New blocks in WordPress in 6.4


WordPress 6.4 now has a date. It will be released on 7 November 2023 and its first beta is scheduled for 23 September.

The final version will include 5 new versions of Gutenberg and with them at least three new blocks.

Table of contents block

Perhaps the most useful of the three new proposals.

The block was added as an experimental in Gutenberg 13.3.0 in May and I tested it then. At the moment it’s simple and the customisation options are basic, but it’s fully functional now, so I hope that some improvements regarding customisation will be added.

Gutenberg has just recently been updated to 16.5 and it’s still early days. There are no noticeable changes in this future table of contents block.

Gutenberg se ha actualizado a la versión 16.5

Time to Read block

Bloque tiempo de lectura que se añadirá a WordPress 6.4

This block was also added to Gutenberg in May 2023 in version 15.3 and is not much of a mystery, it is used to calculate and display the estimated reading time of an entry or page. I also tested it back in the day and left the notes here.

According to some studies, adding this information can increase the amount of time visitors stay on your site.

Scrolling Marquee with scrolling text

Gif animado con un texto que se desplaza horizontalmente.
Lame text scrolling around the screen

The third block is called the Scrolling Marquee Block, which roughly translates as ” scrolling marquee block” and seems to me to be absolutely dispensable.

It is the typical horizontal bar that used to be used to display news or announcements in text that scrolls horizontally. Although it is still used on some news pages, it seems to me a clunky antiquity that takes me back to the mid-90s and that today would only bring negative points to usability, readability and accessibility.

Lightbox for image blocks

Although this is not a block, it is something that is directly related to them.

Lightbox is an effect that allows you to open an image in an overlay window with different configurations, both in the movement when opening it and in the background, and that can be closed with an X or by clicking on the background, and is useful for enlarging images without displaying them in a new window.

Lightbox para los bloques de imágenes previsto para WordPress 6.4

I don’t think it’s a bad thing, in fact, my template(GeneratePress) still doesn’t incorporate it and it’s not expected to be added in the short term. I think it could be useful as it makes navigation a little less clumsy and more logical.

At the moment this experimental feature is being explored only to be added as an option to be activated individually in the image blocks. More details on the matter in this thread.


As for the issue I’m most interested in, here is the work of the performance team that has already been announced:

  • Make use of the new script loading strategy APIs in Core.
  • Improve the automatic loading options.
  • Continue work to identify and improve server performance bottlenecks, in particular template loading.
  • Improve the reliability and flexibility of the implementation of the loading optimisation attributes “loading”, “fetchpriority” and “decoding”.
  • Extending the capabilities of the automated workflows and performance test panel.
  • Continued efforts to improve the theme.json APIs.

In their roadmap you can read about the rest of the fixes, improvements and other tidbits like typography management features that WordPress 6.4 will bring.

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