Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, recently announced that WordPress 5.0 will be released on Thursday, December 6th.
“Based on the stability, testing, and reports on the release candidates for WordPress 5.0 so far, we are now targeting Thursday December 6th for public release and announcement.”
You may ask, what is WordPress 5.0 and will it really make that much of a difference to my website?
As you probably guessed by the name, WordPress 5.0 is an update to the WordPress Content Management System. Not only does it include bug fixes and security patches, but also contains a brand new way to edit content through a new editor called Gutenberg. With a whole new set of features, Gutenberg uses blocks to organize content. Learn all of the details about Gutenberg in our blog post.
How will it affect my website?
As each WordPress website uses different themes and plugins, there isn’t a guarantee that every website will work with the Gutenberg editor. If you’re not ready to use Gutenberg, you can still run the WordPress 5.0 update, but we recommend installing the Classic Editor plugin so none of the original functions will be affected.
If you want to confirm that everything is working before you update, you can certainly use a staging plugin and test WordPress 5.0 on your website before taking it live. Just make sure that auto-updates aren’t enabled on your website.
How do I upgrade to WordPress 5.0?
Before you start the upgrade process to WordPress 5.0 on Thursday, we strongly recommend that you BACKUP YOUR WEBSITE first. A backup will allow you to revert to the previous version of WordPress before 5.0. You can use a plugin to backup your website or login to cPanel and run a full backup.
You will next need to login to your WordPress website and click on the ‘Update” link in the side menu under “Dashboard”. See example.
After running a backup of your website, select the “Update Now” button. Congratulations, you have now successfully upgraded to WordPress 5.0.
Just because WordPress 5.0 is releasing on Thursday, doesn’t mean that you have to update your website immediately. As Matt Mullenweg states, “there’s nothing that says you must update the moment there’s a new version released. You can push the button whenever you’re ready.”