WordPress 6.3 Nears August 8 General Release Date; New Features Detailed

by Jason Cosper
WordPress 6.3 Nears August 8 General Release Date; New Features Detailed thumbnail

Key Focus Areas for WordPress 6.3

Hold on to your hats, WordPress fans! Hot on the heels of a successful WordPress 6.2 release in March of this year, the development cycle for WordPress 6.3 kicked off on April 25, 2023, with an eye toward a general release date of August 8, 2023.

The original proposal for WordPress 6.3, released on April 14, 2023, outlined several key areas of focus, including further full-site editing (FSE) enhancements, performance improvements, and accessibility upgrades. As always, the WordPress community sought volunteers to contribute their skills to various teams. Developers, designers, testers, and content creators were all encouraged to participate.

New Features in Detail

There are some truly exciting new features lined up, which were announced in the WordPress 6.3 Field Guide on the Make WordPress Core blog on July 18, 2023!

First up, WordPress 6.3 is introducing a Command Palette, a nifty feature akin to Spotlight (macOS) or PowerToys Run (Windows) for WordPress. It’s a big step towards getting you where you need to go in your dashboard with nothing more than a few keystrokes.

This feature will provide users with a quick and efficient way to access various WordPress functions and perform tasks without having to dig through menu after menu. By utilizing keyboard shortcuts and a search-style interface, users can find and execute commands, helping make their WordPress workflow more streamlined and productive than ever before.

Next, there are significant caching improvements across various components, targeted at enhancing the overall performance and speed of your websites. This means quicker loading times and a smoother user experience for both you and your visitors. Caching plays a crucial role in enhancing website performance by storing frequently accessed data temporarily, reducing the need to fetch the same information repeatedly from the database. These improvements should lead to faster page load times, reduced server load, and happier visitors.

In terms of media, WordPress 6.3 also promises to boost your media performance. This means quicker-loading images and other media for site visitors — keeping your audience engaged and reducing bounce rates.

By optimizing image loading and employing efficient compression techniques, site owners can expect quicker loading times for their visitors. This enhancement will not only contribute to better user engagement but also positively impact search engine rankings, as page speed is a crucial factor for SEO.

Another major step forward is the introduction of rollbacks for failed theme and plugin updates. So, a “bad” update of a plugin or theme — due to things like library incompatibilities or unknown bugs in new code — should no longer brick your site and send you scrambling to get it back up and running.

WordPress 6.3 will introduce a safeguard mechanism that prevents issues arising from most failed manual theme and plugin updates. In earlier versions of WordPress, a problematic update to a theme or plugin could potentially render a site nonfunctional.

The new rollback feature will automatically revert to the previously installed version of a theme or plugin should an update fail. This mitigates the risk of a “bad” update breaking the site. This enhancement hopes to provide peace of mind to website administrators, as they’ll now be able to confidently update themes and plugins without fearing catastrophic consequences.

The introduction of style revisions is another feature to look forward to. This allows you to roll your theme back to old site styles in just a click, providing you with the flexibility to experiment and change your site’s look without worry. This feature will be especially beneficial for users who frequently modify their website’s appearance and layout.

In case a user wants to revert to a previous design configuration, they can easily do so by selecting their revision from an easy-to-use timeline, avoiding the need to manually revert each change. The style revision history enhances the user experience and provides greater flexibility in managing the visual aspects of your WordPress site.

Last but not least, WordPress 6.3 includes significant accessibility updates. These enhancements aim to make WordPress more inclusive and easier to use for everyone.

Accessibility is a critical aspect of website development, ensuring that all users, regardless of their abilities, can access and navigate a site effectively. WordPress 6.3 will implement its accessibility updates to improve the platform’s compliance with accessibility standards. These updates include enhancements to ensure compatibility with assistive technologies, keyboard navigation improvements, and other features that enhance the overall accessibility of WordPress websites. By prioritizing accessibility, WordPress aims to create a more inclusive online environment for all users.

Overall, WordPress 6.3 promises to deliver significant usability and performance improvements, as well as enhance site security and accessibility, making it a highly anticipated release for the WordPress community.

A Busy Year

With WordPress 6.2 having been released on March 28, 2023, and WordPress 6.3 set for August 8, 2023, it’s safe to say that this year has already been a busy one for WordPress volunteer developers!

As reported in Make WordPress Core on April 14, 2023, the timeline for WordPress 6.3’s release has taken into account two major flagship WordPress events scheduled to take place this year: WordCamp Europe, which occurred in early June, and WordCamp US and the Community Summit in late August.

The developer teams hope to avoid having any major milestones like Beta 1 and RC1 conflict with the WordCamp gatherings, so they’ve proposed fitting the release process, from Beta 1 to the final WordPress 6.3 release, in a 10-week window between both WordCamps.

What’s more, regarding the Gutenberg release cadence, WordPress 6.3 is expected to bring over changes in the block editor from the Gutenberg plugin up to version 16.1, for a total of 10 Gutenberg releases since the release of WordPress 6.2.


In the April 14 proposal announcement on the Make WordPress Core blog, openings were announced for volunteers to lead a number of development teams: Release Coordinator, Core Tech Lead, Editor Tech Lead, Core Triage Lead, Editor Triage Lead, Documentation Lead, Marketing & Communications Lead, Test Lead, Design Lead, and Performance Lead.

Proposed Schedule

WordPress 6.3 development update

Looking Even Farther Out

Even though WordPress 6.3 is nearing completion but is yet to have its general release, the WordPress community is already thinking ahead to the release of WordPress 6.4 and a return to a historic point in the history of WordPress.

Version 6.4’s development will be led entirely by a team of women and nonbinary creators, which harkens back to the WordPress 5.6 release, “Simone.” The release squad will be open to anyone who identifies as a woman, nonbinary, or gender-expansive, but, of course, in keeping with the WordPress collaborative spirit, all contributions from anyone, regardless of how they identify themselves, will be welcomed.

Jason is DreamHost’s WordPress Product Advocate, based out of Bakersfield, CA. He is currently working on making our DreamPress product even better. In his free time, he likes to curl up on the couch and watch scary movies with his wife Sarah and three very small dogs. Follow him on Twitter.