Announcing WordPress 6.4 “Shirley”!

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By Jacob Batchelor

Great news! WordPress 6.4, “Shirley,” has been released! With many new features designed for developers and content creators alike, WP 6.4 is now available and likely already installed and in operation, ready on your site!

“Shirley,” named in honour of the legendary jazz artist Shirley Horn, pays tribute to her unique musical legacy. Renowned for her distinctive voice and profound connection with the piano, Shirley Horn emerged as a preeminent jazz figure in her era. Her remarkable journey from the vibrant jazz scene of Washington D.C. to a global stage stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication and resilience. Beyond the realm of conventional jazz, her far-reaching influence transcended boundaries, igniting inspiration among audiences worldwide.

At Encode, we are excited to introduce WordPress 6.4, the latest version of the worlds most popular content management system. Each iteration of WordPress offers greater creative freedom, and WordPress 6.4 is no exception. With new features and enhancements with the Gutenberg Block Editor for site editing, design, and writing experiences, your ideas can now come to life more seamlessly than ever before.

Welcome Twenty Twenty-Four

One of the standout features of WordPress 6.4 is the introduction of the Twenty Twenty-Four default theme. This theme is designed with versatility in mind, catering to three distinct use cases. Whether you’re building a personal blog, a business website, or an e-commerce platform, Twenty Twenty-Four’s collection of templates and patterns opens the door to a world of creative possibilities. Check it out in this demo.

Exciting New Features

Shirely comes with many new features, ranging from a revamped Command Palette to expanded design tools in the full-site editor. Check out some of the exciting new features of the November update.

  • Lightbox Image Effect: Enhance your website with interactive, full-screen images. Easily activate the lightbox functionality with a single click, whether for individual images or across your entire site.
  • Categorize and Filter Patterns: Organise your synced and unsynced patterns with categories for more intuitive pattern management. Advanced filtering options in the Patterns section of the inserter make it easier to locate the patterns you need.
  • Command Palette: The Command Palette has been revamped, offering a refreshed design and an expanded set of commands. This update helps you find what you need more efficiently and saves you time during content creation.
  • Custom Group Block Names: Improve content organisation by setting custom names for Group blocks. These names will be visible in the List View, making it easier to differentiate and manage various parts of your content.
  • Image Previews in List View: Quickly locate and visualise images in your content with new media previews for Gallery and Image blocks in List View.
  • Share Patterns Across Sites: If you need to use custom patterns on another website, WordPress 6.4 makes it simple. Import and export patterns as JSON files from the Site Editor’s patterns view.
  • Writing Enhancements: Enjoy a smoother content creation journey with new keyboard shortcuts in List View, refined list merging, and enhanced control over link settings. The toolbar experience for Navigation, List, and Quote blocks has also been improved.
  • Expanded Design Tools: Get more creative with background images in Group blocks and ensure consistent image dimensions with placeholder aspect ratios. Adding buttons to your Navigation block is now convenient without the need for custom CSS. Alignment settings for synced patterns remain intact, providing a seamless pattern creation experience.
  • Introducing Block Hooks: Block Hooks is a powerful new feature that allows plugins to auto-insert blocks relative to another block, making your work with blocks more intuitive. The “Plugins” panel provides complete control to match Block Hooks to your specific needs.

Performance and Accessibility

WordPress 6.4 comes with over 100 performance updates, ensuring a faster and more efficient experience. These updates focus on template loading performance, script loading strategies, and optimisation of autoloaded options.

In addition, we remain committed to accessibility, with improvements such as List View enhancements and aria-label support for the Navigation block, as well as UI enhancements for improved usability.

Ready to Use

Readily installed and active on your site, WordPress 6.4 “Shirley” is available to use along with the new Twenty Twenty-Four theme and all Shirley’s features.

As always, we’re here to help and ready to make the web work for you, utilising all of Shirley’s features and looking forward to WordPress 6.5 coming soon in March next year! Need some help? Feel free to get in touch or have a look at our WordPress Website Maintenance plans to keep you on the right track.

Jacob Batchelor,

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