WordPress 5.3 Kirk

WordPress 5.3 Kirk was released on November 12. 2019 from wordpress.org.

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.

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