“Drops”, “pushed”, “launches” – choose your lingo. The fact is that like it or not, you are going to wake up and there’s going to be a new version of WordPress ready for you to update. Or maybe your site will auto update. Or maybe you heard about this and fearing the worst you’ve installed an Anti Auto Update plugin. Any way you slice it, it looks like after many delays, whether it’s ready for Prime Time or not, WordPress (5.0) Gutenberg is finally here.
I’m going to explain why it’s so different, why people are scared (they should be), why you might have nothing to fear, and why this is going to be actually wonderful in the long run.
Yesterday Robert Anderson posted on the Core blog that…
WHY IT’S SO DIFFERENT
WordPress 5.0 is going to introduce you to the world of BLOCKS. Start to write a post or page in your dashboard right now and it might look like this:
Ok, that’s pretty much the same thing we’ve been seeing since day one of WordPress.
Update to the new version that includes the new editor aptly called “Gutenberg” and you’ll see this:
Big change right? What are you supposed to do with that, right? What’s a block? What’s with all that white space? Where did my toolbars go?
Change always throws people off – I get that. But this isn’t going to be so bad. In fact it’ll be pretty good in the long run.
WHY PEOPLE ARE SO SCARED OF GUTENBERG
Here’s the big thing. It’s not the change in editor style that they are worried about. It’s that Gutenberg might bring their whole site crashing down. CRASHING HORRIBLY, FATALY, HOPELESSLY… DOWN!
There have been other issues like accessibility that have been raised but the main one is that no matter how good they code the new release they know it’s going to conflict with some plugins, some crappy coded themes or some script that people have added to their site and when that conflict happens… well you know.
Hey, even some in the well respected WordPress community are not happy with the release.
WordPress 5.0 is coming December 6th. We have our thoughts about that: pic.twitter.com/uEgX60AMEZ
— Yoast (@yoast) December 4, 2018
You know Yoast – they make that plugin you use for SEO.
WHY YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR
I imagine you are one of a few different types of readers:
- Chances are you are reading this because I built your website. If I did, I built it using the Genesis platform and used a theme from StudioPress. I added a certain few trusted plugins and scripts and then modded the site to fit your needs. You haven’t added anything but content (no new themes, scripts, or plugins) If that is the case, make sure you have completely backed up your site (database too) and saved it in a safe place, updated the current core – theme – plugin stack, and update to WordPress 5.0!
- There are those sites that I built and manage. If your site is one of those, I have already backed up your site and saved those files in my Amazon S3 server. Your site is already up to date and ready for the new changes coming. You can see I typically have multiple copies stored.
3. If you are a casual reader of this site and don’t have a properly built WordPress based website that drives you business – your timing is perfect!
4. Or maybe you have a site that runs ok, looks good but your really worried about everything you’ve heard. Let me ask you 2 questions…
1. Did you get your site from one of those theme forrest types of places?
and 2. Does it have a visual page builder aspect to it? Something that allows you to drag and drop or style pages? If so, those are the things we’re most worried about breaking. You have every right to be afraid.
NOTE: I mentioned Genesis and StudioPress as being safe. That’s because they are on the coding team that helped to build this new version. That doesn’t mean that every site using them will be ok – that means the foundation is ok. You could have installed a sketchy plugin or script that did ‘cool’ things but also will crash your site. I also should mention that not all visual page builders will break. No I don’t have a list (there is none).
WHY IS GUTENBERG GOING TO BE GOOD?
WordPress started out as a blogging platform. Some people still use it as such but many others do not. Gutenberg (and the whole block concept) is going to allow you as a content creator to create some pretty amazing things. As it becomes more and more refined the blocks will give other industries the ability to create cool things that you can just drop in (add a block). Instead of a whole bunch of coding and css to do something – a block can be styled and implemented easily by just about everyone!
BONUS: If you have one of my websites you also have a video “HOW TO” section in your dashboard. I’ve been working on revamping the whole list and adding new features that Gutenberg brings to the table. Look for it soon!
I’ll also be working on new Gutenberg related posts in the future. you’ll be able to find them all under the aptly named “Gutenberg” tag.
TLDR: WHAT YOU SKIMMED OVER
Ok skimmers here’s what you missed above.
- New version of WordPress is coming out
- It may break your site especially if you have a visual page builder
- Back up your site, update everything except core, don’t update to 5.0
- Think about revamping to better theme, plugins
- If you have one of my sites you probably don’t need to worry about anything
- Start using WordPress 5.0 and be awesome!
Hey, if you are using 5.0 I’d love to hear what you think about it. Drop a comment below or contact me in private. Did I miss anything?
12/7 UPDATE: I have since updated all of my client sites and not a single issue. 🙂 Happy Clients, Happy Mike!