WordPress upgrade to 5.0 due December 6

Newest version of WordPress will come out on Thursday.
YES, THIS WEEK. December 6, 2018

That means the Gutenberg content editor will be installed with WordPress 5.0.
In the big picture of life, you MUST upgrade to WP 5.0. Future security and bug fixes will depend on your having the latest version of the program.

But update now? I say not Yet!

I’m going to side with YOAST about the need to update. NOT YET!

gutenberg text editorI’d wait until at least January to update your WordPress core files (that is, to take the update).

With any new release there are bugs that get cleaned up pretty quickly. So there’s no need to rush.

This is a very busy season for many people. If not religious holidays then, at least, year-end business activities. No reason to add to the headache needlessly.

Then what? Test everything

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, ALL YOUR PLUGINS must be checked to see if they are compatible with Gutenberg, the new content editing screen.

Testing should be done on a staging site. (That’s a mirror of your site, but not at your URL address). It could be done on a local environment (That’s the whole website loaded and running on a computer but not on the internet). You don’t want to do it on your live site in case something breaks.

Look, maybe nothing will happen. If you aren’t using any fancy code in CONTENT, you’re probably going to be ok.  But, if you’re using any plugins that use short codes, or put widgets on pages, I just don’t know.

It’s my understanding that if you don’t ever open existing content once Gutenberg is loaded, no bad things will happen. But how can you be sure about that? (And there is a good chance that I dreamed that!  So don’t trust its voracity.)

This will not affect your theme! Just the way you write your content.

If you want to get a leg up on what Gutenberg looks like and how it works, there is an excellent course by my friend Joe Cassabona over at CreaterCourses.com  Introduction to Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0 (And yes, I get a small fee for recommending it! AND it’s worth it anyway!)
Today (12/4/2018) it’s only $24.

Options

If you must go a head with the upgrade before you’ve tested and backed up everything, here are two suggestions for plugins that may help you maintain the status quo.

  •  Classic Editor Plugin that should work to maintain your current process.
  • Gutenberg Ramp  that allows you to set Gutenberg to run on only pages or only posts or specific post types (although being too granular probably requires a bit of coding.)

Both those plugins are available in the WordPress Repository, the safest place to get your plugins.

WordCamp Baltimore 2018 Beginner Track

Session 1: WordPress Definitions from WordCamp Baltimore 2018

Session 2: Tour through the Admin Sidebar (see below)

Session 3: Gutenberg The new WordPress Editor (Eileen Violini)

Session: 4 Launching your very first WordPress website
Covers the basics of security and optimizing your WordPress website for the search engine. (Neha Gupta Goyal)

Session 5: Adding and Managing Your Images in WordPress
(or How Come This Doesn’t Look Right?) (Kim White)

Session 6: Plugins and Widgets, Oh My! (see below)


Session 2: Tour through the Admin Sidebar


Session 6: Plugins and Widgets, Oh My!

WordPress for Novices:
10ish Tips to Make WordPress Your Friend
Lehigh Valley WordCamp 2018

This is an updated version of my talk “Make WordPress Your Friend!”
Hope you learn stuff. I’d hate it if it weren’t useful.

Not sure why the embed version of this isn’t working.. but you can download the file here
Also.. I mentioned a plugin for making notes on your plugin list:: Plugin Notes Plus

Gutenberg vs Classic Editor

gutenberg text editorContent Editing in WordPress:
Now and …INTO the FUTURE

Comparing the existing (now called Classic) editor with the soon to be released Gutenberg editor
WordCamp Lehigh Valley WordCamp 2018

There are lots of differences. Existing users will have to learn the changes. New users seem to like it as it is.

Thanks to all the participants in Carlisle who helped me get clear on several details of the talk.

[slideshare id=110592030&doc=comparingwithgutenberglvpa2018-180819213547]

Obvious login name? Be careful!

password123Maybe it’s not just a good password that matters

You’ve certainly been hearing everywhere about the need for strong passwords.

According to RandomPassword.com, “password” is most common password. Their list of the top 10,000 most common passwords is pretty interesting reading. “Dragon” is number 7 above “baseball” and “football” at numbers 9 and 10! (Go figure THAT!?)

I like using four random words — that I could speak — substituting some other characters and capitals. But some sites remind us that you have to use a different password on each site.

There are strong password generators included with password manager services like lastpass.com, which helps you keep track of all those dots and dashes and numbers etc. (It’s a great service. I pay the $12 a year to help make sure that it doesn’t just go away!)

But  my new worry is highlighted by this fact: The WordPress plugin Wordfence just alerted me to several locked-out users trying to gain access to a website that I manage.

The attempted user names were NOT “admin” which is a common choice. The default login for the first user of a WordPress site used to be “admin.”  It might still be, but DON’T USE IT!

The new threat here was pieces of the words included in the domain name.

If the website domain name were, for example, dotsanddashes.com, some baddie might be looking for “dots” or “dashes” as a login name.

It also gives pause to using your first name as a login when you also show that as the author’s name on pages or posts.

So if you must use your name, be doubly sure that your passwords are unique!

WordCamp Lancaster 2016

Such a lot to learn at this great event!

If you’ve  never been, start looking for a WordCamp near you now.
Here are the slides from my jam packed session for new WordPress users in Lancaster, March 6

We covered:

  1. How to Evaluate Plugins and Themes
  2. A Little About SEO
  3. How To Manage All Kinds of Media: Audio and Image Galleries
  4. Getting help