Like Impact, 2018 means that WordPress is celebrating its 15th birthday and on this special anniversary it has introduced an exciting new block based content editing experience.
Say hello to WordPress 5.0
In the WordPress community it has been a long time coming. It has been on the tips of our tongues at ever WordCamp or meet up but today the day is finally here – WordPress 5.0 has landed.
For everyone else… this may not actually get you that excited, but if you’re a lover of using WordPress, then you will want to see what the future of the content editing experience has to offer.
Project Gutenberg aka WordPress 5.0
There has been lots of chatter about whether WordPress have rushed the launch of the new editing experience, however when is anything really ready?! One of our core beliefs is ‘Get it up, get it going’ or as Rob Moore has more recently put it in his book “Start Now, Get Perfect Later’.
The web is constantly evolving and by focusing on a ‘everything has to be perfect’ mentality – we will all be left behind very quickly. The team at WordPress know this and have done an amazing job of shipping the new release just in time for Christmas 🙂 Ho Ho Ho.
With thanks to over 420 people who have actively contributed to this release, it simply shows the power and size of the WordPress community and the amount of effort that has gone into this release.
So What’s So Amazing?!
So now that we’ve praised their hard work, let’s see what they’ve been working so hard on.
Introducing a completely new editing experience
WordPress has had a text based editor since, we have been building websites with WordPress in 2008. The WYSIWYG editor is fairly limited and in recent years, most WordPress websites when launched have so many modifications or plugins installed that pretty much override this editing experience – it was slowly becoming redundant.
Creating A Modern Day Builder
Users just cannot seem to get enough of rich media. Videos, imagery, audio or embeds – the internet has changed and now WordPress has developed a block based editing experience that can help users express themselves visually.
New features already built in
The new experience allows users to add full width imagery, cover photos, text over images, add colour overlays to photos, add columns to a page, videos and buttons all from the new editor.
For content editors and bloggers this is a dream, you can quickly create a page with little effort and no longer bound by the restrictions of a existing page template.
You’ve not become a designer overnight, let’s not get ahead of ourselves 🙂
Just because you can customise the layout on the page, doesn’t mean you might be able to build the full website yourself – you might, but the introduction of the new editor is not going to rid the world of website designers – but when new websites are built using 5.0, editing and adding new pages will be far easier and provide many more possibilities for layouts on pages like blog posts.
Users will be able to publish an even quicker follow up to an event with a video or even a gallery showcasing the event. As the new builder gains popularity who knows what new add-ons will become available.
When should you update?
For security and performance we always advise our customers to update to the latest version once their website’s plugins or theme provide a compatible update.
So don’t go guns blazing, just yet. Most websites where they haven’t had a block based editing experience, may use a third party plugin in its place. Updating to the latest version of WordPress may cause some compatibility issues, so for the time being you can search for a plugin called the Classic Editor. It is a Free plugin and built by the WordPress community, by installing the plugin, when updating to WordPress 5.0 this will override the new editor, avoiding any issues if they were to rise.
This approach is ideal for anyone unsure on whether the new editor will cause any issues with their current website or plugins. The classic editor is being supported until 2021, so you will have plenty of time to test the water.
We have installing the classic editor on the websites we support, where we can slowly introduce clients to the new experience and avoid any issues until we are certain client’s sites won’t be affected.
If you are interested in testing the new experience for yourself (without updating) take a test drive using the Gutenberg builder here.
Alternatively any new website that we look to build from 2019 we will be looking to adopt the new WordPress 5.0 editing experience – so we are firmly looking forward to see what we can do with the new tools available.