WordPress 6.3: A Bounty of New Features for Developers

WordPress has always been on the cutting edge of web development, and the latest updates to the platform are no exception. The month of June 2023 brings a plethora of exciting new features and developments for intermediate and expert WordPress developers. WordPress 6.3, particularly, is setting the stage for more dynamic and versatile creations.

Let’s dive in to explore what’s new and what’s brewing for developers, based on Justin Tadlock’s comprehensive update post on the WordPress developer blog.

Embracing Synced Patterns

The first noteworthy development is the initial steps toward the implementation of synced patterns. This feature, while not yet fully functional, is bound to be a game changer. It will allow you to create design-locked, updatable patterns. This means the content of the pattern can be edited while its design aspects remain under the theme’s control. The current experimentation revolves around a syncStatus attribute and a class name added to the Pattern block wrapper.

The Details Block is Ready for Prime Time

With WordPress 6.3, the previously experimental Details block is now stable. This block, introduced in Gutenberg 15.8, outputs a <details> HTML element and its <summary> child. However, it’s important to note that the current version is a single block, instead of the original nested blocks concept. This simplifies the user experience, but customization of the summary element now requires custom CSS.

Enter the Interactivity API and Behaviors UI

Developers can now experiment with the Interactivity API, a standardized way of building interactive front-end features. This feature is presently experimental but its inclusion in the Gutenberg plugin allows for testing and bug identification. Also, the Behaviors UI, including a lightbox feature on the Image block and an experimental integration with the File block, is part of this innovation.

Plugins and Tools Enhancements

Significant progress has also been made on plugins and tools. The Command Center’s API is now public, allowing for experimentation with custom commands. Other developments include the ability to prioritize nested blocks that appear in the inserter and improvements to block variations, making it easier to switch between different variations of a block. A new PluginTemplateSettingsPanel slot has been added to allow custom controls in the Template sidebar.

Theme and Block Library Updates

Themes are getting a boost with an enhancement to the fluid typography system. In the block library, Social Links now have color classes, enabling changes in the Styles UI to be correctly reflected. Additionally, the Code block has received full alignment support.

Bug Fixes and Reversions

Several bug fixes and reversions have been made, particularly addressing the get_the_author() function, border style issues, and loading order for styles registered for blocks. Notably, the Post Content block is no longer insertable into the post editor’s content canvas, unless it’s within registered block patterns.

Keeping an Eye on User-Centric Changes

There are some user-centric changes as well. The Site Editor now has a new Revisions UI, and there are theme previews for block themes. Text-direction options are now included in the RichText formatting tools.

Testing and Learning Opportunities

With the 24th call for the FSE (Full Site Editing) Program testing now open, developers have a great opportunity to familiarize themselves with these new features and provide valuable feedback. There are also several resources available on WordPress, including Developer Hours sessions and tutorials on Learn WordPress.

To learn more and dive deep into all these exciting new features, read Justin Tadlock’s full tutorial on the WordPress developer blog below. Stay tuned with JuiceWP as we keep you updated on all things WordPress.






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