail verification feature has been added that will be triggered if a user with the admin role does not log in for a specific period of time. The duration, by default, is set at six months but it can be changed using the admin_email_check_interval filter. The color contrast of the dashboard has been improved for enhanced user experience.
4. Better Site Health Tool
The Site Health tool was included in the 5.2 version. It can be accessed through the Tools option in the dashboard menu. Earlier it used to give an overview of the website’s state along with a grade and some recommendations. The percentage score grade has now been removed and now the tool displays only two indicators namely, Good and Should be Improved. This has been done because users would have tried to achieve a 100% grade even if it was not suitable for their websites.
5. Features For Developers
There are a few improvements in 5.3 that will be welcomed by developers. The new version is expected to fully support the 7.4 version of PHP. It contains several new API functions for unified timezone retrievals. The time/date component has received numerous bug fixes and its inline documentation has been updated. Professionals will now be able to work with time zones and dates in a better manner. The 5.3 version provides a better option for blocking Google indexing. It uses the Robots Meta Tag method instead of the earlier Robots.txt way to achieve better results.
6. Improved Image Uploading Experience
When you try to upload high-resolution images from your smartphones and the process fails, then you do not need to start all over again. In the new variant, the upload will resume from the point at which it failed. The pictures will be automatically rotated according to the EXIF orientation during upload.
These are some of the major improvements that you can expect to see when the 5.3 version is released next month. In case, you find the new features of Gutenberg blocks or any other element confusing, you can hire WordPress experts to clear the doubts.