It’s here! It took a while, but WordPress 5.0 has been released today. Update your blog right away, if you were waiting for this big milestone! Ho ho, not so fast this time. In this article, I’ll show you what has changed and what is going on with it.
WordPress 5.0 is a milestone
WordPress 5.0 “Bebo” is now available for download. This update, named after the Cuban jazz musician Bebo Valdés, is a big milestone for WordPress. The Classic Editor is hereby replaced by the new Gutenberg editor.
It is not for nothing, that it took so long before we stepped from 4.9 to 5.0. This has everything to do with the arrival of Gutenberg, a completely new editor that replaces the existing WordPress editor and I writing this very post in Gutenberg, by the way. And it has quite a big impact. So read this article through before you update your website to WordPress 5.0!
The arrival of the new editor is a real milestone. That which was never possible in the standard editor can now suddenly make your blog messages decent without having to pay for a fancy WordPress theme that supports a website builder.
Because this was never possible earlier, people were almost always forced to switch to professional page builders, such as Divi by Elegant Themes. This solution still retain its usefulness, because for the time being Gutenberg is not going as far as this kind of page builders. But still, Gutenberg is a big step in the right direction when it comes to preparing your blog posts, for example.
Instead of a large blank canvas, the content is now divided into a collection of individual blocks that are independent of the content as a whole. In other words, you can edit the HTML of one block without affecting the other blocks.
The editor currently contains more than 16 blocks to add content. You can add more blocks by installing and activating plugins.
How does Gutenberg work?
In a previous article about Gutenberg, I showed you all the necessary things. The new editor works with blocks that you can position under and next to each other. What is especially striking is that the appearance has become quite different.
The interface is quite intuitive, but it is all slightly different than you are used to. A lot different. What is also striking is that the multilingual translation is not finished. This is not a problem for everyone, but especially for the somewhat older group of users. Hopefully, this will be resolved quickly.
On the right side of the screen, you always had options to publish your article, to set categories and tags, etc. That right sidebar is still there today, but it has got a different look.
Once you are writing your blog post, it is noticeable that the button bar at the top is still there, but it has been “undressed”. There are fewer buttons, and some of the options appear on the right. The text has now become, like an image, a ‘block.’ And from each block that you add to your message or page, the settings appear on that right side.
You will also see in the toolbar that options have been added for working with the blocks. Even those are still in English at the moment.
At the top left is a button to add blocks. If you want to include images in your text, you are going to place a new block.
You can easily place and drag the blocks to achieve the desired result. Incidentally, there is quite a lot of criticism from the angle of ‘usability’ of the new Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0. Because if for some reason you can not handle a mouse well, then in WordPress 5 you have a problem with the previous versions.
If we place a new block on behalf of an image, its settings will also appear on the right.
Many different blocks are available as standard in WordPress 5.0. With that, you have come a long way. The expectation is that plugin builders will soon expand the number of possibilities.
Is it nice?
Certainly, and it is also definitely an improvement shortly. But now everyone comes from an existing situation. If you have always worked with simple themes and not too complex plugins, then there are a few problems to be expected. But often that is not the case, and functions seem to be more intertwined than you expected in advance. Pre-testing is therefore essential! More about that later on.
What’s new in WordPress 5.0?
A Stunning New Default Theme
That is not so bad. Because of the impact of Gutenberg, it was decided not to add too many changes what is new in this release in the new Twenty Nineteen theme. The new standard themes always make optimum use of the new WordPress version. And because of the simple design, this theme is also one that will appeal to many. Moreover, it already makes optimal use of the Gutenberg editor.
This is for you as an end user. Developers can indulge in Gutenberg and develop reusable blocks themselves.
Should or shouldn’t you update to WordPress 5.0?
That is the question now. You are curious about the new possibilities, of course. But if you run a business, you do not want to throw your website down. For that reason, you can best work in a copy test environment of your website. You can, for example, run it locally on your own PC / Mac with a tool such as Xampp. If you find that too complex, your provider also often offers possibilities to test for a subdomain. Do not bet that it will ‘fall,’ especially if your website is important to you!
In your test environment, you first ensure that you install the latest versions of all plugins and your theme. Check that everything is still running properly. If so, then you will then update to WordPress 5.0 and do all checks again. Do not just look at the front of your website, but also at the functions in the wp-admin that you use regularly.
Use the time to test. And by the time you’re ready, WordPress 5.01 or 5.02 will undoubtedly be available, and the first mistakes have been removed. In short, start the preparations, but do not be fooled. Yes. You have to switch to WordPress 5.0, but you can take a few weeks to do that, and you do not have to let Christmas ruin it.
What happens to existing content?
Content that was not created with the new editor is placed in a Classic block. This block imitates the old editor and offers users the choice to migrate the content to blocks. However, it is not required to convert content to blocks. Most existing content will not be affected by updating to WordPress 5.0.
Not ready yet for WordPress 5.0 Bebo?
If you are not yet ready for Gutenberg or encounter compatibility issues with themes and plugins, you can install the Classic Editor plugin. This plugin will disable Gutenberg and replace it with the old familiar editor. The WordPress team will in any case continue to support this plug-in until 31 December 2021.