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WordPress 5.0: Let’s Delve into the Features and User Experience

Updated on  31st October

8 Min Read
WordPress 5.0
Reading Time: 8 minutes

The WordPress community is anxiously awaiting for the WordPress 5.0 because of Gutenberg, the new block editor, and other new exciting feature like Twenty Nineteen theme. WordPress 5.0 Beta is already out and is available for testing either through WordPress Beta Tester plugin or through the zip file available for download.

The expected release date of WordPress 5.0 is November 19, 2018. Until then, knock yourselves out with the Beta version and test out the new features — or sit back and read through this article as I intend to cover everything that WordPress version 5.0 has to offer.

Table of Contents

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

WordPress 5.0 Speed Analysis

I tested WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 on Cloudways Platform to see if there is any performance difference between 5.0 and its predecessor 4.9.8.

Let us see, how we did that!

First, I logged in to Cloudways Platform and launched a server and a WordPress application.

Next, go to WordPress Application.

wordpress application

Now, access the wp-admin dashboard by using the credentials provided under Access Details.

access details

From the WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins → Add New → search for WordPress Beta Tester → click the Install Now button, and then Activate the plugin.

add plugin

After that, navigate to Updates and click on the Update Now button to initiate the WordPress 5.0 update process.

Note: As WordPress recommends, please create a backup of your database and files as the update is still unstable and can cause issues. As always, remember not to try this out at a live website.

Cloudways users can easily create a WordPress staging environment of their live website.

Speed Test

Note: For testing purposes, I used the previously launched server without optimization to remove any performance boost that can affect the results.

WordPress 4.9.8 with Twenty Seventeen Theme

wordpress 4.9.8

WordPress 5.0 Features with Twenty Nineteen Theme

The result clearly shows that WordPress version 5.0 with Twenty Nineteen theme performed better as compared to version 4.9.8. Another outcome of the result is the fact the version 5.0 is compatible with the Cloudways platform, as indicated by decreased load time and better performance grade.

The loading time is reduced from 1.43s to 807ms and the number of requests came down from 18 to 11. However, we can improve it further by applying optimization techniques.

WordPress Gutenberg – A 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 that appears 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 features. If you are not using version 5.0 Beta 1, then you need to install the Gutenberg plugin.

A user can install the plugin using the invitation screen (as shown earlier) or by installing from WordPress plugins repository.

After that, navigate to PostsAdd New to experience WordPress Gutenberg Editor.

Features of Gutenberg Editor

The right tray contains two tabs: Document and Block.

The Document includes the options of Classic Editor for publishing, choosing categories and uploading featured images, etc.

The Block, on the other hand, is a new feature for users who have used any WordPress page builder can easily relate to Gutenberg Blocks.

The blocks are nothing but pre-defined templates for a specific section in your post. For example, the Table Block lets you add a table and define the number of rows and columns.

We can configure styling and table settings from 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

Texting Styling

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 (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.
  • Block to embed social profiles
  • Word and block count
  • New alignment options
  • via 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 is 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 in Gutenberg Editor.

Features of WordPress 5.0

Security Updates

Since security has always been an important discussion topic, 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.

WordPress introduced a new set of plugins and users can try them to fight data breaches and cyber threats more effectively.

Front-end Editor

WordPressers use front-end editors (or page builders) extensively and Visual Composer is one of an example.

However, with WordPress version 5.0, users can take advantage of built-in lightweight and fast front-end editor, which inherited the functionality from the Customizer framework. It is great for basic customization and formatting but lacks advanced features as compared to Visual Composer.

Improved Mobile Optimization

With WordPress 5.0, WordPress Core Team has emphasized on improving 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 a 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 minimalistic 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 non coders can build 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. It is good news for users as they will get updates for the previous version.

The themes from Twenty Seventeen until Twenty Ten will get updates for Gutenberg Editor support.

Users’ Perspective

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 the new block editor, Gutenberg.

It is essential to know what people think about WordPress 5.0 and what the key elements behind their opinion are.

Pros

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

Cons

This one is my favorite!

Final Thoughts!

WordPress 5.0 Beta 1 is just an update, but it is hard to say, will it succeed in gaining the same popularity as predecessors? Will it continue the WordPress legacy looking at the mixed reaction from the community?

In this coverage of WordPress 5.0 Beta, I have tried to provide a bird’s eye view of all the new features of the version. Keep in mind that this is a beta version and many features and options will continue to evolve as the final RC1 is released. It is highly recommended to test the Beta and report any bugs to support, so that the WordPress Core Team can fix them in Beta 2.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Ibad Ur Rehman

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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