Are you ready for what will be the biggest WordPress update in years? On November 23rd, 2018, WordPress is releasing its major core update WordPress 5.0 and the new Gutenberg editor.
Every WordPress owner should be aware of these changes and how to prepare their site for this update.
Important Note: If you are an existing TinyFrog hosting & maintenance client, our team will be handling the 5.0 core update for you. See below for more info on how our team is preparing every site we maintain for this transition.
WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg Editor
In 2005, WordPress released an open text window and this is currently the default editor on WordPress sites. With the default editor, building posts with images, embedded content and other elements requires a mix of different approaches. The WordPress 5.0 update will replace the current interface with the Gutenberg editor.
WordPress Classic Editor
WordPress Gutenberg Editor
The Gutenberg Editor uses a block structure and allows you to insert, re-arrange, and style multimedia content. These content blocks are similar to the blocks you’d have access to when using a page builder plugin in WordPress.
If you visit the Gutenberg page on WordPress.org, you can actually test the Gutenberg editor on that page. As you read through the features, click on options to duplicate a block, change a URL or upload an image. You’ll see how the features will work in the Gutenberg editor.
There is a beta version of Gutenberg available as a plugin, as of mid-November. Our team doesn’t recommend installing this plugin. The plugin is considered at beta level stability, which means there are a lot of bugs still being worked on.
Why We’re Going “Gutenberg-Free” for Now
Because the WordPress 5.0 core update includes a major change to the default editor, this core update is different and all site owners need to be CAUTIOUS.
As of today, there are many WordPress plugins that are not compatible with the Gutenberg editor. This means that if you immediately click “update” on the WordPress core 5.0 when it is released, you could have issues on your site.
Why is this? WordPress is an open source software and this means developers are building & improving WordPress plugins and integrations every day. When there is a big change in the WordPress space, every plugin/theme developer must update their own plugin and theme.
All the plugins and themes that don’t play nice with Gutenberg will catch up soon. Until then, there are several steps we recommend for preventing issues on your site.
How TinyFrog is Preparing for WordPress 5.0
For all clients on our WordPress hosting, maintenance & security plan, we are following these steps to prevent issues related to the Gutenberg & WordPress 5.0 update.
1. We’re installing the Classic Editor plugin
Our team has added the Classic Editor plugin into our TinyFrog plugin bundle and is installing this on all our sites now. Once a site is updated to WordPress 5.0, the Classic Editor plugin turns off the Gutenberg editor.
With this precautionary measure, we’ll be able to update sites to WordPress 5.0 and prevent issues from occurring between Gutenberg and plugins/themes.
2. We will update sites to WordPress 5.0 but without Gutenberg
Like any WordPress core release, our team will be testing the WordPress 5.0 core for a week or so before any sites are updated.
After testing is complete, we will update sites to WordPress 5.0. However, all sites on our hosting & maintenance will have the Classic Editor plugin installed, so Gutenberg will not be turned on. The site will be safely updated to WordPress 5.0 and the current editing experience remain active.
3. We will wait until Gutenberg is stable
Our team is considering the initial launch of Gutenberg as a beta release – there will be some bugs & fixes to work out. Eventually, all WordPress plugins & themes will release updates to fix compatibility issues.
Once we determine that the majority of plugins & themes are playing nice with Gutenberg, our team will be able to test each site on a staging area, update the site to Gutenberg editor, and determine if all is functioning well.
4. We’ll continue to maintain sites & perform daily backups
The rate of plugin updates has been increasing as we get closer to the Gutenberg release. In the next few months, it will be critical for all WordPress sites to stay on top of updates. Our team will continue to perform updates on a monthly basis for our sites and to take a full daily backup of each site.
A daily backup is an extra security measure for your website. If an issue occurs on the site or you accidentally click something & things go wrong, our team can restore the site to the previous backup.
The Future of Gutenberg
While we’re promoting caution & preparation for this new WordPress chapter, we don’t intend to be “Gutenberg-free” forever. There are a lot of exciting features with the WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg editor release.
Visit the official WordPress Gutenberg page to learn more about the new technology.
If you have any questions about your website & this update, feel free to contact our team.