WordPress 5.3 Kirk

WordPress 5.3 Kirk named after jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, was released on November 12. 2019 from wordpress.org.

WordPress 5.3 features many Block Editor improvements and a new exciting theme.

In our humble opinion this release is by far the most exciting release of WordPress yet – even more than the release of the Block Editor itself in 2018.

5.3 Kirk features not only a lot of very exciting enhancements and improvements to the Block Editor and to WordPress itself but also because this is the version with the new default Twenty Twenty theme.

According to the release post on wordpress.org this version of WordPress

… expands and refines the block editor with more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers more control over the look of a site.

This release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme giving the user more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. Creating beautiful web pages and advanced layouts has never been easier.


Lots of Block Editor improvements

WordPress 5.3 includes more than 150 new features and usability improvements.

Lets name a few:

  • Improved large image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from a smartphone or other high-quality cameras. Combined with larger default image sizes, pictures always look their best.
  • As for accessibility improvements goes the block editor now integrates block editor styles in the admin interface.
    They fix many accessibility issues:
    Color contrast on form fields and buttons, consistency between editor and admin interfaces, new snackbar notices, standardizing to the default WordPress color scheme, and the introduction of Motion to make interacting with your blocks feel swift and natural.
  • Persons using a keyboard for navigating the dashboard, the block editor now has a Navigation mode, letting users jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.

Minor improvements that really matter

We are very glad to see that one evry annoying thing in the Block Editor has been fixed;

With images aligned left in an article (post) and text blocks to the right of the image, it was impossible to get access to the editing panel above a text block.

It was hidden below the image to the left. We have long guessed for it to be a matter of a z-index problem.

Now it’s fixed – a small thing that really matters!

Robust tools for design creation

  • The new Group block lets users divide a page into sections.
  • The Columns block now supports fixed column widths.
  • New predefined layouts allows for arranging content into advanced designs.
  • The Heading block now has controls for textcolor and background color.
  • Style options now allow users to set a preferred style for any block that supports this feature.
WordPress 5.3 Kirk - new Twenty Twenty theme.
Image: wordpress.org

What a theme…

The new Twenty Twenty theme is a very big improvement for WordPress, we think.

The design and overall look and feel of the theme makes it really useful as a deafult theme.

The theme is losely based on the Chaplin theme by Anders Norén.

Another Swede Rasmus Andersson is the creator of the theme’s typeface Inter.

We believe in WordPress more than ever before!

The Twenty Twenty theme together with the new Block Editor and all it’s development and improvements brings WordPress closer to a state where neither 3rd party themes or a Page Builder is no longer necessary for creating really nice looking websites and blogs.

WordPress 5.2.4 Security Release

WordPress 5.2.4 is a short-cycle security release that has been released from wordpress.org this morning.

This WordPress security update fixes 6 security issues.

According to the update article on wordpress.org WordPress versions 5.2.3 and earlier are affected by these bugs, which are fixed in version 5.2.4.

Updated versions of WordPress 5.1 and earlier are also available for any users who have not yet updated to 5.2.

Fixes to the following security issues are available in the new version 5.2.4 release:

  • Issue where stored XSS (cross-site scripting) could be added via the Customizer.
  • A method of viewing unauthenticated posts.
  • A method to create a stored XSS to inject Javascript into style tags.
  • A method to poison the cache of JSON GET requests via the Vary: Origin header.
  • A server-side request forgery in the way that URLs are validated.
  • Issues related to referrer validation in the admin.

For more information, you can browse the full list of changes on Trac or check out the Version 5.2.4 documentation page.

WordPress 5.2.3

WordPress 5.2.3 security and maintenance release is now available from wordpress.org

Version 5.2.3 is a security and maintenance release that features 29 fixes and enhancements.

These bugs affect WordPress versions 5.2.2 and earlier.

This security and maintenance release fixes them, so there is every good reason to upgrade.

If you haven’t yet updated to 5.2, there are also updated versions of 5.0 and earlier that fix the bugs for you.

WordPress 5.2.3 Security Updates

It also adds a number of security fixes—see the list below.

  • Props to Simon Scannell of RIPS Technologies for finding and disclosing two issues. The first, a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability found in post previews by contributors. The second was a cross-site scripting vulnerability in stored comments. 
  • Props to Tim Coen for disclosing an issue where validation and sanitization of a URL could lead to an open redirect. 
  • Props to Anshul Jain for disclosing reflected cross-site scripting during media uploads.
  • Props to Zhouyuan Yang of Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs who disclosed a vulnerability for cross-site scripting (XSS) in shortcode previews.
  • Props to Ian Dunn of the Core Security Team for finding and disclosing a case where reflected cross-site scripting could be found in the dashboard.
  • Props to Soroush Dalili (@irsdl) from NCC Group for disclosing an issue with URL sanitization that can lead to cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
  • In addition to the above changes, we are also updating jQuery on older versions of WordPress. This change was added in 5.2.1 and is now being brought to older versions. 

You can browse the full list of changes on Trac.

More info

For more info, browse the full list of changes on Trac or check out the Version 5.2.3 documentation page.

Version 5.2.3 is a short-cycle maintenance release.

The next major release will be version 5.3.

WordPress 5.2 Jaco

Today wordpress.org is releasing the new WordPress 5.2 Jaco.

This release is named ‘Jaco’ after renowned and revolutionary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius.

Under the headline ‘keeping sites safer‘ and a blog post illustration of a woman doing car maintenance, WordPress 5.2 Jaco focuses on site safety and site health.

The new features in this version make it easy to fix a WordPress website if something goes wrong.

There are some robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors.

Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage a WordPress website, these tools can help get you the right information when you need it.

WordPress 5.2 Jaco - site health checker - a-support.dk
Ill.: wordpress.org

Site Health Check

Building on the Site Health features introduced in 5.1, this release adds two new pages to help debug common configuration issues.

It also adds space where developers can include debugging information for site maintainers.

WordPress 5.2 Jaco - PHP error protection - a-support.dk
Ill.: wordpress.org

PHP Error Protection

This administrator-focused update lets site managers safely fix or manage fatal errors without requiring developer time.

It features better handling of the so-called “white screen of death,” and a way to enter recovery mode, which pauses error-causing plugins or themes.


Improvements in WordPress 5.2

Accessibility Updates

A number of changes work together to improve contextual awareness and keyboard navigation flow for those using screen readers and other assistive technologies.

New Dashboard Icons

Thirteen new icons is added to WordPress.

They include Instagram, a suite of icons for BuddyPress, and rotating Earth icons for global inclusion.

Plugin Compatibility Checker

WordPress will now automatically determine if your site’s version of PHP is compatible with installed plugins.

If a plugin requires a higher version of PHP than your site currently uses, WordPress will not allow you to activate it

This helps preventing potential compatibility errors.

WordPress 5.2 Release Candidate

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.2 is now available!

WordPress 5.2 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 7 according to wordpress.org.

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.2 release candidate: try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want to select the “bleeding edge nightlies” option), or you can download the release candidate here (zip).

What’s in WordPress 5.2?

Continuing with the theme from the last release, WordPress 5.2 offers more robust tools for identifying and fixing configuration issues and fatal errors.

Whether you are a developer helping clients or you manage your own site by yourself, these tools can help get you the right information when you need it.

The Site Health Check and PHP Error Protection tools have brand new features to discover any issues with plugins or themes on your site in an orderly and pro-active way.

There are also updates to the icons available in the dashboard, fresh accessibility considerations for anyone using assistive technologies and more.

WordPress Field Guide

The WordPress 5.2 Field Guide has also been published, which goes into the details of the major changes.

WordPress powers one-third of the web

WordPress reached a significant milestone this month

By beginning of April 2019, WordPress now powers more than one-third of the top 10 million sites on the web.

Source: W3Tech which tracks usage statistics for all major web platforms.

WordPress 5.2 is coming!

WordPress 5.1.1 was released in March 2019.

It has 14 fixes and enhancements, and the Core team is now focusing on the next major release, version 5.2.

This release will include some great new features, along with the latest updates to the block editor.

One of the most anticipated new features is the improved fatal error detection.

This was removed from version 5.1 shortly before release so that it could be improved and made more secure for this release.

PHP 5.6 will be the minimum required PHP version for WordPress.

It’s a significant step towards a more modern web and updated coding standards.

WordPress 5.2 is now in beta and you can test it by installing the Beta Tester plugin on any WordPress site.

Proposal for a Central Block Directory

Blocks is becoming the new way to manage content in WordPress.

More and more types of blocks are being developed for different use cases and content types.

In an effort to make it easier for content creators to find these block types, there is a proposal for a new type of plugin and a directory to handle it.

The proposal outlines a new type of WordPress plugin that provides blocks, named Single Block Plugins.

The benefit is to provide content creators with individual pieces of functionality and new types of blocks without the need to search for and install new plugins.

The Single Block Plugins would be hosted in a separate Block Directory section of the Plugin Directory.

Each plugin will register a single block, and they will be searchable and installable from within the editor itself.

This puts blocks at the publishers’ fingertips — you no longer have to leave the editor to find them.

Global WordPress Translation Day is Back

On 11 May 2019, the fourth Global WordPress Translation Day will take place.

This is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of all things WordPress, from core to themes, plugins to marketing.

In 24 hours, WordPress communities will translate WordPress into their local languages and watch talks and sessions broadcast on wptranslationday.org.

During the last Global WordPress Translation Day, 71 local events took place in 29 countries.

Gutenberg Development Continues

Version 5.3 of Gutenberg, released this month, includes a new block manager modal, the ability to nest different elements in the cover block, and some UI tweaks to improve the hover state of blocks.