Thinking Of Upgrading to WordPress 5.0? You May Want to Wait 0

WordPress Gutenberg (5.0) is out and it’s a very exciting update. This is a radical overhaul of the post editor in the WordPress CMS dashboard. It brings about massive and significant changes to the format, empowering users to create content in new blocks. These blocks help us dictate how content is visualized on the front end, making the creation and consumption process a lot more user friendly.

That said, because 5.0 is such a radical change it’s highly likely you have themes and/or plugins that are not yet ready for it. Meaning, it could very well break your site. I’ll talk about that here shortly, but first I want to share a video that describes the changes in WordPress with 5.0.

Very exciting. BUT… when the update first came out in a sort of beta form via a plugin, a lot of prominent WordPress ninjas hated it. And reviews of the plugin were terrible.

Just check out what this developer has to say on the topic and you’ll see what I mean.

In my view WordPress bit off too much here. They know there are incredible plugins out there like Visual Bakery and many other block base page builders and they’re trying to build a lot of that functionality into the CMS itself. The problem here is that millions of WordPress users have their infrastructure built on plugins like Visual Bakery (this very site uses it) and we’re not going to start from scratch, nor are we going to be able to easily convert everything from one builder to another.

There have been multiple reports of problems with builders such as Divy, Elementor, Brizy and yes… even visual bakery. In fact, I tested this very site on a dev environment with 5.0 and formatting completely got chopped up.

Even the WordPress Accessibility Team ripped Gutenberg over the size of the leap it took, the challenges it creates and the problems they’re seeing. (Read the full report here)

In addition to what I’ve already stated about compatibility issues with themes and plugins, the learning curve for users is incredibly steep. Via the accessibility team report:

All authors and editors will be affected by these changes. Administrators responsible for deciding whether Gutenberg is appropriate for their sites need to be informed that it may pose unacceptable barriers for their authors.

Ouch. That’s brutal.

I’m sure the WordPress team will make some big corrections here and hopefully it’s soon. But based on what we know and see right now, it’s not going to be soon enough.

With all of that said, update at your own risk. For us here at EpicNomad.Life, we’re in no hurry to update and will stick with 4.9. It’s a great CMS and we don’t really have any complaints about it. It wasn’t broken, in our view, and didn’t need to be fixed. Gutenberg is a great concept, but it’s just so radical of a change that it’s currently causing more problems than it allegedly “fixes.”

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Eric Odom is Director of Programming for EPIC Nomad TV. A roamer since 9 months before he was born, Eric has circled the globe many times over and now lives as a full time digital nomad. Passionate about web architecture, thrives in visual media creation and loves the thrill of digital communications. Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks and Cubs.