WordPress has released its third major update of 2023, WordPress 6.4. The new release, which went live on November 7, contains 268 updates, consisting of new features and enhancement, bug fixes, and more. What’s new with WordPress 6.4?
New “Twenty Twenty-Four” Theme
As is common for the final major WordPress update of the year, WordPress 6.4 contains a new default theme. Twenty Twenty-Four makes use of some of the major new features implemented into WordPress in 2023. It is available in 6 style variations, and makes use of numerous patterns to allow users to customize pages and sections of pages. This is a reflection of the direction WordPress has been heading throughout the year, as patterns continue to be a point of emphasis for allowing theme developers to easily create themes that can be easily customized. WordPress 6.4 also includes a new feature to make it easier to manage patterns, as patterns can now be assigned into custom categories.
Media management changes and other developer-focused changes
WordPress 6.4 also includes some new tools to help users manage media. Most notably, WordPress by default will now no longer create pages for attachments. WordPress users sometimes found these pages to be a source of frustration, as search engines would crawl these attachment pages and lead visitors to the attachment pages instead of the page in which the attachment was embedded. Now, the default for new sites is changed to no longer create these attachment pages. Existing sites will remain the same, but custom code can be added to turn off attachment pages.
WordPress 6.4 also contains a few other minor changes for media management, including providing a new option to allow an image to Expand on Click, meaning that it will be displayed in an expanded lightbox when it is clicked. Developers can also now create new media categories, which is handy for plugins that wish to add new types of media to WordPress. WordPress 6.4 also gives developers few other new handy options, including the ability to easily add more user interface components to the WordPress post and page editor backend. These developer-centric changes will not make a difference to most site users, but they will be a welcome help to theme and plugin developers.
Performance improvements and other changes
Most major WordPress updates include new features to help your website load efficiently and quickly, and WordPress 6.4 is no exception. Several new enhancements will help WordPress manage image loading with more efficiency as well. WordPress 6.4 will also improve template loading, script loading, and style loading, and will include other improvements to bring greater performance and efficiency to WordPress.
WordPress 6.4 also includes a variety of other changes:
- Background images for group blocks
- Changes to code that WordPress uses (particularly, an updated jQuery library, updates to theme.json and some APIs, and deprecating some old classes and filters in the WordPress HTTP API)
- WordPress will now support storing revisions to post meta, meaning changes to a page’s title, description, etc. will be stored the same way revisions to the body of a page are stored now
- Updates to the command palette
- An improved block list view
For a complete list of changes in WordPress 6.4, see the WordPress 6.4 Field Guide.