WordPress powers about 30% of the internet according to my sources, so when a big update comes out people worry. As someone who has to test websites to make sure everything is working okay, I wanted to give you some facts on WordPress 5.0.
Will WordPress 5.0 break my site? No. WordPress has transitioned from WordPress 4 to 5 painlessly. If you don’t like the new editor named Gutenberg, then you can simple install a plugin called Classic Editor. Since the biggest piece of WordPress 5.0 is Gutenberg if you ignore Gutenberg then you will barely notice any changes.
If you want to find out why you should get familiar with Guternberg, then please read on below. We will go into the details and understanding why WordPress is using Guternberg.
Understanding Gutenberg and how it affects your website
When Gutenberg was first announced and even to today it has been slammed by the community. Long time WordPress people have taken to the internet to give their take of Gutenberg and the reviews are in, it’s not good.
A majority of people have not liked Gutenberg since the start and that can be linked to one big thing, change. It hurts Gutenberg’s case that there have been several large bugs, but it’s dive into what makes Gutenberg unique and why it’s a better change than people are letting on to.
WordPress 5.0 introduces a company new way of styling your posts using Blocks instead of TinyMCE. Companies using the old method that are used to the old method now has blocks.
Blocks are essentially what every other page builder and non-page builder uses to build websites now. Even web apps like Wix and Squarespace have moved to a block like interface. WordPress is now no different and is using the same style.
The good news is that all your old content will not need to be changed as WordPress Gutenberg convert that content into a classic block which leaves everything the same.
If when you install WordPress 5.0 your website looks funny, or it breaks you site I would recommend installing the Classic editor which should fix your problem. It means that one of your plugins or themes are not Gutenberg compatible.
How to keep my old editor instead of Gutenberg
So if you installed WordPress 5.0 and some part of your site is now not working or broken that easiest solution is to installed WordPress Classic Editor.
The classic editor is now a plugin you can install separate from the Gutenberg WordPress 5.0 update. It will turn your posts back into classic mode which will make people happy.
Once you have installed the classic editor, I would highly recommend you go through you plugins one by one and find out which one does not work with Gutenberg through trial and error. Turn them off one by one and then see which ones breaks the site similar to when you are trying to figure out errors.
Once you find the plugin or theme that is not working with Gutenberg I would reach out to that person or ask in the WordPress repository when it will be ready for Gutenberg. Often, if plugins questions are answered as it’s a good sign that there is still someone working on the plugin making the necessary changes to make it compatible.
Plugins that have no answer should most likely be used with caution as if it doesn’t work with Gutenberg then you can’t be sure it will work with future versions of WordPress. This can lead to some huge security holes in your website.
Why you should use WordPress 5.0 today
If you are wondering why you would go through the hassle of installing WordPress 5.0 just to have things break, there is a good answer. WordPress 5.0 is the WordPress’s answer to a better interface.
While it might seem like a weird thing to say, it’s true. WordPress is moving away from a more developer driven platform which requires a person to know code to more of a Wix or Squarespace platform. Drag and drop has only grown over the years and WordPress will not fall behind.
Almost every single page builder including big ones like Divi or Elementor have a drag-and-drop interfaces that allow someone of limited skill to build a website. This is not something that will go away as more people are demanding easier interfaces.
So all things considered the reason I would update to WordPress 5.0 immediately. Classic Editor is a band-aid at this point to make those people unhappy with the new editor.
It by no means will be around forever nor should it. WordPress will slowly phase it out over the course of a few years to give those people who want the classic and keep them around.
So why use something that has a limited shelf life, your only delaying problems by not jumping in now and figuring it out.
What’s after WordPress 5.0?
Some people seem to think WordPress is moving towards a more user friendly method of building posts. I believe WordPress is smart and in the last year seen the page builder market explode
Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder and even Oxygen are all growing in popularity. What do most page builders have in common? They are all killing off the WordPress theme.
All of these page builders can create their own headers and footers which stops you from ever have to worry about a theme. If you can build your own headers and footer then why would you ever need a theme? The answer is very simple you don’t.
It’s a business expense that nearly every business could completely avoid because the page builder solves the issue that people have struggled with for ages. I want a theme that does X. How about install one plugin and you can build a customize theme that can do X.
I don’t think WordPress is stupid and I believe they are seeing this trend and Gutenberg will eventually be able to edit headers and footers. They haven’t announced anything so most of this is me theory crafting but a lot of the big developers seem to agree with me.
Mark my words, the creation of Gutenberg has sealed the fate of WordPress themes.
Why would you ever need a theme at all?
I installed Gutenberg but I hate it, what do I do? The great thing about WordPress is they are constantly developing Gutenberg to make it better. What it looks like today may not be at the same six months or even a year from now. The community will help to make it better than what it is, and that is the power of WordPress. But if you don’t like Gutenberg then use the Classic Editor for now while everything is getting squared away. Just be sure to check in and see how Gutenberg is working by disabling the Classic Editor.
When should I try to switch over? I would recommend that before you ever switch over to WordPress 5.0 that you do a copy of your current website and then update to Gutenberg. If you are unsure how to copy your website, I have an article that can be found here called How to move your WordPress site fast. This will allow you to break things without hurting your current site.
I hope you found this post helpful. While we did not dive into a lot of technical details, I think I laid out why it’s a great idea to update to Gutenberg today. The sooner a business can upgrade the sooner you can face that Gutenberg will be around for a long time.