WordPress 5.0 was released on December 6 and includes the new Gutenberg editor. We’re happy to report that our themes and plugins are all compatible. Here’s what you need to know about preparing for this major new feature.
The New Gutenberg Editor
Gutenberg is a block-based editor. It replaces the editor we’re all used to writing content in. The old editor (now called the Classic Editor) operated something like Microsoft Word or other word processing software. The new Gutenberg editor operates using the concept of blocks. Paragraph blocks, image blocks, video blocks, custom blocks from plugins and so on. You can write content and design pages by arranging blocks in the new editor.
Furthermore, themes can style the editor to look like the published page. Here’s an example with our Maranatha theme. This is a screenshot of the Gutenberg editor shown to the left of the published page for comparison. It’s pretty similar as you can see. Gutenberg makes true visual page building possible in WordPress. And this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what’s possible in the future.
Preparing for Gutenberg
Theme & Plugin Compatibility
Our WordPress themes and plugins are compatible – but you’ll need to update. Today we released updates to all of our themes to add support for WordPress 5.0. Our plugins were updated to support Gutenberg some time ago. Before upgrading to WordPress 5.0 be sure that your theme and plugins are up to date. Here are our latest versions.
- Saved Theme 1.3 – December 5, 2018
- Maranatha Theme 1.7 – December 5, 2018
- Exodus Theme 2.4 – December 5, 2018
- Resurrect Theme 2.5 – December 5, 2018
- Church Content Plugin 2.1 – October 23, 2018
You can go to Dashboard > Updates to update WordPress, your theme and your plugins.
Not sure if you’re up-to-date? Go to Appearance > Themes then click on your theme to see the current version. Compare that version to the version number listed above to make sure it is the same or higher. You can check which version of the Church Content plugin you’re using in Plugins. Please Contact Us if you need help updating.
Converting Your Content
When you edit a page originally created with the old editor (which is all pages up until now) then edit it with the new editor, its content will appear in the “Classic Block”. This is essentially the old editor contained within in a block in the Gutenberg editor. It’s fine to use the Classic Block but to take full advantage of Gutenberg you can convert its content into individual blocks.
Click the options icon at the top-right then Convert to Blocks to do this. Note that some blocks have a “Wide” option. Saved and Maranatha have shown certain elements wide automatically (images and quotes). With Gutenberg this is an option you can choose on a per-block basis (the converter will not automatically make any element wide).
Using the Classic Editor
If for you prefer to continue using the old editor, you can. Installing the Classic Editor plugin will cause WordPress 5.0 to revert to the old editing experience (see our Installing Plugins guide). You may wish to do this if you’re finding that there are issues with any of the plugins you’re using or with the new editor itself. The inclusion of Gutenberg is a major change so it’s reasonable to expect that there will be some bumps in the road that need to be smoothed out in the coming months.
We don’t recommend using the Classic Editor indefinitely as it will be discontinued in 2022. That sounds like a long time, but Gutenberg is the future of WordPress. More and more themes and plugins will support it, extend it and do great things with it. We’re eager to get the most out of Gutenberg and hope you’ll be ready to do that in the near future as well.
Guides & Videos Being Updated
Our Guides and videos are being updated to reflect the changes in WordPress 5.0. We’re advising new users to install the Classic Editor plugin (see above) simply so that our guides and starter content make sense to them as new users. You can do the same if you’re having a difficult time following any of our guides before we finish updating them to reflect the Gutenberg interface. Thank you for your patience while we spend a few weeks getting these things in order now that WordPress 5.0 is here.
Moving Forward with Gutenberg
The first phase of the “Gutenberg” project has been to replace the old editor with the block-based editor. That has been accomplished. In the future we’ll be seeing WordPress leverage Gutenberg’s block concept in ways relating to the appearance of your site. We’re excited about this for themes and the possibility of making our own custom blocks. In 2019 we’ll be taking a good look at the opportunities Gutenberg has opened up for us…
Read the WordPress 5.0 release post at WordPress.org to learn more.