Gutenberg/ WP 5.0 launches today. Here’s what you need to know.

Tempted to hit the update button? You might want to wait.

WordPress 5.0, including the new Gutenberg post editor experience, is scheduled to launch today at noon EST per the folks at WordPress.org. Originally projected to release in early-mid 2018, technical hurdles and very mixed feedback have delayed its release. With WordCamp US coming up this weekend, the powers that be have decided that, ready or not, now is the time.

What does this mean for you and your site? You probably want to put the brakes on hitting the update button. Here’s why.

We’re really excited about Gutenberg… but this is terrible, terrible timing.

We’ve written about WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg before. Check these out if you haven’t seen them:

As a WordPress plugin development company, we feel like this is an awesome new direction for WordPress. It will help the space remain competitive and sets the stage for a much better UX in the long run.

Personally, as someone who spends a good chunk of their life in the WordPress post editor, I love the changes Gutenberg brings. It makes my life easier after the initial learning curve has passed.

Specifically as pertains to Ninja Forms, we’re 100% tested and ready for 5.0 to drop. Our new Ninja Forms Gutenberg block is shiny and fun and waiting for you to get your hands on it.

So, we’re excited for the change for a number of reasons, but…

You should strongly consider not updating until after the new year. Here’s why.

WordCamp US is this weekend. We understand that presents a great opportunity for Matt Mullenweg and the folks at Automattic to showcase the next big thing on WordPress’ biggest stage. Other things right over the horizon: the largest international holiday season of the year.

These two factors together mean that while it might be a great opportunity for hype, it’s a potential nightmare for a lot of WordPress users and developers. How so?

If you update now and something goes wrong, it might take a long time to get a fix in place.

All those plugins (and theme) your site relies on that may need troubleshooting in the days and weeks following the 5.0 launch? Many of their support staffs are going to be a skeleton crew this weekend as they attend WordCamp US.

With the holiday season fast approaching, the same applies to the next few weeks. Lots of support teams will be running bare minimum staffing as folks take time off to spend with family and friends over the holidays.

Many hosts that offer managed WordPress hosting like LiquidWeb, Pagely, Bluehost, WP Engine, and others have announced that they will either not be updating sites until January, or holding off altogether for 5.0.1.

We strongly recommend you take that path with your own websites as well.

If you just can’t resist… have a backup plan.

Temptation going to get the better of you? At the very least we’d recommend updating on your staging or development site first. If you just can resist hitting that button, here’s two final pieces of advice.

  1. Back. Your. Site. Up. If you don’t have a backup plugin already, get one and make a backup before you update.
  2. Look into a plugin like Classic Editor to circumvent Gutenberg if necessary. If things break, this will revert you to the classic experience while you triage.

We’re here if you need us!

As mentioned above, our new Gutenberg block has been tested, put through its paces, and is ready to go. No one can test for literally every possible eventuality, though.

We’ll be in Nashville at WordCamp US this weekend and hope to see you there as well. We’ll also be monitoring support all weekend as best we’re able. If you do run the update and have any issues with Ninja Forms, let us know.

Questions? Ask away in the comments below!