WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”
Introducing our most refined user experience with the improved block editor in WordPress 5.3! Named “Kirk” in honour of jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the latest and greatest version of WordPress is available for download or update in your dashboard.
5.3 expands and refines the block editor with more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers more control over the look of a site.
This release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme giving the user more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. Creating beautiful web pages and advanced layouts has never been easier.
Block Editor Improvements
This enhancement-focused update introduces over 150 new features and usability improvements, including improved large image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from your smartphone or other high-quality cameras. Combined with larger default image sizes, pictures always look their best.
Accessibility improvements include the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improved styles fix many accessibility issues: color contrast on form fields and buttons, consistency between editor and admin interfaces, new snackbar notices, standardizing to the default WordPress color scheme, and the introduction of Motion to make interacting with your blocks feel swift and natural.
For people who use a keyboard to navigate the dashboard, the block editor now has a Navigation mode. This lets you jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.
Expanded Design Flexibility
WordPress 5.3 adds even more robust tools for creating amazing designs.
- The new Group block lets you easily divide your page into colorful sections.
- The Columns block now supports fixed column widths.
- The new predefined layouts make it a cinch to arrange content into advanced designs.
- Heading blocks now offer controls for text and background color.
- Additional style options allow you to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature.
Introducing Twenty Twenty
As the block editor celebrates its first birthday, we are proud that Twenty Twenty is designed with flexibility at its core. Show off your services or products with a combination of columns, groups, and media blocks. Set your content to wide or full alignment for dynamic and engaging layouts. Or let your thoughts be the star with a centered content column!
As befits a theme called Twenty Twenty, clarity and readability is also a big focus. The theme includes the typeface Inter, designed by Rasmus Andersson. Inter comes in a Variable Font version, a first for default themes, which keeps load times short by containing all weights and styles of Inter in just two font files.
Improvements for Everyone
Automatic Image Rotation
Your images will be correctly rotated upon upload according to the embedded orientation data. This feature was first proposed nine years ago and made possible through the perseverance of many dedicated contributors.
Improved Site Health Checks
The improvements introduced in 5.3 make it even easier to identify issues. Expanded recommendations highlight areas that may need troubleshooting on your site from the Health Check screen.
Admin Email Verification
You’ll now be periodically asked to confirm that your admin email address is up to date when you log in as an administrator. This reduces the chance of getting locked out of your site if you change your email address.
Date/Time Component Fixes
Developers can now work with dates and timezones in a more reliable way. Date and time functionality has received a number of new API functions for unified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability, as well as many bug fixes.
PHP 7.4 Compatibility
WordPress 5.3 aims to fully support PHP 7.4. This release contains multiple changes to remove deprecated functionality and ensure compatibility. WordPress continues to encourage all users to run the latest and greatest versions of PHP.
This release was led by Matt Mullenweg, Francesca Marano, and David Baumwald. They were enthusiastically supported by a large release squad:
- Editor Tech: Riad Benguella (@youknowriad)
- Editor Design: Mark Uraine (@mapk)
- Core Tech: Andrew Ozz (@azaozz)
- Docs Coordinator: Justin Ahinon (@justinahinon)
- Marketing/Release Comms: Mike Reid (@mikerbg)
- Media/Uploader: Mike Schroder (@mikeschroder)
- Accessibility: JB Audras (@audrasjb)
- Default Theme Wrangler: Ian Belanger (@ianbelanger)
- Default Theme Designer: Anders Norén (@anlino)
The squad was joined throughout the twelve week release cycle by 645 generous volunteer contributors (our largest group of contributors to date) who collectively fixed 658 bugs.
Put on a Rahsaan Roland Kirk playlist, click that update button, and check the profiles of the fine folks that helped:
123host, 1994rstefan, 5hel2l2y, @irsdl, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Aashish S, Abhijit Rakas, abrightclearweb, acalfieri, acosmin, Adam Silverstein, Adam Soucie, Adhitya Rachman, ahdeubzer, Ahmad Awais, Ajay Ghaghretiya, Ajit Bohra, ajlende, Akira Tachibana, albertomake, Alex Concha, Alex Dimitrov, Alex Lion, Alex Sanford, Alexander Botteram, Alexandre D’Eschambeault, Alexandru Vornicescu, alexeyskr, alextran, Ali Ayubi, allancole, Allen Snook, Alvaro Gois dos Santos, Amanda Rush, amolv, Anders Norén, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Gandino, Andrea Grillo, Andrea Middleton, Andreas Brain, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Nevins, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Taylor, Andrey Savchenko, Andrés Maneiro, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Angela Gibson, Anh Tran, anischarolia, Anthony Burchell, Anton Timmermans, Apermo, Arafat Rahman, arena, Ari Stathopoulos, Arun Sathiya, Asad, asadkn, Ashar Irfan, ashwinpc, Aslam Shekh, atlasmahesh, au87, Aubrey Portwood, augustuswm, Aurooba Ahmed, Avina Patel, Axel DUCORON, Ayesh Karunaratne, backermann1978, Bartosz Romanowski, Bego Mario Garde, Benjamin Intal, Benjamin Zekavica, bennemann, bgermann, Bhaktii Rajdev, bibliofille, Biranit, Birgir Erlendsson, bitcomplex, BjornW, boblinthorst, Boone Gorges, Boro Sitnikovski, Bradley Jacobs, Bradley Taylor, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, Bronson Quick, bsetiawan88, Burhan Nasir, Carlos Bravo, Carolina Nymark, Catalin Dogaru, Cathi Bosco, Chandra Patel, Charlie Merland, Chetan Prajapati, Chetan Satasiya, Chico, Chintan hingrajiya, ChriCo, Chris Aprea, Chris Van Patten, Christian Chung, Christian Wach, christianoliff, Christoph Herr, cleancoded, cmagrin, codesue, CompileNix, Corey Salzano, courtney0burton, Cristiano Zanca, Csaba (LittleBigThings), D.S. Webster, daleharrison, Dan Foley, Dan Jones, DanBUK, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel Jalkut (Red Sweater), Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, danieliser, daniloercoli, Danny van Kooten, Darren Ethier, darthhexx, Dave Parker, Dave Smith, Dave Whitley, davetgreen, David Aguilera, David Anderson, David Binovec, David Binovec, David Decker, David Herrera, David Rozando, David Shanske, daxelrod, Debabrata Karfa, Deni, Denis Cherniavsky, Denis Yanchevskiy, Dennis, Dennis Hipp, Dennis Snell, Derek Sifford, derweili, dfangstrom, Dharmin Shah, Dhaval kasavala, dhuyvetter, Diane Co, DiedeExterkate, Diego La Monica, digitalapps, Dilip Bheda, Dima, dingo-d, Dion Hulse, Dixita Dusara, Dominik Schilling, Drew Jaynes, Dukex, dushanthi, EcoTechie, Edi Amin, Eduardo Toledo, Ella van Durpe, Elliot Condon, Emerson Maningo, Emil Dotsev, Emil Uzelac, Enrique Piqueras, Enrique Sánchez, erikkroes, estelaris, evalarumbe, faazshift, Fabian Kägy, fblaser, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, Fencer04, flipkeijzer, Florian TIAR, Foysal Remon, Gal Baras, Garrett Hyder, Garth Mortensen, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, Gaurang Dabhi, Gennady Kovshenin, Gesundheit Bewegt GmbH, ghoul, girlieworks, glauberglauber, Glenn, GravityView, gregsullivan, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, gwwar, Hardeep Asrani, Hardik Thakkar, hardipparmar, Hareesh Pillai, Hareesh Pillai, harryfear, harshbarach, haszari, He Yifei, Helen Hou-Sandi, Henry Wright, herbmiller, herregroen, hirofumi2012, HKandulla, Howdy_McGee, hoythan, Hugh Lashbrooke, hypest, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ianmjones, Igor Zinovyev, imath, Imran Sayed, intimez, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), iqbalbary, Irene Strikkers, Isabel Brison, Ismail El Korchi, J.D. Grimes, jagirbaheshwp, Jake Spurlock, Jalpa Panchal, James Nylen, jameslnewell, janak Kaneriya, Janki Moradiya, janw.oostendorp, jared_smith, jarocks, Jarret, jave.web, javorszky, Jay Swadas, Jaydip, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Farthing, Jeff Paul, jeichorn, Jen Miller, jenkoian, Jeremy Felt, Jesper van Engelen, Jessica Lyschik, jffng, jikamens, jitendrabanjara1991, jkitchen, jmmathc, joakimsilfverberg, Job, jodamo5, Joe Dolson, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, John Regan, jojotjebaby, Jonathan Champ, Jonathan Davis, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathan Goldford, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Joseph Scott, Josepha Haden, Josh Pollock, Joshua Noyce, JoshuaWold, Joy, jsnajdr, Juanfra Aldasoro, Juhi Patel, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, junktrunk, Justin Ahinon, Justin Tadlock, K. 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Patil, swapnild, Sybre Waaijer, Sérgio Estêvão, Takayuki Miyauchi, Takis, Tammie Lister, tazotodua, technote, Tellyworth, Tessa Kriesel, them.es, Themezly, Thijs Hulshof, Thomas Kräftner, thomaswm, Thord D. Hedengren, Thorsten Frommen, Thrijith Thankachan, tigertech, Tim Carr, Tim Havinga, Tim Hengeveld, Timothy Jacobs, timph, tmatsuur, tmdesigned, TobiasBg, toddhalfpenny, Todor Gaidarov, Tom J Nowell, Tommy Ferry, Toni Viemerö, tonybogdanov, Tor-Bjorn Fjellner, torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, trasweb, Travis Northcutt, travisseitler, triplejumper12, truchot, truongwp, Tugdual de Kerviler, Tung Du, Udit Desai, Ulrich, Utsav tilava, Vaishali Panchal, vbaimas, Venutius, Viktor Veljanovski, Vishal Kakadiya, vishitshah, vladlu, Vladut Ilie, vortfu, Vova Feldman, vrimill, w3rkjana, Webdados (Marco Almeida), WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, William P. 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Also, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time or since the first release. These releases are more successful for their efforts!
If you want learn more about volunteering with WordPress, check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.
Thanks for choosing WordPress!