For those of you that use WordPress for your websites and blogs, I am sure you have noticed that it updates regularly and sometimes frequently.  Some debate that so many updates so often can be cumbersome to WordPress users, however, I’ve discovered that is not the case by talking with users of WordPress.

The consistent updates to WordPress and its features make it a better tool to develop webpages with.  

Major changes in the default WordPress editor along with giving it a name, “Gutenberg” have recently been rolled out. The new editor is meant to make updating your site and pages simpler by allowing adding, removing or combining of elements on your pages to make the flow of information about you or your company easier to read and understand. WordPress calls them “blocks”.

Are your plugins compatible with 5.0?

The first question you should ask yourself when you are considering updating to the newest version of WordPress version 5.0 is, are all my plugins compatible?  If they are not, your site may break and/or go down. If you are not sure, make a backup of your files and database before you upgrade or make a copy of your site on a development server and upgrade and test it there.

In some cases, your site may be automatically upgraded without you even knowing about it. Hopefully you have nightly backups set up with your host and if that is the case you can revert it back to the previous version if there are problems.

Do you use a pagebuilder plugin like Elementor, Beaver Builder or Thrive?

We have seen and heard stories of page builder plugins not playing nice with Gutenberg. If you built your site using one of these tools you most likely will not want to switch the default WordPress editor over to Gutenberg since both write short codes that the other won’t recognize.

People were highly concerned about security issues with this latest release of WordPress because it was rolled out so swiftly.  However, they have global teams working to ensure a safe WordPress environment for all users. As of now there are no reported security risks to WordPress or its users.

Knowing when to upgrade or if you can do so safely is an important topic.  We tend to wait for a few minor updates before installing a major update. It gives them a chance to get the bugs worked out.  

How to upgrade safely.

As we mentioned before, the best way to upgrade to a major release of WordPress like 5.0 Gutenberg is to make a backup copy of your site and work on it there. If you are confident that the upgrade will not negatively affect your site, move the updated version live.

Also, check your hosting environment or contact your host and confirm you are running PHP version 7.0 or higher. Your site will be faster and more secure.

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