wordpress 5.3 Kirk

‘Kirk’ Gives WordPress A Jazzy New Look

WordPress 5.3

A new and improved block editor named “Kirk” in honour of Jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, has just been launched by WordPress and is now available as a download or an update in your dashboard.

The release of WordPress 5.3 introduces the Twenty Twenty theme which allows users more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. This is in turn provides design freedom and allows the user access to multiple layout options and styles, giving more control over the appearance of the site. It’s never been easier for users to create avanced layouts and first-rate web pages.

The update introduces users to “over 150 new features and usability improvements” with large image support meaning you can upload “non optimised, high resolution pictures taken with your smartphone or other high quality cameras.” This means your picutres will always look their best.

Improvements to Block Editor

Improvements in accessibility include the integration of block editor styles. An improvement in these styles fixes many accessibility issues, like “colour contrast on form fields and buttons, consistency between editor and admin interfaces, new snackbar notices, standardising to the default WordPress colour scheme, and the introduction of Motion to make intereacting with your blocks feel swift and natural.”

If you are someone who likes to use your keyboard to navigate the dashboard, there is now a Navigation mode within the block editor. This allows you to jump from block to block without having to tab through every part of the controls.

Design Flexibility Expansion

  • This latest update has added even more powerful tools that help in creating awesome designs.
  • There is a new Group block that lets you divide your page into colourful sections.
  • You can now fix your column width with the new Columns block.
  • Arranging content into advanced designs is a breeze with the new predefined layouts.
  • The new Heading blocks offer the user controls for text and background colour.
  • You can set your preferred style for any block that supports the additional style option.

It’s been one year since WordPress launch the block editor and what better way to celebrate that to launch Twenty Twenty that is designed with “flexibility at its core.” You can now demonstrate your services and products with combinations of columns, groups and media blocks. There is a range of changes you can now make to ensure your content is dynamic and engaging.

With the theme Twenty Twenty, WordPress have also placed a big focus on readability and clarity. The typeface Inter keeos load times short with all weights and styles in just two font files.  There are muliple other improvements made to the theme too;

  • Automatic image rotation means your image will be correctly rotated upon uploading.
  • A Health Check screen means troubleshooting on the site has been expanded.
  • You will now periodically be asked to confirm your email address which reduces the chance of you being locked out of the site.
  • There have been a number of new API functions uploaded meaning developers will find it much easier and more reliable when working with dates and timezones.
  • WordPress 5.3 aims to fully support PHP 7.4.

WordPress have spent years developing “Kirk” but I think it’s safe to say it’s been worth the wait.