WordPress 5.0 is finally here!
Released on the 6th December 2018, this major update has had a significant impact on the way people use their website.
Yes, this sudden switch from what you used to know to something completely different sounds scary, but it is good to ease yourself into it and find your footing.
This is why we have written some advice on how to prepare and what to expect when it finally comes to clicking the ‘Update Now’ button in the banner on your dashboard.
GUTENBERG, A.K.A: THE NEW BLOCK EDITOR
One of the key changes WordPress has made is to their editor; initially called ‘Gutenberg’, it is now referred to as ‘Block Editor’ and it has completely changed the way in which pages and posts are now created.
When you test out the new update, you will be able to get to grips with the new ‘Block Editor’ and have a play around so you can get used to the functions.
The classic text editor has been completely transformed so users can now create content layouts with a block-based user interface; each page component is a modular block which can be manipulated to create the format that the user wants.
Your original content will be put into a ‘Classic Block’ after updating to WordPress 5.0, still preserving the original layout of your posts and pages. If you click ‘Convert to Blocks’, this will then convert your original content into the new modular blocks.
If necessary, there is an official WordPress plugin called ‘Classic Editor’ which can be installed and will revert the editor back to the familiar and traditional way. We would recommend that this is only a short-term fix however, as it will only be officially supported until 31st December 2021.
WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg Block Editor is one of the biggest updates to happen in a very long time so we understand that it can be daunting changing the way you use your website. We encourage you to not be afraid of change though and embrace the innovation; there are always solutions to any problems that may arise, so there is no need to panic.
WordPress 5.0 Preparation Suggestions
If you’ve been doing all the necessary research and find yourself asking; “How do I make the upgrade?” We have a few suggestions.
Use a Staging Area
For complete preparation, you should use a demo or staging site which is a complete duplication of your website in order to test out the WordPress 5.0 update. This will allow you to identify whether there will be any issues with your plugins or your theme which you can iron out before updating your live site.
Once you click the ‘Update Now’ button, you site will go into maintenance mode and as soon as the update is complete, your site will return to normal. Then, you will receive a prompt to update your WordPress database which afterwards you will be able to see ‘What’s New’.
Troubleshoot Your Issues
With such a large number of themes and plugins available nowadays, there is always a chance that you may experience problems when installing an update, especially one as big as WordPress 5.0. You may see the “white screen of death” or get stuck in maintenance mode, some of your custom meta fields may disappear or some of your plugins may need to be updated individually in order to work.
Create a Back Up
Before installing the latest update on your live site, we strongly encourage you to take a complete backup of your website, including all website files as well as a full database export. It is always a good idea to take necessary precautions when installing such a major update like WordPress 5.0.
Again, if you need help with this, please get in touch and we can help with this process.