WordPress 5.0 is Here
Do Not Update!
Do not update to WordPress 5.0, is the advice we are giving our clients on the eve of the big update. WordPress 5.0 is scheduled to be released tomorrow and we anticipate some pretty big problems from the latest release. More about that later. Let’s get to what our clients care most about:
What This Means for Our Support/Maintenance Plan Clients
You have nothing to worry about. As a WordPress support/maintenance plan client (FatLab Watch Dog, BIG Dog and Top Dog plans), we take care of your updates on a weekly basis. We simply aren’t going to run this update until a later date and all you have to do is allow us to do our jobs and not click that update button yourself. We get it, software updates can be exciting but we know for a fact that we have more to worry about in this release so please resist that urge.
What This Means for FatLab Hosted and Non-Hosted Clients (No support/maintenance plan)
We of course hope that you are keeping up on your software updates (core, plugins and themes), but we are simply advising that you do not update to the latest version of WordPress for the time being. If you would like to for any reason please contact us to evaluate your site. We can work with you to come up with an upgrade plan and schedule.
Regardless of where you host, the issues we anticipate are independent of the hosting service provider. However some hosts do perform updates automatically and you need to be aware of this. Be sure you have backups and you know when that update will be made so you can test the site post update. I would advise that if your host does do automatic updates that you turn these off and/or request that your site not be updated to 5.0. Of course, unless you can specify to only freeze major release updates, you will need to make sure you run your updates manually for the time being.
Quick Note About Website Security
There is no need to update WordPress 5.0! Just because your site is on an older version of WordPress does not mean it is insecure or unstable. WordPress typically continues to release bug and security patches for older versions for many years (of course these need to be applied). At this time security updates are still being released for as far back as version 3.7 which was released in 2013. Do not feel pressured to upgrade to 5.0 because you fear an older version is less secure… in fact for the immediate future I will argue it’s just the opposite.
When Can You Update to WordPress 5.0
Short answer: it depends on your site. It’s almost never advisable to jump on a software update right after it is released but this warning is a bit more serious. We have seen many WordPress advocates advise that January 2019 would be the earliest that they would advise trying. However there is no magic about January. It’s up to the plugin and theme authors to update their software to be compatible and they just may need a bit more time. There may also be circumstances where a particular piece of software is never going to be compatible and must be replaced in order to keep the site running with WordPress 5.0. In short, we are in no rush to update sites and will be working on each site that we manage individually.
Why are We Advising You Not to Upgrade to WordsPress 5.0
Simply put we fear that the chances it breaks your site are very high. WordPress 5.0 includes a new editor called Gutenberg which changes the way pages, posts and custom content types are edited.
This new method is not compatible with older methods, tools, themes and many plugins. The beta and release candidates for WordPress 5.0 have been out for months now and it has given time to developers of themes and plugins to test the new editor with their software and the results have not been good for many major software publishers.
Some of those developers create very popular software used by millions of websites. I can tell you that there are no less than 5 major plugins that we know 90%+ of the sites we manage utilize that are negatively affected by this update.
This is a Major Disrupter
If you want to geek out a little just do a search for “WordPress Gutenberg” and you will find all kinds of praises, warnings and philosophical debates on the direction that WordPress took by including this new tool as a core feature. Many developers (me included) believe strongly that this is not a good thing. We believe that they should leave such features and functions up to the developer who can determine what their client needs versus trying to appeal to the masses with such a disruption to millions and millions of sites. I’ll stop my rant now before I get too red in the face.