WordPress 5.3 is set to release on November 12, 2019. Following this year’s prior WordPress 5.1 and 5.2 releases, WordPress 5.3 will be the final release of the year. Here’s a look at the new features and changes coming to WordPress 5.3.
Twenty Twenty theme
The biggest change coming to WordPress 5.3 is the introduction of a new theme, Twenty Twenty. With the exception of 2018, WordPress has released a new default theme every year since 2010, the most recent being Twenty Nineteen. Continuing in that tradition, Twenty Twenty will be included in WordPress beginning with 5.3. Designed to work seamlessly with the Gutenberg block editor, Twenty Twenty includes a full-width template for posts and pages. Like Twenty Nineteen, this is a departure from previous WordPress default themes that include a sidebar. It does, however, include two areas for widgets at the bottom of the page.
Gutenberg editor changes
Another focus of WordPress 5.3 is enhancements to the Gutenberg block editor. Blocks can now be saved as a group so you can make changes to all of them at once. For example, you could duplicate the group, change the background color, or save the group for later reuse. The image block and columns block also receive updates in WordPress 5.3. The image block will now allow you to create a circle mask around an image, and the columns block will now allow you to set custom widths for each column.
New styles have also been added to the table and button blocks as well. The table block has a new “stripes” style, alternating darker and lighter backgrounds between rows. The button block will allow you to set a custom border-radius, which rounds the corners of a button. You can also have buttons open their target link in a new window. The latest posts and social links blocks have new enhancements in this release as well.
Other changes to WordPress in 5.3
Other minor changes are coming to WordPress 5.3 as well. Image uploads that are interrupted can now be resumed, so you don’t have to start over if you lose your internet connection while uploading an image. Uploaded images will also use EXIF data to determine the rotation of an image, meaning that pictures taken in landscape will not need to be rotated. WordPress 5.3 will also provide better support for large images.
WordPress 5.3 is also adding an important security feature, verifying any changes to the default WordPress admin email address. The WordPress Site Health Report is also getting new features, and it will recommend improvements you can make to your site to keep it secure and functioning smoothly.
WordPress 5.3 will also include other minor improvements, like visibility improvements for check boxes and buttons in the WordPress Dashboard, compatibility with PHP 7.4 (set to be released November 28, 2019). and a few other changes.
Because WordPress 5.3 is a “point release” (meaning the digit following the ‘point’ is being increased), you must update your site manually unless you have configured your site to install major updates automatically.