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WordPress 5.0 – What’s new?

Guide
by Sean Thornley Agency Partnership Manager

Easily the most popular content management system available, WordPress is an open-source website development platform that currently powers around 19 million websites. With the goal release date being November this year, WordPress 5.0 is the latest version to be rolled out. With the introduction of the Gutenberg Editor, the new update aims to make WordPress a more reliable and accessible platform, giving users greater control over the design of pages and posts.

 

The Gutenberg Editor – something to be excited about

Truly a game changer, Gutenberg is the new default editor named after Johannes Gutenberg (the inventor of a printing press with movable type over 500 years ago). This is a new concept for content creation and editing which involves building blocks of different kinds of content (cover image, quote, lists, etc.) that can then be easily moved or deleted (similarly to within Medium) to create your page. The goal of the Gutenberg Editor is to make creating and editing content easier than it has been, particularly for those that have fewer programming skills. To try this out before the update is released just visit their site and download the plugin.

Features

  • As mentioned above, the Gutenberg editor is an exciting new feature optimises for direct manipulation of the visual presentation of the content. This will be the default editor in WordPress 5.0 but it is possible to continue using the Classic Editor if you prefer by installing a plugin.
  • New default theme ‘Twenty Nineteen’ which truly takes advantage of the features of the new block editor as well as updates to the existing themes.
  • Security update
  • Front-end editor
  • Mobile optimisation
  • Crop background image

 

Benefits

  • The update will make WordPress a more flexible content management system. The new visual interface that could make current visual composer plugins redundant (that many current website owners use and pay for on a subscription basis)
  • Easier for people with less programming skills to arrange elements on a page and provides a more visual understanding of how the content will appear to website visitors.
  • Easier to create more engaging web pages without a lot of custom html and CSS coding
  • More writing space on Gutenberg than the current visual editor, particularly on smaller screens
  • Enables distraction-free writing by allowing you to remove the right hand sidebar
  • Works well on mobile

 

Preparation is key

This is a big change and the transition may not be easy, so there are several key areas that you need to check to ensure that your products are compatible with the new WP version.

  • Plugin compatibility is understandably a top concern among many users given that a large number of websites require plugins in order to function in the desired way. Website owners need to switch to the latest build of WordPress as soon as possible and ensure that they update any plugins and themes so that they are compatible with the new editor
  • Start developing for the new version of your site as soon as the build becomes available and spend time testing each page and plugin before the site goes live to fix potential issues early and avoid releasing a glitchy site.
  • While waiting for the anticipated update to finally be released, you can set up a test site or use an existing test site to try out the new version with WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 

 

Need help with development? Our team works on projects of any budget or timescale so don’t hesitate to get in touch!