WordPress 5.0 with Gutenberg editor – what you need to know about the new update
According to the latest news from the developers of the popular content management system, the “Gutenberg” update to version 5.0 will be rolled out in April 2018.
The update will involve major changes in the content management system, the user interface and the overall user experience. But before you install the new update and convert your website or blog, there are a few things you should know.
In this article, we preview the Gutenberg update and explain what you need to do before installing it.
What does the Gutenberg update do, and why can it affect your website?
If you’ve worked with WordPress before, you’ll already know the CMS’s characteristic visual/textual editor used to fill pages and articles with content and format them. You can add features or user-defined post types and expand them with plugins to customize your website.
Website customizations such as page layout modifications and functional enhancements can be implemented with plugins and special programming.
With the Gutenberg update, the WordPress developers aim to make these customizations easier. A new style editor will be phased in in three steps to gradually replace the existing editor. The new editor will work in WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode and should enable the implementation of content-rich pages without the need for third-party plugins or page builders. With this major change, WordPress is responding to competing website framework providers such as WIX that are gaining in popularity because they enable users to quickly and easily modify page content. That means smaller websites can be created more easily without special additional features.
What does this mean for my website?
Basically, you can look forward to easier design in the backend. But caution is called for before you click the update button. Precisely because of Gutenberg’s radical and extensive changes, at the moment it’s impossible to say how the behavior of some of your website’s plugins, templates and post types will be affected.
So before you update your website to the new version, make a backup of it, to be on the safe side. It’s also advisable to install the update on a test server first and try out all the features there before implementing them on a live website. Then you can be sure that everything will work and the update will go smoothly.
WordPress is also going to provide an interim plugin with which the Gutenberg update can be temporarily deactivated so the site doesn’t have to be changed right away. But that also means that the new and future features won’t be directly available.
Testing the Gutenberg update
You can already install the Gutenberg plugin now, before the new editor is officially integrated, so that you can be prepared and test the new functions in advance. We recommend that you don’t go live with the plugin on your own website. Instead, set up a test site on a test server or a local server. Then you can test without problems and without affecting your own site. You can also check out Gutenberg online on the “Frontenberg” site and try out the new WYSISWG editor there.
Next steps for WordPress websites
We use WordPress as a CMS for website projects, too, so we’re looking at the changes that will come with the update and what they’ll mean for existing customer websites and future projects. Because of the simplified form of content maintenance that is likely to replace the old page builder models that were available as plugins, we expect it to be easier for users to update their own content.
What’s next? TMC is happy to help!
If you have questions or problems related to the update and the Gutenberg editor’s launch, we’ll be happy to provide support and advice and to help with installing the updates, making the necessary adaptations, and getting you accustomed to the new features.
If you have a maintenance contract with us, we’ll test and implement all the changes that are covered by the contract so that your website will retain the look and feel it had before the update. If you don’t yet have a maintenance contract with us, we’ll be happy to advise you. Just ask us about it.
We’re looking forward to the new Gutenberg editor, which should make WordPress even more user-friendly and make it easier to maintain existing sites. If you want to learn more about the Gutenberg editor, we recommend this YouTube video, which provides a detailed presentation of the new editor: