Switching to WordPress 5.0

Switching to WordPress 5.0

The fifth version of WordPress, WordPress 5.0, was rolled out in December of 2018 and there was a lot of buzz around it for quite some time. The main cause of that was this update brought more to the table than previous major updates.

Normally, a lot of people don’t rush their updates, especially if it means that familiar things will change. So if you still haven’t installed the update (maybe you are concerned with needing to learn a new way to manage your website) we’ll try to go through the main changes that WordPress 5.0 offers. Hopefully this will make your decision to upgrade a bit easier.

A new editor, themes and plugins

The most important and the most noticeable change about WordPress 5.0 is the new block-based editor. Gutenberg brings a somewhat different experience with editing your website. I’m sure you’ll find the new block-based approach very interesting and comfortable. Dividing the content of the web page into blocks makes it much easier to add all kinds of different kinds of content to a page.

You might be concerned about how this would change the WordPress you’ve grown to love. Don’t panic. Worst case scenario, you can simply switch to the good old Classic editor. WordPress developers are still supporting it. Additionally, your old content won’t change if you use the new editor. All of the old content would be in one “Classic” block but if you want to transform it into the new format you can do that too.

Another good question you might ask is: “How would it affect my plugins and themes?”

The switch to block-based editor actually changes quite a lot. Fortunately, the most popular themes and plugins have already been updated to support Gutenberg. In fact some of the developers have even switched to the “Gutenberg-first” strategy.

All this to say, it is at least worth a try. If you don’t like the changes then you can always switch back to the old editor. However, considering the fact that the support of Gutenberg is only going to grow, it might be a good idea to start learning the new way. Sooner rather than later.

Some notably fun changes in WordPress 5.0

One cool thing that would most definitely make your life easier is making reusable content blocks. You can save a specific block and use it in other posts!

Another cool thing Gutenberg does is that it makes it easier to play with themes. You don’t need to have a developer background to do it! So now you can try to customise your site more to your liking. If that is really what you are into or not at least you now have that option.

By the way, the new default WordPress theme called Twenty Nineteen is also pretty nice. It is minimalistic and would be great for people who are looking forward to starting their blog or a website for a small business. It’s very versatile and has a responsive design.

The changes to the development processes

There are also quite a few big developer-related changes in WordPress 5.0. One of them is including react.js into the core of WordPress.

The new editor is a Javascript-based editor and it uses React to build the blocks (as in block-based editor). Of course, you do not need to know or learn Javascript or even React for that matter. Just keep in mind that it opens quite a range of possibilities to make your site/blog truly special.

In addition, there are already a lot of standard blocks written by the WordPress developers. You can use and reuse them as you please. Of course they are completely customizable. True to WordPress’s nature. This gives you the chances to not only create something unique but to make it easy to build your own website.

Lastly, the developers have added some new things to the REST API which makes the sites even more flexible and give more instruments to manipulate it.

Learn more about that here.

Conclusion

All in all, the changes WordPress 5.0 brings aren’t mandatory. You can use the good old Classic editor and learn the benefits of Gutenberg at the same time. You can try the changes and implement them at your own pace.

A major number of popular WordPress themes and plugins have released updates to support the new editor and the new WordPress features. If you still are uncertain about some critical plugins, you can always check if they support WordPress 5.0. The old and new issues are being polished just as you read this article.

If you are still wondering if you should switch to the new editor, you definitely should start to learn how to use it. Some developers have already switched to the new editor so the days of the old one will eventually be numbered.

Have fun exploring the new features and let’s look out for what other interesting changes WordPress developers will deliver in the future. As usual we will be here to discuss them with you so be sure to subscribe to our blog.

Tell us your experience with the new WordPress. Leave a comment below or contact us.


Content creator for Easy Dzyne, majoring in linguistics, blog writing and translation. In 2015, I discovered the world of programming languages and shortly after that started writing for technical blogs. Currently, I am learning Python and dream to work in the sphere of artificial intelligence with hopes of combining programming skills with my knowledge in linguistics.

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