What is New in The Latest WordPress Version?

wordpress-latest-version

WordPress: An Introduction

WordPress is free and open-source software with a large community of users and developers who contribute themes, plugins, and support.

It started as a blogging platform, but now it has become one of the most popular and powerful content management systems (CMS). You can create any website or blog using WordPress – from personal to complex corporate websites.

This blog post will briefly explore the following topics –

Site Editor Updates


The WordPress contributors have set their sights on completing the Site Editor in this version to introduce all the essential features for block-based customization. As a result, WordPress 6.3 is brimming with updates designed to enhance the editor’s functionality.

Let’s take a closer look at these updates.

Synced and Unsynced Patterns


Reusable blocks are blocks or groups of blocks that can be saved and reused across different pages or posts. Any modifications to a reusable block in one location will be reflected universally throughout the website.

In contrast, block patterns are pre-designed collections of blocks. You can insert a block pattern into your content and customize it without affecting the same pattern used elsewhere.

Previously, creating a block pattern within the Site Editor was a complex task, typically requiring a pattern management plugin or custom PHP files.

With WordPress 6.3, the update combines the concept of reusable blocks with the pattern system, introducing new levels of customization. There are two pattern types: synced patterns, similar to reusable blocks, and unsynced patterns, functioning like regular block patterns.

This integration of a new pattern system is expected to revolutionize the workflow for block patterns. In WordPress 6.3, users can easily create patterns within the Site Editor, just like a reusable block.

Here’s how to create a synced or unsynced pattern:

Step – 1. Log into your WordPress dashboard.

Step – 2. Navigate to Post and choose one post.


Step – 3. On the right side of the page, click on the three dots and choose Manage Patterns.

Step 4. On that page, click the + sign, then choose Create Pattern.

Step – 5. Use the Keep all pattern instances in sync toggle option to decide whether the pattern will be synced or unsynced. If you enable it, the pattern will function like a reusable block. If it’s disabled, you’ll create a standard block pattern.

Step – 6. Click on Create.

The editor stores synced and unsynced patterns in separate locations. Synced patterns are accessible from the “Synced” tab on the block inserter panel.

Updated Navigation Sidebar


In WordPress 6.3, the navigation sidebar, accessible by clicking the WordPress or site logo at the top-left corner, has been enhanced to provide additional options for improved workflow. It allows you to navigate and manage various components more effectively within the site editor.

Here are the new menus on the navigation sidebar:

Navigation: This menu allows you to view and rearrange the links within your navigation block without the need to select the navigation block through the editor canvas and access the block settings panel. It provides a more convenient way to manage your website’s navigation links.

Styles: This menu lets you select and preview various style variations for your theme. It also offers quick access buttons to open the style book and the global styles panel for further customization.

Pages: The pages menu displays all the pages on your website, including drafts. You can simply click on any of them to edit them directly using the Site Editor.

Templates: This menu operates in the same way as in the previous version. It shows all the available templates and provides an option to create a new one.

Patterns: This menu replaces the previous Template Parts menu and now includes template parts and both synced and unsynced patterns.

Quick Switch to Template Editing


While editing a page using the Site Editor, you can effortlessly transition into template editing with just a few clicks. This feature offers great convenience, particularly when you are making page edits and suddenly realize the necessity for layout-related changes.

You will find it here.

Step – 1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard.

Step – 2. Navigate to the Pages and select one page.


Step – 3. On the right side of the page, click on Settings.

Step – 4. You will find the Template option; click on the page with the Edit Template option.

command palette


The command palette provides a speedy method for swiftly moving between templates, accessing specific panels, or generating new posts or pages. It’s a handy tool for locating the panel you want to open or accomplishing the task more efficiently.

Step – 1. Inside your WordPress dashboard

Step – 2. Navigate to the post or page and create one.

Step – 3. You can find the command palette at the top of the Site Editor or simply use the CTRL+K keyboard shortcut to access it.

Style


WordPress 6.3 allows you to choose color background styles for your content.

Step – 1. Inside your WordPress dashboard.

Step – 2. Navigate to the post and choose one.

Step – 3. Now click on the + sign & select the Navigation menu.

Step – 4. Here, you will get a style option.

Minimizing Distractions in the Site Editor


The Site Editor now includes a distraction-free mode, a familiar feature designed to enhance your focus during content editing. This mode, previously found in the page and post editor, conceals the sidebar, top panel, and block toolbar to create a cleaner, more streamlined interface.

For those who still require access to the panels, you can manage distractions by activating the top toolbar feature for those who still need access to the panels. This feature relocates the block toolbar to the top panel of the editor.

New Blocks


The Details Block: A Valuable Tool for Organizing Content

The Details Block is structured with a prominent header at the top and a collapsible nested block section beneath it. This block is particularly advantageous for effectively presenting extensive content, such as code snippets, product specifications, or concealed information.

Upon adding the Details Block, you will notice two distinct areas: the detail title and the concealed block content. The title section exclusively accommodates text but can be customized in design. In contrast, the collapsible portion incorporates diverse block types, including images, code, or lists.

Choose one post From the WordPress dashboard from the Post menu, where you get the options below.

Footnote:

In WordPress 6.3, you can include footnotes for specific portions of your text, such as citations or supplementary information. To do so, simply highlight the text you want to annotate and access the block toolbar. Click on “More,” and then choose “Footnote.” This will generate a footnote block after your content, enabling you to provide the necessary citation or additional information within the footnote.

 

Block Improvement


In WordPress 6.3, the post-featured image block offers enhanced design tools. Whether incorporating this block into a post or a template, you have greater control with eight distinct aspect ratio options. These include both portrait and landscape orientations, allowing you to tailor the appearance of your featured images to your specific preferences.

  • Original aspect ratio
  • Square (1:1)
  • 16:9
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 9:16
  • 3:4
  • 2:3

Easily Switch Theme Styles in The Site Editor


Earlier, theme styles were located under the Styles panel within the site editor, which might have made them less visible, especially to beginners.

Now, users can easily access styles directly from the site editor’s navigation, allowing them to choose their preferred style and customize it right away.

Step – 1. Log into your WordPress dashboard.

Step – 2. Scroll down to Appearance > Themes.

Step – 3. Choose your active theme and click on customize.

Step – 4. On this page, you get a style option where you can see all the templates.


Better Padding and Margin Tools


Previously, when users unlinked padding and margin tools, they consumed significant space.

With the new updates, the padding and margin tools are now more compact and user-friendly, occupying less screen space.

Step – 1. Log into your WordPress dashboard.

Step – 2. Scroll down to Appearance > Themes.

Step – 3. Choose your active theme and click on customize.

Step 4. On this page, you get a styles option to see all the templates.

Step – 5. Click on the pencil (Edit Styles) icon.

Step – 6. On this page, select the Layout option.

Link Control


WordPress displays a toolbar above the block you are currently editing in the post editor.

Additionally, you can relocate the toolbar to the top for a more streamlined and clutter-free editing experience.

Inside the WordPress dashboard, choose your post and hover over the content, where you can add a Link and Create a Page.

Once you’ve created the link, click on it and select the “Edit” option. Then, navigate to the “Advanced” menu and check the checkbox labeled “Open in new tab.”

Check out this article to find out which WordPress version your site is currently using.

Importance of using the latest WordPress version


You should continuously update to the latest WordPress version for

  • Higher security
  • Better speed
  • Improved performance
  • Extra features

importance-of-using-latest-wordpress-version

Higher security

WordPress is a popular CMS, making it vulnerable to hacks because hackers can easily analyze open-source code.

Non-malicious hackers often study WordPress code to find and report any vulnerabilities. Then the WordPress team reviews these reports and provides quick updates addressing the security issues raised. All these measures work to minimize the potential damage malicious hackers could pose.

So regularly updating WordPress should be a priority as this will reduce the success rate of hacking attacks and improve your holistic website security.

Better speed

The latest WordPress updates often significantly increase speed and performance improvements. Faster loading results in a reduced bounce rate, a better user experience, and overall improvement in your website ranking, ultimately leading to a greater conversion rate with higher search visibility.

Improved performance

Using the most recent WordPress version always results in better performance, regardless of the type of WordPress website you want to build. So, take advantage of the latest updates to improve the editing and designing experience.

Extra features

WordPress’s latest version nowadays also includes many advanced features to make it more user-friendly, simplify designing tasks, and make it delightful.

Not only that, themes and plugins typically receive updates in response to every significant WordPress upgrade. So, updating to the latest version of WordPress often also comes with the benefit of advanced features.

However, before the WordPress update, you should consider the points below –

  • Do not forget to back up your WordPress website to ensure you don’t lose any data if anything goes wrong.
  • Ensure that the themes and plugins are compatible with the latest update to avoid compatibility issues.
  • There are pros and cons if you opt for automatic updates, so it’s more recommendable to auto-update for minor updates only.

Read this guide to know How to Upgrade your WordPress.

WordPress Version History


WordPress has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a simple blogging tool when its Version 1.0 was released on May 27, 2003. Each new WordPress version brings new features, improvements, and bug fixes.

Let’s take a look at WordPress’ history and some of the significant changes that have been made to it over the years.

Version Name Release Date Key Updates
4 Benny September 4, 2014
  • Manage media-embedded content with style
  • Improved content-editing experience in visual editing
  • Easy to find and install plugins
  • WordPress installed in your language
4.1 Dinah December 18, 2014
  • New default theme- Twenty Fifteen
  • Option to turn on distraction-free writing mode
  • Easy language switch
  • Simple to embed video from a vine
4.2 Powell April 23, 2015
  • More personalized email notifications
  • Enhanced mobile device usability
  • Multi-site and plugins to improve cache behavior
4.3 Billie August 18, 2015
  • Mobile-friendly interfaces to customize your site quickly and easily
  • To keep the site secure, a password reset link to reset the password
  • Change the site icon without any plugins or themes
4.4 Clifford December 8, 2015
  • New default theme – Twenty Sixteen
  • Embed your WordPress content
  • Support for five new embed providers
4.5 Coleman April 12, 2016
  • You can preview the mobile, tablet, and desktop views directly in the customizer
  • Easy to insert links; input the URL within the inline link box
  • Use your email address as a username to login into the WordPress website
4.6 Pepper August 16, 2016
  • Native Admin Fonts
  • Broken link detection
  • Even with revision disabled, you can access recent autosave
4.7 Vaughan December 6, 2016
  • New default theme – Twenty Seventeen
  • Better menu building
  • Edit shortcuts option
  • Video headers supported
  • Custom CSS in theme customizer with live preview
4.8 Evans June 8, 2017
  • Text widget available with a visual editor
  • Option to remove auto-embed feature for WMV and WMA files
  • Adding an image to a widget is more straightforward, and there is an option to add New Audio Widget
4.9 Tipton November 16, 2017
  • Collaboration with design preview links
  • Design locking to secure draft design
  • Prompt to save your work
  • Syntax highlighting to identify coding errors quickly
  • Add a gallery via the widget
5 Bebo December 6, 2018
  • A new block-based editor
  • New default theme – Twenty Nineteen
  • With Gutenberg, building custom themes becomes easier
5.1 Betty February 21, 2019
  • Introduction of WordPress site health features that notify to upgrade the PHP version
  • Editor performance improvement
  • Launch of wp_blogmeta database table
  • Addition of new filters for modifying cron storage
5.2 Jaco May 7, 2019
  • Update of Site Health Check to improve its effectiveness
  • PHP error protection
  • Addition of Thirteen new icons
5.3 Kirk November 12, 2019
  • New default theme: Twenty-Twenty
  • Addition of 150 new features and improvements – Support for large image size and improved picture quality
5.4 Adderley March 31, 2020
  • Added two new blocks – Social Icons and Buttons
  • Improved speed that is 14% faster loading of the editors and 51% faster Time to type
  • Addition of a custom field to a menu item without a plugin
5.5 Eckstine August 11, 2020
  • The faster speed with lazy-loaded images
  • An XML sitemap by default
  • Plugin and theme auto-updates
  • Introduction of new block patterns for simple and attractive layouts
5.6 Simone December 8, 2020
  • New default theme: Twenty Twenty-One
  • Easy to edit the layout with or without coding
  • Easy to update WordPress automatically
  • Steps toward More support for PHP 8
5.7 Esperanza March 9, 2021
  • Font-size adjustment, reusable blocks, drag blocks, and patterns from the inserter
  • Interface with improved button block functionality
  • One-click switch from HTTP to HTTPS
  • New Robots API to increase traffic
5.8 Tatum July 20, 2021
  • With live preview through the Customizer, Add blocks in widget areas throughout your website
  • Query loop block
  • Edit templates around the post
  • Image styling and coloring with a duotone filter
  • Recommended block patterns
  • Improved list view and ceased to support IE11
5.9 Joséphine January 25, 2022
  • New default theme: Twenty Twenty-Two
  • Full site editing
  • Block themes that the site editor can manage
  • a Pattern Directory and List View
  • Support for Theme.json child themes
6 Arturo May 24, 2022
  • Improved writing experience.
  • Option to contain multiple shortcuts to switch the look
  • New template options for block themes
  • Additional design tools
  • Blocks locking control
  • Improved performance and enhanced accessibility
6.1 Misha November 1, 2022
  • New default theme: Twenty Twenty-Three
  • New template to improve creator experience
  • Table of the content block
  • Manage menus with ease
  • A new toggle for lock setting to all blocks
6.3 Lionel August 8, 2023    
  • Site Editor as Your Creative Hub
  • Block Themes for Instant Style
  • Patterns for Consistent Excellence
  • Command Palette for Rapid Workflow
  • New Tools for Precision Design
  • Style Revisions for Seamless Tracking
  • Footnotes for Clear Annotations
  • Details Block for Flexible Content Control
  • Performance Boost for Smooth Editing
  • Accessibility as a Core Commitment

Conclusion

It’s Time to upgrade WordPress if you’re still using its older version; upgrading can be done in just a few clicks. The most recent version of WordPress includes critical security updates, performance improvements, and new features that make it worthwhile.

So don’t wait any longer — upgrade today and enjoy the benefits of the latest version of WordPress.

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