WordPress 6.3 Release Candidate 1

WordPress 6.3 RC1 is ready for download and testing.

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, you should evaluate RC1 on a test server and site. 

Reaching this part of the release cycle is a key milestone. While release candidates are considered ready for final release, additional testing and use by the community can only make it better.

Get an overview of the 6.3 release cycle, check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.3-related posts, and review the new features in WordPress 6.3. Save the date for a live product demo scheduled for Thursday, July 20, 2023, at 16:00 UTC (Zoom link). This live demo will be a great opportunity to join the WordPress community to celebrate the accomplishments of 6.3 and this final chapter of Phase 2.

RC1 highlights

Thanks to the many WordPress beta testers, this release contains 40+ (Editor) and 80+ (Trac) updates since the Beta 4 release. Keep it up WordPressers!

Notable updates for this release include:

WordPress database error when installing PHPUnit tests (#58673)

Use _get_block_template_file function and set $area variable (#52708)

Indicate when a theme supports the Site editor in the Themes REST API response (#58123)

bulk_edit_posts() function needs an action hook (#28112)

Allow editing existing footnote from formats toolbar (#52506)

Patterns: Add client side pagination to patterns list (#52538)

Trim footnote anchors from excerpts (#52518)

Browse the technical details for issues addressed since Beta 4 using these queries:

GitHub commits for 6.3

Closed Trac tickets since July 11

For a recap of what’s coming in 6.3, please refer to the Beta 2 post, which summarizes key features.

You can also dig into technical information about various components in 6.3:

Core Editor Improvement: Advancing the Power of Patterns

Image performance enhancements in WordPress 6.3

Improvements to the metadata API in WordPress 6.3

Improvements to the Cache API in WordPress 6.3

New in 6.3: Rollback for failed manual plugin and theme updates

Registering scripts with `async` and `defer` attributes in WordPress 6.3

I18N Improvements in 6.3

New in 6.3: Rollback for failed manual plugin and theme updates

Configuring development mode in 6.3

Layout updates in the editor for WordPress 6.3

WP_Query used internally in get_pages()

Improved Caching for Database Queries in WP_User_Query 

Social Icons block: Applied colors now dynamically update based on theme.json and Global Styles

Introducing the Block Selectors API

Improvements to the Cache API in WordPress 6.3

Introducing the WordPress Command Palette API

Miscellaneous Editor changes in WordPress 6.3

Bundled themes dropping Internet Explorer scripts and styles

Miscellaneous developer changes in WordPress 6.3

For a compilation of the dev notes above and more, read the comprehensive WordPress 6.3 Field Guide.  

Test the new features in WordPress 6.3

Testing for issues is a critical part of developing any software, and it’s a meaningful way for anyone to contribute—whether you have experience or not. While testing the upgrade process is essential, trying out new features is too. 

Encountered an issue? Please report it to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can file one on WordPress Trac. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.

New to testing? This detailed guide is a great place to start if you’ve never tested a beta/RC release.

Want to know more about testing releases in general? Follow along with the testing initiatives in Make Core and join the #core-test channel in the Making WordPress Slack.

Vulnerability bounty doubles during the Beta/RC phases

The monetary reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities is doubled between the Beta 1 release and the final release candidate (RC). Please follow responsible disclosure practices as detailed in the project’s security practices and policies outlined on the HackerOne page and in the security white paper.

Get WordPress 6.3 RC1

You can test WordPress 6.3 RC1 in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the RC1 version (zip).

Option 3: Use the following WP-CLI command:
wp core update –version=6.3-RC1

The current target for the final release is August 8, 2023, about three weeks away. Your help testing this version ensures everything in this release is the best.

Thanks to WordPress plugin and theme developers

Do you build plugins and themes? Your products play an integral role in extending the functionality and value of WordPress for users of all types worldwide. 

Chances are, you have already been testing your latest themes and plugins with WordPress 6.3 betas. With RC1, you will want to complete your testing and update the “Tested up to” version in your plugin’s readme file to 6.3. 

If you find compatibility problems, please post detailed information to the support forums.

Help translate WordPress

Do you speak a language other than English? ¿Español? Français? Português? Русский? 日本? Help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages. This release also marks the hard string freeze point of the 6.3 release cycle.

Haiku for RC1

RC1 is here
Hold your applause ‘til the end
Download, test, repeat

Thank you to the contributors who collaborated on this post: @DanSoschin, @Meher, and @JPantani.

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