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How to deal with the WordPress 5.0 update


10th December 2018

On 4th December, Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress would be released on 6th December 2018 - ya, he gave like less than three days notice.

This was unexpected by the WordPress community (it wasn’t expected until 2019), and the reaction is of surprise and also anger (it’s so close to the holidays, almost no notice period, and other concerns about bugs ... and people hate change anyway). WordPress 5.0 is quite a big update comparing to before, and will incorporate Gutenberg.

Below you can find some instructions about what you should do about your website.

How to deal with the WordPress 5.0 update
  1. Update to the latest version of WordPress

    Update your website to WordPress 4.9.8

  2. Update your theme

    Update your theme now (if necessary). Update the parent theme if you are using a child theme.

  3. Update your plugins

    Update all your plugins now. One-by-one is a good idea if you haven't updated in a while. Most popular/larger Plugin makers have been preparing their plugins to be ready for WordPress 5.0.

  4. Install the Classic Editor:

    Get it here: Editor Plugin for WordPress.

  5. Backup

    Backup your website now (Video with instructions using a free plugin here)

  6. When updating to Wordpress 5.0 ...

    From 6th December your website will update to WordPress 5.0 (automatically, if you have it set for automatic updates), or you'll manually update to WordPress 5.0 yourself at a time of your choosing. There could be compatibility issues. This means you need to check your website thoroughly. Specifically;

    • Functionality (e.g. payment forms, contact forms)
    • Layout
    • Plugins functionality

    If you find any of the plugins not working – deactivate them. If you need help – send screen-captures and as much information as possible (e.g. *exactly* what you did, *exactly* what’s not working). Your website may be fine after the update, but it may not, so you need to put aside some time on Friday to check.

More help with the WordPress 5.0 update

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Dorcas Réamonn

Hi, I'm Dorcas. I make websites. I lecture in Digital Marketing and related stuff in the UCD Smurfit School, and also work with the UCD Innovation Academy. I love education, learning and all things creative, which could cover anything from coding to filmography to dancing! I take photos (personal Insta @dorcasz). I do consultancy. I do talks. I've written popular books on WordPress (available here and and here. Visit my personal site here.

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