After much indecision on a projected launch date, the biggest update in the history of WordPress finally launched on December 6th, 2018. Many WordPress developers were concerned about the switch to the new ‘Gutenberg’ editor, and how it was going to affect their current websites. Although the updated editor has been available for a number of months in beta, most developers have just been looking at options for disabling the new interface and continuing with the traditional editor.
What is the Gutenberg Editor?
Gutenberg is the new content editor being introduced in WordPress 5.0 that uses “content blocks”, similar to many of the popular visual builders available like Divi and WP Bakery, to provide a more intuitive way for the end user to edit and manage their site. Each content block is basically a container that holds your content and they can then be arranged on a web page. The object of this approach is to simplify the content management process by reducing or eliminating the need for shortcodes, plugins, widgets and other customizations – something that has proven challenging for many WordPress users.
What about compatibility?
The biggest concern most WordPress users have with this latest update is whether or not it will be compatible with their current theme and plugins. As a precaution, you should make sure to have your site backed up before installing the new WordPress 5.0 update, and it is also recommended that you update any plugins and themes you have installed, prior to updating WordPress.
Although there seems to be a lot of dread about this latest update to the WordPress platform, and its potential for conflicts, so far none of the sites I currently manage have seen any issues after updating. The potential for this new Gutenberg editor to revolutionize the WordPress user experience is yet to be seen, but it does at least offer a step in the right direction for the many WordPress users who have been afraid of managing their own site due to the original editors less than intuitive interface. Another upside may be less reliance on various plugins and visual builders that many designers rely on for creating their sites, as these themes and plugins can often be very resource intense. For those of you who still insist on avoiding the new editor, you can simply install the Classic Editor plugin to carry on using your site the old way. If you’re not sure about whether or not to update, or if you have already updated your website and are having problems, please feel free to contact us for assistance.