WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” First Look

WordPress 5.3 “KirkFirst Look

Named in honour of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, an American jazz musician, WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” is finally available for download. This latest edition of WordPress was released on 12 November, 2019 and is considered one of the most refined versions.

With a matchless user experience and an enhanced block editor. It is also easy and convenient to download from your dashboard. This WordPress update comes with a default theme, Twenty Twenty, which has more design flexibility and block editor integration.

Block Editor Improvements

With over 150 new features, this enhancement comes with improved large image support. This supports uploading of non-optimised, high resolution images taken on high-quality cameras and smartphones.

Accessibility improvements include the integration of block editor styles in the admin interface. Some of the accessibility issues that have been solved include contrasting hues on buttons and form fields, editor and admin interface consistency, standardised default WordPress colour scheme, new snacker notices, and block motion.


If you use the keyboard for dashboard navigation, the block editor comes with a navigation  mode. Jump from block to block with ease and without tabbing through each  part of the block controls.


Expanded Design Flexibility

Wordpress 5.3 “Kirk” now has more robust tools for creating astonishing designs.


  • Effortlessly bifurcate pages into colourful sections using the Group Block feature.
  • The column block also aids fixed column widths.
  • You also get more control over text and background with the heading blocks.
  • Opt for your block of choice by selecting extra style options.


Twenty Twenty

Twenty Twenty is designed for flexibility. Over the past one year, there have been plenty of improvements and the new theme, Twenty Twenty, now allows you to show off your products and services using a combination of groups, columns, and media blocks.

You can also set content to wide or full alignment for dynamic, trendy, and engaging layouts. A centred column also allows your thoughts to be the main feature.

Clarity and reliability is also a big focus. The theme includes a typeface interface Inter by Rasmus Andersson which comes in a dynamic Variable Font version. This version which is a first for default themes keeps load times short by containing weights and styles in two convenient font files.


Other improvements


Automatic Image Rotation- First proposed nine years ago, this feature has only just been made possible by the perseverance and dedication of many developers. This feature allows images to be correctly rotated according to the embedded orientation data during upload.


Improved Site Health Checks- WordPress 5.3 shows expanded recommendations on the Health Check Screen which highlight areas that might need troubleshooting.


Admin Email Verification- There are reduced chances of getting locked out of your site. Periodically, you’ll have to confirm or update admin email when you log in as administrator.


Date/Time Component Fixes- Developers now have a more reliable method of working with dates and timezones. Date and time functionalities on WordPress 5.3 have new API functions for a more unified timezone retrieval and PHP interoperability.


PHP 7.4 Compatibility- WordPress 5.3 contains changes to remove deprecated functionality. The new version aims to support PHP 7.4 fully and ensure compatibility. Users are encouraged to run the best and latest versions of PHP.


At Codeias, we specialise in WordPress support which allow your clients to have better control over their sites. Contact us on 01257 758078 or email us at enquiries@codeias.com.