WordPress 5.0 (“Bebo”) was released December 6th (2018).
This is a major update. It doesn’t install automatically.
In a nutshell, this marks the beginning WordPress.org’s effort to move WordPress into a more user-friendly interface in order to compete with the likes of Wix and Weebly’s WYSIWYG drag-and-drop type editing experience.
The new editor, known as Gutenberg, is block-based. There’s an intro video on the WordPress.com blog:
What does this mean for Genesis users and site owners?
Genesis will be releasing Gutenberg-optimized versions of all their themes. There is a collection available in the Dec 12 2018 release – find them here…
Should we update to WordPress 5.0 Now?
Yes, with one condition, according to the Wordfence blog:
Install the Classic Editor first.
It’s a good idea to stay current with WordPress releases, and it’s possible to transition to the new editor gradually – experimenting with it, using it for some new content as you get your feet wet and get familiar with it.
The WordPress Classic Editor Plugin is necessary to do this. It should be installed before updating WordPress.
With the Classic Editor installed, it’s possible to keep the existing editor to begin with after installing WordPress 5. All existing and new posts default to the classic editor, but you can switch any over to Gutenberg at any time (and switch it back) as you experiment.
The Future – Genesis Themes and Gutenberg Phase 2
Phase 2 will bring the entire site building experience into a drag-and-drop Wix-style site editing experience – but still with WordPress SEO superiority. Major development houses are wondering what to do, really – see this post from StudioPress (builders of Genesis). Hopefully they’ll come up with a strategy that avoids major disruption for their user base. They’re working hard on it.
Widgets, which Genesis relies on for displaying content portals and other elements, will still be supported in Phase 2, activated through the block editor or Customizer. Formerly, building a site with Widgets meant “designing blind,” installing via Dashboard>Appearance>Widgets. Widget portals were defined by theme files, but it appears that with Phase 2, you can put them wherever you can put a block – which is anywhere.
It’s potentially quite exciting – but there is a transition period ahead, with some unknowns to confront.
We’ll do our best to stay informed and communicate going forward.
Meanwhile, it’s good to go ahead and install the Classic Editor and WordPress 5.0 in your next routine update.
Whenever there’s a major WordPress update go out large numbers of plugins also push out updates. As always, it’s good to keep your site on the most recent versions of everything.
Recently we installed Wordfence on all of our sites for security. Hacking activity has increased, with hacks coming in through a variety of mechanisms. After reading this post on How to Hack a WordPress Website and finding out courtesy of Wordfence’s traffic reports how much attacking is going on 24/7, even to our own sites, we sleep better knowing they’re getting automatically blocked for these behavior patterns.
Let me know if you’d like me to take care of the WordPress 5.0 update, install the Classic Editor (and Wordfence, if we haven’t already) and I’ll get back to you.