WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg

Update Dec 6, 2018: All of our WordPress themes have been tested with WordPress 5.0. We've seen no issues so far. Our recommendation is still to wait to update until after the new year, or at least until 5.0.1 is released.

Our WordPress themes were tested with 5.0 under the following conditions:

  1. All recommended plugins for each theme active
  2. All recommended plugins fully updated
  3. Genesis updated to version 2.7.1

WordPress 5.0 is being released on December 6th, 2018. This is a major release with the potential to cause issues on a lot of websites, so in this article we'll go over when and how to update.

Quick Overview

We'll go over all of these points in detail below, but here are the most important things you need to know:

  • Our recommendation is to wait a few weeks before updating to WordPress 5.0.
  • 17th Avenue themes are compatible with Gutenberg as of now, but that could change. We are prepared to update our themes if an issue presents itself in WordPress 5.0.
  • Before you update, upgrade to Genesis 2.7.1 and install the Classic Editor plugin.

What is Gutenberg?

The biggest change coming in the WordPress 5.0 update is an all-new post editor called Gutenberg. Gutenberg drastically changes the way you create and publish blog posts in WordPress. While this change is overall a good thing, it's our opinion (and many others as well) that the new editor is being released hurriedly and in a less-than-perfect state.

Before you update to WordPress 5.0, we highly recommend installing the Classic Editor plugin so you still have the option to use the Classic Editor instead of being forced to use Gutenberg.

Are 17th Avenue themes compatible with Gutenberg?

Yes! 17th Avenue themes are compatible with WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg.

Should I Update?

Ah – the golden question. Our advice is to WAIT. Here's why:

  • This the largest WordPress update in several years. There will be bugs. WordPress developers are already working on bug updates for 5.0 – which means there are things in WordPress 5.0 that aren't working right.
  • One of the biggest concerns with 5.0 is a huge potential for plugin conflicts. Waiting to update gives plugin developers time to evaluate issues and push compatibility updates.

How Long Should I Wait?

It's the holiday season! Don't worry about updating immediately. We are waiting to update our website until after the new year, and that's what we recommend you do as well. It's not worth stressing about a silly WordPress update during Christmas – go enjoy time with your loved ones!

Advice for Updating to 5.0

When you do decide to update, we STRONGLY recommend doing everything listed below:

  1. Update to Genesis 2.7.1 before updating to WordPress 5.0 – SUPER IMPORTANT
  2. Update ALL of your plugins before updating to WordPress 5.0. This will minimize the possibility of a plugin conflict. This is also a good time to review your plugins and remove any that are outdated or that you are no longer using.
  3. Install the Classic Editor plugin so you have the option to use Gutenberg or the Classic Editor, instead of being forced to use Gutenberg.
  4. Make sure that you have a external backup of your website so that you can restore your website to a previous version if WordPress 5.0 causes a problem.
  5. If your hosting company offers a staging site, USE IT! Update your website on a staging site before updating on your actual website.

What to do if 5.0 breaks your site

If you update your site to WordPress 5.0 and notice issues, the first thing you'll want to do is a plugin test. 17th Avenue themes are compatible with WordPress 5.0 AND all of the plugins recommended for each theme (including WooCommerce). If you are experiencing problems after updating, the culprit is almost certainly one of your other plugins.

If you update your site to WordPress 5.0 and get the "white screen of death" – the first thing you'll want to do is restore your site backup (you did make a backup, right!?) From there, make sure all of your plugins are updated if you haven't updated them already. Next, deactivate all of your plugins. Then go ahead and update to WordPress 5.0. Finally, activate each plugin one by one to determine which plugin is causing the problem.

If you have any questions about WordPress 5.0 or Gutenberg, feel free to get in touch!