WordPress 5.0 is about to drop and there is a huge amount of hype being generated around the release. As always there are a host of new features in this next major release and the biggest is the default change to Gutenberg Editor. For years the WordPress community have utilised the classic editor which was somewhat no frills but what we were all used to.
As a website design business the classic editor is also what our clients were used to. Now of course a while ago now we switched over to using a page builder for our client sites. This was in order to give the client a better solution that was both user friendly and provided a pile of extra functionality.
The new Gutenberg editor is all about bridging the gap between the old classic editor, and providing more functionality similar to the page builders available. Whilst the Gutenberg editor is a great step forward it is not meant to be a replacement for page builders and will be a long time before it even truly comes close.
So what does this major editor change mean for you? Well at this stage it means very little if you are not sure what to look for. In most cases if your website was built in the last 12 months and regularly maintained. By regularly maintained I mean the following items are all true:
- WordPress is up to date and there are no WordPress updates available in your dashboard.
- All plugins installed on the website are also up to date. Out of date plugins may not be compatible with WordPress 5.0, It is also important to check that the plugins installed are compatible with WordPress 5.0.
- All themes are up to date and have been checked to be compatible with WordPress 5.0 it is specifically important to check for compatibility because crashes may occur during the upgrade.
- Make sure to have a backup of the website that can be restored if the worst happens during the upgrade.
Ok so we have looked to make sure your WordPress website meets the above criteria. Now when it comes to doing the update there are many ways you can make it happen and in many cases in may just happen for you. For some of our clients this article is a good read to have but our WordPress Care Plans means we will deal with all the headaches for you.
I am not going to sugar coat the update process for you it can be catastrophic if something goes wrong. Many business owners just like you are utilising the opportunity to refresh their websites, modernise their websites or simply to get a professional to help with the upgrade process.
Gutenberg Editor, What It Means For You?
Ok if your website is using a page builder such as Beaver Builder, Elementor, Divi and any other editor type. You are most likely not going to really notice any difference. Most of these page builders are already Gutenberg compatible and this is great news because you can simply continue as per normal. The only place you will really notice a difference is most likely during the editing of posts as in many cases posts don't use the page builder by default.
Now if you don't use a page builder it means getting used to a new user interface. Well in most parts it is about getting used to a new thing, but did you know that you can simply install the old classic editor. You see, all the hype around Gutenberg and really all it means is a change of default editor.
Just a change of default editor
Yes you heard me right in the past and current versions of WordPress the classic editor came installed as the default. Moving forward with WordPress 5.0 onwards the default editor being installed will be the new Gutenberg editor. You can use the new editor now by simply installing it from the WordPress repository. Once WordPress 5.0 is released the situation will simply be reversed and those wanting to use classic editor will simply install it from the repository.
Building with blocks, the next evolution of WordPress
When Gutenberg launches you are going to have some great new tools in your kitbag for publishing content. You will still be able to place all of the common content types such as:
- Quotes and more…
You will also be able to embed a whole pile of new things directly into your website pages and posts including:
- Pull Quotes
- Facebook Post Embeds
- Twitter Embeds
- Youtube Embeds
- Instagram Post Embeds
- Much More…
You need to think of the new block system as an extension to your website allowing you to simply place content in a much better and easier way. Just like a child plays with blocks to build items from their imagination, you can now build your website posts and pages this way also.
The Next 12 Months for WordPress.
WordPress and indeed the Gutenberg editor will continue to grow over the next 12 months. You will see that as time goes by more blocks and options will become available in the editor. At this point in time I count 63 blocks available in the editor and amongst them some very welcome additions.
Personally I find a few things are still a bit buggy with Gutenberg and I am sure that these will be fixed in time. I keep asking myself whether I think the editor is ready for mass consumption yet. At this stage I keep landing on NO but as time goes by it won't take much to be ready.
I think the next 12 months will make or break the new editor and it will be interesting to see what direction things take. I know we will see continued development of the editor and even more additional items added to it. It is important to remember that this is early stages still for the Gutenberg editor and only time will tell. I really feel that this new editor has a lot of potential and I personally look forward to experimenting more with it in the future.