WordPress 6.3 “Lionel”: A Comprehensive Overview

WordPress 6.3 “Lionel”: A Comprehensive Overview

23 Aug. 23

The latest update, WordPress 6.3 “Lionel”, is out and it’s named in honor of the legendary jazz artist Lionel Hampton. As the second major release of the year, it builds on the impressive track record set by version 6.2, which brought over 900 enhancements.

Matías Ventura, the WordPress 6.3 Release Lead, beautifully summed it up, saying, “‘Lionel’ marks a major chapter in the evolution of WordPress…It’s also just a new beginning.”

Here’s a detailed look at what “Lionel” offers:

1. Massive Performance Boosts While 6.2 boasted of several page speed metrics, 6.3 goes a step further with over 170 performance updates. Based on automated workflow numbers, “Lionel” has achieved:

  • LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): 10.6% faster for block themes, 8.8% for classic themes.
  • TTFB (Time to First Byte): 4.7% faster for block themes, 5.6% for classic themes.
  • LCP-TTFB: 13.4% faster for block themes, 9.3% for classic themes.


The primary reason behind these improvements? The performance team shifted their focus from server-side enhancements in 6.2 to client-side ones in 6.3.


Key Enhancements:

  • Utilization of modern JavaScript APIs.
  • Support for fetchpriority="high" attribute on images.
  • Introduction of script loading strategies.


2. Enhanced Site EditorThe Site Editor in 6.3 has become more user-friendly and efficient. It now offers:

  • Updated navigation.
  • More accessible styles and previews.
  • Enhanced page creation and editing options.
  • Streamlined templates with additional features.
  • Improved block patterns.


3. The Command PaletteThis new tool streamlines the navigation process within the Site Editor, letting you access different sections or perform tasks quickly using specific commands.

4. New Style Revision FunctionalityAn extension of the Revisions tool, this function lets you view and reverse modifications made to theme styles.

5. Developer-Specific Updates

  • Dropped Support for PHP 5: From 6.3 onwards, WordPress will require PHP 7.0.0 at a minimum, with the recommended version being PHP 7.4 or greater.
  • Introduction of Development Mode: This new mode affects specific WordPress behaviors, aiming to provide a more tailored development environment.
  • Other Enhancements: From updates to the Cache API and WP_User_Query class to new additions like the Block Selectors API, 6.3 brings several improvements for developers.


Conclusion:WordPress 6.3 “Lionel” is not just an update; it’s a significant step forward. As we witness the platform’s evolution, it’s clear that the dedication to enhancing the user experience, both for developers and regular users, remains unwavering. Whether you’re looking to create a blog, a corporate website, or an e-commerce store, WordPress continues to pave the way for a seamless digital experience.

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