Will you be updating next week? Do not automatically update if WordPress suggests updating to the latest version. Later more about why you have to wait, but it’s finally time for the long awaited serious update of WordPress. The most important change is the Gutenberg editor. Many people use the standard editor to write articles and create pages. If you use a page builder like Beaver Builder, Divi Builder, UX builder, WPBakery Page Builder or any other, then you need to pay extra attention next week.
Why this update?
WordPress still has the largest share on the internet as CMS. The company behind WordPress Automattic competes with companies that also offer CMSs such as Wix and Squarespace. These companies have had a much larger growth in recent years. The ways in which you make a webshop or website within these systems are more of this time. That’s why WordPress has to evolve. In addition, Drupal and Joomla are still widely used. We are already a bit in love with Craft. This is a paid CMS.
Automattic and the open source WordPress are separated, but Automattic earns money with services built around WordPress. With this update Automattic wants to keep her market share and to tap new users because they often choose these other companies. Some improvements that the update provides:
- More focus on an intuitive way of building sites
- Improvements to the WordPress Rest API
- Create custom themes more easily
- Make Page Builders less important
Do not rush with an update to WordPress 5.0
The launch date of WordPress 5.0 has been pushed up several times. It is now scheduled for December 6th. Our most important tip is to wait with updating! Even though theme and plug-in developers have extensively tested with Gutenberg and the new back-end, there will always be bugs that will pop up next week. We have already played with this version but that does not mean that you have to be a public early adapter next week.
There are many accessibility problems. Problems with standard workflows which people have worked with for years. There is even content loss. WordPress developers make every effort to maintain compatibility with previous versions. The changes in this version are too big to make sure that this is really possible.
Big theme and plug-in developers like Yoast and Woocommerce have the possibilities to finish new versions of their themes or plug-ins on time. Currently the bulk of plug-ins are still being made by small developers. They often do not have the time and resources to be in time for this update. Many WordPress webshops or website have several of these types of themes or plug-ins installed. Waiting with updating is definately the advice until all installed themes and plug-ins are compatible with version 5.0.
In any case, wait until January to update. There are already several patch releases planned. This makes WordPress 5.0 probably a lot more stable as of January.
How do you update safely?
Test your webshop or website in a test environment first. Never update a live version of your webshop or website. If something goes wrong, it can have negative effects that can be difficult to repair. If your webshop or website works properly after the test update, you can update the live version.
Always start with making a backup. We use UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin. We also advise you to download your webshop or website from the server so you also have a hard copy. Do not forget to save a backup of your database locally. This way you can always restore everything manually.
Then install the Classic Editor plug-in so you can always go back to the classic WordPress editor.
Check if your theme and plug-ins are compatible with WordPress 5.0. If you are not sure, we advise you to contact the developers of your themes and plug-ins. They know whether they already support Gutenberg or when they will do so.
If so, you could update to the latest version but still expect some bugs and glitches.
Conclusion: wait with updating until January and check if your installed theme and plug-ins are all compatible with WordPress 5.0
Contact us if you want us to update WordPress for you. We are happy to help and are always open for an interview. We answer your questions and check how we can realize this update without downtime.
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A series about WordPress
It’s important for us to inform and give tips about WordPress. Soon you will read a new article in this series.