Hello Kirk – WordPress 5.3 released

WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” was released, named after US jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

A new “group block” allows grouping of several blocks and he can get a freely selectable background color. In addition, the “Columns” block can now set the percentage width for individual columns, determine the vertical orientation and, when inserting a new block, select from predefined layouts. The “headline block” comes with an option for the text color, and for blocks with different styles, a default style can now be chosen that will be used for newly inserted blocks in the content. In addition, when resorting blocks, animations are used to make the process more natural. Developers can now work more reliably with data and time zones, and WordPress 5.3 is compatible with PHP 7.4. WordPress 5.3 creates for very large images (by default, height or width greater than 2,560 pixels) – in addition to the previous smaller image sizes – another, in which the longer side is 2,560 pixels in size. This is to prevent unnecessarily large images being integrated in the frontend, which are uploaded directly from the smartphone, for example. This pixel value can be adjusted and the entire function can be disabled via a filter. The smaller size metadata is now saved directly when it’s created, not just after all sizes have been created. This allows the smaller sizes of WordPress to be used earlier. A newly added function tries to continue this process after a server error while creating smaller sizes.

WordPress 5.3 also comes with a new theme, Twenty Twenty. It exploits all the new functions of the block editor and uses the font Inter, designed by Rasmus Andersson, as a variable font. This loads only two font files that contain all the styles of the font.