WordPress 5.0 is nearly here!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year you will have heard all about this.
WordPress 5.0 is here and the release is imminent. But is it a good or bad thing?

Due for release on the 6th December, its certainly one of the most talked about updates in recent memory. This is all to do with the inclusion of a new text editor named Gutenberg. The new Gutenberg is set to replace the old text editor that we are all so familiar with.
It is a new block style editor that allows you more control over the editing experience. It allows for better design features in the layout, especially compared to the classic text editor.
You can see all of the features here
Having used Gutenberg in test mode, it’s really not that bad. Certainly not worth all the negative reviews from disgruntled users  However many people are adopting the “It wasn’t broke so why fix it” attitude.

So what to do if you are not sure? First off, Gutenberg has not been sprung by surprise. This has been in the pipeline for a very very long time. This has given plugin developers the time to work with it and make sure it is compatible with their products. But… we all know there are plenty of unsupported plugins out there and nobody can be 100% sure if they will work or not with WordPress 5.0.

If like many people you would like to continue using the old editor then do the following. Simply download the  Classic Editor Plugin before updating to 5.0.

The one thing I would question is the timing of the release. Many hosts auto-update WordPress and this is a time when many developers are not far off some Xmas holidays. There will be a lot of broken sites in the next few days. Most developers and agencies will have put the appropriate plans in place. Many people will not know and find out the hard way.

What to do?

The first thing I would advise is to disable the Auto Update feature in your hosts. This is not an option with every host but it is worth checking out. In most cases, you can disable in the Cpanel. If in doubt, contact the customer support.
It is always worth holding off on major updates for a few days. This is just a precaution in case anything on your site breaks. Just to clarify if the update is to patch a security flaw then that is a completely different matter.
For now, just hold off. You often see a flurry of minor updates from plugin and theme developers in the aftermath of a major WordPress release. This is simply fixing minor incompatibilities that have arisen.

The next step is to backup your website. This should be a regular process but just in case you may have forgotten, take a backup of everything! I like to use ManageWP for this. You can also use All in One migration or any of the other numerous backup tools.

All of the above is only advice and should not be taken as fact. There is every chance that the update will run smoothly for you, especially if you are using reputable themes and plugins. However its always wise to proceed with caution. I always advise to wait a few days before proceeding with updates, it just gives theme and plugin developers time to iron out any wrinkles. I will certainly be holding tough anyway!

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