WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, powering over 40% of all websites. It is constantly evolving and improving, thanks to the contributions of thousands of developers and users.
One of the most anticipated updates of WordPress is version 6.3, which is expected to be released on August 8, 2023. This version will bring many enhancements to the editor, performance, accessibility, and security of WordPress.
In this article, we will give you an overview of what’s new in WordPress 6.3 beta, how to test it, and what to expect from the final release.
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What is WordPress 6.3 Beta?
WordPress 6.3 beta is a development version of WordPress that is available for testing and feedback. It is not a stable version and should not be used on production or mission-critical websites.
WordPress 6.3 beta includes the features and improvements that have been developed in the Gutenberg plugin from version 15.2 to 16.1. Gutenberg is the block-based editor that was introduced in WordPress 5.0 and has been updated regularly with new features and enhancements.
Some of the highlights of WordPress 6.3 beta are:
– A new navigation block that allows you to create responsive menus with nested submenus, icons, colors, and other options.
– A new pattern library that lets you browse and insert pre-designed block patterns for different use cases, such as headers, footers, galleries, testimonials, etc.
– A new template editor that enables you to create and edit custom templates for your posts and pages without leaving the editor.
– A new duotone filter that applies a two-color effect to your images, with presets and custom options.
– A new list view that shows you all the blocks in your document in a sidebar panel, making it easier to navigate and edit complex layouts.
– A new dimensions panel that consolidates the spacing controls for blocks, such as margin, padding, height, and width.
– A new typography panel that consolidates the font controls for blocks, such as font size, font family, font weight, line height, and text transform.
– A new color panel that consolidates the color controls for blocks, such as background color, text color, link color, gradient color, and duotone color.
– A new theme.json file that allows theme developers to define global styles and settings for their themes, such as colors, fonts, layouts, etc.
– A new block supports API that allows block developers to add common features to their blocks, such as alignment, spacing, colors, typography, etc.
– A new block-based widgets editor that allows you to use blocks in your widget areas, such as sidebars and footers.
– A new block-based customizer that allows you to use blocks in your site’s appearance settings, such as site title, logo, menus, etc.
Besides these editor improvements, WordPress 6.3 beta also includes some performance enhancements, such as:
– Discontinuing support for PHP 5.4
– Adding fetchpriority and lazy-loading features to improve page loading speed
– Adding WebP support for image uploads
– Adding native lazy-loading for iframes
WordPress 6.3 beta also includes some accessibility improvements, such as:
– Adding skip links to the editor
– Improving keyboard navigation and focus management
– Improving contrast and readability
– Improving labels and announcements
WordPress 6.3 beta also includes some security improvements, such as:
– Updating jQuery to version 3.6.0
– Updating PHPMailer to version 6.5.0
– Updating Sodium Compat to version 1.17.0
– Updating Twemoji to version 13.1.0
How to Test WordPress 6.3 Beta?
Testing WordPress 6.3 beta is a great way to contribute to the development of WordPress and help make it better for everyone. Testing also helps you prepare for the final release and avoid any potential issues or conflicts with your themes or plugins.
There are three ways to test WordPress 6.3 beta:
[Also Read: WordPress 6.2]
Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin
The WordPress Beta Tester plugin allows you to switch your WordPress site to the latest development version with a few clicks.
To use this plugin:
1. Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin from the Plugins > Add New screen in your WordPress dashboard.
2. Go to Tools > Beta Testing and select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream.
3. Click on “Save Changes”.
4. Go to Dashboard > Updates and click on “Update Now” to upgrade your site to WordPress 6.3 beta.
Option 2: Direct download the Beta version
You can also download the WordPress 6.3 beta version as a zip file and install it manually on your site.
To do this:
1. Download the WordPress 6.3 beta zip file from this link.
2. Unzip the file and upload it to your web server, replacing the existing WordPress files.
3. Visit your site and follow the instructions to complete the update.
Option 3: Use the WP-CLI command
If you are comfortable with using the command line, you can also use the WP-CLI tool to update your site to WordPress 6.3 beta.
To do this:
1. Install and configure WP-CLI on your web server, following the instructions here: https://wp-cli.org/
2. Run the following command in your terminal: wp core update –version=6.3-beta
What to Expect from WordPress 6.3 Final Release?
WordPress 6.3 final release is scheduled for August 8, 2023, which is about four weeks away from now. Before that, there will be a few more beta versions and release candidates to fix any bugs and issues that are reported by testers.
The final release will include all the features and improvements that are in the beta version, as well as any additional changes or fixes that are made during the testing phase.
The final release will also mark the end of Phase 2 of the Gutenberg project, which focused on expanding the block editor to other areas of WordPress, such as widgets, customizer, and templates.
Phase 3 of the Gutenberg project will focus on collaboration and multi-user editing, as well as adding more blocks and patterns for different use cases.
Q: Is WordPress 6.3 beta stable enough to use on my live site?
A: No, WordPress 6.3 beta is not a stable version and should not be used on production or mission-critical websites. It is meant for testing and feedback purposes only. If you want to use it on your live site, make sure you have a backup and a way to restore it in case something goes wrong.
Q: How can I report any bugs or issues that I find while testing WordPress 6.3 beta?
A: If you encounter any bugs or issues while testing WordPress 6.3 beta, please report them to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums: https://wordpress.org/support/forum/alphabeta/
If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can also file one on WordPress Trac: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/
You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=accepted&status=assigned&status=new&status=reopened&status=reviewing&milestone=6.3&group=status&col=id&col=summary&col=status&col=owner&col=type&col=priority&col=milestone&order=priority
Q: How can I contribute to the development of WordPress 6.3?
A: There are many ways to contribute to the development of WordPress 6.3, such as:
– Testing WordPress 6.3 beta and reporting any bugs or issues
– Writing documentation or tutorials for WordPress 6.3 features
– Translating WordPress 6.3 into your language
– Developing themes or plugins that are compatible with WordPress 6.3
– Giving feedback or suggestions for WordPress 6.3 features
– Joining the WordPress community and participating in discussions, meetings, or events
You can learn more about how to get involved with WordPress here: https://make.wordpress.org/
WordPress 6.3 beta is a development version of WordPress that introduces many enhancements to the editor, performance, accessibility, and security of WordPress.
You can test WordPress 6.3 beta by installing and activating the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, downloading the beta version as a zip file, or using the WP-CLI command.
WordPress 6.3 final release is expected on August 8, 2023, and will include all the features and improvements that are in the beta version, as well as any additional changes or fixes that are made during the testing phase.
We hope this article has given you an overview of what’s new in WordPress 6.3 beta and how to test it. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments below.
(1) WordPress 6.3 Beta 3 – WordPress News. https://wordpress.org/news/2023/07/wordpress-6-3-beta-3/.
(2) WordPress 6.3 Beta 4 – WordPress News. https://wordpress.org/news/2023/07/wordpress-6-3-beta-4/.