On December 6, 2018, WordPress officially released it’s 5.0 update with the new Gutenberg block editor. Many of you who maintain your own websites may find that the update is not as straight-forward as previous ones. It will probably require more than a quick click of the “update” button.
And then once the updates are made, there are still some hurdles to overcome. For instance, the new Gutenberg block editor may seem foreign and intimidating.
The Pros of Gutenberg
If you’ve already made the switch to Elementor or another Visual Composer, then the new editor won’t seem strange to you. For those who use the standard WordPress editor, you are used to inputting content using an interface that looks like Word or Google Docs. Gutenberg looks (and acts) nothing like the classic interface. Instead, the new editor makes use of content blocks, arranged visually rather than using shortcodes or HTML.
For the non-programmer, this is good news. You will be able to insert columns, social media feeds, formatting, and even microdata WITHOUT having to know how to code. The result should be visually appealing pages and better SEO, which should mean better ranking and higher conversions.
You will even be able to save the blocks and use them as templates across the website. This can save time and make it easier to maintain a consistent look for your brand.
Tips for Updating to WordPress 5.0
If you have not made the switch to WordPress 5.0, then here are a few practical things you need to know before you do. Most of our clients’ websites needed additional updates and adjustments after we updated them to WordPress 5.0. If you are updating WordPress on your own, you may find this information useful.
- WooCommerce sites have issues with 5.0. You need to make sure you have updated to the newest version 5.0.2 which addresses the “missing” orders on the “view all orders” screen.
- If you use a visual composer such as Elementor, then you need to install the Classic Editor plugin and make it the default editor. This will keep WordPress from migrating your pages and posts from Elementor to Gutenberg. The Classic Editor will have WordPress support until 2022.
- You must check all installed plugins to make sure that they are updated and that the updates are compatible with your WordPress version. Most are compatible with 5.0 but not necessarily 5.0.1 or 5.0.2. This can cause headaches for WooCommerce sites which must have 5.0.2 installed.
- The premium plugins on your site may not be eligible for automatic updates. You may need to renew your license in order to make it compatible with the new WordPress releases.
- Some plugins will have to be replaced with others. This may mean redesigning a landing page or other parts of your website (such as contact forms).
- If you are using an older PHP version, you may find that you need to update to a newer one for optimal performance. Coincidentally, PHP 7.3 was also released on December 6 and WordPress 5.0 contains compatibility fixes for the new PHP version.
- Even after installing the Classic Editor, you may find that Elementor or other Visual Editors “look” different. In order to integrate their toolbars with the new WordPress layout, many of them had to rearrange their drag and drop menu. You may need to relearn where things are located.
For more information regarding the WordPress 5.0 update, contact Effect Web Agency. We can explain your options and help you make the switch so that you don’t have to worry about website issues.
About Effect Web Agency
We are an Indiana-based website development firm specializing in effective design, audience attraction, and site conversion, Effect Web Agency has been trusted to design sites both large and small for more than 15 years. Effect’s team takes pride in the trust customers place in them to help make more profitable websites.