We wanted to let you know that WordPress has had a new, big release: WordPress 5.0. WordPress has had a lot of changes along the way, may of them were incremental and easy to learn or work around. The latest update of WordPress is a pretty giant change!
WordPress 5.0 is kicking “incremental” to the curb with some pretty major changes. The biggest is the Gutenberg Editor, which we will tell you about a bit further along in the article.
WordPress 5.0 also marks a change to how they handles releases. It used to be that you could count on getting two major WordPress releases per year, with plenty of minor, periodic updates.
WordPress is planning on moving away from that scheduled release model to remove the pressure of deadlines, they’ll be able to take bigger leaps, and we won’t get updates that lack meaningful content.
In the short term, this change may introduce challenges for some WordPress site owners. This post will help you decide when to upgrade to WordPress 5.0, and to formulate a successful strategy for making the transition.
Aside from that, here are a few of the other significant changes we’re likely to see once WordPress 5.0 is live:
- WordPress’ focus is moving towards a more intuitive site-building experience. WordPress already leads the pack in most popular Content Management System. By improving WordPress’ site-building functionality, the core team is hoping to hold their market share against against other, hosted website building software.
- We’ll see some improvements to the WordPress Rest API. The WordPress Rest APIhelps developers create more feature-rich products by making it easier to send and pull data from your website. This update means developers will be able to more easily create applications using the platform as a framework.
- Building custom themes will become easier. In the past, you needed at least a simple development background to put together a WordPress theme. With Gutenberg, theme creation will become much more accessible thanks to blocks.
- Page builder plugins might lose some relevance. There are a lot of fantastic page-builder tools that you can use with WordPress, WP Baker might be the one we’ve worked with the most. Gutenberg won’t be able to compete with the other page-builder tools because its a different type of editor than the “Word” friendly editor most people are used to, but Gutenberg could easily be developed into the best option long term.
Take a look at Gutenberg:
To find out all about the new WordPress Gutenberg Editor, visit WordPress
What is the purpose of Gutenberg?
- “The goal of the block editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable.”
– From the Gutenberg plugin description on WordPress.org.
- “Gutenberg is an important step forward for WordPress. Gutenberg enables WordPress to build content layouts, not just write articles. It is one of the many transitions happening in WordPress toward a more simplified user experience.” – Zack Katz, speaking at WordCamp Denver 2017
How do I know if your website is ready?
Do you have a stable testing environment for your website? Have you tried the new Gutenberg editor? Are you using a modern version of PHP? If you can answer all 3, you will probably be prepared for WordPress 5. As with all major releases, we recommend updating your test environment before you implement WordPress 5 in your live website so you have a chance to look for problems.
Are you using a page builder or a paid theme?
If your site uses a page builder like Visual Composer or WP Bakery, check with the developer to ensure that your builder is ready for Gutenberg. Many page builders come bundled with the purchase of premium theme. Check with the theme’s developer to be certain that you have the updated version of the theme files installed on your website and that the theme and builders are compatible with WordPress 5.
A couple of notes:
- Preferably use a testing environment to test your website with WordPress 5
- If you are going to attempt to update your live site before trying WordPress 5, make sure you backup your website!
- Look for anomalies with all of your page layouts. It also makes sense to go back in time on your test environment and review older posts and pages to ensure they’re ready for the new editor.
- As always back up both your site files and your database prior to any update, especially an update of this magnitude.
- Gutenberg doesn’t play nicely with Plugins yet and may stop working or break. Check out all plugins before you take your upgraded WordPress 5 website live.
If you are using WooCommerce on your WordPress website:
- Make sure you update WooCommerce 3.5.1 before updated to WordPress 5
- Make sure you test your updated WooCommerce once you’ve updated
- Make sure you test updated WooCommerce once you switch to WordPress 5
Want to kick Gutenberg to the curb?
You have two options. Yes, we definitely did on some of our more robust website.
- You can disable Gutenberg with this free plugin by Jeff Starr!
- You can install the WordPress Classic Editor plugin
If you have any questions or mess up your website in the process…. we can help!