WordPress 6.4 Brings Exciting Changes with Twenty Twenty-Four Theme

2 mins
Written By  Aaron
Published On Saturday 14th October
I'm Aaron, the web developer here at Chaos. With over three years of dedicated service to our team and seven years of agency experience, I bring expertise to our web development projects.

WordPress enthusiasts, get ready for a game-changing update! WordPress 6.4 is on the horizon, and it's set to introduce a brand new default theme, Twenty Twenty-Four (TT4), expected to launch in early November. This theme promises to be a significant improvement over its predecessor, offering more features and capabilities to empower web developers.

Performance Improvements at the Heart of TT4

The WordPress community has been buzzing with anticipation for the new Twenty Twenty-Four theme and for a good reason. Google-sponsored Performance team contributor Felix Arntz recently conducted benchmark tests comparing TT4 with the previous TT3 block theme. These benchmarks assessed various aspects of performance, both server-side and client-side, to understand how TT4 stacks up.

Home Page Performance:

  • Overall load time (LCP) is 58.8% slower. πŸ”΄
  • Client-side performance (LCP-TTFB) is 93.5% slower. πŸ”΄
  • Server-Timing (wp-total) is 71.8% slower. πŸ”΄

Singular Post Performance:

  • Overall load time (LCP) is 3.9% slower. πŸ”΄
  • Client-side performance (LCP-TTFB) is 40.1% faster. 🟒
  • Server-Timing (wp-total) is 42.3% slower. πŸ”΄

Arntz pointed out that the primary reason for TT4's slower performance is the richer content it provides out of the box compared to TT3. Interestingly, the server-side performance gap between the two themes seems to stem mainly from the number of block editor features utilised by the theme, not from any inherent issues within the theme itself. In fact, the theme includes only a single PHP logic function. However, it does offer more complex content than TT3 and comes with a multitude of patterns, which may play a role in the performance difference.

Performance Enhancements on the Horizon

In a remarkable development, performance contributors managed to make TT4 (and other themes) load more than 40% faster within just two weeks of focused work on specific tickets addressing identified issues.

Arntz expressed his excitement, stating that most, if not all, of the server-side performance concerns have been resolved thanks to additional general performance fixes that have been integrated into the core. Comparing TT4 and TT3 using the latest core trunk, the results are promising:

  • TT4 home page loads in 85.91ms, compared to 78.08ms in TT3. β†’ 10.0% slower, but previously 71.8% slower πŸŽ‰
  • TT4 β€œHello world!” post loads in 96.44ms, compared to 86.35ms in TT3. β†’ 11.7% slower, but previously 42.3% slower πŸŽ‰

While there are a few client-side performance enhancements in the pipeline, Arntz revealed that they require more thought and time investment and have been scheduled for the 6.5 release.

WordPress 6.4 Beta 3: What's in Store

WordPress 6.4 Beta 3 was released recently, and it brings with it a host of exciting updates. Although the flagship Font Library feature has been postponed to the 6.5 release, contributors have assured users that this change won't affect Twenty Twenty-Four. The theme will ship with preselected fonts that load directly from the theme assets, following the tradition of previous default themes.

The WordPress community eagerly awaits the release of WordPress 6.4 and the Twenty Twenty-Four theme. With the performance improvements and feature-rich content it offers, it's sure to be a significant step forward for web developers and website creators. Stay tuned for its official launch in early November! πŸš€

Written By  Aaron
I'm Aaron, the web developer here at Chaos. With over three years of dedicated service to our team and seven years of agency experience, I bring expertise to our web development projects.
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