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How the Gutenberg upgrade (WordPress 5.0) will affect your website

WordPress hosts about 75 million of the estimated 172 million active websites in the world. This means that as they push out changes it can have a huge effect on the web in general. On November 29th, 2018 WordPress is changing how content can be edited. These changes are usually referred to as Gutenberg and are as monumental as you’d expect from the name. The existing editor, TinyMCE, which first appeared in WordPress 2.0 in late 2005 is being replaced by a new editor competently named Gutenberg.

Will you be forced to use Gutenberg?

The short answer is no, you can continue using the same classic editor that you are used to if you would like, but Gutenberg will be the default going forward. Gutenberg being the default means that the one that is actively maintained and improved, and we are all well aware of the dangers of using an unpatched WordPress.

To continue using the classic editor you’ll have to install the Classic Editor Plugin here that can be download https://wordpress.org/plugins/classic-editor/ . This plugin will disable Gutenberg thus that you’ll be able to keep using the editor you’re comfortable with.

How will your Plugins and themes will be affected?

Rebuilding the editor means that any plugins or themes manipulating the editor experience will need to be modified to work with Gutenberg. There are currently about 50,000 plugins and 2500 free themes listed in the WordPress.org repository. Many of those will not be Gutenberg compatible when the new editor is released as part of the WordPress core. This is a recipe for disaster. You need to test your site or install the classic editor plugin today.

What can I do to ensure my site is safe?

The easiest way is to join the 700,000 + other sites and setup a staging site and install the Gutenberg plugin here:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/gutenberg/

Once its installed-on staging browse the website and make sure everything looks ok on the frontend, then you can login to the dashboard and create a few test posts and pages.

If your website breaks take the normal steps you would when debugging WordPress. First deactivate all your plugins except Gutenberg, if things are still not working correctly its you theme. To test it just switch to the default WordPress Theme and check again.

If this doesn’t fix it, then Activate each plugin one by one and check for errors between each activation. If the error returns after activating a plugin, chances are it’s that plugin causing the conflict with Gutenberg. You can deactivate the plugin to continue using Gutenberg without it or You can also submit a ticket to the plugin creator, letting them know that it doesn’t work with Gutenberg on your website.

If you find issues in Gutenberg and happen to use GitHub you can report the issues here.

https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg

What happens to my existing content?

All the content you currently have will be placed automatically into “HTML block. That means that all your content should continue showing up just like it has in the past. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just ignore Gutenberg it still needs to be tested quickly (before the end of the month)

What Should I do?

If you aren’t ready for the new editor, it’s possible your website could go down when the changes are pushed out. To avoid this and the support challenges that will come with it. The first and easiest step is to install the classic editor plugin. Once this is done you need to go ahead bit the bullet and create a staging site and test to ensure everything is Gutenberg compatible.

If you don’t want to do this yourself we offer a Gutenberg Certification for $199 here

REFERENCES

Release date for Gutenberg

https://gutenbergtimes.com/mullenweg-on-gutenberg-roll-out-plan/

Gutenberg Plugin for staging

https://wordpress.org/plugins/gutenberg/

Gutenberg Repo

https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg