August 2023 marked another exciting chapter in WordPress, with the Community Summit and WordCamp US bringing the community together for meaningful discussions, knowledge sharing, and learning. This month also welcomed the long-awaited WordPress 6.3 release and offered a glimpse of what’s to come. Let’s dive into it.
Meet WordPress 6.3 “Lionel”
WordPress 6.3 “Lionel” was released on August 8, 2023, and named after the acclaimed vibraphonist, pianist, and jazz percussionist Lionel Hampton.
This major update makes bringing your vision to life with blocks more intuitive and efficient. Your content, templates, and patterns are now seamlessly integrated into the Site Editor, enabling you to craft every aspect of your online presence within a single location. You can sharpen your designs with new tools, enjoy fine-tuned control over navigation menus, and work faster with the Command Palette. Explore what’s new.
WordPress 6.3 features over 500 features and enhancements with a continued emphasis on performance and accessibility. This release was made possible by more than 650 contributors from 52 countries.
While the Site Editor will continue to be enhanced, this release means a significant milestone as it marks the conclusion of Gutenberg Phase 2. Take a moment to watch “Designed with WordPress”—an ode to this remarkable journey worth celebrating.
Roadmap to 6.4
Contributors are already working on WordPress 6.4, expected to be released on November 7, 2023. This release, led by an underrepresented gender release squad, will focus on enhancing different aspects of the WordPress experience while continuing the foundational work for Gutenberg Phase 3. Users can anticipate features like font management and a new default theme, Twenty Twenty-Four.
Twenty Twenty-Four aims to be a versatile theme, featuring a range of templates and patterns specifically designed for three use cases: entrepreneurs and small businesses, photographers and artists, and writers and bloggers.
Check out the 6.4 roadmap post for a tentative preview of expected features.
New in the Gutenberg plugin
Two new versions of Gutenberg shipped in the last month:
- Gutenberg 16.4 was released on August 9, 2023. It introduced a new “auto-inserting blocks” experimental feature, a progress bar component that can be used throughout the interface, and block supports for the Footnotes block.
- Gutenberg 16.5 shipped on August 23, 2023, and focused on enhancements to the Command Palette and enabling further customization of blocks.
Follow the “What’s new in Gutenberg” posts to stay on top of the latest enhancements.
Team updates: Next generation of WordPress events, WP Admin redesign, and more
- The Community team has been busy ushering in the next generation of WordPress events. Four pilot events were successfully held in July and August, with another five planned before the end of the year.
- The Admin Design Kickoff post elaborates on the concepts explored so far to revitalize the WordPress admin experience.
- In response to Europe’s Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), leaders from Drupal, Joomla!, TYPO3, and WordPress co-authored an open letter addressing concerns about the current CRA definitions and terms and the implications for open source projects.
- Check out WordPress.org/blocks—A new page that explores the power of blocks within WordPress and as a broader framework.
- WordPressCS 3.0.0 is now available. This update to the WordPress Coding Standards introduces improvements in accuracy, performance, stability, and compatibility with modern PHP versions.
- The first cohort of the WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program, which aims to help new contributors onboard to Make teams, successfully concluded last month.
- WordPress Remembers went live in August to honor contributors who left a lasting impact on the project and have since passed away.
- Core team members proposed to sync Gutenberg code with core earlier in the release cycle to streamline the integration of new features and reduce risks and delays in major release milestones.
- Blue Note, the second block theme born from the Community Themes initiative, is live on the Theme Directory.
- Every month, the Training team works to expand the Learn WordPress catalog with new courses, tutorials, online workshops, and more. See what’s new.
- Openverse maintainers met in Copenhagen for an exciting exchange with Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Denmark’s largest art museum. Learn about their discussions and collaboration efforts to advance openly licensed works.
Feedback & testing requests
- Core team members suggested updating the WordPress Field Guide by publishing it earlier in the development cycle and introducing a simplified Field Guide on the WordPress Developer Blog. Feedback is open until September 15, 2023.
- Help test the new Performant Translations plugin, which aims to make localized WordPress sites faster.
- A new proposal aims to refine and update WordPress’ support guidelines. You can provide your input by October 1, 2023.
- Version 23.2 of the WordPress mobile app for iOS and Android is ready for testing.
The Training team seeks feedback on the first learning pathways outlined to improve the Learn WordPress educational experience. Share your thoughts by September 15, 2023.
WordPress events updates
- On August 22-23, a group of WordPress contributors gathered at the Community Summit to discuss key topics concerning the project. Read the notes from each session and join the conversations at make.wordpress.org/summit.
- Following the Summit, Washington, D.C. hosted WordCamp US 2023 from August 24-26. This event brought together nearly 2,000 attendees for a Contributor Day and two conference days filled with engaging sessions, conversations, and open source art. Saturday’s agenda concluded with keynotes by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy and a subsequent Q&A session. Check out the event recap for highlights.
- Join #WPDiversity with a free online speaker workshop for Indian women in the WordPress Community. The event will take place on September 23-24, 2023.
- The WordCamp Asia 2024 organizing team opened calls for speakers, volunteers, sponsors, and media partners.
- Be sure to visit WordCamp Central to find out about upcoming WordCamps.
Join Josepha Haden Chomphosy in Episode 61 of WP Briefing as she discusses her takeaways from the Community Summit.
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