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Date Set for Release of WordPress 5.0

WordPress 5.0, the much-anticipated major update to WordPress, is coming later this month just days after the Thanksgiving holiday.

I’m actually glad WordPress 5.0 is coming after Thanksgiving. Can you imagine how many tech-centric families would otherwise argue over WordPress while they dined on their turkey dinner?

The most talked-about portion of the new version of WordPress is surely Gutenberg, a completely new editor that WordPress users may have to get used to.

I’ve been using Gutenberg now for a few months because I wanted to see how much of an adjustment it would be. I downloaded a WordPress plugin that allowed me to test-drive the editor ahead of time.

For the most part, I haven’t had any serious issues.

Blocks, not body

Gutenberg does things in blocks, not a body full of paragraphs, images and other elements like embeds in one unit.

Each individual paragraph — no matter how many sentences there are — is an individual block. If you embed a Twitter post, that’s its own block. Want to add a photo? That’s another block.

Yes, there are quirks. Sometimes, older posts don’t load on the first try. But a refresh seems to correct this.

It took me a while to realize what I was doing wrong when I wanted to add an inline image. That’s an image that appears smaller in the body of the post and has text wrapping around it. Instead of selecting “image,” I actually have to select a different block option: the inline image.

It’s different, so that means there will be a learning curve.

In all honesty, the learning curve isn’t that bad. I’ve worked with numerous platforms, both in blogging and in online publishing for news sites. I assure you that Gutenberg is not the worst by a long shot.

Who’s ready for it?

Last month, WPTavern published some interesting stats: The beta version of the Gutenberg plugin, which gives people like me the chance to try it out before it’s “forced” upon us, has passed 490,000 active installations. At the same time, an alternate plugin that overrides Gutenberg to allow the classic WordPress editor to continue to be used has more than 400,000 installations.

I’m not surprised that almost as many people have downloaded what is essentially a “Plan B” in case they don’t like what’s new as have downloaded an advance look at what’s new.

We don’t like change.

Even when it might just be a good thing, we seem to be programmed to hate it.

I’ve read reviews that say it’s far too “buggy.” That hasn’t been my experience at all. I’ve read reviews that complain that it should be perfect before they release it. It’ll never be perfect. No platform ever is.

I even read a review that claims the interface has too much going on to provide a positive user experience. If you’re just writing — which is what most of us on here are doing most of the time — there’s not too much going on. It’s only when you move your cursor to a different paragraph that options appear. But that’s when you want the options to appear, right? 

Mark your calendar!

As I write this, November 27 is the day. Go to the WordPress plugin repository and download the Classic Editor plugin.

That way, at least, if the release date for WordPress 5.0 doesn’t change and you end up hating Gutenberg as much as its critics are so sure you will, you are already equipped to turn it off.

Yes, you may well be postponing the inevitable.

But at least you’ll have your Plan B.

Just in case.

I, on the other hand, will plan to continue with Gutenberg, knowing it’s not perfect but also knowing it’s not nearly as bad as some of the naysayers claim it is.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.