Should you update to WordPress 5.0?

Freelance web design Haywards Heath
Freelance Website Designer in Haywards Heath
November 15, 2018

Are you running WordPress on your website? Do you have Automatic updates switched on? Then you need to read this and act now – BIG CHANGES ARE COMING!

If you haven’t heard WordPress 5.0 is launching on the 6th December 2018. Yep, that’s right, today! Don’t panic though, it’s not like we haven’t known about the actual release date for a long time…. Oh wait. Hang on. The clever WP Geeks only told everybody on Tuesday 4th December! Arrrrrrrgh!

Given that 5.0 is a MAJOR update to WordPress, which releases a brand-new version of the page editor - called Gutenberg and debunks the old version of the page editor - which about 172 million websites using WordPress currently. You would have thought they would have given everybody a bit more notice to “be prepared” (dib-dib dob-dob!)

So, what do you need to do?

Firstly, check whether your site will automatically run the update to WordPress 5.0. You will need a developer to look at the settings within your web hosting to find out if Automatic Updates are switched "on" for the core files.

You are looking for this line of code in the wp-config.php file:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

If it is set to false, then they are disabled. If set to true then they are enabled and there are a few decisions to make first before updating to WordPress 5.0:

Is now the right time for your business?

It’s nearly Christmas, do you really want to go and rock the boat of your websites core framework at this time of year. No one (including us!) will want to be “fixing” a website on Christmas Day instead of eating Turkey.

Can your site work with Gutenberg?

Good question! If you don’t know what Gutenberg is yet here’s a simple post from the lovely people at Yoast SEO explaining things - https://yoast.com/what-is-gutenberg/

Basically, if you are using the classic page editor for creating posts or pages, then this update WILL AFFECT YOUR SITE.

Digital Berry sites are built using a page builder, similar to where Gutenberg aspires to be. But certain elements of a site pages – usually the Blog posts, are added via the classic WordPress editor. Now we can switch these out to be built in the page builder relatively quickly. If this is something you would like us to do for you, then get in contact and we can discuss how long it will take to complete for your website.

Do you need it to?

If you think you want WordPress 5.0 straight away or will in the future, then yes consider updating the core files. We would recommend that before you run the updates that you install the “Classic Editor” plugin as protection to your content.

Our advice would be if you can wait, wait.

As with any “new software tech” launch there are always patch updates for issues/bugs/errors/glitches found in the first few weeks of going live. Let the WP Geeks work them all out and create fixes for the rest of us.

We'll be running some test on our website development server over the next few weeks and keep you updated, as always, with our findings.

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Simon Berry
Simon Berry
Follow my thoughts and insights as I post web design and digital marketing content that I think our customers, and future customers, may find interesting. There will be the odd tip, trick and hint thrown in to help grow your business online too!