WordPress 5.4 RC4

The fourth release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is live!

WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to land on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

You can test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate in two ways:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.4, please see the first release candidate post.

RC4 commits the new About page and updates the editor packages.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.4. The priority in testing is compatibility. If you find issues, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure them out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide is also out! It’s your source for details on all the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language besides English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.4 RC2

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.4 is now available!

WordPress 5.4 is currently scheduled to be released on March 31 2020, and we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.4 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.4 release candidate:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.4, please see the first release candidate post.

RC2 addresses improvements to the new About page and 5 fixes for the following bugs and regressions:

  • 49611 – Block Editor: Update WordPress Packages WordPress 5.4 RC 2
  • 49318 – Bundled Themes: Twenty Twenty content font CSS selector is too important
  • 49585 – REST API: Fix typo in disable-custom-gradients theme feature description
  • 49568 – Block Editor: Fix visual regression in editor’s color picker
  • 49549 – Bundled Themes: Calendar widget CSS fixes on various Bundled themes

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.4 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.4. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.4 Field Guide has also been published, which details the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

WordPress 5.4 Beta 2 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend running it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test WordPress 5.4 beta 2 in two ways:

WordPress 5.4 is slated for release on March 31, 2020, and we need your help to get there!

Thank you to all of the contributors that tested the beta 1 development release and provided feedback. Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing each release and a great way to contribute to WordPress.

Some highlights

Since beta 1, 27 bugs have been fixed. Here is a summary of a few changes included in beta 2:

  • Block editor: Columns in the Block Library that have unassigned-width will now grow equally.
  • Block editor: The custom gradient picker now works in languages other than English.
  • Block editor: When choosing colors is not possible, the color formatter no longer shows.
  • Privacy: The privacy request form fields have been adjusted to be more consistent on mobile.
  • Privacy: The notice offering help when editing the privacy policy page will no longer show at the top of All Pages in the admin area.
  • Site Health: The error codes for failed REST API tests now display correctly.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.4 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers’ notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you!

If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.4 Beta 1

WordPress 5.4 Beta 1 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend running it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.4 beta in two ways:

WordPress 5.4 is slated for release on March 31, 2020, and we need your help to get there!

While the primary goal for 2020 is full-site editing with blocks, contributors to WordPress are working across every area of the project to ensure the software continues moving forward.

Testing for bugs is an important part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute. Here are some of the big changes and features to pay close attention to while testing.

Block Editor: features and improvements

WordPress 5.4 Core will merge ten releases of the Gutenberg plugin. This means there’s a long list of exciting new features. Here are just a few:

  • Two new blocks: social links and buttons.
  • More color options for Button, Cover, Group and Column blocks .
  • A Welcome Guide modal.
  • Tools for adding featured images in the Latest Posts block.
  • Easier navigation in the block breadcrumbs.

Some additional changes to make note of:

  • On mobile, the toolbar stays on top, so you can’t lose it.
  • Easier image sizing in the Gallery block.
  • Drag-and-drop images into the featured-image box.
  • Several new APIs.
  • Friendlier offline error messages on REST API request failures.
  • Table block captions.
  • You can now color just parts of the text in any RichText block.

Accessibility improvements

  • Easier multi-block selection. 
  • Support for changing an image’s title attribute within the Image block.
  • Easier tabbing. This had been one of the editor’s biggest accessibility problems, but now tabbing works with the block’s sidebar.
  • Visual switch between Edit and Navigation modes and enable screen reader announcements.

To see all of the features for each release in detail check out the release posts: 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 and 7.5.

Continuing efforts to improve performance

The block editor team has achieved a 14% loading time reduction and 51% time-to-type reduction, for a particularly sizable post (~ 36,000 words, ~1,000 blocks) since WordPress 5.3.

Wait! There’s more

Site Health

When a project powers 34% of the world’s websites, there must be a focus on security. This is why contributors continue working so hard on the Site Health Project.

WordPress 5.4 adds a widget on the dashboard that warns administrators of potential issues that could affect their site’s performance or security. A call-to-action button directs them to the Site Health screen for details and suggested fixes.

Accessibility improvements

WordPress strives to improve accessibility with every release, and this release is no different. Version 5.4 will contain the following accessibility enhancements:

  • Better focus management in Menu, Customizer and Site Health screens, to fix some existing keyboard navigation issues.
  • Easier keyboard navigation for better semantics in the Media modal.
  • An easier-to-read Privacy Policy Guide.

For Developers

5.4 also contains a bunch of developer focused changes.

Calendar Widget

The HTML 5.1 specification mandates that a <tfoot> tag must follow <tbody> tag (which was not the case in the calendar widget). WordPress 5.4 moves the navigation links to a <nav> HTML element immediately following the <table> element in order to produce valid HTML.

apply_shortcodes() as an alias for do_shortcode()

Instead of using do_shortcode(), apply_shortcodes() should be utilized instead. While do_shortcode() is not being deprecated, the new function delivers better semantics.

Better favicon handling

Now favicon requests can be managed with more flexibility. Administrators can choose a favicon in the Customizer, or upload a /favicon.ico file. The WordPress logo will always load as a fallback.

Other changes for developers

  • Clearer information about errors in wp_login_failed.
  • Site ID has been added to the newblog_notify_siteadmin filter for multisite installs.
  • Support has been added for the required WordPress and PHP version headers in themes.
  • Embed support has been added for TikTok.

Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for  5.4-related developer notes in the coming weeks, breaking down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed more than 255 tickets in WordPress 5.4 with more to come.

How You Can Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress Leaders Nominated for CMX Awards

Two members of the WordPress leadership team were nominated for excellent work in their field in the first ever Community Industry Awards. Andrea Middleton is nominated for Executive Leader of a Community Team and Josepha Haden Chomphosy is nominated for Community Professional of the Year.

CMX is one of the largest professional organizations dedicated to community builders. The awards were open to public nomination, and finalists were chosen by panels of their peers in the CMX community.

Andrea has been a vital community strategist for the WordPress project since 2011. Her work to build and support a vibrant community has played a part in the success around the popular open source CMS. Her work is sponsored by Automattic, where she leads a team that focuses on educational efforts, funding, and in-person community-driven events that serve a global base.

Josepha has been the Executive Director of the WordPress project since 2019. Her work to coordinate and guide volunteer efforts spans 20 teams and involves thousands of volunteers. Her work is also sponsored by Automattic, where she leads the open source division that focuses on all aspects of open source contribution including design, development, volunteer engagement, and the health of the overall WordPress ecosystem.

Votes are Open

Final recipients are chosen with open voting — if you feel like either Andrea or Josepha have had an impact on your careers, your trajectory in the WordPress project, or the health of WordPress as a whole, there are three ways you can show your support:

  • Stop by and vote for them (Andrea here, Josepha here)!
  • Share this post with your own communities!
  • Tweet some inspirational thoughts about your time/experience/learnings with WordPress (using #WordPress, naturally)!

Thank You Notes

A lot of care and passion goes into making the WordPress Project as fantastic as it is. I think these awards are a reflection of how wonderful the community and ecosystem are, and I appreciate everyone’s continued trust in my stewardship!

Josepha Haden Chomphosy

WordPress community organizers are some of the most generous and creative people in the world — working with them is exciting and interesting every day. I’m humbled by this nomination; thank you!

Andrea Middleton

WordPress 5.3 RC4

The fourth release candidate for WordPress 5.3 is now available!

WordPress 5.3 is currently scheduled to be released on November 12 2019, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.3 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.3 release candidate:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.3, please see the first,  second and third release candidate posts.

Release Candidate 4 contains three bug fixes for the new default theme, Twenty Twenty (see #48450), and addresses the following:

  • The Twemoji library has been updated from 12.1.2 to 12.1.3 (see #48293).
  • Two regressions in the Media component (see #48451 and #48453).
  • One bug in the Upload component (see #48472)
  • Five bugs in the Block Editor component (see #48502)

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.3 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.3. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.3 Field Guide has also been published, which details the major changes.

A new dev note has been published since the Field Guide was released, Use of the “wp_update_attachment_metadata” filter as “upload is complete” hook. Plugin and theme authors are asked to please read this note and make any necessary adjustments to continue working well in WordPress 5.3 or share any difficulties encountered on #48451.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.3 RC2

The second release candidate for WordPress 5.3 is now available!

WordPress 5.3 is currently scheduled to be released on November 12 2019, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.3 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.3 release candidate:

For details about what to expect in WordPress 5.3, please see the first release candidate post.

Release Candidate 2 contains improvements to the new About page, and 10 fixes for the following bugs and regressions:

  • Three bugs contained in RC1 within the block editor have been fixed (see #48381).
  • A bug has been fixed where links within comments did not get the correct rel attribute (see #48022).
  • The scaled- string has been added to file names when images are downsized if determined “BIG” (see #48304).
  • The buttons group layout has been fixed in IE11 (see #48087).
  • A bug with boolean false meta values in the REST API has been fixed (see #48363).
  • The error code encountered when the native PHP JSON extension is missing has been adjusted to be unique (see #47699).
  • When uploading files, HTTP error code support has been expanded to include all 5xx errors (see #48379).

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.3 and update the Tested up to version in the readme to 5.3. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.3 Field Guide has also been published, which details the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.3 Release Candidate

The first release candidate for WordPress 5.3 is now available!

This is an important milestone as we progress toward the WordPress 5.3 release date. “Release Candidate” means that the new version is ready for release, but with millions of users and thousands of plugins and themes, it’s possible something was missed. WordPress 5.3 is currently scheduled to be released on November 12, 2019, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.3 yet, now is the time!

There are two ways to test the WordPress 5.3 release candidate:

What’s in WordPress 5.3?

WordPress 5.3 expands and refines the Block Editor introduced in WordPress 5.0 with new blocks, more intuitive interactions, and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers complete 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.

In addition, WordPress 5.3 allows developers to work with dates and timezones in a more reliable way and prepares the software to work with PHP 7.4 to be release later this year.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against WordPress 5.3 and update the Tested up to version in the readme file to 5.3. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to the support forums so we can figure those out before the final release.

The WordPress 5.3 Field Guide will be published within the next 24 hours with a more detailed dive into the major changes.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 5.3 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.3 Beta 3

WordPress 5.3 Beta 3 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend you run it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.3 beta in two ways:

WordPress 5.3 is slated for release on November 12, 2019, and we need your help to get there.

Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tested beta 2 (and beta 1) over 60 tickets have been closed in the past week.

Some highlights

  • Fixes and enhancements in the admin interface changes introduced in previous 5.3 beta releases.
  • Wording changes in login screen (#43037).
  • Improved accessibility in media upload modal (#47149).
  • Changes in the way the new error handling with images works (#48200).
  • MediaElement.js has been updated from 4.2.6 to 4.2.13 (#46681). The script is now also being loaded in the footer again. This fixes a regression that happened two years ago, so might be worth noting (#44484).
  • Update to the REST API media endpoint to allow resuming of uploads (#47987).

In addition to these, Beta 3 landed a number of small consistency and polish changes to the REST API, including an improvement to the permissions check used when editing comments, a fix for post type controller caching edge cases, and most importantly, the ability to use the _embed parameter to access the full data for a post using the /wp/v2/search endpoint.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.3 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developer notes tag for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac where you can also find a list of known bugs.

WordPress 5.3 Beta 2

WordPress 5.3 Beta 2 is now available!

This software is still in development, so we don’t recommend running it on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.

You can test the WordPress 5.3 beta in two ways:

WordPress 5.3 is slated for release on November 12, 2019, and we need your help to get there.

Thanks to the testing and feedback from everyone who tested beta 1, over 45 tickets have been closed since then.

Some highlights

  • Work continues on the block editor.
  • Bugs fixed on Twenty Twenty.
  • Accessibility bugs fixes and enhancements on the interface changes introduced with 5.3 beta 1:
    • Iterate on the admin interface
    • Reduce potential backward compatibility issues
    • Improve consistency between admin screens and the block editor
    • Better text zoom management
  • Support rel="ugc" attribute value in comments (#48022) – this particular ticket shows the WordPress project ability to integrate quick solutions to things that are changing unexpectedly – like Google new features.

Developer notes

WordPress 5.3 has lots of refinements to polish the developer experience. To keep up, subscribe to the Make WordPress Core blog and pay special attention to the developers notes for updates on those and other changes that could affect your products.

How to Help

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate WordPress into more than 100 languages!

If you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We’d love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac where you can also find a list of known bugs.