What does the Gutenberg Editor in Wordpress mean for my website?


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If you are a Wordpress user thinking of updating from version 4.9.8 to 5.0, you may want to read this. Unless of course, you like to get caught napping.

Not to be overly dramatic, but I want to give you an update on what's happening right now with your Wordpress site. It's a bit technical, but I'll do my best to keep it from becoming crazy robot speak.


The new Gutenberg New Page screen (ultra-clean).

The first thing to note is that Wordpress launched version 5.0 containing a new editor called Gutenberg. Most well-kept sites are using version 4.9.8 or 4.9.9, so we know the likelihood you'll update is good. Unfortunately, if you are not properly prepared, version 5.0 with Gutenberg is not going to be good news.

The silver lining: Gutenberg is ultra-modern.

It features tools that permit on-page structural editing. Very powerful. In fact, so powerful that we expect it to break previous sites. The reason for this is that the editor is not completely compatible with many of the tools web developers use to create side-bars and the other layout components found in most sites.

Page-builders and formatting tools such as Advanced Custom Fields (ACF has an update - read their blog on the subject too) are most adversely affected.  Makers of SEO tools as well, like Yoast, are concerned. These tools can be found in almost all WordPress websites, which is why your Wordpress site – and pretty well every other WordPress site – may be so greatly impacted.

When a User updates to 5.0 (which is standard practice for security and stability reasons) to the new editor, nothing happens until they make an edit. Then things begin to break.

The not-so-silver-lining, Instant Crisis.

The editor has been launched into the Wordpress Core very quickly, catching the developer community and clients a bit off-guard. Without an upgrade path, things break.

We'd like to avoid your site breaking. So, please don't update to version 5.0 until you are ready to make the switch. You will need to rebuild your site or migrate it to another platform. It's great news for agencies. Not so great for clients.

TEMPORARY FIX: Classic Editor Plugin   LINK
It'll buy you some time.

We'd like to get ahead of the crisis by helping you rebuild your Wordpress site from the ground up to utilize Gutenberg properly (and avoid the breaking bit), or help you switch to one of the other great platforms out there like HubSpot or SquareSpace. That way, you will have the most modern website possible, thwarting the risk of a down site and the potential for lost business.


The original Gutenberg PlugIn prompt (update at your peril if not prepared).

One catch with moving into Gutenberg is that it is not well documented (as a Wordpress user, you are probably used to that). Thus, if you opt to update to Gutenberg, know that deployment might feel a bit slow compared to the other options... while the majority of development techniques and strategies remain in effect, there's a lot of new learning as well, for developers and for users too.

Before I sign off, I'd like to put a little bug in your ear that the team at KAYAK is working to complete a pair of Gutenberg-friendly Wordpress Themes, specifically designed for lead-generation and consultative businesses. Stay tuned for the release of the new themes.


In the meantime, let's work to make your next website the most powerful ever. Please feel free to ask me about the options. I'll do my best to address them.

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Topics: website design, hubspot partner