A pattern allows you to choose whichever blocks you like, style them however you want them to look and save them to use throughout your website. Using specific patterns in different spots can save you time and help you keep your website and pages consistent. You can choose to sync a pattern, meaning that that one change will apply to all parts of your website. Keeping you in control.
Meet the WordPress command palette
This release wraps up the second phase of Gutenberg, but that doesn’t mean it’s done. It’s onwards to the next phase of Gutenberg, which will probably once again bring us lots more in terms of intuitive features and accessibility. We can’t wait and hope you enjoy this new update of WordPress as much as we do!
Reusable blocks allowed you to create a block (filled with content and/or media) and use it on different parts of your website by simply selecting it. These reusable blocks have gotten a sort of revamp and are now available in the form of Patterns.
WordPress 6.3 also brings us a few new options in the design of the Cover block. It now comes with layout options, helping you take control of how the text in your Cover block is styled. This may seem like a small thing, but all of these ‘smaller’ improvements give you more freedom in what your pages look like. It’s also possible to select duotone filters for your Cover blocks and play with the different dimensions like padding, margin and block spacing. Go check it out!
The Styles section and more
The menu on the left of the site editor has changed with this new WordPress release. As you can see in the image above, the menu now has several new items in addition to the Templates section. Now you can also select Navigation to manage your menus. You can use Styles to change up the design of your entire site or specific blocks. Click pages to browse and edit existing pages on your website, or even create a new one. Go to templates to create new ones or edit the ones you already have. Lastly, patterns gives you an overview of your patterns and template parts, also giving you the option to create a new one. It seems simple because it is, and that’s exactly why it works so intuitively.
Get more control over your design
Of course, a WordPress release isn’t complete without several performance and technical enhancements. Also, as with the last few releases, there was a strong focus on accessibility. Making WordPress more accessible with every new version that’s being released. For example, tab and arrow-key navigation has been improved, the heading hierarchy has been tweaked and new controls in the admin image editor make it easier for assistive technologies to navigate WordPress websites.
Rollback feature for failed plugin/theme updates
The second block that has been added is the Footnote block, which does pretty much what you expect it to do. It allows you to add a footnote (or multiple) to your post. Before, this had to be done by using a plugin, but now it’s possible with a block that’s part of the WordPress block library. Just select the text and click the arrow that points down in the toolbar to find the footnote functionality.
Reusable blocks are now patterns
The site editor in WordPress has been a focus point for a while now, and the release of WordPress 6.3 brings it to a new level. Some of you might already be using the site editor to make changes to your website, and some of you might not use it at all. But with this release of WordPress, it’s definitely worth another look. You can easily access the editor by going to Appearance > Editor in the left side menu when you’re in the backend.
So why should you check it out? Well, the editor in WordPress 6.3 doesn’t just allow you to change the style elements of your site, it also allows you to edit pages right away, create patterns and control your navigation menus. Meaning that the editor comes in handy when you need to make quick changes to your website. That being said when you make bigger changes to your content, we would recommend using the post or page editor to make sure you don’t miss out on any essential feedback by the Yoast SEO plugin. But for quick changes or improvements to your menu or design, this is a welcome improvement. Bringing all of this together in one place saves us some clicking around and it all works in quite an intuitive way.
New navigation in the site editor
A lot of the technical enhancements and features are focused on improving the performance of your website. If you’re interested in reading more about this (and what else you can find in WordPress 6.3), check out the Field Guide.
WordPress 6.3: A short recap
This release comes with several features that allow you to take more control over what your pages look like. For one, WordPress 6.3 comes with enhanced padding and margin controls. You can select a block, click Dimensions in the right panel and use the slider to adjust the padding and margin per block. Making it easier to select the right padding and margin right away.
WordPress 6.3 comes with a rollback feature, which is worth mentioning here. This feature restores the previously installed version when a manual plugin or theme update fails. That way, website owners can be sure that their website is still available to their users when an update fails. As mentioned above, this will happen when a plugin or theme is manually updated. This feature will also become available for automatic updates in a future WordPress release.
There’s loads more, and you can find a lot of it when you go to the Styles section in the site editor mentioned above. Here you can change up the general style of your website and the style you’ve set per block. Use this to style your paragraphs, quotes, buttons, headings, etc etc. It’s all there.
Camille is the team lead of the Search team at Yoast. She writes and optimizes blog posts and enjoys creating content that helps people master SEO.