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!
I’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.
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.