WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

Album cover for WordPress 5.3 Kirk, showcasing a duotone red/cream Rahsaan Roland Kirk playing the saxophone on a red background.

Introducing our most refined user experience with the improved block editor in WordPress 5.3! Named “Kirk” in honour of jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the latest and greatest version of WordPress is available for download or update in your dashboard.

5.3 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.


Block Editor Improvements

This enhancement-focused update introduces over 150 new features and usability improvements, including improved large image support for uploading non-optimized, high-resolution pictures taken from your smartphone or other high-quality cameras. Combined with larger default image sizes, pictures always look their best.

Accessibility improvements include the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. These improved styles 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.

For people who use a keyboard to navigate the dashboard, the block editor now has a Navigation mode. This lets you jump from block to block without tabbing through every part of the block controls.


Expanded Design Flexibility

WordPress 5.3 adds even more robust tools for creating amazing designs.

  • The new Group block lets you easily divide your page into colorful sections.
  • The Columns block now supports fixed column widths.
  • The new predefined layouts make it a cinch to arrange content into advanced designs.
  • Heading blocks now offer controls for text and background color.
  • Additional style options allow you to set your preferred style for any block that supports this feature.

Introducing Twenty Twenty

A desktop preview of the Twenty Twenty theme, showing both the front-end and the editor view.
A mobile image of the Twenty Twenty theme, over a decorative backgorund of brown-grey bars.

As the block editor celebrates its first birthday, we are proud that Twenty Twenty is designed with flexibility at its core. Show off your services or products with a combination of columns, groups, and media blocks. Set your content to wide or full alignment for dynamic and engaging layouts. Or let your thoughts be the star with a centered content column!

As befits a theme called Twenty Twenty, clarity and readability is also a big focus. The theme includes the typeface Inter, designed by Rasmus Andersson. Inter comes in a Variable Font version, a first for default themes, which keeps load times short by containing all weights and styles of Inter in just two font files.


Improvements for Everyone

An icon showing an arrow rotating a square.

Automatic Image Rotation

Your images will be correctly rotated upon upload according to the embedded orientation data. This feature was first proposed nine years ago and made possible through the perseverance of many dedicated contributors.

A plus in a square, indicating health.

Improved Site Health Checks

The improvements introduced in 5.3 make it even easier to identify issues. Expanded recommendations highlight areas that may need troubleshooting on your site from the Health Check screen.

A email icon.

Admin Email Verification

You’ll now be periodically asked to confirm that your admin email address is up to date when you log in as an administrator. This reduces the chance of getting locked out of your site if you change your email address.


For Developers

Date/Time Component Fixes

Developers can now work with dates and timezones in a more reliable way. Date and time functionality has received a number of new API functions for unified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability, as well as many bug fixes.

PHP 7.4 Compatibility

WordPress 5.3 aims to fully support PHP 7.4. This release contains multiple changes to remove deprecated functionality and ensure compatibility. WordPress continues to encourage all users to run the latest and greatest versions of PHP.

The Squad

This release was led by Matt MullenwegFrancesca Marano, and David Baumwald. They were enthusiastically supported by a large release squad:

The squad was joined throughout the twelve week release cycle by 645 generous volunteer contributors (our largest group of contributors to date) who collectively fixed 658 bugs.

Put on a Rahsaan Roland Kirk playlist, click that update button (or download it directly), and check the profiles of the fine folks that helped:

123host, 1994rstefan, 5hel2l2y, @irsdl, Aaron D. Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Aashish S, Abhijit Rakas, abrightclearweb, acalfieri, acosmin, Adam Silverstein, Adam Soucie, Adhitya Rachman, ahdeubzer, Ahmad Awais, Ajay Ghaghretiya, Ajit Bohra, ajlende, Akira Tachibana, albertomake, Alex Concha, Alex Dimitrov, Alex Lion, Alex Sanford, Alexander Botteram, Alexandre D’Eschambeault, Alexandru Vornicescu, alexeyskr, alextran, Ali Ayubi, allancole, Allen Snook, Alvaro Gois dos Santos, Amanda Rush, Amol Vhankalas, Anders Norén, Andrea Fercia, Andrea Gandino, Andrea Grillo, Andrea Middleton, Andreas Brain, Andrei Draganescu, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Nevins, Andrew Ozz, Andrew Taylor, Andrey Savchenko, Andrés Maneiro, Andy Fragen, Andy Meerwaldt, Angela Gibson, Anh Tran, anischarolia, Anthony Burchell, Anton Timmermans, Apermo, Arafat Rahman, arena, Ari Stathopoulos, Arun Sathiya, Asad, asadkn, Ashar Irfan, ashwinpc, Aslam Shekh, atlasmahesh, au87, Aubrey Portwood, augustuswm, Aurooba Ahmed, Avina Patel, Axel DUCORON, Ayesh Karunaratne, backermann1978, Bappi, Bartosz Romanowski, Bego Mario Garde, Benjamin Intal, Benjamin Zekavica, bennemann, bgermann, Bhaktii Rajdev, bibliofille, Biranit, Birgir Erlendsson, bitcomplex, BjornW, boblinthorst, Boone Gorges, Boro Sitnikovski, Bradley Jacobs, Bradley Taylor, Brandon Kraft, Brent Swisher, Bronson Quick, bsetiawan88, Burhan Nasir, Carlos Bravo, Carolina Nymark, Catalin Dogaru, Cathi Bosco, Chandra Patel, Charlie Merland, Chetan Prajapati, Chetan Satasiya, Chico, Chintan hingrajiya, ChriCo, Chris Aprea, Chris Van Patten, Christian Chung, Christian Wach, christianoliff, Christoph Herr, cleancoded, cmagrin, codesue, CompileNix, Corey Salzano, courtney0burton, Cristiano Zanca, Csaba (LittleBigThings), D.S. Webster, daleharrison, Dan Foley, Dan Jones, DanBUK, Daniel Bachhuber, Daniel Jalkut (Red Sweater), Daniel James, Daniel Llewellyn, Daniel Richards, danieliser, daniloercoli, Danny van Kooten, Darren Ethier, darthhexx, Dave Parker, Dave Smith, Dave Whitley, davetgreen, David Aguilera, David Anderson, David Binovec, David Binovec, David Decker, David Herrera, David Rozando, David Shanske, daxelrod, Debabrata Karfa, Deni, Denis Cherniavsky, Denis Yanchevskiy, Dennis, Dennis Hipp, Dennis Snell, Derek Sifford, derweili, dfangstrom, Dharmin Shah, Dhaval kasavala, dhuyvetter, Diane Co, DiedeExterkate, Diego La Monica, digitalapps, Dilip Bheda, Dima, dingo-d, Dion Hulse, Dixita Dusara, Dominik Schilling, Drew Jaynes, Dukex, dushanthi, EcoTechie, Edi Amin, Eduardo Toledo, Ella van Durpe, Elliot Condon, Emerson Maningo, Emil Dotsev, Emil Uzelac, Enrique Piqueras, Enrique Sánchez, erikkroes, estelaris, evalarumbe, faazshift, Fabian Kägy, fblaser, Felipe Elia, Felix Arntz, Fencer04, flipkeijzer, Florian TIAR, Foysal Remon, Gal Baras, Garrett Hyder, Garth Mortensen, Gary Jones, Gary Pendergast, Gaurang Dabhi, gchtr, Gennady Kovshenin, Gesundheit Bewegt GmbH, ghoul, girlieworks, glauberglauber, Glenn, GravityView, gregsullivan, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, gwwar, Hardeep Asrani, Hardik Thakkar, hardipparmar, Hareesh Pillai, Hareesh Pillai, harryfear, harshbarach, haszari, He Yifei, Helen Hou-Sandi, Henry Wright, herbmiller, herregroen, hirofumi2012, HKandulla, Howdy_McGee, hoythan, Hugh Lashbrooke, Ian Belanger, Ian Dunn, ianmjones, Igor Zinovyev, imath, Imran Sayed, intimez, Ipstenu (Mika Epstein), iqbalbary, Irene Strikkers, Isabel Brison, Ismail El Korchi, J.D. Grimes, jagirbaheshwp, Jake Spurlock, Jalpa Panchal, James Nylen, jameslnewell, janak Kaneriya, Janki Moradiya, janw.oostendorp, jared_smith, jarocks, Jarret, jave.web, javorszky, Jay Swadas, Jaydip, Jean-Baptiste Audras, Jeff Farthing, Jeff Paul, jeichorn, Jen Miller, jenkoian, Jeremy Felt, Jesper van Engelen, Jessica Lyschik, jffng, jikamens, jitendrabanjara1991, jkitchen, jmmathc, joakimsilfverberg, Job, jodamo5, Joe Dolson, Joe Hoyle, Joe McGill, Joen Asmussen, John Blackbourn, John James Jacoby, John Regan, jojotjebaby, Jonathan Champ, Jonathan Davis, Jonathan Desrosiers, Jonathan Goldford, Jonny Harris, Jono Alderson, Joost de Valk, Jorge Bernal, Jorge Costa, Joseph Scott, Josepha Haden, Josh Pollock, Joshua Noyce, JoshuaWold, Joy, jsnajdr, Juanfra Aldasoro, Juhi Patel, Juliette Reinders Folmer, Julio Potier, junktrunk, Justin Ahinon, Justin Tadlock, K. Adam White, kafleg, Kailey (trepmal), Kakshak Kalaria, Kamran Khorsandi, Kantari Samy, karlgroves, katielgc, kbrownkd, Kelly Dwan, Kelly Hoffman, Kerfred, kero, ketanumretiya030, kevIN kovaDIA, killerbishop, killua99, Kjell Reigstad, Knut Sparhell, kokers, Konstantin Obenland, Konstantinos Xenos, kuus, laurelfulford, lbenicio, leogermani, leonblade, lessbloat, Lindstromer, lllor, lordlod, LoreleiAurora, Luan Ramos, luciano-croce, luigipulcini, luisherranz, Luke, Luke Carbis, Luke Cavanagh, m1tk00, maartenleenders, Maciej Palmowski, Mahesh Waghmare, Maje Media LLC, malthert, manooweb, Manuel Augustin, Manzoor Wani, MarcGuay, Marcin Pietrzak, Marco Martins, MarcosAlexandre, Marcus Kazmierczak, Marek Hrabe, Marie Comet, Mario Aguiar, Mario Peshev, Marius Jensen, Mark D Wolinski, Mark Jaquith, Mark Uraine, Marko Heijnen, Martin Spatovaliyski, Martin Splitt, Marty Helmick, Mary Baum, masummdar, Mat Gargano, Mat Lipe, Mathieu Sarrasin, Matt Chowning, Matthew Boynes, Matthew Haines-Young, matthias.thiel, mattyrob, Matías Ventura, Maxime Culea, Maxime Jobin, maxme, mchavezi, Meet Makadia, Mehidi Hassan, Mehul Kaklotar, Mel Choyce, Melin Edomwonyi, meloniq, Michael Arestad, Michael Babker, Michael Nelson, Michael Panaga, michel.weimerskirch, Michiel Heijmans, Miguel Fonseca, Miguel Vieira, mihaiiceyro, Miina Sikk, Mikael Korpela, Mike Auteri, Mike Glendinning, Mike Hansen, Mike Jolley, Mike Reid, Mike Schroder, MikeNGarrett, Milan Dinić, Mobeen Abdullah, Mohsin Rasool, Monika Rao, Monique Dubbelman, Morgan Kay, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Morteza Geransayeh, moto hachi ( mt8.biz ), mppfeiffer, mrmadhat, msaggiorato, mtias, Muhammad Afzal, Mukesh Panchal, munyagu, mzorz, nadir, Nahid Ferdous Mohit, Naveen Kharwar, Nayana Maradia, Ned Zimmerman, Neel Patel, Nextendweb, Niall Kennedy, Nick Daugherty, Nick Halsey, Nicky Lim, nicolad, Nicolas Juen, Niels de Blaauw, Niels Lange, Nikhil Chavan, nikolastoqnow, Niku Hietanen, Nilambar Sharma, Nishit Langaliya, Nitish Kaila, nmenescardi, noahtallen, notnownikki, Okamoto Hidetaka, Omaar Osmaan, Omar Reiss, onlanka, oxyc, ozmatflc, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Paragon Initiative Enterprises, Paresh Shinde, Pascal Birchler, Pascal Casier, patilvikasj, Patrick Baldwin, Paul Bearne, Paul Biron, Paul Schreiber, Paul Vincent Beigang, Pedro Mendonça, pepe, Peter Wilson, PhillipJohn, Pierre Gordon, pikamander2, Pilar Mera, Pinar Olguc, powerbuoy, Pramod Jodhani, Pratik, Pratik K. Yadav, Prem Tiwari, Presskopp, Priyank Patel, Quantumstate, Raaj Trambadia, Raam Dev, raboodesign, Rahul Vaza, Ramanan, Rami Yushuvaev, ramon fincken, RC Lations, rebasaurus, ReikoDD, Remco Tolsma, retrofox, Riad Benguella, Richard Korthuis, Riddhi Mehta, Rishabh Budhiraja, Robert Anderson, Robert Chapin, Robert Ivanov, rogueresearch, Roi Conde, Ronak Ganatra, Ronny Harbich, Roy Randolph, Roy Tanck, Ryan Boren, Ryan Kienstra, Ryan McCue, Ryan Welcher, Sébastien SERRE, samgordondev, Sami Ahmed Siddiqui, Samir Shah, Samuel Wood (Otto), Sanket Mehta, sarah semark, sarath.ar, saskak, sbardian, Scott Reilly, Sebastian Pisula, Seghir Nadir, Sergey Biryukov, Sergey Predvoditelev, sergiomdgomes, seuser, sgastard, Shady Sharaf, Shamim Hasan, Sharaz Shahid, Shashank Panchal, shawfactor, Shital Marakana, siliconforks, simono, sirreal, Sixes, Slava Abakumov, Slobodan Manic, smerriman, snapfractalpop, socalchristina, Soren Wrede, Spectacula, spenserhale, spuds10, Stanimir Stoyanov, Stefano Minoia, Stefanos Togoulidis, Stephen Bernhardt, Stephen Edgar, Steven Word, studyboi, Subrata Sarkar, Sudhir Yadav, Sultan Nasir Uddin, sun, svanhal, Swapnil V. Patil, swapnild, Sybre Waaijer, Sérgio Estêvão, Takayuki Miyauchi, Takis, Tammie Lister, tazotodua, technote, Tellyworth, Tessa Kriesel, them.es, Themezly, Thijs Hulshof, Thomas Kräftner, thomaswm, Thord D. Hedengren, Thorsten Frommen, Thrijith Thankachan, tigertech, Tim Carr, Tim Havinga, Tim Hengeveld, Timothy Jacobs, timph, tmatsuur, tmdesigned, TobiasBg, tobifjellner (Tor-Bjorn Fjellner), toddhalfpenny, Todor Gaidarov, Tom J Nowell, Tommy Ferry, Toni Viemerö, tonybogdanov, torres126, Torsten Landsiedel, Towhidul Islam, trasweb, Travis Northcutt, travisseitler, triplejumper12, truchot, truongwp, Tugdual de Kerviler, Tung Du, Udit Desai, Ulrich, Utsav tilava, Vaishali Panchal, vbaimas, Venutius, Viktor Veljanovski, Vishal Kakadiya, vishitshah, vladlu, Vladut Ilie, vortfu, Vova Feldman, vrimill, w3rkjana, Webdados (Marco Almeida), WebMan Design | Oliver Juhas, Weston Ruter, William Earnhardt, William P. Davis, William Patton, withinboredom, worldweb, yanngarcia, Yannicki, yarnboy, yashar_hv, Yoav Farhi, yodiyo, Yui, Yvette Sonneveld, zaantar, zalak151291, Zebulan Stanphill, Česlav Przywara, Айрат Халитов 🔥, and 水野史土.

Also, many thanks to all of the community volunteers who contribute in the support forums. They answer questions from people across the world, whether they are using WordPress for the first time or since the first release. These releases are more successful for their efforts!

If you want learn more about volunteering with WordPress, check out Make WordPress or the core development blog.


Thanks for choosing WordPress!

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People of WordPress: Kim Parsell

You’ve probably heard that WordPress is open-source software, and may know that it’s created and run by volunteers. WordPress enthusiasts share many examples of how WordPress changed people’s lives for the better. This monthly series shares some of those lesser-known, amazing stories.

Meet Kim Parsell

We’d like to introduce you to Kim Parsell. Kim was an active and well-loved member of the WordPress community. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2015. Lovingly referred to as #wpmom, she leaves behind a legacy of service. 

Kim Parsell

How Kim became #wpmom

In order to understand how highly valued the WordPress community was to Kim Parsell, you have to know a bit about her environment.

Kim was a middle-aged woman who lived off a dirt road, on top of a hill, in Southern rural Ohio. She was often by herself, taking care of the property with only a few neighbors up and down the road.

She received internet access from towers that broadcast wireless signals, similar to cell phones but at lower speeds.

Connecting through attending live podcast recordings

By listening to the regular podcast, WordPress Weekly, Kim met members of the WordPress community and was able to talk to them on a weekly basis. The show and its after-hours sessions provided Kim a chance to mingle with the who’s who of WordPress at the time. It helped establish long-lasting relationships that would open up future opportunities for her.

Since she lived in a location where few around her used or had even heard of WordPress, the community was an opportunity for her to be with like-minded people. Kim enjoyed interacting with the community, both online and at WordCamp events, and many community members became her second family, a responsibility she took very seriously.

“Many members of the WordPress community became her second family, a responsibility she took very seriously.”

Jeff Chandler

One of the first women of WordPress

Kim is regarded as one of the first “women of WordPress,” investing a lot of her time in women who wanted to break into tech. She worked hard to create a safe environment sharing herself and her knowledge and was affectionately called #wpmom.

She contributed countless hours of volunteer time, receiving “props” for 5 major releases of WordPress, and was active on the documentation team. 

“Affectionately called #wpmom, Kim was an investor. She invested countless hours into the WordPress project and in women who wanted to break into tech.”

Carrie Dils

Kim at WordCamp San Francisco

Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship

In 2014, she received a travel stipend offered by the WordPress Foundation that enabled her to attend the WordPress community summit, held in conjunction with WordCamp San Francisco. She shared with anyone who would listen, that this was a life-changing event for her. 

The WordPress Foundation now offers that scholarship in her memory. The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship provides funding annually for a woman who contributes to WordPress to attend WordCamp US, a flagship event for the WordPress community.

This scholarship truly is a fitting memorial. Her contributions have been vital to the project. Moreover, the way she treated and encouraged the people around her has been an inspiration to many.  

Her spirit lives on in the people she knew and inspired. Here’s hoping that the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship will serve to further inspire those who follow in her footsteps.

Drew Jaynes

Kim is missed, but her spirit continues to live on

Sadly Kim died just a few short months later. But her spirit lives on in the people she knew and inspired within her communities. The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship will serve to further inspire those who follow in her footsteps.

Contributors

@wpfiddlybits, @yvettesonneveld, @josephahaden, Topher Derosia, Jeff Chandler, Carrie Dils, Jayvee Arrellano, Jan Dembowski, Drew Jaynes

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2019 Annual Survey

It’s time for our annual user and developer survey! If you’re a WordPress user or professional, we want your feedback.

It only takes a few minutes to fill out the survey, which will provide an overview of how people use WordPress. We’re excited to announce that this year, for the first time, the survey is also available in 5 additional languages: French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Many thanks to the community volunteers who helped with the translation effort!

The survey will be open for 4 weeks, and results will be published on this blog. All data will be anonymized: no email addresses or IP addresses will be associated with published results. To learn more about WordPress.org’s privacy practices, check out the privacy policy.

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