WordPress 5.0 release with Gutenberg will break things. Be ready

The coming release of WordPress 5.0 is going to break websites that haven’t prepared. That’s because WordPress is replacing its ageing internal engine with a state-of-the-art way of doing things. Plugins and themes that rely on the old way are in danger of malfunctioning and breaking. Everything needs to be tested.

I’ve done this on this site, for clients, and can do it for your WordPress site too. Contact me for more information.

The first version of Gutenberg will have a new default editor. It’s way better than the classic editor. They are already plugins for it that add new functionality. For the time being, you will be able to use the classic editor. However, updated internal code in WordPress that supports the new editor will also impact themes and plugins that are old, badly, written, or need updates. I’ve been using the Gutenberg editor here since May with no issues, and love it. It is vastly more powerful and also easier to use.

Kinsta has a thorough explanation of what’s coming. Get ready now.

Gutenberg is the default and only editor on fresh WordPress 5.0 installations. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to install the Classic Editor plugin if you want. This will allow you to continue using it alongside the new Gutenberg editor. We’ll have another post later this week on a complete walkthrough on how to keep using the Classic Editor.

However, fair warning, the Classic Editor will probably not be supported forever. This is really a temporary solution. So we highly recommend diving into Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0 sooner than later.

The other downside to this is that most (not all) WordPress theme and plugins have to be rewritten to work with Gutenberg. Mainly those that interact with the WordPress editor. Yoast SEO is a great example of a WordPress plugin developer that jumped on board really quick! They pushed out their first Gutenberg update back in July 2017, and have been releasing new ones ever since. Even though they were first worried about the accessibility of Gutenberg.

No matter how you look it, due to the fact that WordPress is pushing all of these new languages and technologies, sites, when upgraded to WordPress 5.0, are simply going to break. There is no preventing it. Unless every single plugin and theme you’re using has been fully updated, which in most cases it hasn’t, you might be in for a world of hurt when it comes to troubleshooting.