The day WordPress 5.0 becomes the web’s standard content management platform is coming closer. The day the Gutenberg editor becomes the number one visual editor for the majority of websites on the Internet is right around the corner.

As of October 24th, 2018, WordPress released WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 – the first of its kind to include the Gutenberg editor as the default content editor. This makes it a golden opportunity for web developers who rely on WordPress to test the new platform for compatibility and workflow.

What’s New In WordPress 5.0 Beta 1?

The main thing that’s new in WordPress 5.0 (that we know about) is the Gutenberg Editor. This editor stands to completely change nearly every aspect of developing and running a WordPress site. It will change the way users publish posts, and it will change the way developers create pages.

The central unit of this new system is blocked. Instead of typing content, HTML, and CSS code into an anachronistic word-style editor, users will use blocks to denote certain types of content.

These will be the fundamental building blocks (pun intended) of the new system. The text will go in text blocks, videos will go in video blocks, and other embedded media will be accessible through its respective block type – with support for advanced embedding and linking to third-party web services.

For users, this will make the process of creating dynamic, media-rich web content much simpler. For web agencies, it means you will almost certainly need to change, update, or scrap many of those media-related plugins you have been using for years.

Why Web Agencies Need to Test Gutenberg Today

The WordPress platform is modernizing, and that means certain legacy compatibilities won’t function anymore. Normally, this would be just fine, but because the changes to the platform’s architecture are so great, even recent, verified plugins and functionalities may break or behave erratically.

If you are a web developer that relies on custom WordPress plugins, you need to start testing them in the WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 release. If you start now, you can be ready for the full WordPress 5.0 release, scheduled for November 19th.

With the release of the first full beta, you can now begin this process and get yourself acquainted with the new editor and get a rough idea of how it works and how your plugins adapt to the new environment.

What To Do If Gutenberg Breaks Your Websites

I’ll be preparing a more in-depth look at Gutenberg and its effect on various plugins in the near future. For now, web developers have to prepare for dealing with Gutenberg compatibility issues by following these steps:

  1. The Disable Gutenberg plugin can give you an immediate, temporary solution for keeping your websites functional after the official release.
  2. You’ll need to systematically review your plugins in a sandbox environment, and document which ones aren’t working correctly.
  3. Then, you can begin comparing your codebase with Gutenberg’s internal changes to the editor experience.

Disabling Gutenberg may seem like an attractive option, but it’s a stop-loss at best. As the WordPress community charges forward on the new platform, you will have to adapt to it in order to remain relevant as time goes on. This may require testing and rewriting all of your plugins to match the new environment.

Are you ready to incorporate the Gutenberg editor into your WordPress workflow? Schedule a call with us so you can be prepared!