WordPress 6.4 “Shirley”: Elevating User Experience and Customization

WordPress 6.4, named "Shirley" in honor of Shirley Chisholm, the trailblazing congresswoman and activist, was released on November 7, 2023. This update continues the trajectory of previous versions, emphasizing improvements in user experience, expanding Full Site Editing (FSE) capabilities, and introducing new features to streamline website management and development. WordPress 6.4 brings a host of enhancements designed to make website creation more intuitive, flexible, and powerful.

Key Features and Enhancements

Full Site Editing (FSE) Enhancements

WordPress 6.4 takes Full Site Editing to the next level, offering users even more tools and options to customize their websites:

  • Enhanced Site Editor Interface: The Site Editor now features a more streamlined interface, making it easier to navigate and manage site-wide elements. Improved layout options and design controls provide users with greater precision in customizing their sites.
  • Global Style Presets: Users can now choose from a variety of global style presets, enabling quick and consistent design changes across their entire site. This feature simplifies the process of maintaining a cohesive aesthetic without needing to adjust individual elements manually.

New Default Theme: Twenty Twenty-Four

WordPress 6.4 introduces a new default theme, Twenty Twenty-Four, designed to fully leverage the capabilities of the block editor and Full Site Editing. This theme comes with a range of pre-designed templates and patterns, making it easy to create visually appealing and dynamic websites. Twenty Twenty-Four focuses on performance, accessibility, and customization, providing a versatile starting point for any WordPress project.

Block Editor Improvements

The block editor received several updates in WordPress 6.4, enhancing its functionality and user experience:

  • New Blocks and Block Enhancements: WordPress 6.4 introduces new blocks, such as the Multi-Column Layout block, which allows users to create more complex and responsive layouts. Existing blocks, like the Gallery and Navigation blocks, have been further improved with additional customization options and better performance.
  • Patterns Directory Expansion: The Patterns Directory has been expanded, offering more pre-designed patterns that can be easily inserted into pages and posts. This feature simplifies the design process, enabling users to quickly build sophisticated layouts.
  • Advanced Typography Controls: The typography controls in the block editor have been enhanced, providing users with more options for customizing text appearance, including new font combinations and advanced typographic settings.

Performance Enhancements

Performance continues to be a major focus in WordPress 6.4, with several updates aimed at improving site speed and efficiency:

  • Optimized Asset Loading: Improvements to script and style loading reduce the number of HTTP requests, resulting in faster page load times and a smoother user experience.
  • Database Query Optimization: Enhancements to database query performance improve site responsiveness, particularly for larger sites with extensive content and complex data structures.
  • Improved Caching: Better caching mechanisms reduce server load and improve overall site performance, ensuring faster content delivery to users.

Accessibility Enhancements

Accessibility remains a priority in WordPress 6.4, with various updates to ensure the platform remains inclusive for all users:

  • Enhanced Keyboard Navigation: Improvements to keyboard navigation make it easier for users to move through the block editor and admin interface without a mouse.
  • Better Screen Reader Support: Updates to ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes and roles improve compatibility with screen readers, enhancing the experience for visually impaired users.
  • Accessible Color Schemes: Additional accessible color schemes ensure the admin interface remains usable for individuals with various visual impairments.

Developer Features

WordPress 6.4 includes several new features and improvements for developers, providing more tools and flexibility for creating custom solutions:

  • Block API Enhancements: The Block API has been updated, offering more options for registering and configuring blocks. These enhancements give developers greater control over block behavior and appearance.
  • Improved Theme.json Support: Further improvements to the theme.json configuration file allow developers to define more granular settings and styles, enhancing the customization capabilities of themes.
  • Advanced Query Loop Customization: The Query Loop block now includes additional customization options, making it easier to create dynamic content displays based on specific criteria.

Content Management Enhancements

WordPress 6.4 introduces new features to streamline content management and collaboration:

  • Content Locking: Site administrators can lock specific blocks or sections of content, preventing accidental changes by users. This feature is particularly useful for collaborative projects, where multiple users might be editing the same content.
  • Revision History: Improved revision history tools provide a detailed log of changes made to content, making it easier to track edits and revert to previous versions if needed.

Enhanced Media Handling

WordPress 6.4 brings several improvements to media handling, making it easier to manage and display media content:

  • Improved Image Handling: Enhancements to image processing and optimization ensure that images load faster and look better on all devices.
  • Better Video Support: Updates to video embedding and playback provide a smoother experience for both users and visitors, with improved compatibility across different devices and browsers.


WordPress 6.4 "Shirley" marks another significant milestone in the evolution of the platform, delivering features and enhancements that improve design flexibility, performance, and accessibility. From the continued expansion of Full Site Editing capabilities and the new default theme Twenty Twenty-Four to performance improvements and new developer tools, WordPress 6.4 provides a comprehensive set of updates aimed at empowering users and developers alike. As WordPress continues to innovate, version 6.4 stands as a testament to the platform's commitment to advancing web development and making it accessible to everyone. Whether you're a seasoned developer or a newcomer to WordPress, version 6.4 offers the tools and features needed to build beautiful, high-performing websites with ease.