When it comes to making the switch to WordPress 5.0, Wired Impact has our clients covered. In addition to the regular maintenance we do for sites on our nonprofit website platform, there are big changes coming to the editor you use to add and format content on your posts and pages.
Our websites are built using WordPress, so we’re answering some of the most common questions from our clients in this post. Be sure to check your email for updates about the WordPress 5.0 update on May 14, 2019. And consider sharing a link to this article if you need help spreading the word with others at your organization.
What is WordPress 5.0?
WordPress 5.0 is a major update to the WordPress content management system. The most noticeable change is the unveiling of the Gutenberg block editor, which changes how you’ll format content like text and images on the backend of your website.
This is great news for folks who are frustrated by shortcodes and want the ability to arrange their pages using a more visual experience. For example, you’ll find easy-to-use blocks for different types of content that you can arrange in an endless number of configurations.
Why is the update happening now?
The new version of WordPress was actually released in December 2018. We’ve pumped the brakes on implementing it for Wired Impact’s website platform until we felt it was ready for clients to use. This included waiting for WordPress to iron out some bugs and for the other tools we integrate with to catch up.
Although WordPress is still working on improving the editor, we don’t want to wait indefinitely to update the platform. New releases come with other fixes and improvements you don’t want to pass up. After thoughtful consideration, our team agrees that the time is right.
How will my website be affected?
Since WordPress 5.0 was released, our programming, content, and design specialists have done a lot of testing and adjustments to get it ready for you. We even installed it on our own website months ago to get comfortable with things and work out the bugs. Unlike nonprofits taking a DIY approach to their website, we’re here to make the transition as pleasant and safe as possible.
The big change surrounds what it looks like on the administrative side of your site when you create and edit pages. Visitors to your website won’t see the difference. Here’s an example of the current page editor compared to the new block editor.
What do you mean by blocks?
In the new editor, you’ll add content like text and photos to your page using different blocks. As the name implies, blocks stack on top of each other to build out your page. Blocks can also be used to do things like format text and images into columns, create a button, embed a video, or make a photo gallery.
For our website platform clients, we’ve also created and styled a set of special blocks just for you! Now it’s quick and easy to add icons, make tabs and accordions, create progress bars for campaign pages and more.
How should I prepare for the switch?
You’ll be happy to know that there’s nothing you need to do before we update your website on May 14th. We’ve done the prep and your site will be backed up ahead of time.
Once the update is finished, your existing content will still be there, even if your site is still in progress. Your page and blog post content will automatically move into a single block called the Classic block. This block allows you to keep everything formatted as you did before without needing to switch completely to the new block editor unless you want to.
We recommend working through your pages to fully transition them to blocks as you have the time (or as a page needs updates). WordPress has made this process pretty painless by offering an option within the Classic block to “Convert to Blocks.” Once a page has moved over to blocks, we recommend clicking around to see what you think! There might be additional changes you want to make based on new options available.
What if I notice something buggy?
The rollout of any major change isn’t perfect, and many WordPress websites are still transitioning to this new version. WordPress itself continues to identify and fix bugs, some of which you might notice as you explore the editor. For example, while it’s a best practice to open links in a new window if they are sending people away from your site, that’s not currently possible when you use the Button block.
Please let us know if you think something is broken or not showing up as you intended. While some fixes are in the hands of WordPress developers, we’re happy to investigate and fix it at no cost if we can.
Where should I go for support?
When your website is updated on May 14th, we’ll also update our support articles to reflect the new editor. The steps and visuals will match what you see with WordPress 5.0. If you have questions or get stuck, clients can always reach out to our team using the technical support form in your website’s Dashboard.
If your website hasn’t launched yet, please reach out to your project manager with any questions or concerns.
Other Helpful Resources
In addition to our support documentation, we recommend checking out these helpful tips and interactive demos:
Updating your nonprofit’s website to WordPress 5.0 is a critical part of ongoing maintenance and its overall longevity. Our team is excited to help you take this next step and make sure that you get the most value out of Wired Impact’s website platform.