Get ready for the much-anticipated release of WordPress 6.3 on August 8, 2023!
This new update will significantly change how you work with the WordPress site editor and the block editor.
Although the final product is not here yet, you can try the Beta versions and Release Candidates of WordPress 6.3 for testing purposes.
This way, you can explore what changes you should look out for and how they’ll affect your WordPress experience.
IMPORTANT! Please do not install the WordPress 6.3 Beta and Release Candidates on your live website. Since it’s still undergoing rigorous testing for bugs and issues, there’s a high chance for your website to break.
We strongly urge you to install and use the product on a test website to avoid any mishaps on your live site.
Release Schedule for WordPress 6.3
Here’s a glimpse into all the Beta and Release Candidate releases for WordPress 6.3 so far, along with the upcoming releases:
|June 28, 2023||Beta 2|
|July 3, 2023||Beta 3|
|July 11, 2023||Beta 4|
|July 18, 2023||Release Candidate 1|
|July 25, 2023||Release Candidate 2|
|August 1, 2023||Release Candidate 3|
|August 7, 2023||Dry Run|
|August 8, 2023||WordPress 6.3 Release|
What’s New in WordPress 6.3?
So, what’s so special about WordPress 6.3, and how is it different from 6.2?
Well, we’ve summarized the major changes the new WordPress update will bring in the sections below.
A. Site Editor Improvements
The site editor was officially released in WordPress 6.2, letting you edit your entire website using blocks.
WordPress 6.3 expands on the site editor’s features to provide a more flexible site-building experience.
1. Upgraded Site Editor Navigation
Previously, the navigation in the site editor let you explore and select Template and Template Parts.
WordPress 6.3 adds a few more options to the navigator, enabling you to choose Navigation menus, Styles, Pages, and Patterns from a single place.
Moreover, there’s a search icon added to the navigator. Clicking on it will open the command tool for a quick search.
You can also hover over the site title area and click the View Site button, which opens your website in a new tab.
2. Instant Page Editing
As we mentioned above, the new site navigation includes Pages. Clicking on this option displays a list of recent pages you worked on.
You can pick one page and resume editing instantly.
If you want to add a new page directly from the site editor, click the plus icon to create one and start editing.
3. Distraction-free Site Editing
You can now edit your website with zero distractions. The new improvements to the site editor allow you to remove the Settings panel and navigation from the screen.
Hence, you can focus solely on efficiently designing the pages.
4. Classify and Manage Patterns
WordPress 6.3 adds the Patterns tab to your site navigation, making accessing and managing all your patterns easier.
The patterns on your website are organized by categories; find your pattern of choice, add it to the page, and make necessary changes. That’s it!
However, note that the patterns may be synced or unsynced.
A synced pattern works like a reusable block; every change will reflect in the original pattern. Therefore, you’ll also find reusable blocks grouped together with the synced patterns.
Whereas customizing unsynced patterns will have no effect whatsoever on the original pattern.
You can use both types of patterns on your website as per your requirements.
Furthermore, you can create a new pattern from the editor with a single click on the ‘+’ icon. And you can manage all the patterns directly from the Patterns section.
5. Preview Block Themes
Wouldn’t it be super convenient to be able to preview themes right from the editor interface?
The good news is that you can do precisely that in WordPress 6.3.
In earlier WordPress versions, you could only preview Classic themes before installing and activating them on your site.
Now, you can preview block themes in the site editor before using them for your website.
6. Access Styles Revision History in Editor
If you’re familiar with WordPress, you must also know the Revisions feature that lets you undo changes and restore a page or post to previously saved versions.
You can now enjoy this feature in the Site Editor for undoing style changes.
Select the block you want to undo changes for, click the Revisions icon in the Styles menu, and press Revision History.
Choose the version of your choice from the list of various style changes made to the block. Once you click Apply, the style will be restored to your chosen version.
7. Quick Search with the New Command Tool
Site building is set to be quicker than ever with the command tool being introduced in 6.3.
Using your keyboard, press CTRL + K or Command + K, and a command tool should pop up. You can search for various templates, patterns, pages, posts, etc., and select the relevant item from the results to open it in the site editor.
B. Block Editor Improvements
WordPress 6.3 will improve on the native Block Editor with new blocks and advanced customization controls.
1. Brand New Blocks: Footnote, Details, Time to Read
The block editor will feature three more blocks with the coming update; Footnote, Details, and Time to Read.
As the name suggests, the Footnote block will help you add footnotes to your posts to reference external sources in the content.
Similarly, the Details block allows you to add more context to a text. It’s displayed only when the text is clicked.
Think of FAQs as an example. The answer to a FAQ is only visible once you click on the question.
All you have to do is add the block to your post/page, set the visible text, and provide the content that will be hidden until the text is clicked. The content can be a paragraph, image, etc.
Lastly, we have the Time to Read block that estimates the total reading time for a page or post.
2. Image Aspect Ratio Option for Image Block
Starting from WordPress version 6.3, you can set a specific image ratio for your images and maintain good image quality regardless of the image size.
Just add the Image block, upload your image, and choose its aspect ratio from the block settings.
3. Better Margin and Padding Controls
Margin and Padding is a huge aspect of styling your blocks. That’s why WordPress 6.3 will provide enhanced margin and padding controls for easy customization.
4. Changes in the Link Tool
WordPress has always provided a super convenient way of adding external and internal links to your content.
WordPress 6.3 promises various improvements in the Link tool.
- The ‘Open in new tab’ option is placed inside the Advanced submenu.
- You can create a new page and link to the page directly from the tool.
How to Test WordPress 6.3 Before the Main Release?
Ready to start testing WordPress 6.3? Here are two simple methods to try:
On your WordPress admin dashboard, open Plugins >> Add New. Search for the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, then install and activate it.
Now, go to Tools >> Beta Testing and set the settings to Bleeding edge channel and Beta/RC Only stream to start testing.
Alternatively, you can download and install the RC3 version zip file manually. This is the latest Release Candidate, so get to testing!
If you need more detailed instructions on testing WordPress 6.3, check out this comprehensive guide.
WordPress 6.3 will finally be deployed on August 8, 2023. So, stay tuned!
While waiting, you can explore the Beta versions or Release Candidates and try the new features being introduced in 6.3.
The changes will include overall improvements in WordPress’s site and block editor. So, look forward to an enhanced and comprehensive website-building experience with the upcoming update.
If you find any issues while testing, you can easily report them through tickets on WordPress and contribute to making core WordPress even better.