Are you the type of person that updates your computer or phone as soon as a new update becomes available? Or do you prefer to wait until that new update stands the test of time in order to make the leap? I am normally the latter but when it comes to WordPress I make sure my site is up-to-date to prevent security issues. Eventually all sites will need to be updated to remain compatible with the latest technology. I’ve spent some time gathering the necessary information to make the best decision for your business. I also want to keep it simple—because let’s face it—we are currently consuming an overload of content via email, social media, print, and television—the thought of reading one more useless piece of content makes me want to take a nap.
Gutenberg, WordPress 5.0 Update
First and foremost, you’re probably wondering what this update is all about? Since WordPress is an open source platform there are so many contributors building tools for the platform. The developers working on the core are able to evaluate trends and make decisions based on how the vast amount of users are utilizing the platform. Themes and plugins are creating website builders that are constantly being integrated to the WordPress core so that users can easily design pages throughout the platform. In other words, removing code from the process of page design. These resources are wonderful AND they can make WordPress run slower, make the code more lengthy, decrease the SEO, and in general take away from the goal of utilizing WordPress in the first place. Their solution? Add a page builder directly to the WordPress core that will take out the need for yet another third party software. Personally, I think it’s genius. I’m excited to learn more about it and I plan to use it to help my customers gain more control over their websites in the very near future.
For now, I want to provide you with the needed resources to either get started utilizing the WordPress 5.0 update or remain on the same version of WordPress you are currently operating on. Let’s review a few scenarios that you may choose from:
If you haven’t yet made the update to WordPress 5.0. …
Step 1. I recommend testing out the WordPress 5.0 dashboard outside of your own site, to do so click here: https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ — I’m seeing a user-friendly page builder that really gives you control over the content on your site. In the test version it seems straight forward.
Step 2. I would recommend downloading a backup of your site before getting started. You can do this by installing the All-in-One WP Migration plugin. Once installed be sure to activate the plugin and then export a backup file of your site.
Step 3. Now that you’ve made a back up you can decide whether or not to update to 5.0 or integrate a plugin to run on the existing version of WordPress. See image below for where to locate the options within your dashboard.
Option 1. Test the new editor by installing it as a plugin. Click the red box “Install Gutenberg” once it’s installed the box will automatically change to “Activate Gutenberg”. Click this box and get started editing in a test version of the new platform. This is your opportunity to see how you like it and if you’re comfortable editing in this new platform or if you’d like to take some more time. Which brings me to the next option …
Option 2. Install the Classic Editor. If you’d like more time to get used to Gutenberg or if you just want to remain on the same platform you’re used to I would go this route. It seems there are mixed opinions about the Gutenberg upgrade—I’m guessing it’s from the wide variety of users on the platform. Currently it’s getting 2 out of 5 stars with approximately 500,000 users using the test plugin from option 1. If you’re ready to install the classic editor just select the button “Install the Classic Editor” and it will automatically change to “Activate Classic Editor” when it’s ready. Then click activate to get started. This will enable you to continue running on the current editor even after the WordPress update is complete.
Option 3. Upgrade to WordPress 5.0. Now that you’ve made your decision to either remain on classic or move forward with Gutenberg you can go ahead and update to WordPress 5.0. This upgrade will automatically install the new Gutenberg editor so if you’d like to remain on the Classic editor be sure to complete Option 2 before making this upgrade.
If you’ve already made the upgrade below are your next steps …
Option 1. Test it out. I know it’s probably throwing you a curve ball because it looks completely different from the existing platform. That’s why I’ve created a little video tutorial using my own website to help you get started.
Option 2. If you are not satisfied—as is the case for many new users—I recommend installing the Classic Editor for now. You can do this by navigating to “Plugins” within your menu on the left hand site of the WordPress Interface. Select “Add New” towards the top of the page. Towards the right top of the page, next to “Keyword” type “Classic Editor” in the “Search plugins …” field. It should be the first plugin that appears at the top left of the page. Select “Install Now”. The select “Activate” and you’re all set.
That’s it for now. If you have any specific questions feel free to reach out. I’ll be sharing more resources as they become available but for now I wanted to provide you with the logical next steps so that you can make the best choice for your WordPress site.