WordPress 6.5: New Features, Improvements and More!

WordPress 6.5 Features and Improvements

The WordPress 6.5 update is set to release on March 26, 2024 and it’s bringing a slew of new features to the table.

From block editor improvements to new APIs, there’s a bit of something for everyone in this update.

So today, we’ll offer a detailed exploration of how these changes aim to refine the user experience.

Expect insights on performance improvements, new features, and how they can be leveraged to make your WordPress websites more impressive.

Top 5 Features Coming in WordPress 6.5

There are many features in WordPress 6.5 set to redefine the user experience and site management.

Here’s a snapshot of our 5 favorites:

FeatureWhat It IsWhy We’re Excited for It
Rename any block in the list viewThe ability to rename any block in the list view for better organization.Makes content management simple, easier to navigate and to categorize complex layouts.
Partial sync patternsEnhanced pattern management allowing for synchronized design elements.Offers both customization and consistency. Allows cohesiveness while allowing for character.
Data views for pages, patterns, templates, and template partsA visual management system for pages, patterns, templates, and template parts.Streamlines site building and maintenance, making it easier to see the pieces that make up your site.
Font libraryA centralized font management system with access to Google Fonts and the ability to upload custom fonts.Allows for creative typography options, providing an easy way to customize.
Interactivity APIA new API enhancing interactivity and user experiences with dynamic actions without page refresh.Promises more engaging and interactive websites, improving user engagement and site performance.

Learn more about these features in our latest video:

Let’s now dive deeper into the full range of features and updates that WordPress 6.5 brings.

We’ve broken up these features into categories:

  • User experience and design control
  • Block functionality and flexibility
  • Development and site management
  • Tech advancements

Let’s get started with the first category.

Enhanced User Experience and Design Control

With WordPress 6.5, you won’t just create powerful websites – you’ll have more fun designing them too.

It’s truly a new era of enhanced user experience and design control, making it easier than ever to customize and manage websites.

Here’s a look at what the new update brings to the UX.

Drop Shadow Effect Added to More Blocks

Gone are the days of flat, two-dimensional designs that blend into the background.

With WordPress 6.5, the drop shadow effect breathes new life into blocks, adding depth and distinction.

It makes your content pop and easily improves readability and guides visitors’ eyes through content effortlessly.

Whether you’re crafting a call to action button that stands out or framing your images with subtle shadows, this addition ensures your designs leap off the screen.

Font Library

Typography is the foundation of website design, and WordPress 6.5 builds on that foundation with its streamlined Font Library.

font library

Like the Media Library, it makes it easy to add, remove, and manage fonts from one central location.

The whole library is integrated with Google Fonts and you can upload custom fonts directly from the WordPress dashboard.

This means that you can align text perfectly with your brand identity and unique style, giving you complete control in just a few clicks.

It’s another step in the direction of giving site owners full control over how their sites look.

If you’ve been using the free Custom Fonts plugin, you’ve had the ability to upload and manage custom fonts since 2018.

But it will certainly be nice to have this feature integrated into core as well.

custom fonts plugin

Updated Preferences Panel

Customization is key to creating a website that truly represents your vision. The updated Preferences panel in WordPress 6.5 puts the power back in your hands.

WordPress 6.5 preferences

Built directly into the block editor, it offers a more personalized editing experience by allowing you to adjust settings and make preferences to better fit your workflow.

Whether you crave a dark mode for late-night editing or need to shuffle toolbars to keep things within reach, the new preferences panel makes it all possible.

Your editing experience should feel – and above all, work – according to your preferences – not the other way around.

Right-Click Access to Block Settings in List View

WordPress 6.5 introduces right-click access to block settings in the list view.

It’s a small, but incredibly powerful feature that makes block management and editing much faster.

right click in list view

In earlier WordPress versions, you’d have to select the block and select the three dot menu in the center to access block settings.

But in WordPress 6.5, you can right click the block in the list view in the left menu and select settings from there.

This means you can easily right click to access settings and tweak block settings without ever leaving the list view. This is an efficiency that’s sure to save a lot of time!

Navigating a website should be as easy and intuitive as possible. Thankfully, WordPress 6.5’s link improvements will make it so.

An improved link control interface adds visual icons, speeding up link creation and giving link management a more natural feel.

This means you can add and edit links with ease, and quickly see a visual indicator to identify the kind of link created.

wordpress link control icons

Previously, there was no visual distinction between link types. With WordPress 6.5, you can see at a glance if you’re linking to internal pages, or to external resources.

That’s a welcome change, if you ask us!

Rename Any Block in List View

WordPress 6.5 introduces another design control feature that significantly enhances content organization and navigation: the ability to rename any block in the list view.

This extends the renaming capability to every block within your editor, allowing for total control over the organization of complex layouts.

It’s another improvement that ensures every component is exactly where you need it to be, labeled for easy identification.

It’s another small change with a massive impact.

It will simplify the way you manage site structure and make it easier than ever to keep your content organized and accessible.

Spectra Visual Website Builder

Interestingly enough, this ability to rename blocks while in list view has been available in the Spectra visual website builder for months now.

It’s good to see WordPress take one of our ideas and run with it!

Block Functionality and Flexibility Enhancements

WordPress 6.5 makes it easier to take advantage of block functionality and flexibility.

The following set of features allow you to create more dynamic, personalized, and efficient websites.

Partially Synced Patterns

Partially synced patterns offer a great way to maintain a consistent look across your website while still allowing for the flexibility to customize individual elements as needed.

partially synced patterns

Imagine having the ability to apply a uniform design element across your entire site., like a banner or a footer, with the freedom to tweak it on specific pages to better suit the content.

That’s what partially synced patterns offer.

It’s a smart solution for those moments when you want your design to be cohesive but not at the expense of the unique character of each page or post.

Custom Fields for Blocks

The new custom fields for blocks feature opens a door to a whole new world of dynamic content creation.

It cleverly extends the capabilities of custom fields – long cherished by WordPress developers and power users – into the heart of blocks.

With this new update, you can now integrate metadata and dynamic content with your blocks in a way that’s more intuitive.

Whether you’re looking to display unique information within a post block or craft personalized user experiences based on custom field data, this update significantly expands the possibilities.

For instance ,you could create a custom “Event Date” field for a block used in event listings, automatically updating the block’s content based on the custom field value.

This could save you a lot of time in the development process and make content management more efficient.

Here’s a look at a demo of this feature put together by the developers:

Custom Fields for Blocks

Development and Site Management Improvements

The newest WordPress update also brings development and site management improvements to the table.

They are designed to streamline site construction, enhance compatibility, and modernize the WordPress backend.

Let’s explore these features next.

Plugin Dependency Management

This new system revolutionizes the way WordPress navigates the complex relationships between plugins.

It’s designed to untangle the often intricate web of plugin interactions, aiming to minimize conflicts and boost stability and performance.

plugin dependencies

It’s a significant leap forward in making the WordPress ecosystem more manageable and less prone to errors when it’s time to update plugins.

Support for Appearance Tools in Classic Themes

Another exciting aspect of this update is how it’s extending block theme features to classic themes.

This will create new design options without having to rely on theme.json.

This is a great update for theme developers. We can now weave block theme editor tools into classic themes, enhancing the design and functionality.

It’s a step towards consolidating the WordPress experience, melding the flexibility and design prowess of classic themes with the innovative features of block themes.

This convergence promises an expanded palette of design and functional options for websites.

The Astra theme has brought many of these features to the table already, bridging the gap between the classic and block editors nicely.

astra wordpress theme

Revisions Updates

Another update on the horizon in the next version of WordPress is modifications to the revisions system.

Templates and template parts will display revisions in WordPress 6.5.

There’s an update to style revisions with side-by-side comparisons, enhanced pagination, and more visual changes.

WordPress 6.5 revisions

Improved Pattern Management for Classic Themes

With WordPress 6.5, pattern management in classic themes will be updated. This will enhance both the accessibility and visibility of patterns as a core feature.

patterns for classic themes

This advancement will make it so pre-designed blocks can be inserted into pages and posts to quickly add complex layouts and designs.

These powerful design elements will also be more user-friendly. This ensures classic themes remain relevant in modern WordPress.

This will help bridge the gap between traditional and block-based designs.

Rollback for Plugin and Theme Updates

Site stability and compatibility are ongoing issues within the WordPress ecosystem and 6.5 aims to address some of these concerns.

This update introduces the ability to roll back plugin and theme updates.

This feature is a safety net for website owners. The ability to roll back offers a way to revert to previous versions of plugins and themes should the latest updates cause issues.

Rollback capabilities add a safeguard to the development process against potential disruptions caused by updates.

This will help to ensure websites can maintain their functionality and appearance without risking downtime or compatibility problems.

Technical Advancements and Improvements

WordPress 6.5 will bring several technical advancements that focus on enhancing site interactivity, data management, and the editing experience.

Interactivity API

The introduction of the Interactivity API in WordPress 6.5 is poised to transform how users interact with WordPress sites in general.

The API is designed to significantly enhance site interactivity and user experiences by allowing dynamic actions without the need to refresh the page.

As an example, imagine you’re running an online store built on WordPress, and you want to enhance the shopping experience.

To do this, you could use the interactivity API to set up a live product customization tool on your site.

As customers select different colors or styles for a product, they could see the changes reflected in real-time on the product image without the need to refresh the page.

The Interactivity API opens up tons of possibilities for creating dynamic, user-centric websites that are both fast and responsive.

The development team working on the Interactivity API put together a demo website to show off how the feature works.

interactivity api

View Pages, Patterns, and Templates in Grid and Table Views

Managing and visualizing data within WordPress will become more intuitive and efficient thanks to the WordPress 6.5 update.

You’ll see new data views for pages, patterns, templates, and template parts, providing a visual representation and more intuitive management system.

data views

These enhancements make it easier to find and manage content, streamlining the process of building and maintaining websites.

Other Technical Improvements

WordPress 6.5 is packed with performance, security, and code quality enhancements, each designed to bolster efficiency.

They ensure WordPress remains a reliable and secure choice for web development.

It promises to offer:

  • Faster load times
  • Enhanced security measures
  • Cleaner code

The aim here is to make WordPress an even more powerful and trustworthy platform for building and managing websites.

WordPress 6.5 Is on the Way – Are You Ready?

We hope you’ve enjoyed this deep dive into the WordPress 6.5 update!

With block editor improvements and new features on offer, there’s a lot to look forward to.

The update offers a significant leap towards making WordPress more intuitive, flexible, and powerful for users at every level.

It’s exciting to imagine what cool new things will be created as a result!

If you don’t want to wait for WordPress 6.5, you could always get the Astra theme, which offers many of these features built-in.

Pair that with the Spectra builder and you’ve got a powerful combination on your hands!

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

  1. Decimus Profile Pic


    I’m excited about the roll-out of WP6.5. Its mostly focused on blocks and block themes.

    The move from WP classic themes to WP block themes is LOW. Our site is built using Astra Pro and we are really happy with it. We have experimented with Spectra One – but in our opinion its still too buggy to make a full transition.

    We love the fact that Brainstorm Force are running with Astra and Spectra One

    Currently the ONE big deal breaker with FSE block themes is the navigation block is woefully basic. It cannot be customised to highlight the active page (top level menu or sub-menu) nor can a hover be added as a visual cue as we do currently with Astra Pro.

    We believe the future is Block themes. I am looking forward to transitioning our Astra Pro site to Spectra One Pro …. but am reluctant until the Pro version of Spectra One is in place – where there is at least some support. That’s one of the things we love about Astra Pro.

    No mention of Spectra One Pro!

    1. Team Astra Profile Pic

      Hello there,

      Currently, we don’t have any upcoming plans for Spectra One Pro. However, we do offer the Spectra Pro, which has been developed by our team at Brainstorm Force and Spectra. You can find more information about it on our website: https://wpspectra.com/pro/. Our plugins are designed to work seamlessly together and remain compatible. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

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