Hello, WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” | New Default Theme, Improved Block Editor, Exciting Enhancements and More

WordPress 5.3 "Kirk"

The third major release of this year is finally here with the name WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”. The update includes a brand new default theme – Twenty Twenty, improvements in the block editor, exciting enhancements, bug fixes, and more.

As per the schedule, WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” was released yesterday on 12th November 2019. The update was named after Rahsaan Roland Kirk, a jazz multi-instrumentalist.

If you’ve been updated with the latest buzzes on WordPress, you might know about the major changes in WordPress 5.3. The new WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” comes with features and updates that we already discussed in the Betas and Release Candidates. This time around, WordPress has definitely brought some major improvements: a new default WP theme, drastically improved block editor, exciting refinements, and bug fixes.

Let’s have a closer look at the added features in WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”.

Twenty Twenty – A New Default WordPress Theme

A new default WordPress theme, Twenty Twenty has been introduced. The theme is fully compatible with the new Gutenberg editor. It comes with flexibility at its core and a combination of columns, groups, and media blocks to exhibit your services elegantly. Featuring dynamic and engaging layouts with a focus on clarity and readability, Twenty Twenty has been built to be beautiful on the go.

The new default theme has been built in a way that is perfect for a wide variety of website types. Whether you’re running a photoblog, a business website, or a non-profit organization, the new Twenty Twenty theme suits perfectly for any kind and is flexible enough to fit your needs.

Block Editor Improvements

As mentioned above, this major update has introduced a drastically improved block editor. It includes over 150 new features and usability improvements to make things easier for users. The enhancements consist of improved large image support, accessibility improvements, a new navigation mode, and more.

Large Image Support – You can now upload non-optimized, high-resolution pictures without any errors.

Accessibility Improvements – There is an integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. It includes fixes for issues like 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.

Navigation Mode – A new Navigation mode has been introduced for those who use a keyboard to navigate the dashboard. Now you can jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.

Design Flexibility

Design Flexibility includes tools like:

  • A new Group block to easily divide your page into colorful sections.
  • Columns block with fixed column widths.
  • New predefined layouts for advanced designs.
  • Heading blocks with controls for text and background color.
  • Additional style options to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature.

Exciting Enhancements

Some of the other enhancements you’re likely to find in WordPress 5.3 are:

  • Automatic Image Rotation
  • Improved Site Health Checks:
  • Admin Email Verification

For Developers:

  • PHP 7.4 Compatibility
  • Date/Time Component Fixes
  • Search engines indexing sites prevention
  • New functions to add UGC attribute to links and implement it to comments
  • Changes on Twenty Nineteen HTML structure
  • Changes to wp_die() HTML output
  • Expanded meta key comparison operators
  • Backbone Upgrade
  • No more Integer Menu Slugs
  • A new “Show” button next to the password field on the login screen

Know more about WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”.

Check out the WordPress 5.3 field guide to get the important links and information related to this major release.

WordPress 5.3 was led by Matt Mullenweg, Francesca Marano, and David Baumwald.

Other Squad Members:

There were 645 contributors with props in this release. With so many new and improved things this time, WordPress 5.3 release comes with WordPress fully translated into 37 languages with more on the way.

Have you updated to WordPress 5.3? Did this newest version of WordPress fulfill all your expectations? Or have any thoughts on the new default theme? Share them with us in the comments section below.


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