Finally the most awaited WordPress 5.0 is out after the release of a series of Betas and RCs. The WordPress community has been anxiously awaiting for the WordPress 5.0 mainly because of Gutenberg, the new block editor, and other new exciting feature like Twenty Nineteen theme.
WordPressers who have been playing around with the Beta and RC versions can now upgrade to the full version from their WordPress Dashboard or download the zip file available on wordpress.org.
A Glimpse of WordPress 5.0:
Table of Contents
- How to Upgrade to WordPress 5.0?
- WordPress 5.0 Speed Analysis
- Speed Test
- WordPress Gutenberg – A New Block Editor
- Features of Gutenberg Editor
- WordPress 5.0 Features
- Security Updates
- Front-end Editor
- Mobile Optimization
- Crop Background Image
- New WordPress Theme – Twenty Nineteen
- Better Default Themes
- Users’ Perspective
- Not So Good
I’m looking forward to the WordPress 5.0 release. I believe Gutenberg is a necessary change for the future of WordPress. From a new user point of view, it definitely makes WordPress more modern. Like anything else, we must not forget that WordPress that we see today is a product of iterative development, and we must give Gutenberg an honest chance.
– Syed Balkhi of Awesome Motive
How to Upgrade to WordPress 5.0?
For Cloudways Customers
If you are a Cloudways customer, you can upgrade to WordPress 5.0 safely by using our staging feature.
Navigate to your site’s Application Management window from your Cloudways platform and create WordPress staging environment as shown in the below GIF:
You can instantly test out the WordPress 5.0 on Cloudways platform.
Simply create an account and log in to the Cloudways Platform, launch a server with WordPress installed in just a few clicks.
From the WordPress Dashboard navigate to Updates and click on ‘Update Now’ button to upgrade to WordPress 5.0.
New users can also test their existing sites on WordPress 5.0 using Cloudways migrator plugin. After migrating to Cloudways, simply log into your WordPress dashboard and update it to WordPress 5.0.
NOTE: If you are not testing WordPress 5.0 on the Cloudways Platform’s Staging Environment , remember to take a full backup of your live site before upgrading to the latest version. Once the update finishes, run a compatibility test to see if all the plugins and themes are compatible with the WordPress 5.0.
WordPress 5.0 Speed Analysis
I tested WordPress 5.0 on Cloudways Platform to see if there is any performance difference between 5.0 and its predecessor 4.9.8.
Note: To remove any performance bias, I used a previously launched server without any optimization in order to minimize impact on the test results.
Test Environment: 1GB Linode server with a data center located in Freemont, CA USA.
WordPress 4.9.8 with Twenty Seventeen Theme
WordPress 5.0 with Twenty Nineteen Theme
The result clearly shows that WordPress 5.0 with Twenty Nineteen theme performed better than version 4.9.8.
Another outcome of the result is the fact the WordPress 5.0 is compatible with the Cloudways platform, as indicated by a decreased load time and better performance grade.
WordPress Gutenberg – The New Block Editor
Automattic introduced WordPress Gutenberg Editor in 2017 and since then, it has created a buzz in the WordPress Community.
I can judge the importance of WordPress Gutenberg from the invitation that appears in WordPress 4.9.x Dashboard.
It is an arms-wide-open invitation for WordPress users to test out Gutenberg Editor, though they still have the option of using the Classic Editor.
The main feature of WP 5.0 is Gutenberg and OceanWP is compatible with it, I will do some changes and everything will be good 🙂
I think Gutenberg can be really great, at first it will be a little difficult to use as we will not be familiar with it but soon everyone will like it and it can become really amazing to create custom blocks and probably other things.
– Nicolas of OceanWP
Gutenberg is the default editor in WordPress 5.0. However, if you are reluctant to use the new editor, you may still use the classic editor plugin. If you have no immediate plans to upgrade to WordPress 5.0 and would like to test out the Gutenberg, you need to install the Gutenberg plugin.
To experience the new editor, navigate to Posts → Add New and you will see a very different layout from the one you have been using in the previous versions.
Features of Gutenberg Editor
The right tray contains two tabs: Document and Block.
- Document: This contains all the major options of Classic Editor for publishing, choosing categories and uploading featured images, etc.
- Block: On the other hand, is the new feature for many users. However, if you have used any WordPress page builder, you can easily relate to Gutenberg Blocks.
The blocks are nothing but predefined templates for a specific section in the post. For example, the Table Block lets you add a table and define the number of rows and columns.
The good part is that users can easily configure the styling and table settings from the Block settings.
As part of our release of Elementor Blocks for Gutenberg, I did a lot of tests using Gutenberg. It’s really easy and simple to write rich blog posts with it, and as a marketer dealing with content all the time I really liked it. Much better than the previous editor.
– Ben Pines of Elementor
WordPress Gutenberg Editor also comes with text styling and formatting options, so that users can define the size, text color and background color of the text.
Live HTML Preview
Live HTML preview is a great new feature of Gutenberg editor that simplifies the use of HTML code within the body of the posts and the pages. This custom block lets users add custom HTML into the post body (where needed) and preview it right inside the editor.
Other key features include:
- Built-in buttons which can be dragged and dropped anywhere inside the post
- A separate block to embed social profiles
- Word and block count
- New alignment options via a specific block.
- Table of contents and anchor support
All new enhanced user experience, right?
Although Gutenberg is rich with new and useful features, it is still one of the biggest controversies in the WordPress community. The users are reluctant to switch for one reason or another, but it will not be wrong to say that the future of WordPress lies with the Gutenberg Editor.
Features of WordPress 5.0
Here are some of the most important features of WordPress 5.0
- Different default editor font can be selected for different locale.
- Image and Video blocks can be transformed into an embed block.
- A complete draft of the post is saved when ‘preview’ button is clicked.
- Localized DateTimePicker component.
- wp-image-### CSS class has been added to enable the usage of srcset and size attributes for images.
- All meta boxes are saved when ‘preview’ button is hit.
- Only the updated meta is saved through a recursive approach of tracking post meta in Block API to avoid saving the default value for each registered meta.
Since WordPress security has always been an important topic for the community, WordPress Core Team is actively working on improving the core security. They also recommend hosting services which offer SSL certificates, two-factor-authentication, and application-level password protection.
WordPressers use front-end editors (or page builders) extensively. However, with WordPress 5.0, users can take advantage of built-in lightweight and fast front-end editor, which inherits it’s functionality from the Customizer framework. It is great for basic customization and formatting but lacks advanced features that popular page builders offer (often for a price).
Improved Mobile Optimization
With WordPress 5.0, WordPress Core Team has emphasized on improving the mobile experience for all users. In this context, the new Twenty Nineteen Theme is fully responsive and all the previous default themes have been made responsive as well. This initiative is aimed at improving page load speed of default themes on mobile devices, ensuring higher SERP rankings for these websites.
Background Image Cropping
Users can crop the background images before going live, which significantly reduces the time it used to take in cropping manually and then uploading.
New WordPress Theme – Twenty Nineteen
Finally, I have the new and enhanced WordPress default theme waiting to be activated. This theme is Gutenberg Editor-ready.
Twenty Nineteen is a lightweight theme and has a modern minimalist look suitable for professional blogs and websites. It is completely responsive and users can customize it as per their requirements.
Super excited that a better editor is finally coming in the WordPress core, so noncoders can build a beautiful website themselves without having to contact developers for every small change. I’m just a bit concerned the way core team has set aggressive deadlines as this a HUGE update scheduled to be released just before holidays. I really wish they would reconsider the release date to Jan 2019.
As for our products, we have been on top of Gutenberg since it was announced. We have already released a Gutenberg integration in the Astra theme!
– Sujay Pawar of Astra
Better Default Themes
WordPress has released a new theme but it did not stop them from improving the older ones. This is great news for users as they can hope for updates to these themes as well. The themes from Twenty Seventeen until Twenty Ten will get updates for Gutenberg Editor support.
Whenever there is a new major release from WordPress, the Community has mixed reactions. WordPress 5.0 was no different as it received more attention due to Gutenberg, the new block editor.
It is essential to know what people think about WordPress 5.0 and the key elements behind their opinions.
I’m personally really excited for Gutenberg. I think it’s a step in the right direction and will allow users to create complex layouts without the need for a page builder.
GeneratePress 2.2 is currently in public testing and has full support for Gutenberg.
I worry that they’re rushing the release, but in the end you need to have faith that they’re going to get it right and do the right thing for the community/internet.
– Tom Usborne of GeneratePress
And Not So Good
This one is my favorite!
WordPress 5.0 is undoubtedly a major update, but right now, it is hard to say if it will gain the same popularity as it’s predecessors? It is too early for a definitive answer and the decision of the community is still pending.
In this coverage of the latest version, I have provided a bird’s eye view of all the new WordPress 5.0 features. Keep in mind that this is just out and many features and options will continue to evolve in the coming days. I highly recommend the readers to test the new features of WordPress 5.0 themselves and report any bugs to support, so that the WordPress Core Team can fix them.
Ibad Ur Rehman is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways. He likes to explore latest open-source technologies and to interact with different communities. In his free time he likes to read, watch a series or fly his favorite Cessna 172SP in X Plane 10 flight simulator.
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