Gutenberg Arrives with WordPress 5.0

You may have already heard the buzz and maybe even some of the fierce debates. The next major release of WordPress, version 5.0, projected to be released later in 2018, is going to include a new editing experience called “Gutenberg.” Specifically, Gutenberg will replace the editor that you’ve become accustomed to when editing Pages and Posts on your website, TinyMCE. See below:

Classic WordPress Editor - TinyMCE

As the editor is probably where you spend much of your time when updating your site, this will be a pretty big change which is why there has been so much passionate discussion regarding this new feature. Change can be stressful, but Maintainn is here to help make the transition to Gutenberg as smooth as possible. Below are some things we recommend you keep in mind regarding this new feature.

Gutenberg can have compatibility issues with some plugins and themes.

Fortunately, Gutenberg’s arrival has been known for some time, giving plugin and theme developers a chance to test and fix any problems between their products and Gutenberg. One of the best ways to ensure a smooth shift to Gutenberg is to keep your plugins and themes up-to-date, which is Maintainn’s expertise.

Gutenberg is available for testing right now.

Why wait? You can install Gutenberg as a plugin from WordPress.org. If you have a staging version of your website or another test site, you can begin playing around with Gutenberg now to familiarize yourself with it. Don’t have your own site? There is also a live demo provided by WordPress that you can try. The Gutenberg editing experience is quite a bit different than the Classic Editor so it might be a bit jarring. For that reason, it would be advisable to kick the tires before being confronted with a new editor and a looming deadline.

Maintainn has been testing Gutenberg.

At Maintainn, we have been running tests of Gutenberg on local copies of some of our clients’ sites to identify potential problems with installed plugins and themes. We have also been trying to identify some of the questions clients might have with the new interface or, for more serious problems, workarounds. Most of our initial testing has been positive but we definitely have discovered some pitfalls.

What can you do if you run into problems when Gutenberg is activated?

First, don’t panic! Even if the data you are expecting to see is not there, it is most likely still safely stored in the database but is just not being displayed. For example, one feature in WordPress, Custom Fields, are known not to show by default with Gutenberg. If your site utilizes Custom Fields, there is now a plugin available, Custom Fields for Gutenberg, that will bring the display of Custom Fields back on the Gutenberg page. Really, though, the takeaway is that because data isn’t visible, doesn’t mean that the data is gone. It most likely is still safely at home in the database. Still, feel free to contact Maintainn and we can look. And, worst case scenario, since we keep recent backups of our clients’ website, we will be able to retrieve that Custom Field data for you.

What if you hate Gutenberg?

What happens if you decide that you absolutely have to revert back to the Classic Editor? Well, by default, under each post, there is an option to choose to edit using the Classic Editor:

Edit with Classic Editor

There are also plugins like Classic Editor available to hide Gutenberg altogether and revert the editing experience back to pre-Gutenberg. That said, we recommend giving Gutenberg a try as it represents the future direction of WordPress. Embrace the change and benefit from cool, new features and functionality coming with WordPress 5.0.

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