If you have a WordPress website you need to be aware of an imminent, and quite major change to its editor.
The next WordPress update will include a brand new editor, called Gutenberg, replacing the current one with a ‘drag and drop’ style editor. In the long term this will make editing your WordPress website easier and more flexible. In the short term however, it may cause some problems.
- The look of your site may change, probably for the worse
- Plugins – pieces of code specifically written to provide added functionality on WordPress websites, may not work as expected.
Most websites are updated automatically by the hosting company. Regular upgrades are necessary, mainly for security reasons. It is not clear when the upgrade will take place. It could be any day from now on.
How to Avoid Problems
Speak to your web developer and check they have made the necessary adjustments for your website to be “Gutenberg ready”
You can install a plugin called the Classic Editor. Activate this and your website will revert to the old editor that you are used to. Instructions below.
Websites built using standard WordPress themes and widely-used themes, for example Divi, should not suffer too many Gutenberg-related problems. Websites that have bespoke WordPress themes may not fare so well.
Instructions for installing the Classic Editor plugin and updating other plugins
If you are confident about installing plugins and have Admin access to your website go to your WordPress Dashboard and select Plugins. Search for the Classic Editor plugin, install and activate it.
If a plugin no longer works correctly check in the Plugins section of your Dashboard (as above) that you have the most recent version and, if not, update it. It may have been updated for Gutenberg. If it still doesn’t work you will need to find another plugin with the same functionality. Not great.
If you do not have Admin access, or if you are not confident about making these changes, contact your web developer.
There is a full explanation of the Gutenberg upgrade on the WordPress.org website. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/
I hope your WordPress upgrade goes smoothly. Fingers crossed!