WordPress 5 – 2019 and Beyond

WordPress 5 – 2019 and Beyond

2018 was a year full of change!  It was the inevitable launch of WordPress 5.0. That launch came with the new and controversial editor, named Gutenberg, being integrated into core.  This left many users deeply concerned and  divided a once cohesive community. Amidst a background of intense opposition and uncertainty, WordPress 5.0 launched on December 6th, 2018.

WordPress 5 and Beyond

WordPress 5 has been a big shift. It has caused numerous issues for WordPress users, those with customized sites, and has also received poor reviews. Issues surrounding backwards compatibility and accessibility remain.

Our initial view of WordPress 5.0 was not favorable. We wrote about the issues in two previous posts:

I am not a fan of the new Gutenberg editor, and doubt our clients will be either.  However, WordPress  continues to be a solid platform for development. We believe the current editor (TinyMCE),  now termed the Classic Editor, will be available for many years ahead. With the Classic Editor enabled, we will continue to support our clients moving to WordPress 5.0.

We still think the new Gutenberg editor needs much improvement, and will be difficult for the vast majority of people to use. We do not recommend using the new editor, as it will save content in a different format.

Both the Classic Editor and Disable Gutenberg plugins will keep the new editor disabled. This will  allow clients to use the current editor, while being able to upgrade to the latest versions of WordPress. We think this is a best scenario approach.

Upgrading to WordPress 5

With the Classic Editor Plugin installed and activated, no adverse effects were found when upgrading sites to WordPress 5.0.1. or 5.0.2. In fact, we found WordPress 5 sites with PHP versions 7.1  or 7.2 run much faster!

Therefore, we no longer see a need to hold off upgrading. As long as clients have the Classic Editor or Disable Gutenberg plugin installed, upgrading should not be an issue.

However, we strongly suggest clients run full backups before upgrading – just in case! Web242 already provides daily server and cPanel backups and can restore if needed. Our Fully Managed clients also have offsite backups.

Clients on Fully Managed Plans

We have already installed and activated the Classic Editor Plugin for all clients on our Fully Managed WordPress and Managed Hosting Plans.

By January 15th, 2019, we will be upgrading all our managed clients to the latest WordPress 5 and PHP versions. We are taking extra care and testing each site as we update.

Performance with PHP 7.1 and 7.2 

PHP versions 7.1 and 7.2 have now been installed on the server.

Moving forward we will no longer support older PHP versions prior to PHP 5.6.

The latest PHP versions are not only more secure. They will also help to run newer versions of WordPress and other software more efficiently.

We found running WordPress 5 on client sites,  with PHP 7.0 or 7.1installed, to be a significant improvement in speed.  PHP 7.3 is not yet available, but is noted to run sites even faster.

We bench-marked using WP Super Cache on WordPress 5.0.2.  Our web242.com site ran 200% faster with PHP 7.2 than with 7.0. For example, WP Super Cache took 1.2 seconds to generate the page with PHP 7.0. But with PHP 7.2 that went down to 0.6 seconds.

Web242 is available to help anyone with the shift towards WordPress 5.  Just reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

Our best wishes in 2019!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Zaffy

    Hello and happy new year.
    I am trying to understand the logic behind Gutenberg and I fail to do so.
    There is a reason that 1/3 of the sites globally are made with WordPress, it was user friendly. And Cheap.
    Why oh why to ignore 70millions of sites just to be “innovative” ?
    Why to introduce something like Gutenberg which is not compatible with the simplicity the average non-tech-savvy user needs?
    Why to impose it ? Why to force millions of site owners into costs ? Why they do not care?
    Do these people feel any kind of responsibility towards the millions of users?
    This is not a social platform like Facebook, where you change the interface but people will finally adjust.
    We are talking about businesses, mostly small businesses, that are affected with a cost.
    Why they are so arrogant? “we will move on like or not” is their answer in the thousands of negatives reviews.
    What were/are they thinking?

    I only used WP for small sites, I never trusted free-source for serious sites and it seems I was right.
    Now I will have to find something similar for those clients of mine who cannot afford expensive solutions.
    Cause, let’s not forget the Classic Editor will be alive till 2021.

    All empires fall from within, and it seems WordPress is no exception. Oh well… nothing is irreplaceable.

    1. Avrom

      Most of use cannot wrap our heads around Gutenberg either! It could have just been an option in the current TinyMCE editor, and people would have been fine with that approach. No.1 rule in business is not to change a winning product.

      It’s actaully around 740 million sites world-wide.

      The Classic Editor will likely be supported for some time, but there is the Disable Gutenberg plugin as well, which looks like it will be supported indefinitely. See my other post on how to disable Gutenberg:

      There is also ClassicPress. But it’s relatively new and I need to see more of the established plugins and page-builders onboard with them, before I would consider switching:


      1. Zaffy

        740?? wow!!
        So we have a bunch of developers who basically ignore what their actions will do to 740millions of site owners.
        Reading their arrogant “deal with it” answers in the wordpress forums is so frustrating.
        They are in a power trip while million of people’s businesses are harmed.

        Once thing is for sure, they do not trust their own project, that is why they imposed it.
        Thanks for the links! 🙂

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