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Altis Cloud v17: WordPress 6.3 & PHP 8.1

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Posted by Ryan McCue

Product Director

Published in Releases

We’re pleased to announce the release of Altis Cloud v17, bringing with it support for WordPress 6.3 along with numerous changes to the platform infrastructure.

What’s under the hood in Altis Cloud v17?

Throughout the v17 release cycle, we’ve focussed on stability and performance of Altis Cloud, with continuous incremental updates to the infrastructure and Altis Dashboard over the past few months.

WordPress 6.3

The WordPress 6.3 release, “Lionel”, brings several new features, bug fixes, and improvements, including:

  • The Block Selectors API: Through the new API, a block can configure multiple CSS selectors for use in generating global styles, allowing developers more flexibility in how global styles are applied to blocks.
  • The WordPress Command Palette: Now able to be activated by keyboard shortcuts, the Command Palette has been designed to offer an extensible quick search and command execution tool.
  • Updates to the Social Icons block: Colors applied now dynamically update based on theme.json and global styles.
  • Improvements to the cache API: New cache groups specific to queries have been introduced, providing developers with greater control over the handling of objects within these groups.
  • Multiple performance improvements: over 170 performance updates are included in WordPress 6.3, including defer and async support for the Scripts API and fetch priority support for imaegs.

For more information on this WordPress release, check out the WordPress 6.3 Field Guide. Altis CMS 17.0.2 includes the latest WordPress minor release, 6.3.2.

We now recommend PHP 8.1 by default

PHP 8.1 is now our recommended version of PHP for Altis Cloud. While we have improved support for it, it’s important to note that there are a number of exceptions to compatibility in the core WordPress CMS module. See the WordPress documentation on compatibility for more information.

We continue to support PHP 8.2 experimentally for PHP 8.2 in both local and cloud environments. We have continued to improve compatibility with PHP 8.2, including incorporating the latest improvements in WordPress 6.3, but we continue to recommend against upgrading to ensure better ecosystem compatibility. If you do upgrade, keep in mind the backward incompatible changes in PHP 8.2 for your codebase and any third-party code.

Refer to our PHP Version Guide for up-to-date compatibility, testing and upgrading information.

Unbundling Analytics and Experience Blocks

With our next step towards improving how we ship Altis features, version 17 unbundles the Analytics module from Altis Cloud, including Experience Blocks and Global Blocks. These are now delivered through the Altis Accelerate plugin, which features a continuous release cycle. This change will allow us to deliver more value faster, and will provide you with more control over upgrades. Learn more and get Altis Accelerate now.

For customers who aren’t ready to make the switch, we recommend remaining on v16 or earlier, which will continue to be supported per our long-term support policy.

Dashboard and infrastructure improvements

The Altis Dashboard now provides the ability to switch branches for environments directly from the Dashboard. Admin users can head to their environment settings to switch branches right away. Note that this capability is only available for non-production environments for safety – you’ll still need to contact support if you want to change your production branch.

We’ve also been working on rolling out domain management, which is now available for all users using the Altis CDN.

Our team has also been working on improvements to Afterburner, with improved compatibility with full page caching now available. We’d like to thank all customers who have provided feedback during the rollout.