WordPress 5.0 is rolling out this week. It is a major update with a bunch of big changes. Most of these changes are centered around the completely overhauled WordPress page editor. Like premium page builders and some other CMS’s, the WordPress page editor will now use a block based system for building pages. This will provide more flexibility around content layout and provide new, easier ways to insert a wider range of content onto a page.
Blocks which represent different page elements can be arranged on a page through the new page editor. Each block will have its own customisable options. The blocks can be saved to re-use on other pages or on other projects. Essentially, this new way of building pages will rapidly speed up the process of building a website.
With a major update like this comes an increased risk of breaking your website. Here is what you should know to ensure a smooth transition.
Does your website auto-update?
Some hosting providers and managed cloud services like WordPress.org will automatically update your website to WordPress 5.0. If so:
- Check with your hosting provider what date they are likely to update so you can ensure your website is ready.
- Double check your website is being regularly backed up in case you need to jump back to the current version. Most managed hosting providers should be doing this for you automatically.
Changes to WordPress core can also sometimes effect plugins. Given the changes to the WordPress editor, plugins which use page short-codes could be effected.
Check your plugins are WordPress 5.0 compatible to avoid any issues, by going to the plugins page and selecting view details:
Once on the plugin details page, you can view what WordPress versions the plugin is compatible with on the right-hand sidebar.
Bugs & Security Issues
Although WordPress 5.0 has been tested through multiple beta releases, the likelihood of bugs and security issues emerging is significantly higher after a major update. If you want to play it safe, wait at least 1 month before updating. Some managed hosting providers are waiting until late January before rolling out the update.
Take a Backup
When you do decide to update, make sure you take and retain a website backup which you can quickly revert to if anything goes wrong.
Hope you have fun with the new version of WordPress.