“Why can’t you IT guys keep things simple?” said my friend, who’s an entrepreneur and has a digital presence of his business on WordPress. His face looked swollen and shoulders were stiff. As if, a broomstick was holding them up through his sleeves. Apparently, he seemed quite upset. That too, on a holiday while unwinding over small talk at the resort we had put up in. “Elaborate please,” I said while sipping an herbal tea whose flavor lingered on my palate. “WordPress 5.0” He exclaimed. “Oh! So, that’s what has been bothering you!” I chuckled. “Well, you gotta to do what you gotta do,” I said. “I know. But now I need to seek assistance and you have to guide me through this.” He said. And here I am, sitting in the ‘CEO’s corner’ of my workplace, writing this blog for the sake of our friendship.
As a business owner, I believe that no matter which platform you have your website on, it is of vital importance to keep your website up to date. The same applies to WordPress. Well, I know there have been several controversies around WordPress 5.0 update as the authorities had announced several dates and kept postponing them. But finally, it’s here! Also, there are a lot of things you need to know before updating WordPress. Let us try to know what are they and what should you do to ensure that the update is successful. So, here we go!
Classic WordPress Editor Vs Gutenberg
The first choice that you need to make. And perhaps, the most difficult one. (from what the WordPress website owners feel) Some are comfortable with their good old friend, Classic WordPress Editor. However, the new Gutenberg Editor comes with several facilities like different blocks for editing, new visual editor, image options and more.
From what I have heard, Gutenberg makes your editing tasks relatively easy. But if you want to keep bugs at bay, you can go back to using Classic WordPress Editor. Also, if you download the official WordPress Classic Editor plugin, it might help you to handle the Gutenberg bugs.
PHP Version Update
As you all know, PHP scripting language drives WordPress as well as its plugins and themes. So, if you are using an outdated version, you might experience a lot of bugs in the system. WordPress themes and plugins might run with PHP version 5.6 if they are backward compatible. But there’s no guarantee of it. Hence, the best way to deal with this is to use the most compatible version of the PHP software as it will help you keep the bugs at bay.
One of the major benefits of upgrading to the latest PHP version is, it will boost your website’s speed and keep it secure. Remember…PHP 5.6 security updates end in December. And you know the best as to what works for your website. Why not consider upgrading to PHP 7.2?
Upgrade the Plugins
From what I know, Gutenberg will not just change the experience of editing. The plugins and extensions that work with Gutenberg editor will also need to undergo a change. Some companies have already started developing Gutenberg friendly themes and plugins so that WordPress website owners can leverage the maximum out of the editor. Developers create these extensions using short-codes that can interact with the new editor with ease.
If you are currently using some WordPress based plugins, they might undergo some change. You can read more about the upgradation of plugins in this blog. Gutenberg exclusive plugins are soon to come. So, be ready!
Back It Up
If you do not wish to lose all the data, having a back up before upgrading WordPress 5.0 is a must. Also, it is important to have a recent back up of your database and files in case something goes wrong while backing up the data. There are several plugins available in the market that can assist you with taking the back up. In case you are uncomfortable indulging into this task yourself, you can seek help from a company that provides WordPress Development Services.
Staging the Site
This procedure involves creating a copy of your website. Thereafter, you need to make some changes on the copy. You can find companies that will host your staged website on the servers and keep the changes different from your website. WordPress plugins, on the other hand will help you to stage your website in the best way possible.
As the staged website keeps hidden, the search engines will not see it and you will be able to make the changes you need without worrying. In case you are hosting your website on someone else’s server, the changes you make on the copy will not decrease the speed of your website’s working.
The Caching of Plugins
Be Ready to Update
Last but not least, do not freak out. You might feel scared to update to the latest version. Especially, now that the holiday season is close. However, you need to take the matters in your hands and be prepared from first. If you keep yourself prepared and acquaint yourself with the bugs (that you are likely to face) including the ones with Gutenberg Editor and Caching plugins, WordPress 5.0 update will become easy for you.
I hope you liked my perspectives on the new WordPress updates. Stay tuned and keep reading the Biztech blog for more information…
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