We don't know exactly when, but we know that WordPress 5.0 is coming. And when it does, there's likely to be things that break across WordPress sites worldwide, especially eCommerce sites.
Now, I'm here to tell you not to panic, but rather to prepare. WordPress is changing, but it's changing for the long-term better, and web designers and developers that prepare for it will put businesses in the best position to minimize any negative initial impact on websites upon the changes.
That's our goal.
So, we're preparing, rather than panicking.
Here's how we're starting. And here's what you can do:
1. Set up staging environments: (we recommend you ask your Web Developer about doing this). If you're on a Managed WordPress environment, it's something that a non-technical content manager can do with the push of a button - read here how.
Also, if you're on a Managed WordPress environment, which many of our clients' sites are, you'll be getting automatically updated to WordPress 5.0 core and notified by us of the change as it's happening.
2. Try Gutenberg: Acknowledging and TRYING the most publicized and readily available / publicized change coming in WordPress 5.0 according to the WordPress community - GUTENBERG. We've got a lot on Gutenberg here, including how to install the Gutenberg Plug-in now and see how it may benefit your website and content management.
3. Audit, Update, Consolidate or Remove Unneeded Plug-ins: Acknowledging that there will be required updates to WordPress 5.0 that will be unanticipated. Themes will break, and so will plug-ins. This is why the staging environments are so important, because right now, if you can audit your WordPress environment and minimize the amount of unnecessary plug-ins that exists / consolidate plug-ins / and possibly even contact theme developers and plug-in developers and ask them how they plan on handling a transition to WordPress 5.0, is extremely wise.
We know that some of the leading plug-in WordPress software development companies, like WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, StudioPress and Genesis (owned now by WPEngine) will be ready and have theme and plug-in updates that need to happen immediately upon switching to WordPress 5.0.
4. Contact Your WordPress Theme Developer: This is different from your Web Development Company. Some of the most well known WordPress theme development companies including StudioPress and ElegantThemes; and one of our personal favorites, Kriesi, surely are preparing. Check who developed your theme, and contact them about what a WordPress 5.0 update looks like for them.
And if you need our help with any of this and what a free WordPress Plug-in/Theme Audit in preparation for a WordPress 5.0 update, email email@example.com or fill out the form below.
FYI, shortly after I wrote this, I ran it by my dev teammates. The following was suggested... "If the client tests Gutenberg and the site is broken for any reason, they can go ahead and install + activate the Classic Editor plugin on their production site. By default it will hide all GB functionality from their site and keep them in the existing editor while still retaining other benefits of staying up-to-date."
Hit me up with any questions on digital marketing or digital strategy any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!
Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.