WordPress 5.3 Kirk Update

Dec 6, 2019 | Blog, Web Design Blog

WordPress 5.3 Header

New exciting features coming in Kirk:


With this new update WordPress have refined the block editor that was previously introduced in WordPress 5.0 by adding in new blocks, more intuitive interactions, and improved accessibility. New features to the editor allow for increased design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations allowing designers to have complete control over the look of their sites. The introduction of the Twenty Twenty theme allows for more flexibility with design and better integration with the block editor.

Block editor improvements

This new update has added over 150 new features, usability improvements and accessibility improvements. There is now an improved large image support for uploading non-optimised, high-resolution pictures taken from your phone or other high-quality cameras.

Accessibility improvements include the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improvements to the styles should fix many accessibility issues:

  • Colour contrast on form fields and buttons
  • Consistency between editor and admin interfaces
  • New snackbar notices
  • Standardising to the default WordPress colour scheme
  • The introduction of Motion to make interacting with your blocks feel swift and natural

If you use the keyboard to navigate throughout WordPress then there is now a Navigation mode for the block editor. This new navigation mode allows you to jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.

Expanded Design Flexibility

This new update adds even more powerful tools for creating amazing designs.

  • The new Group block lets you easily divide your page into colourful sections
  • The Columns block now supports fixed column widths
  • The new Predefined layouts make it an easy task to arrange content into advanced designs
  • Heading blocks now offer controls for text and background colour
  • Additional style options allow you to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature

Introduction of Twenty Twenty

The new Twenty Twenty theme is designed with flexibility at its core with clarity and readability also being 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. Twenty Twenty allows you to 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 use a centred content column to allow your thoughts to be the star.

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.

For Developers

Date/Time Component Fixes

The Date and Time functionality has received a number of new API functions unified time zone retrieval and PHP interoperability, along with many bug fixes.

PHP 7.4 Compatibility

This update aims to fully support PHP 7.4 as there is multiple changes to remove depreciated functionality and aims to ensure compatibility.

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