WordPress 5.3 Beta 3 Released


WordPress 5.3, scheduled to be released on November 12, and contains numerous improvements for site performance and user experience.

Server-Side Block API

PHP enthusiasts (and JavaScript haters) will be glad to know that there is now a server-side API for creating blocks in the WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg). When asked about the performance impact of registering new blocks this way, Core Contributor Jorge Costa suspects that the impact should be negligible unless compared to a JavaScript file that is registering a large number of new blocks, which could be cached by the browser:

For most cases, the performance should be equivalent. The PHP code dynamically generates an inline script with the equivalent JavaScript code to register a block style and generates an inline style with the classes. If many block styles are being registered having a single JavaScript file that registers all the styles and a single stylesheet that includes the styles may be more performant than registering the styles with PHP. In that case, the JavaScript and CSS files will probably be cached by the browsers while for inline scripts/styles it is not possible to take advantage of caching.

Better Large Image Uploads

An update to the WordPress REST API will solve a major pain-point for many users— better handling of large image uploads. Previously, if the server returned a 500 error at any point during the upload process, the upload would fail. Now, the request will automatically reconnect and attempt the upload again, as well as generate the attachment sizes at the very end of the request.

In another improvement to the REST API, you can now use Objects and Arrays to create Post Meta-based Gutenberg blocks.

Twenty Twenty Theme

The Twenty Twenty theme has excellent performance according to our tests. The developers have included the Inter typeface, which includes all of its weights and variations in just two files—  which are served directly from the website rather than using cross-domain requests.

Modernizing the Date/Time API

The WordPress Date/Time component has historically relied on the sum of the Unix timestamp and a time zone offset, which caused a great deal of confusion since the inline documentation referred to it as simply a Unix timestamp. Developers would need to account for this difference when comparing two timestamps against each other.

The new API allows developers to fetch a timestamp as a true Unix time or a DateTimeImmutable object, with methods to set timezone offsets in a reliable manner.


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