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What’s new in WordPress 6.4: enhanced workflow, fresh design tools, a brand new default theme, and many more performance improvements

Speed is a crucial aspect of any website, as it determines how quickly visitors can access and navigate through its content. The faster a website loads, the more likely visitors are to stay and explore further.

In today’s globalized world, where internet connections are becoming faster and mobile search has surpassed desktop search, the importance of speed has only intensified.

That’s why the latest version of WordPress, version 6.4, has prioritized making small updates that collectively enhance the loading speed of your website.

Performance updates

The first step towards improving performance in the new version was taken back in August, when WordPress increased its minimum prerequisite to 7.0.0. Subsequently, users of WordPress were urged to utilize a more recent variant of PHP, specifically PHP 8.2 or PHP 8.3.

By utilizing the newer versions of PHP, webmasters can benefit from enhanced performance and additional features, which aligns perfectly with the objective of improving website speed.

Another update on the backend is the implementation of split queries. This enables WordPress to break down complex queries into smaller, more efficient ones, resulting in reduced website load time and decreased database load.

Furthermore, there have been various enhancements to object caching, a decrease in the number of database queries, and overall improvements in system efficiency.

On top of that, there have been several advancements in template loading, including improved error handling, optimized block template lookup, and reduced file lookups.

Updates to blocks

Ever since Gutenberg, the latest editor for WordPress based on blocks was unveiled, there have been continuous advancements in the functionality of blocks. Originally designed as a simple blog post editor, it has now transformed into a webpage builder.

With the introduction of WordPress 6.4, you now have the option to easily add background images to group blocks. Additionally, block patterns can now be organized into categories.

Moreover, vertical text is now supported by multiple blocks, expanding beyond just horizontal alignment. The blocks list view has also been updated to provide a more user-friendly experience.

For more advanced users, WordPress 6.4 introduces block hooks, which enable the automatic insertion of a new block after a specified condition is met.

Images now support the Lightbox effect out of the box

In the latest version of WordPress, 6.4, there is a new functionality that allows users to click on an image and view it in a larger size.

Although this feature is not entirely new, it is now integrated by default, eliminating the need for additional setup or installation.

This feature proves beneficial as it enables users to display their images without taking up excessive screen space.

New WordPress theme – Twenty Twenty-four

Traditionally with WordPress releases, there’s also a new theme – Twenty Twenty-four; it’s designed for versatility, with 35 different patterns to choose from, so you can easily customize it according to your needs.

The theme loads slower than Twenty Twenty-three, but it is much more robust, especially considering Twenty Twenty-three was designed to be as minimal and stripped down as possible.

Test before you deploy

Many users have reported that their websites are locking up after updating to WordPress 6.4 due to the end of support for an older version of cURL (cURL 7.29.0 and older).

Another bug was the removal of code from the WordPress core, which was considered safe to remove, but which was relied upon by numerous plugins and themes, which ended up broken in WordPress 6.4.

In response to these issues, WordPress 6.4.1 has already been released. However, we strongly advise you to test it before updating your website to make sure that everything works as expected.

Originally published Friday, November 24th, 2023 at 3:25 pm, updated November 24, 2023 and is filed under Latest News.


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