The new Gutenberg editor in WordPress version 5

Background Information

Gutenberg is the code name of the new editor which has been built into WordPress v5. This has replaced the ‘classic’ editor which itself was based on TinyMCE. WordPress v5 was released into the wild on the 6th December.

The release was not without controversy. Some people believed that the change was not required and the Classic editor should remain. Others believed that the release was rushed and should have been delayed to enable more testing to be done, especially as the release was at the start of the holiday. In fact, the release was delayed several times but, despite this, there were still issues, for example, with Advanced Custom Fields which were due to be fixed in version 5.0.1 scheduled for release two weeks after the initial release.

The Community Speaks

Sections of the WordPress community were publicly vocal in their opinions on Gutenberg.

Yoast, the writers of the excellent SEO plugin voiced their concern around the release date;

Advanced Custom Fields were equally forthright. They had compatibility issues with Gutenberg.

However, on the other side of the coin, Elementor, the Page Builder publicly declared their full support for Gutenberg.

Should I upgrade?

The question everyone is asking is “Should I upgrade to v5?”. In our opnion, undoubtedly, Yes. The only decision to be made is when. If you are running a site with minimal customisation, then the answer is now. Any other sites, then wait until at least v5.0.1 has been released in a couple of weeks.

As with any IT change, make sure that you follow good practise; test in a separate environment and backup before you implement any change.

Remember, that when you upgrade, your site content is converted to Classic blocks to preserve the formatting. You have to go through the page and convert them to the new Gutenberg blocks.

Final Thoughts

As with any change, you are never going to please everyone. A change of this scale is always going to have issues, especially given the size of the WordPress ecosystem. WordPress v5 is being rapidly adopted. Issues will be quickly identified and fixed. 

At Lens Digital, we are excited about the opportunities that WordPress v5 brings and are looking forward to exploring the full power of Gutenberg.

And yes, this site is built on WordPress v5 and uses the new Twenty Nineteen theme.

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