Announced last week was the re-affirmation that WordPress 5.0 might be released this year. Matt Mullenweg – ostensibly the driving force behind the direction of WordPress – confirmed that the Gutenberg driven release is not only meeting, but exceeding his expectations:
The adoption of the Gutenberg plugin, at 490 thousand active sites and counting, far exceeds pre-release testing of anything that has ever come into core. If we keep the 5.0 release to strictly 4.9.8 + Gutenberg, we will have a release that is both major and a non-event in terms of new code. It’s all battle-tested. In some ways 5.0 is already de facto out in the wild, with some forward-looking hosts already installing and activating Gutenberg for new installs.
You might be asking: Why should I care? WordPress updates all the time, right? If you haven’t yet heard, WordPress 5.0 is expected to be a major overhaul of the content management system, implementing the new Gutenberg editor as standard. This will directly affect how all posts and pages are written and edited, it’s expected to be a dramatic shift in approach. You’ve probably already seen a prompt in your WordPress dashboard to experiment with the new Gutenberg editor or install the Classic editor and continue as is. Gutenberg is THE hot topic in WordPress right now, so if you haven’t yet familiarized yourself with it, now is the time to start paying attention.
We don’t recommend updating all your sites immediately – be aware this is still very much an in development tool. Firstly, be sure to review our own WordPress 5.0 roadmap. We’re keen to keep pace with the larger WordPress community, but we won’t be leaping right onto the hottest/newest features right away. Gutenberg is far from mature, and our first priority is in providing a stable and smooth experience for hosted sites.
If you use our WordPress Hosting platform, this is the perfect opportunity to spin up a staging site and test the new Gutenberg editor in the safety of the testing environment; crucially how it might interact with your themes and plugins.
Of course, Gutenberg is set to be the future of the WordPress writing and editing experience; savvy users should slowly start to get up to speed as time allows. With that in mind, if you haven’t already checked it out, see our Gutenberg basics guide for further reading.
As more concrete info on WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg release becomes available, we’ll be sure to keep you appraised.