What’s new in WordPress 5.3

What’s new in WordPress 5.3: welcome the fresh release!

Another big day in the WordPress world is here. WordPress 5.3 "Kirk" has been released! Website owners, content editors, developers, and everyone else who uses WP should enjoy the new features.

Keeping up with the latest releases is one of the most important aspects of WordPress maintenance tips. In this post, we remind you why it is necessary to update the WordPress core, and, of course, discover what’s new in WordPress 5.3.

It's almost like WordPress 5.3 release is a present for our company, which is celebrating its 12th anniversary this week. Our agency works both with WordPress and Drupal, so this release is very important for us and our customers.

Why you should update WordPress core

We have posted several articles about the importance of updates, including “Multiple benefits in one action: why update WordPress core, plugins, and theme” and another “Latest version of WordPress and why your website needs it.”

In a nutshell, updating to the latest releases helps your website:

  • stay protected against newly-discovered threats
  • get new features and improvements to the old ones
  • stay bug-free thanks to the latest bug fixes
  • have better performance and usability

WordPress 5: last year's major release and what it gave to us

A year ago, WordPress 5.0 release came out, bringing new features, including:

  • a new default JavaScript-based content editor Gutenberg with unique opportunities for non-tech users to create rich posts and pages with a drag-and-drop interface
  • a new pre-installed theme — Twenty Nineteen
  • a new built-in lightweight front-end editor that inherits its features from the Customizer framework
  • a background image cropping feature
  • security improvements

What’s new in WordPress 5.3: a closer look at the new release

The highlight of what’s new in WordPress 5.3 is that we should see much more convenient user interfaces and more intuitive interaction between the user and the site.

WordPress 5.3 focusses on user-friendly UIs

New default theme — Twenty Twenty

WordPress websites will get a new elegant default theme. The Twenty Twenty theme has been developed by Anders Noren on the basis of an earlier WP theme — Chaplin.

The new theme fully supports the WordPress block editor Gutenberg, allowing users to create beautiful layouts for posts and pages. It also provides a full-width template for them.

Anders Noren about the new default theme in WordPress 5.3

The Twenty Twenty theme has a focus on readability, so it includes the Inter typeface. This allows you to create crisp and prominent headlines and displays beautifully on devices of all sizes.

Twenty Twenty new default theme in WordPress 5.3

Improvements to Gutenberg blocks

The Gutenberg editor’s arrival in the WP 5.0 release created a big splash both among developers and users. If you want more information, we shared an article on how to use the Gutenberg editor in WordPress. Gutenberg treats layout elements as blocks.

So, anyone who asks what’s new in WordPress 5.3, should hear about numerous improvements to Gutenberg blocks:

  • width adjustment and patterns in the “Columns”
  • reordering and caption options in the “Gallery”
  • style selection options in the “Image”
  • alignment, color, header/footer options in the “Table”
  • border radius and target support for the “Button”
  • the option to add excerpts to the “Latest posts”
  • better block grouping
  • new configurable block for social links
  • performance improved by 1.5 seconds compared to WP 5.2

and much more.

Image uploading improvements

WordPress is now able to resume the uploading of large, high-resolution images if it failed due to connection problems. Another new useful feature is that images also undergo the correct rotation according to the EXIF orientation.

More convenient and accessible admin dashboard

The WordPress admin dashboard will have better color contrasts on buttons and forms, an improved color palette, and better zoom management. This will raise its usability and accessibility for all users.

Changes to the “Website health” check

The website health check is a useful feature introduced in WP 5.1 that helps admins keep an eye on the site’s performance.

In the WP 5.3 release, website health will no longer be displayed in a percentage. Instead, it is presented in the form of scores like “Should be improved” and “Good.”

Admin email address checking

Site admins are now protected against the risk of being locked out of the site in case of email address changes. WordPress will regularly check if their admin email address is relevant and up-to-date.

PHP 7.4 support

The next block of what’s new in WordPress 5.3 will primarily interest developers — the new WP version will support the forthcoming PHP 7.4.

WordPress gets rid of the deprecated code to ensure compatibility with the freshest and most efficient programming language release.

Schedule your update to WordPress 5.3!

Now you know in a nutshell what’s new in WordPress 5.3. If you want a smooth, careful, and professional update to WordPress 5.3, schedule your update with our WordPress team.

Let your website fully benefit from the new features of WordPress 5.3 and be protected!


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