No matter how recently you updated your website, it may soon be time to for a rebuild. If you're one of the 75 million websites that use the WordPress platform, a huge update to the platform is coming that will require some site updates, if not many. The upcoming launch of WordPress 5.0 will be an opportunity for business owners to give their sites updates that enhance their performance and to improve their digital marketing efforts.

Nearly a year ago, Wordpress told everyone that 2018 would see a major update to the WordPress platform. While there still isn't a scheduled release date for WordPress 5.0, platform users can get an idea of some the changes they will see when 5.0 is launched in WordPress latest build, 4.9.8. The new build let's website owners experiment with Gutenberg, the new page and post editor for WordPress.

While this is only one of many changes WordPress 5.0 will likely bring, the new editor alone will be something of a game changer for many websites. The editor uses a visual interface that makes it easier for people with less programming skills to arrange elements on pages. This can lower website update and maintenance costs for website owners.

The new editor should make it easier for business owners and bloggers to create more engaging web pages for their sites without a lot of custom html and CSS coding. Currently, many website owners have to add expensive visual composer plugins to have the same functionality. Having a better built-in WYSIWYG could make these plugins unnecessary. And since many of these paid editor plugins required a subscription to keep them updated, removing them from the equation removes an unnecessary expense from website owners.

The full rollout of WordPress 5.0 is something that many online businesses should be preparing for. Website owners will need to switch to the latest build of WordPress as soon as possible, since it will be the version that will gets updated and future plugins will require the latest version of WordPress. App developers will also need to make sure that their plugins are compatible with the new 5.0 architecture.

Ensuring a smooth transfer to WordPress 5.0 will be even more important for ecommerce websites. Most ecommerce websites rely on a combination of plugins working together to create the user experience they want. If those plugins are all making major updates at the same time to be 5.0 compliant, there is a huge potential for site-breaking bugs and glitches.

Creating pandemonium isn't in the best interest of the WordPress platform, so the company is taking a lot of steps to give site owners time to prepare. As was stated before, the new Gutenberg editor is available on WordPress version 4.9.8, which will give site owners time to make new pages, if necessary, and train staff on posting in the Gutenberg system.

Website owners should be prepared to start developing a new version of their site for WordPress 5.0 as soon as the build becomes available. Because of all the potential for issues, website owners should start early and spend time testing all of their recently updated website pages and plugins. Doing this before the new version of the site goes live will prevent a lot of headaches and loss revenue that can come from releasing a glitchy site and learning about issues from annoyed customers.

Having to create a new website may not be something business owners are eager to do, but they should look at the WordPress update as an opportunity freshen up their website and to create a new digital strategy that utilizes more customized content.  And since there's still no release date yet, business owners can start squirrelling away a little extra funds so they can do the update and testing once WordPress 5.0 goes live.

Be sure to update your current site to 4.9.8 and give the Gutenberg editor a try by downloading the plugin. More information about WordPress 5.0 will be coming out in the future, but stay tuned for more articles about this major change for many websites. In the meantime, check out this article on some recent updates to Google.  

Published on: Aug 6, 2018