WordPress 6.3: What’s Coming In the Next Major Update

WordPress 6.3 is currently in development, with a beta version being tested and a Release Candidate expected soon. This update will bring significant improvements to the editor by integrating Gutenberg versions 15.2 to 16.1 into the WordPress core.

One of the main focuses of WordPress 6.3 is enhancing the Site Editor. Notable features include the renaming of reusable blocks to "patterns" and the introduction of synced and unsynced pattern options. This allows for better customization and ease of use when creating patterns. The Site Editor itself will undergo a makeover to provide a more efficient and user-friendly experience.

Additionally, the navigation sidebar will be expanded to streamline navigation between editor components, and a Command Palette will be introduced to quickly navigate between templates and open specific panels. A style revision panel will also be included, allowing users to revert global style changes.

Reducing distractions in the Site Editor is another improvement, with the availability of distraction-free mode and a more streamlined top toolbar feature. Block improvements will introduce three new blocks: Details, which allows for compact presentation of content; Footnotes, for adding citations; and improved customization options for the image block's caption styling.

One significant change is the dropping of support for PHP 5.6.20, with the minimum supported version being elevated to PHP 7.0.0. The recommended PHP version remains 7.4 or greater.

WordPress 6.3 is currently in beta testing, with the first Release Candidate scheduled for July 18, 2023, and the final release expected on August 8, 2023. It's essential for theme and plugin developers to test the development version to ensure compatibility with the new update.

To test the development version, users can use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin or manually download and install it. Testing on a staging site is recommended to identify any compatibility issues and avoid potential problems with live websites.