WP 5.0 Update Feedback

After updating several websites, did I have any problems?
Actually, all went well. I am happy like to report that I did not encounter any problems after updating nine live WordPress websites on five different host providers that I manage.

It’s been about two years since WordPress announced that it would be shipping the Gutenberg Visual Editor into its core files. After many delays, it has finally been released on December 6 as an update in version 5 for all WordPress users.

This is considered a major release and there was much anticipation as to what would happen. Some were excited, many feared their websites would break with this new Block Editor called Gutenberg.

I am not going into what the Gutenberg Editor is, or how it works.
There are tons of articles, posts, and videos on the internet that you can find.

Does everyone need to update to version 5.0 now?

The answer is no you don’t have to.
Many businesses that have an online store may want to wait for a more stable update to be released. As with anything new, there will be bugs that may or may not affect your online store.
Or if your office is not ready for the new Gutenberg Editor, maybe training your users is planned? Of course, you do have the option to still use the Classic Editor if you choose to do so.

Note: Eventually you will need to perform the update.

  • Keeps your website secure: security patches.
  • For compatibility with updated plugins and themes.

Preparation for the Update

I just want to share my experiences of updating several WordPress sites, and how I prepared these websites for the update.

1) Do you have a backup of your website?
This is a no-brainer, you should already have a Current backup stored somewhere (external drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). If not it is imperative that you create one or have someone create a backup for you.

2) Plugins updated
Be sure all your plugins are updated.
There may be a few plugins installed that may not have been updated for 6 months or more. You need to be cautious, as plugin developers who are on top of things have already updated their plugins in preparation for WP 5.0. But you may have a few plugins that may have been abandoned and no longer supported. So you need to be cautious, I suggest three options here:

  1. Disable all plugins before performing the update.
  2. Disable only those plugins that do not have recent updates.
  3. Do not disable any plugins.

After you have installed the WP 5.0 release, you can activate each plugin one at a time.
In my case, all the plugins I use have been updated recently, so I did not deactivate any of the plugins on these sites.

3) Themes updated
Be sure your theme is updated.
If you use a theme from a reputable theme provider, it probably is well supported by the developer and should be
compatible with the 5.0 release. But like plugins, there are old themes and abandoned themes that have not been updated in quite a while. These antiquated themes will most likely have the potential of not working with the new WP release. So you may encounter a problem here. But according to what I read, this new release should not affect these older themes. Only time will tell.
You have several options:

  1. Rebuild website using a modern responsive theme before updating.
  2. Test your luck and see if your old theme will function with the update.
  3. Disregard the update and continue to run your current website as long as you can.
    This is not recommended, because the 5.0 and all the .releases after will incorporate important security bug fixes.

4) If you feel you are ready, click the Upgrade to 5.0 button.

5) Optional:
If you still prefer the older editor, you can download the Classic Editor Plugin from the WP Plugin Repository.

Using the Old Classic Editor

If you are not ready to use the new block style Gutenberg editor, and want to use the original classic editor, you are in luck. The WordPress core team thought about you.
You have two options:
1) Certain themes and plugins like Elegant Themes Divi has the classic editor built in.
You just have to enable it and disable the new page builder in the Divi dashboard.
2) Install the Classic Editor plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository, just like any other plugin.
Install > Activate

Left column select Settings > Writing:

  • Default editor for all users: select Classic Edtor.
  • Allow users to switch editors: either Yes or No.

That should do it, back to the old familiar editor.


WordPress is giving you the option to either use the old editor or the new Gutenberg editor.
The choice is yours.
You have until December 31 2021 to learn this new block editor.
That should be ample time to get use to this new WordPress experience.


Gerald Watanabe

Divi WordPress Theme

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