What WordPress 5.0 means for businesses
If you are among the millions of WordPress users, you should take note that big changes are coming with the release of WordPress 5.0. What WordPress 5.0 means for businesses. For many long-time WordPress users, the overall core has not changed much over the last few years. The TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor has been a tool used day in and day out by users to create content and posts. Users also add and manage products into eCommerce catalogs, and design home pages.
WordPress 5.0 has one mission in mind: to overhaul the way people use WordPress. And adopt the visual editing technique that has become more popular over the last few years. Through Gutenberg, WordPress hopes to do just that.
What is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg takes the spotlight in the new release of WordPress 5.0. It is the new post editor that will replace the classic WYSIWYG editor in WordPress. Gutenberg will help users create posts and pages through the use of blocks.
The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has ‘blocks’ to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or ‘mystery meat’ embed discovery.” ~ WordPress.org
Blocks and visual editing have been a staple in the WordPress community when it comes to taking a website from design to development, as well as managing content and products. These visual editors use “blocks” to help users build content-rich home pages and structure content in a way that is visually appealing. Currently, third-party plugins are required to use blocks. Gutenberg will bring that functionality to WordPress and make it easier than ever to create awesome-looking, content-rich pages.
What are blocks?
As described by WordPress, blocks are “the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage.” Blocks are made up of various content formats including text, images, plugins and videos.
Blocks can be arranged in many different ways by simply moving them around to the desired placement on a page. By using blocks, businesses will be able to put content at the forefront of design and make it easy for developers, designers and new WordPress users to make their websites look visually appealing without having an extensive coding background.
How will this impact eCommerce websites?
WordPress 5.0 is no small change, and the WordPress community is still exploring the different ways this will affect various types of websites. WooCommerce, one of the most popular eCommerce plugins for WordPress, is still experimenting with Gutenberg to fully understand the impact. Adding products into WordPress could be easier with the new release, although it might take some getting used to.
Other eCommerce plugins will also need to take an in-depth look and make the necessary changes to ensure that integration into WordPress 5.0 is seamless and improved.
eCommerce integration will be simplified through the use of blocks. The user can simply build the page through the use of blocks and insert all the pieces they would like added to the page.
Pros for eCommerce
Blocks are a promising feature of WordPress 5.0 that appear to make the management of products and home page design easier for eCommerce sites. It offers a way to structure content and build block product templates without having to code. This improved process can result in lower development and maintenance costs.
eCommerce sites are complex and not necessarily one-size-fits-all. The way in which products are added and managed will change, meaning this will require time to train and educate in-house teams. Many themes and plugins might also not be compatible when WordPress 5.0 first releases. More extensive testing will be needed for eCommerce sites as they are much more complex than other sites.
Things to consider
eCommerce site owners should be preparing their teams and planning for this change to truly understand how this new release will affect their businesses before fully upgrading their sites to WordPress 5.0.
We recommend you use a sandbox environment to test your site by installing the beta version of Gutenberg test the new features. Check out the WordPress Beta Testing Handbook for guidance in running a successful beta test of WordPress 5.0. You can download the Gutenberg plugin to start testing things out. You should also reference documentation from your eCommerce plugin developer to see how they are planning for this change.
When will WordPress 5.0 launch?
WordPress has not yet given an official release date other than mid-2018. When the update is available, you should expect a notification within the WordPress admin updates page. In the meantime, you can test-drive Gutenberg and see the upcoming changes for yourself.
Ready to try Gutenberg?
- Install a beta version of Gutenberg (sandbox environment recommended).
- Installed by accident? Need to revert to the classic editor? You can download it here.
- Don’t want to install Gutenberg yet? Try this live demo to test out the block functionality.
- Want more official Gutenberg information? Find out about more about Gutenberg.
Start preparing for WordPress 5.0
The upcoming launch of WordPress 5.0 and blocks is the change that WordPress needs to ensure it remains competitive in the ever-growing website-creation industry. The introduction of Gutenberg sounds scary, but I think we can all agree that it’s necessary and will positively change the way websites are built in the future.
The best thing you can do in preparation of the release is to start testing the beta release and explore how this will change has the ability to revolutionize every aspect of WordPress websites — from design and development, to creating and structuring content, and even the way you add and manage products on an eCommerce website.