How to deal with the WordPress 5.0 update

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.

  • Update to the latest version of WordPress

Update your website to WordPress 4.9.8

  • Update your theme

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

  • 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.

  • Install the Classic Editor:

Get it here: Editor Plugin for WordPress.

  • Backup

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

  • 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

Q. Will Gutenberg effect my current pagebuilder?

A. It shouldn’t, but it might. However the most popular pagebuilders have been preparing for this update for ages. For example, this video was released by SiteOrigin (makers of SiteOrigin Page Builder) back in February:

Q. Do I really need to backup my website first?

A. Well, hopefully you won’t need the backup, but as a general rule, you should always ensure that someone (e.g. your host, your web developer, you) is backing up your website. I’m an engineer. I work with technology. I don’t trust technology. I’m going to be backing up all my sites in case something weird happens. So, I would say, yes, you should backup./p>

If you don’t already know how to backup your website, there are loads of different ways. Here is one way, using a free plugin called Backwpup:

Q. Can I test WordPress 5.0 in advance?

A. Yes! WordPress itself, in a post from Gary Prendergast on 4th December 2018, recommends this plugin: WordPress Beta Tester.

Q. What should I do if I find I have an incompatible plugin?

A. Install and activate this plugin (ideally before the update, but you could install afterwards): Classic Editor Plugin for WordPress

Q. Is the community really annoyed about this update?

A. Yes. They are annoyed about the short-notice and the timing. Personally, I agree with Yoast here:

WordPress 101, an authority on teaching WordPress, cancelled their trip to WordCamp US this week (despite them being sponsors) to prepare for the update. I think WordPress has treated their community appallingly.

Q. I don’t want to use Gutenberg, I prefer the old editor

A. Install and activate this plugin: Classic Editor Plugin for WordPress. This will deactivate Gutenberg and the editor will look exactly as before, with the ‘old’ editor that you are used to.

What do you think? Share in the comments below!

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