WordPress 6.2 is the first major release of 2023. It includes almost 300 changes — over 100 enhancements and feature requests, over 160 bug fixes, and more, with major focuses on performance and accessibility. Here’s a look at some of the highlights of what’s new in WordPress 6.2.
Changes to the block editor
One of the biggest changes WordPress brings to most major updates are changes to the Gutenberg block editor. WordPress first makes changes to the block editor in the standalone Gutenberg plugin and then later integrates those changes into WordPress core. WordPress 6.2 includes 10 such releases. Many of these changes bring new tools to developers but some of them affect end users as well.
The biggest change is what WordPress calls the “Style Book.” In the style panel, an “Open Style Book” button will reveal a preview of all available blocks and their look and feel with the current theme and styles. Styles can no be copied and pasted as well, with new menu items, “Copy styles” and “Paste styles.” WordPress 6.2 will also separate block settings and styles, making it easier to find these settings. WordPress 6.2 will also include a “distraction-free mode” that hides formatting buttons and toolbars, much like what was offered before WordPress 5.4. The block editor will also include a simplified Pattern Insertion panel, showing categories first instead of previews.
WordPress 6.2 also adds new, easier ways to add custom CSS to site elements. “Additional CSS” is now available in the styles panel. Any CSS added in this pane will apply to the entire theme. Blocks will also have an “Additional block CSS” option available for adding custom CSS to just one block.
When editing part of a template, the element being edited will now be highlighted with a colored border to make it clearer and easier for users to know what their changes will affect.
Other miscellaneous changes changes
The WordPress default themes Twenty Twelve through Twenty Seventeen will change the way fonts are handled for added security. Now, the fonts are bundled with the themes instead of loading fonts remotely from Google Fonts. WordPress 6.2 also adds major changes to aid with performances, allowing 15-20% faster loading times.
The media library will now include a “Download file” link in the list view. Users will also be able to add royalty-free open source images from Openverse, which will now appear in the Add New panel in the media library.
These are just a few highlights of many changes coming to WordPress 6.2. Visit the WordPress 6.2 Field Guide for a more complete list of new features and changes.