WordPress will be launching version 5.0 of their content management software later this summer. The update, named Gutenberg, will bring a lot of improvements to the popular website management software, but may also negatively impact many websites. To be clear, most of the Gutenberg updates will make editing and managing your website easier. However, we think you need to be prepared.
Like previous core software revisions, we recommend taking precautions before updating to Gutenberg:
Make a backup
While many website hosts provide backup services, make sure your website is backed up once more before making any updates.
Check plugin compatibility
Your current WordPress administrative interface will list all of the plugins associated with your website. We recommend checking them against the Gutenberg Plugin Compatibility Database. Even some of the top ranking plugins (e.g. Jet Pack) are not fully compatible yet.
Create a staging version for your website
This one might need to involve your website developer, but with many website hosts you can duplicate your website to create a testing environment called a “staging site.” This staging site is isolated from your “live” website and can be tested with Gutenberg. Once you’ve tested the website you can take the updated website live.
Just wait. Seriously. You can disable the automatic updates for many managed hosts so the new version of WordPress isn’t applied to your website. Once the bugs have been ironed out, move ahead with your normal updating process.
Shut it off
One of the nice additions to the update is the ability to keep the classic administrative interface. While it may not help with plugin compatibility, it may help on keeping things more secure. As soon as we know more about this feature, we’ll share it.
When Will Gutenberg Launch?
Gutenberg is in the final testing stages with the WordPress community. Officially, sometime in 2018. While that is completely NOT helpful for most small business owners, we will keep an ear to the ground. We hope to have several weeks notice to inform our clients. Our estimate is late this summer. We recommend not implementing any Gutenberg-focused changes yet as the final version and feature list aren’t complete. No sense in updating things twice.
Resources About Gutenberg for WordPress
Easy to read introduction to the new visual editing platform. Lists pros and cons of the update as well as some tips for use.
The new WordPress update has a lot of rumors flying around. This great article by the developers of Gutenberg debunk many of the top rumors. It might be a bit more technical, but it will help weed out a lot of the doomsday talk.
Straight from the source. This great FAQ section answers basic (and not so basic) questions, but also has an extensive overview of what will be in Gutenberg when it arrives.
Is Website Maintenance Getting Too Much?
We understand that running a business or non-profit organization AND managing the website can be a lot. Let’s have a conversation about the cost benefit of having Signalfire’s team manage your WordPress website for you.
Monthly fees for running or validating backups, updating plugins, and even performing content updates are quite affordable. Enlist creative marketing guides and outfitters to ensure your website experience is everything you need it to be.