WordPress is all set to release the Gutenberg update along with version 5.0 on 27th November of 2018.
Let us discuss about the impact of the new WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg release on your website’s theme, plugins and existing contents.
What is unique in WordPress 5.0?
WordPress is completely reconstructing the usage of its CMS with the Gutenberg editor. If you have updated the latest WordPress version (4.9.8) you will receive an update reminder of ‘Gutenberg’ as shown in the below image.
The updates released so far didn’t impact a lot on websites, but we can’t expect the same from WordPress 5.0. Instead of releasing minor updates they have converged into two major topics like ‘Gutenberg WordPress Editor’ and ‘Twenty Nineteen WordPress theme’.
According to Gutenberg in WordPress,
Gutenberg began as a transformation of the WordPress editor — a new interface for adding, editing, and manipulating content. It seeks to make it easy for anyone to create rich, flexible content layouts with a block-based UI. All types of page components are represented as modular blocks, which means they can be accessed from a unified block menu, dropped anywhere on a page, and directly edited to create the custom presentation the user wants.
It is a fundamental modernization and transformation of how the WordPress experience works, creating new opportunities for both users and developers. Gutenberg introduces new frameworks, interaction patterns, functionality, and user experiences for WordPress
According to Twenty Nineteen WordPress Theme in WordPress
Gutenberg grants users an unprecedented level of freedom to customize their site’s layout and design. In order to fully achieve their vision, users will need a new generation of flexible themes, built to take advantage of the creative freedom that Gutenberg offers.
With that in mind, WordPress 5.0 will launch with a brand new default theme: Twenty Nineteen.
At the core of Twenty Nineteen is its simple, sophisticated typography. The theme’s aesthetic is minimal and non-prescriptive, allowing the theme to work well in a variety of applications. For example, it is effective as a minimal, typography-driven blogging theme, but can also be adapted for use as a static business website.
Twenty Nineteen will ship with full Gutenberg support. It will include both front and back-end styles so that users can be fully confident in their site’s appearance when they hit publish.
How will ‘WordPress 5.0’ affect your WordPress website?
If you have installed an updated version in your system (4.9.8), you needn’t worry about the 5.0 version because there won’t be any drastic changes. Else, this update will affect your website in the below-mentioned ways.
1. Difference in workflow
In Gutenberg, the complete conception of the user interface has changed. To understand better here is an example, ‘Everyone will purchase mobile phones on the initial release because they want to get their hands on the latest technology. However, it will take some time to know all the features and find out how the new device is different from the old one.’ Similarly, all the changes made in Gutenberg like formatting controls in plugins and widgets, transitioning content as various movable ‘blocks’ may bring changes in composing and publishing blogs.
This may frustrate most users at the beginning, but once you get hold of the flow, your productivity will improve drastically.
2. Interpreting plugin effects
Not every plugin is going to be updated but, most of the plugin developers are ready for Gutenberg’s launch. The developers who are updating Gutenberg should have their software primed and ready on time to work on the updates.
Be aware that some of the plugins may stop working when you update
The plugin that has accessible settings on the post editing page may fade, crack, or have reduced functionality until they are updated. Gutenberg is trying to make the process of updating the plugins for the new software as easy as possible, even then it may be a rough start.
3. Reduced workload for bloggers
Gutenberg is designed to reduce the effort of drafting a blog post through WordPress.
There are a lot of new features in Gutenberg like preformatted ‘block’ types, drag and drop, individual formatting, what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor for themes, default colour options, and a lot more which helps you to publish blogs easily. .
4. Increasing your productivity
Gutenberg has visible formatting options that helps you to make changes easily and quickly. You can rearrange your content in a better way rather than cutting and pasting it.
You can even write your content offline and add it later to the WordPress editor and convert them into blocks. Converting content into blocks is simple, you can add a ‘classic’ block, paste the entire post from Microsoft Word or any other document, then convert to blocks.
How to prepare your website for WordPress 5.0?
Below are some steps which you can follow to make your website ready for WordPress 5.0 release. It will also include a default twenty nineteen theme hence, getting used to it is a better move.
Let’s get started!
Creating a staging site
Staging site is taking a copy of your main live site with a subdomain. This site will not be visible to the public. It can be done by using migration plugins like Duplicator which can copy the entire site and database to your staging site.
Updating staging site
After updating, check for front-end and back-end errors in the text, displaying styles, shortcodes, and admin panel. Some features of your website may even break. Make a note of all the errors and try to fix it on the staging site.
These errors may arise due to the incompatibility of your website with the Gutenberg editor. In such cases, you can check for updates on themes and plugins. It is important to keep the themes and plugins up-to-date. So make sure to download the updates as soon their rolled out.
If you think that the errors are due to custom changes, you have to make changes in the code.
Make sure you note down the steps required to fix the errors in the staging site as you have to replicate them in your live site.
Also, you may find errors in plugins which is not compatible with the Gutenberg update. In such cases, you have to delete that plugin and find a similar plugin which is compatible with the Gutenberg update.
Live site backup
On checking the staging site you would have understood how this update affects your website. Here are some additional steps you can follow to make the transition smooth.
Always have a backup before you make any changes to your website. Since this upcoming WordPress 5.0 is a major update, make sure to have a complete backup of your files and database. You can use WordPress plugins like Updraftplus to backup your website.
We hope our blog gave you an idea about how to prepare your website for the new release.
If you face any unresolvable complications with the WordPress 5.0 update and you are too busy to fix it yourself, ColorWhistle team is here to help.We have a wonderful team of dedicated WordPress developers who are always ready to support and bring you out of any complex situation.
Just drop us a line explaining the difficulties your facing, one of our developers will be in touch with you shortly.