The long-awaited update to WordPress is finally here and it's huge! The 5.0 version, also called "Bebo," is live and features one of the biggest changes in the way we use WordPress. The editor has been completely overhauled and is now block-based. The new WordPress editor also comes with a new name. By dubbing the new editor "Gutenberg," the people behind WordPress, including Matt Mullenweg himself, wanted to show their confidence in how truly revolutionary this change might be in how we use our favorite open-source software. The new update definitely reflects the company's forward-thinking, but is it without a flaw?
In this article, we are going to try covering everything that's new in 5.0, talk about where this update might take us in the future, and help you adapt to the new changes.
WordPress Bebo Is A Game Changer
Every update in the past brought us a few tweaks and changes, mostly quality of life improvements. However, none of them were as big and radical as this one. In the last few versions, we received dedicated media widgets, which allowed to add image, audio, and video files seamlessly. Also, keeping up with local WordPress Meetups and events became a lot easier, as the 4.8 version started highlighting them in the dashboard.
However, shifting to a block-based editor is probably the biggest change we've seen in a long time, but it's also not the only new adjustment that comes with Bebo. Significant improvements have been made to the REST API infrastructure, making it more responsive and even easier to use. The addition of reusable blocks will help streamline the workflow and help you achieve a consistent look to your page much easier. The new editor also means new plugins and themes. We can expect to see a number of new themes built around the new block-based philosophy. Also, some of the already popular themes are bound to adapt and fully utilize the Gutenberg editor.
It's worth noting that the update to the 5.0 version does make some existing and popular themes and plugins obsolete, which further discourages some users to update their page to the newest version. That being said, 2019 should be an exciting year for the future of WordPress, as we slowly receive new and innovative tools to work with.
It’s safe to say that all these innovative updates aim to create a more intuitive approach to designing a website and will give other website builders, like Squarespace and Wix, a run for their money because more people with less web development skills will be able to use blocks to their advantage. That being said, making the most out of your page might still require you to hire a professional WordPress support service that will tackle all the new changes for you and also handle the hosting and managing of your page.
If you are more inclined to learn how to use the Gutenberg editor on your own, here's a simple rundown of how it works. Remember, there are still ways to use the old editor, and Automattic Inc has promised to offer support for it until 2021.
What Exactly Are Blocks?
If you have ever used the so-called classic editor before, right off the bat you'll notice that the new one is quite different not only in how it looks, but also in how it operates. The single edit field has been replaced by visual blocks. Some of the default blocks include:
These are just a few, but we can expect to see additional blocks being introduced as more and more people update their pages to the 5.0 version. Also, you can count on developers to create their own blocks, contributing to the further integration of the new editor.
What makes blocks great is the possibility to individually edit them and rearrange them as you please. This, in return, will ensure that quality content and design are much more accessible.
The Twenty Nineteen Theme
The release of the Bebo update also brings us a new default theme. The Twenty Nineteen theme features a simple, black and white design that revolves around the new block-based philosophy and allows you to easily create a website or start a blog. Simple yet effective, the new theme lets you fully manipulate all the new features and truly showcases all the freedom that comes with the addition of blocks. Also, it is meant to improve loading speeds thanks to the use of system fonts.
The 'blank canvas' approach leaves a lot of space for versatility. This means that whatever type of website you're trying to create, you'll be able to take full advantage of the new theme.
WordPress has always been praised for its flexibility, and that's exactly what persuaded 70 million people to start using it in the first place. The shift to a block-based editor might be controversial for some, but we believe that the people behind WordPress will stay true to their core beliefs while also keeping up with the latest trends in technology.
The next year will definitely be an exciting one for all users and developers alike.