WordPress 6.2 “Dolphy”: Improved Performance, New Site Editing Experience, and More

Last updated on Apr 3rd, 2023 | 3 min

Over 900 enhancements and fixes implemented.

Reimagined site editing experience. More ways to style your site. A new distraction-free way to write. Better performance than ever. 

WordPress 6.2 “Dolphy” has just been released, and it is the first major one of 2023.

It’s already available for download, but before that…

You should check some of the biggest highlights from the latest update.

Performance Improvements

As web performance fanatics, it’s no surprise that the performance improvements caught our attention immediately. 

And it’s safe to say there’s a good reason for that:

  • Increase of 14 to 18% in the load times of block and classic themes
  • Increase of 2 to 5% in overall speed
  • A significant boost to server-side performance, with an increase of 17 to 23% for block themes and 3 to 5% for classic themes

All these improvements led to a boost in both Web Vitals and Server Timing metrics:

  • ~20% faster TTFB for all block themes
  • ~14% faster LCP for all block themes
  • ~19% faster LCP for pages with hero images

How did the WordPress Performance team achieve it? 

They introduced multiple improvements to the WordPress core:

  • The new filter pre_wp_load_alloptions allows short-circuiting the loading of WordPress’s autoloaded options with custom logic.
  • The results of the get_adjacent_post() function are now being cached.
  • Cache keys for WP_Term_Query are now based on SQL without placeholders, so they can result in cache hits.
  • WP_Query is now no longer priming post caches twice.
  • Lazy-loading term metadata from the cache is now faster due to using wp_cache_get_multiple().
  • The results of wp_get_global_settings() are now cached within a single request, resulting in a faster response time of ~8% for WordPress core. 

“The end goal is more than clear - faster WordPress for everyone. All of the improvements the Performance team released are equally impressive. My personal favorite is WP_Term_Query. It will significantly impact the performance because the WooCommerce marketplace had strict requirements to use placeholders in queries to avoid SQL injections and similar sorcery. However, using placeholders within queries didn't let the queries leverage the cache mechanism properly. Now WP_Term_Query will keep both into account. The placeholders are still normally used within queries to avoid SQL injections but are removed while caching the queries.”

— Raza Jahangir, Senior WordPress Developer at NitroPack

Block Editor Enhancements and New Features

As we said, a lot of the newest features in 6.2 are focused on the block editor and site editing experience. 

Let’s go through the most notable ones:

WordPress Site Editor is now out of Beta

The Site Editor, which is no longer in beta, has a revamped interface that offers a fresh way to manage your entire website. See full previews of your templates and their components, then quickly jump in and start editing.

Manage the Navigation Menu Block easily

The Navigation menu is crucial as it allows you to define your website layout. Nevertheless, creating them using the full site editor has been challenging for novices.

Not anymore.

The latest version allows you to add, remove, and rearrange menu items more efficiently using the new sidebar interface, which simplifies the process of modifying your website's navigation.


It’s far easier than the old ways where you had to edit items inline, right?!

Openverse media available right from the Editor

With Openverse, you can access a library with more than 700 million freely available and openly licensed stock images and audio files. Moreover, Openverse is now directly integrated into WordPress, making it possible to use the Inserter to access the library.


Аdd Custom CSS to your blocks or themes

Before version 6.2, it was challenging to include custom CSS using the available tools by default.

WordPress 6.2, however, now allows you to add custom CSS that applies to your blocks or entire site. Simply click on the Styles panel and choose Custom CSS under the three-dot menu.


Focus on writing with the new Distraction-Free Mode

Throughout the years, different options have been introduced to hide the formatting buttons and toolbars on the editor screen. 

They all allowed users to have a much cleaner writing interface, but there was no distraction-free mode.

Until 6.2.

You can now hide all your panels and controls, leaving you free to focus entirely on your writing.

Under-the-hood improvements for developers

Naturally, WordPress 6.2 includes a ton of changes intended for developers, such as: 

  • A new HTML API called WP_HTML_Tag_Processor is introduced.
  • A new client-side filter called blockEditor.useSetting.before is introduced. It allows developers to change block settings before the editor is rendered.
  • Patterns API extended to include template_types property. 
  • Faster updates by moving directories instead of copying them.
  • A new switch_to_user_locale() function is introduced.
  • Create autosave revisions only when content is changed.
  • Add a style variation tag to themes that use style variations.

These are some of the biggest changes that were introduced with WordPress 6.2. Of course, that’s not an exhaustive list. If you want to learn more, check out the official WordPress Field Guide.

Speaking of WordPress improvements…

То keep up with the latest performance developments in WordPress and allow all NitroPack users to reach even faster load times, we’ve introduced multiple improvements to the NitroPack plugin:

  • Better compatibility with SEO plugins and their sitemaps: Cache Warmup is now fully automated, leveraging existing sitemaps from plugins like Yoast SEO, Squirrly SEO, and Rank Math SEO.
  • GeoTargeting WP: Commerce owners will enjoy an automated multicurrency setup and even faster delivery of optimized content no matter the location, thanks to the improved multilanguage cache versions.
  • Advanced Math Captcha: Your Captcha pages are now handled explicitly to make them work properly with cached pages by NitroPack, so you wouldn’t have to exclude them from our optimizations any longer.
  • The Events Calendar: NitroPack caching is much more effective on pages with events thanks to eliminating unnecessary cache refreshing and applying AJAX on the section with dynamic content.
  • WP Forms: Issues with token expiration sync with NitroPack Cache are now resolved, so your site visitors can submit forms around the clock.
  • WPML’s WooCommerce options: Your multilingual pages (multicurrency included) are now cached in a more reliable, efficient way to serve optimized content no matter the location.


Get a faster website. Try NitroPack for FREE →

Niko Kaleev
Web Performance Geek

Niko has 5+ years of experience turning those “it’s too technical for me” topics into “I can’t believe I get it” content pieces. He specializes in dissecting nuanced topics like Core Web Vitals, web performance metrics, and site speed optimization techniques. When he’s taking a breather from researching his next content piece, you’ll find him deep into the latest performance news.