WordPress 6.5 Release Candidate 3

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The third release candidate (RC3) for WordPress 6.5 is ready! 

This version of the WordPress software is under development. Please do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites. Instead, it’s recommended that you evaluate RC3 on a test server and site.

While release candidates are considered ready for release, testing remains crucial to ensure that everything in WordPress 6.5 is the best it can be.

You can test WordPress 6.5 RC3 in four ways:

PluginInstall and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on a WordPress install. (Select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).Direct DownloadDownload the RC3 version (zip) and install it on a WordPress website.Command LineUse the following WP-CLI command:
wp core update –version=6.5-RC3WordPress PlaygroundUse the 6.5 RC3 WordPress Playground instance (available within 35 minutes after the release is ready) to test the software directly in your browser without the need for a separate site or setup.

The current target for the WordPress 6.5 release is March 26, 2024. Get an overview of the 6.5 release cycle, and check the Make WordPress Core blog for 6.5-related posts in the coming weeks for further details.

If you’re looking for more detailed technical notes on new features and improvements, the WordPress 6.5 Field Guide is for you.

What to expect in WordPress 6.5 RC3

Thanks to the many contributors testing up to this point, this release includes 10+ bug fixes for the Editor and around 15 tickets for WordPress Core. For more technical information related to issues addressed since RC2, you can browse the following links: 

GitHub commits for 6.5

Closed Trac tickets

How to contribute to this release

WordPress is open source software made possible by a passionate community of people collaborating on and contributing to its development. The resources below outline various ways you can help the world’s most popular open source web platform, regardless of your technical expertise.

Get involved in testing

Testing for issues is critical to ensuring WordPress is performant and stable. It’s also a meaningful way for anyone to contribute. This detailed guide will walk you through testing features in WordPress 6.5. For those new to testing, follow this general testing guide for more details on getting set up.

If you encounter an issue, please report it to the Alpha/Beta area of the support forums or directly to WordPress Trac if you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report. You can also check your issue against a list of known bugs.

Curious about testing releases in general? Follow along with the testing initiatives in Make Core and join the #core-test channel on Making WordPress Slack.

Search for vulnerabilities

During the release candidate phase of WordPress 6.5, the monetary reward for reporting new, unreleased security vulnerabilities is doubled. Please follow responsible disclosure practices as detailed in the project’s security practices and policies outlined on the HackerOne page and in the security white paper.

Update your theme or plugin

For plugin and theme authors, your products play an integral role in extending the functionality and value of WordPress for all users. 

Thanks for continuing to test your themes and plugins with the WordPress 6.5 beta releases. With RC3, you’ll want to conclude your testing and update the “Tested up to” version in your plugin’s readme file to 6.5.

If you find compatibility issues, please post detailed information to the support forum

Help translate WordPress

Do you speak a language other than English? ¿Español? Français? Русский? 日本? हिन्दी? বাংলা? You can help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages.

Release the haiku

Another RC
We are getting really close
Have you tested yet?

Thank you to the following contributors for collaborating on this post: @dansoschin, @audrasjb.

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