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Should You Update Your Website to WordPress Gutenberg 5.0?

It will surely go down as one of the defining and most enduring images of 2018. Elon Musk’s gorgeous, red Tesla Roadster gliding serenely across the backdrop of the almost impossibly blue orb of the earth with the space-suited dummy nicknamed “Starman” at the wheel. The now legendary feat was the culmination of the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, the commercial spacecraft that Musk hopes will take humankind to Mars. To say that Musk’s breathtakingly spectacular technological achievement was behind schedule would be something of an understatement. Originally slated for 2013, numerous logistical and technical hurdles, failed attempts and funding crises hit before everything finally clicked into place. As it turned out, 2013 was just too early, and the technology wasn’t ready for such an ambitious endeavour.


WordPress 101

You may have noticed that the web and social media have been abuzz with chatter about the recent release of WordPress 5.0, also known as WordPress Gutenberg, after the reportedly fabulous new editing interface. For the uninitiated, WordPress is arguably the world’s leading website publishing platform. It comprises a simple, intuitive CMS (Content Management System) that allows unparalleled ease and flexibility in creating and editing websites. The great strength of WordPress is that it is open source, meaning that any web developer (including us!) can contribute to its functionality. WordPress relies on the global army of keyboard warriors to churn out stunning design themes and functional plug-ins that interface with the underlying framework to piece together a website that looks and performs exactly the way it should.


What Do Elon Musk & WordPress Have in Common?

WordPress, like everyone’s favourite sustainable vehicle maker and Mars coloniser – Musk, was way too aggressive in their predictions of when their enterprises would be primed for action. Both made wildly optimistic announcements about the progress of their technologies and readiness for use. Both blew their self-imposed deadlines, big-time.

Where they differ is how they responded to these setbacks. Musk knew that failure was not an option, and the stakes were higher. Five long years of feasting hugely on humble pie later, he launched that baby to unprecedented success. WordPress, by contrast, did not have the same level of patience. They rushed ahead with their launch knowing full well that it was not ready. Pandemonium ensued.


So, What’s Wrong with WordPress 5.0 Gutenberg?

Remember that army of plug-in creating developers we introduced you to earlier? Well, when WordPress releases an update, all the delightful little bits of software they created need to updated as well. Running an out-of-date plug-in can cause your website to crash, content to be deleted or a host of other nasty outcomes you’d rather avoid. Gutenberg is a “Milestone Update”, developer speak for a significant overhaul, or kinda a big deal.

With updates of this magnitude, there is a strong likelihood that plug-ins you’re running on your website right now will be incompatible with the new version. Many of the big-name plug-ins like Yoast and WooCommerce have teams of dedicated egg-heads that work around the clock to ensure their products are up-to-date. However, over 80% of plug-ins available for WordPress are released by smaller developers. These guys are currently scrambling to adapt their products to the new reality. Many developers estimate that it may take them weeks, or even months to get their products ready. The outcome for you is WordPress management headaches that you definitely do not need in your life.


Should You Update to WordPress Gutenberg?

The answer is simple: unless there is a seriously pressing reason for you to update, don’t. We strongly recommend that all WordPress users wait until plug-in developers have caught up and thoroughly tested their software on the new version before taking the plunge. In response to the global outpouring of self-righteous vitriol, WordPress has promised a subsequent, more stable release in January. At the very least you wait until that rolls out. Meanwhile, your current version of WordPress will work perfectly fine with no detrimental impact on your site. We promise! As painful as those annoying update prompts in your dashboard are, resist the temptation for now.


Jalapeno to the Rescue!

If all this is confusing you, or you’re worried that you’ve already jumped the gun, you’re certainly not alone. Managing CMS updates such as this requires a strong knowledge of CMS systems. A working knowledge of HTML and CSS is advisable, especially if anything goes wrong. Bottom line is: Don’t try this at home, folks. Fortunately, the digital superheroes at Jalapeno Creative are ready to swoop in and save the day.


Professional WordPress Management

Jalapeno’s CMS Management service takes the work and the stress off your shoulders. With our developers on the job, you can relax and get on with the business of running your business. We offer 3 levels of service to cater for any website:

  • Basic Brochure Site
  • Basic E-Commerce Site
  • Tailored Solutions for more complex websites

All WordPress Management packages include: CMS and plug-in updates, checking and updating code, patches and other site improvements, monthly backups, downtime monitoring and more. Best of all, they are incredibly affordable, especially when weighed against the time and effort to do it yourself and the potential costs when something inevitably goes wrong. If you’ve already installed 5.0, or it’s auto-installed, and you’re experiencing issues, fear not! We’ll get you back up and running and rigorously test all your plug-ins for compatibility.

Of course, updating to WordPress Gutenberg is included in any CMS Management plan. Contact us today and let us handle it for you. We can’t claim pyrotechnics on the scale of Elon Musk and the Falcon Heavy, but we will help launch your WordPress website into the stratosphere with our professional, affordable WordPress Management plans.

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