Gutenberg or the next version of WordPress is coming within the next few months. The new features will be amazing. The biggest change will be to the visual editor and how it works and appears.
I think most Content Creators using WordPress will like the enhancements. I tried out a version of Gutenberg last fall on some test sites to see how it would work.
While I could play around with the new editor, it basically did not work with the themes and some plugins I was using. That is totally understandable, since theme and plugin developers had yet to write code updates to meet the new WordPress requirements.
Which brings me to why I wrote this post…
The Need to Update Your Website’s Theme and Plugins on a regular basis.
Theme Developers and Plugin Developers will constantly update their code based on security, new features and WordPress core updates. This keeps your site functioning well and less capable of being hacked into.
If you are not already under my WordPress Freedom™ program, you may wish to check it out. I can take the worry out of your business operations regarding your website.
You can also continue as you are, and if you are disciplined to do monthly backups and updates, Great, continue to do so.
If you have not performed any updates in a while, get to it ASAP. I cannot stress it enough how important it is that you update your website and have backups of your site when it works to fall back on. I always backup first then do an update. I do them one at a time in case something breaks, I can recover easier and find a new plugin to do the same thing.
When Gutenberg Hits
I will send out another email to let you know when this update is launched as many websites have WordPress automatically update itself. Websites that are on managed WordPress hosting sites like Flywheel, do not have anything to be too concerned, as the managed website hosting partners test the update before installing it on their servers and your site. STILL, you need to have the other elements – THEMES and PLUGINS – updated.
You can check out your site to make sure it is still working. If not, you should be able to roll back the WordPress Install to version 4.9.5 (the current version as of 4.8.2018) and then figure out what needs to be updated to restored your site.
Those clients on using my WordPress Freedom program will not have to worry, as I will take care of everything to make sure this will be a smooth transition. The only caveat here is if you have a custom coded theme, and I am informing those client that do as it may be a time for a website refresh with a new theme.
Abandoned Plugins / Out-of-Date Themes
Sometimes plugins are abandoned by their developers. They have not done any updates in years. This can pose a serious risk for security reasons and also functionality with a new version of WordPress. I do monitor this for my program clients and will replace these plugins with new ones that perform a similar function.
Out-of-Date Themes are another issue. Some clients I work with had different creatives developed their site. Those sites may have themes installed they used, that may not have the current version installed. This typically happens when the theme is installed and the user account information is not added to the theme settings to allow for updates. I have see that too on current active clients and I will let them know they may need to buy the theme so they can have the user credentials under their digital assets. Or maybe they can contact the original developer to see if they can obtain those credentials.
In either case of abandoned plugins or out-of-date themes, business owners need to get these issues address before the update as well. Once the WordPress update hits, your site may break.
Again, clients under my WordPress Freedom program do not have to be concerned as you will take priority when it comes to any impact on the next version of WordPress, the Gutenberg update. Also Clients using website tools that are not on WordPress, do not have to be concerned; like SquareSpace or Drupal.