What you NEED to know about WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg for November 19, 2018!

Everybody is talking about WordPress 5.0 and how you’re going to need to ‘watch out!’. Let’s talk about the upcoming November 19, 2018 release, and the changes that you DO need to think about.

WordPress 5.0 “Gutenberg” is the first major replacement of the blogging platform’s built in text editor for quite some time. What does that mean to you? Well that depends. If you have a WordPress website with a custom theme then we’re probably talking to you.

Gutenberg is the latest incarnation of the self-hosted WordPress website and blog platform. The first major revision in fact since September 4th, 2014. While a great deal of change has occurred since, including more than 75 point releases to address both major and minor feature changes, a full revision release tends to carry a little more baggage.

There are likely dozens of small changes under the hood that will directly impact the WordPress experience we expect most to be seamless and (hopefully) improvements to efficiency and load speed. One major change however is the new ‘Block’ editor – named ‘Gutenberg’. As the Gutenberg press revolutionized mass market printing, it’s WordPress’ believe that this new editor will directly and completely change the way we use WordPress from a content creation standpoint. Gone is the ‘Wall of text’ with clunky image inserts and iframe embeds and a big hello to a more ‘design’ friendly block system for content editing.

Gutenberg editor - Codex.wordpress.org

You can learn more about the editor itself at AITThemesClub [https://www.ait-themes.club/whats-upcoming…] but what is most important is to understand the possible ramifications of an ‘auto-update’ to WP5.0.

As developers have worked to extend WordPress functionality over the last few years a number of tools have appeared both in themes and as standalone additions. These plug-ins – like Pagebuilder, WP Bakery, and others have already beefed up the built in text editor functionality in WordPress. Sadly – not all are completely compatible with the coming integration of Gutenberg.

Those who choose to allow WordPress to ‘auto-magically’ update itself may have encountered one of these incompatibilities in the past, but the new update appears to be a big concern for many developers and site-owners as the talk of the town is that an “incompatibility” might actually become “it’s broken”.

There are workarounds in place for many of these components – as shown by WPBakery at https://kb.wpbakery.com/docs/faq/does-wpbakery-page-builder-works-with-the-gutenberg/ for example – but it’s up to you to check the plug-in’s currently installed on your WordPress site, and confirm that they are up-to-date, and tested to work with the beta versions of WordPress 5.0.

In either case – plan to take a little time when you do the update to the latest wordpress version, and think about the process before hitting any ‘update all’ buttons.

  • Login to yourdomain.com/wp-admin
  • Update any activated plugins.
  • Review any un-activated plugins and remove any that you don’t have a use for.
  • Check your activated plugins to confirm compatibility with WP5.0 or a WP5.0 ‘Beta’.

If everything looks good – you’re ready for WordPress 5.0!

If you’ve got plugin’s that aren’t compatible, or expressly indicate that there are concerns, ensure you turn off the ‘automatic’ updates for WordPress and check back again in the first week of December to see if your plug-in creators have updated, or offer solutions for compatibility.

Getting the most from your website isn’t a hands-off affair.  Sometimes you’ve got to get in there and do some housework.   Take advantage of the opportunity and create a new blog post, update some titles, and ‘clean up’ the site.  Remove outdated notes or offers, and make sure that your contact information is correct and up to date.  The side-benefit is that Google notices those small changes, and will update your site in the search indexes more frequently as it notes these small changes more frequently.

Your website isn’t a business card.  It isn’t a ‘print and forget’ item – it’s an active and dynamic extension of your business.  Treat it as such, with regular check-in’s and maintenance, and the result will always be better search value, and more site traffic.