WordPress 5.0 Upgrade – What You Should Know Before Upgrading
By Development Staff December 7, 2018

WordPress 5.0 was just released and the most significant update to the software was a new content editor system that is designed to replace the prior content editor.

The newer editor was created as a “block” style editor, which is intended to allow for a bit more flexibility in adding content and different element blocks into the editor… a long awaited feature. But for many websites prior to this, many features were custom developed to achieve similar results. It is reasonable to believe that very few custom developed features will align perfectly with the new editor, and as such, there is a possibility for some incompatibility with the new editor and your website. But don’t be alarmed!

The standard editor we have been using for years is still available as a plugin, now referred to as the “Classic Editor”, and will be supported for a few years to come. So there’s no need or pressure to have to make any changes to your website any time soon.

We have tested the WordPress 5.0 upgrade against a range of websites currently hosted with Big Head, both older and newer. After upgrading the software and making sure the plugin for the “Classic” editor is installed, the websites performed as expected with no changes needed.

If your website is hosted with Big Head and your hosting package includes updates to the software to be performed by Big Head, please know that we will be proceeding forward with that update shortly. Our general policy with this sort of update is to give the newest version a few days just in case any possible bugs are detected with the larger release, and then performing the upgrades as we go.

If you are planning to do the upgrade yourself, here are a few things you should know:

  1. ALWAYS perform a backup of the website files and database before performing any updates to your website. While the update process has worked flawlessly 99% of the time, this will provide you easy insurance against that 1% of the time there may be an issue.
  2. If you are upgrading from WordPress 4.9.8, you may have seen a notification on the Dashboard about the new editor coming, and been given an opportunity to add the Classic Editor. if you have already done that, you will only need a couple small settings tweaks going forward (see item #5 in this list.)
  3. If you have WooCommerce installed on your website, it is important to note that the WooCommerce developers have suggested strongly to update WooCommerce prior to upgrading to WordPress 5.0 – it seems this order may prevent a possible database conflict. We did perform our test update with WooCommerce first, and then WordPress, and things went along smoothly, so you should be fine to follow that approach.
  4. Once you are ready to update to 5.0, and you have a backup of your website, go ahead and proceed. Once the update is complete, you will get a welcome screen telling you all about the new update. At the top of the page, there will be a notice to allow you to keep the Classic Editor if you do not already have it installed. We do suggest adding this for a seamless experience and until you can determine if there is any conflict with your website’s programming and the new editor.
  5. With the Classic Editor installed and activated, you will have the ability to change back and forth on any post item on the website. This can be useful for testing; however, if you would like to disable this option and just retain the Classic Editor, you can make a change within the website Settings, under Writing. You can set the default editor, and disable the ability for users to switch the editor.
  6. Once done, go back and test your website to ensure all is running as expected.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the update, please feel free to submit a support ticket. Additionally, if your hosting package does not include software updates, now may be a great time to consider upgrading your hosting! or, you can inquire with us to perform the updates for you.

WordPress 5.0 is here, and from what we can see, your websites should be able to hum along just fine without any major concerns!

Thank you for allowing us to be your preferred hosting provider.

Big Head Web Host Staff

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