Soon the time will come: WordPress 6.3, the latest update of the popular content management system WordPress, will be released in a few weeks. In this article we take a look at the beta version of WordPress 6.3 and show you what new features you can expect with the update.
Even before the actual release, every WordPress update goes through a thorough testing phase by the large WordPress community. This also applies to the upcoming update WordPress 6.3, which has already been worked on since March 2023. The expectations for this second major update in 2023 are correspondingly high. We have taken a look at the roadmap for the new version as well as the beta versions released so far and would now like to give you a detailed insight into what to expect.
Schedule: When can I use WordPress 6.3?
The planned release date for WordPress 6.3 is August 8, 2023, but as with any update, WordPress starts releasing beta versions weeks in advance. Since June 27, 2023, the first beta version of WordPress 6.3 is available for testing. Since then, another beta version is released weekly. From July 18, 2023, the release candidates are to appear, a total of three versions, which are also released weekly. Finally, on August 8, 2023, WordPress 6.3 will be finally rolled out and made available for you to update. This will make WordPress 6.3 the second major major update in 2023.
With WordPress 6.3, you can look forward to a number of changes and improvements. The update is expected to bring more than 500 new features, over 400 bug fixes and nearly 200 updates. In addition, improvements are planned specifically for PHP versions 8.0 to 8.2.
WordPress 6.3 marks the completion of phase 2 of the Gutenberg project. The focus is again on optimizing and customizing features to further improve your user experience.
Overview: These are the most important changes in WordPress 6.3
Let’s take a clear look at the most important planned changes with WordPress 6.3 below.
Site Editor enhancements for greater usability
The Site Editor already played a crucial role in the last major update WordPress 6.2. With WordPress 6.3, it will be equipped with many different features and extensions to improve the user experience. Overall, the Site Editor can already show an impressive evolution, from pre-made templates to a comprehensive tool with numerous options. There are now a variety of design blocks as well as powerful advanced features.
With WordPress 6.3, an improved interaction of the different tools should be achieved. This should be possible through the content editing of the Site Editor and a clear distinction between templates and content. The developers have created additional interfaces and possibilities to edit and create content without having to switch out of the Site Editor.
Likewise, a central control tool has been introduced, which allows to quickly switch to specific pages, templates or template parts. This makes navigation within the tool easier and faster.
New functions in the Site Editor
One of the new features in the Site Editor is the new navigation pane, which gives you different options for menus. The complexity of the menus can be customized, which makes navigation even more precise.
Another feature is the new dedicated section for “Pages” in the Site Editor. Here, the pages of a website can now be managed and edited separately, which improves organization and clarity. Similarly, there is also a separate section for “Styles”, which makes it possible to specifically adjust and refine the visual appearance of the website.
The detailed views of pages, templates, and styles have also been enhanced. As a result, you can now get detailed insights into the different elements of your website and make specific adjustments. This makes it easier to fine-tune the design and contributes to a customized look.
In addition, new preview options have been implemented for the Site Editor. These allow you to better understand the new features of the Site Editor and preview the result of your customizations. Improved preview helps to get a clear picture of how the website will look like, making it easier to design and optimize the content.
Overall, the latest enhancements to Site Editor provide a wide range of options for editing and designing a website intuitively. The optimized navigation, enhanced detail views, and improved preview capabilities help make working with Site Editor more efficient and creative.
Further development of blocks
With WordPress 6.3, blocks are also developed further, focusing on a new display of menus in the site editor and the quick creation of page designs. In addition, new blocks are introduced, such as footnotes and separate tables of contents.
These new blocks provide additional options for designing and structuring the content of a website. In addition, new controls are developed that allow you to set up aspect ratios for image-related blocks. This allows you to precisely customize the appearance of your images and improve the overall visual concept of your website.
Now let’s take a look at the features that should be available with the evolution of blocks in WordPress 6.3.
First, the navigation has been improved, providing better fallback options. This ensures you a seamless navigation experience even if certain elements are not available or not configured properly.
Another focus of development is on the wp:pattern blocks. These blocks are continuously developed to ensure an improved user experience.
New tools are also introduced to better control aspect ratios. This is especially useful for image-related blocks, as it lets you make precise settings for the aspect ratio of your images. This allows you to customize the visual appearance of your website.
Furthermore, new presets for the spacing block are implemented. These presets give you an easier and faster way to adjust the spacing between different blocks and optimize the layout of your website.
Thanks to these improvements and innovations, working with WordPress becomes even more intuitive and flexible. The navigation experience is optimized, the design options are expanded and new features allow even more precise customization of the website layout.
End of phase 2 of the Gutenberg project
With WordPress 6.3, phase 2 of the Gutenberg project should be completed. However, this does not mean that we have reached the end of the entire project, but only the halfway point. With the next major update we will probably start with phase 3, which will be about collaboration.
The update is basically to improve or extend many features. For example, as mentioned above, the Site Editor in WordPress is continuously being improved to provide a better user experience. One of the new features is related to the navigation for templates and media. You now have access to the Openverse, which gives you an expanded selection of media content.
Another improvement should be that you can switch between pages and templates without leaving the editor. This allows you to edit your website from a higher-level perspective without having to go directly into template editing.
The navigation block will also be optimized to provide easier and list-based editing. In addition, dynamic page lists can be displayed, making it easier to navigate and manage the website.
To make the user interface clearer, the “Settings” and “Appearance” tools are split. This simplifies navigation and use of the various functions.
A mini preview for each block type is to be introduced, allowing you to visually capture customizations. There is also a new style book that provides an improved visualization of the different block options in the block library.
In addition, bug fixes will be made to further improve the stability and performance of the Site Editor.
Thanks to these improvements, in WordPress 6.3 you’ll be able to work even easier and more efficiently with the site editor. Navigation should be optimized, design options expanded and usability increased. Bugs have been fixed to ensure a smooth and reliable use of the Site Editor.
How can you test WordPress 6.3 in advance?
If you are preparing for the upcoming WordPress 6.3 update, it is recommended to test the new version in your own system beforehand. This way you can make sure you understand all the changes and at the same time check if your theme, plugins and other settings are compatible with the new version. It is advisable to consider which of the new features are relevant to your website, as not all features need to be useful to you.
To test WordPress 6.3 in advance, you only need the plugin WordPress Beta Tester. With this plugin you can always install and test the latest beta version of WordPress. However, it is important to keep one thing in mind: Always run the test only in a protected environment, for example on a test site, and never on your live website. This way you can make sure that you are protected from major bugs.
It is also important to note that advanced beta versions of WordPress can usually still contain bugs. So after installing a beta version of WordPress 6.3, it’s likely that not everything will work properly yet. Be prepared for this and be patient while you explore the new version.