Sionara, ‘Http Error’! and other awesome changes in WordPress 5.3

Good news, everyone!!!!

..and this truly _is_ excellent news! The infamous http error that has plagued the WordPress community as the most cryptic, difficult to resolve error is getting removed (!!!!!!!) with the upcoming release of WordPress 5.3!

say what now!?!?!?!?!?!???!!!!!!!!!Woot!

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Instead of flashing that old migraine inducing, hard-to-decipher http error, a new set of errors will be served based on what caused the failure during upload. Be it RAM maxing out, max spawns being hit or one of the other things that *used to* cause that error – WordPress is providing an avenue of resolution when uploads fail instead. Bye Bye, http error! Hello solutions!

Are you ready to usher in a new era??? An era of clarity? An era of decent wp-admin debugging? An era of .. you get it. I’m super stoked.

This initiative took off with Trac #23698. Now when an upload fails in WordPress 5.3, it will automatically attempt to adjust image sizes and try the upload again. Is that not awesome!!?? Then if _that_ fails you’ll get an informative error instead of a stalemate.

If you’d like more info on what changes to media handling are being rolled out with the 5.3 release, you can check that out here. The media team and everyone working on 5.3 is killing it! I’m so excited about this version of WordPress!

What else is new with WordPress 5.3?

So glad you asked! WordPress 5.3 is due for release on November 12, 2019, and the Release Candidate is out now. There are seriously so many awesome changes in the works. Here are some more of my personal favorites!

Site Health Changes

Speaking of debugging, the Site Health module’s recovery emails will contain debug information in 5.3. The WordPress Core team gave us more info on that here. Some changes are also aimed at improving the Site Health page, which will report Should be improved or Good for tested items instead of numeric scores.

PHP 7.4!!!!!!!

Guess what!? WordPress 5.3 supports PHP 7.4, which is scheduled for release in November! drool!

JSON Extension Required

In an effort towards code modernization, hosts will need to make sure that they have the JSON extension enabled in their configuration, as WordPress 5.3 will require the JSON extension. This is super serious business! You won’t even be able to upgrade to 5.3 without that JSON extension. Don’t panic though, the extension is standard in most LAMP (hosting) configurations!

Gutenberg is Growing Up

I know, I know, people have mixed feelings about Gutenberg. I see you arguing on r/WordPress! Me, personally? I prefer to try my best to go with the flow. I have come to like Gutenberg quite a bit, really. It’s better than classic editor because it provides more options. It looks nicer, too.

This is a side note, but the block editor became even better for some of my clients who like to blog, but aren’t tech savvy, after I sent them GoDaddy’s CoBlocks Block Editor Plugin. FYI, I’m not an affiliate of GoDaddy and thats a free plugin. I just think it’s a great solution for some folks!

Okay, back to 5.3 and Gutenberg. Gutenberg has been making progress at rocket speed and we’re now on version 6.5. No one plans on stopping there, though. With the 5.3 release we can expect a Gutenberg version 6.6 and 6.7, too! woohoo!

With these changes in Gutenberg, a new block API is being introduced! This is going to save developers a ton of time!

Some of the existing blocks are being updated, too, and theme developers will have a few more tools and options now!

Better Security

With 5.3, users are going to be asked to authenticate every 6 months. Don’t worry – it’ll be quick and painless. You’ll be prompted to authenticate in your wp-admin window, it’ll be over before you know it and your site will be more secure. This is what it looks like!

wp-admin CSS

WP-admin is getting a makeover with some CSS changes in 5.3! A lot of these changes are being made with accessibility in mind and I love that WordPress maintains it’s inclusive, open source spirit. These changes are applied to skinning only and for developers, markup should remain the same. Plugin authors and anyone else can find more info on wp-admin css changes here.

But wait, there’s more!

There are actually a ton of changes in WordPress 5.3 that will affect Developers. Everything from the REST API to updates in wp_die(). I did not make that rhyme on purpose. 😛

Just so you know … The WordPress.Org team has put together an incredible field guide outlining all changes in WordPress 5.3. Check it out!

Get Involved with WordPress 5.3 Beta Testing

Of course I went ahead and installed the 5.3 Beta release on, duh!!! Soooooo… you are looking at a brand new shiny WordPress 5.3 install. So yummy!

You, too, can install WordPress 5.3 Beta! has made it really easy with the WordPress Beta Tester plugin.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, go to Tools -> Beta Testing in your wp-admin dashboard menu, and select the Bleeding Edge Nightlies option. Then, save changes.  

From there, go to Dashboard -> Updates and hit the Update Now button.

orrrrrrr – download the release candidate, or any of the versions here. Then upload it to your install via ftp!

Edit: Release Candidate 4 is out!! Woot! Check it out here!

Voila! Easy as pie. More info on Beta Testing can be found in the Make Handbook.

Awesome, right? No wonder WordPress is used on approximately 34% of websites! (got that stat from Kinsta!)

and version 5.3 is even better with over 500 bug fixes and enhancements! I’m so excited, I’m even blabing about it on make and Slack ^__^

I hope my excitement is totally contagious! Catch that fever if you can, and enjoy your sparkly new WordPress 5.3 install!

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