With WordPress 5.0 ready to launch in the fall of 2018, I am preparing clients for the upgrade and providing advice on how to proceed when WordPress 5.0 finally ships. With WordPress 5.0 being the biggest update yet, it is important to properly prepare before blindly clicking the update button and hoping for the best. Some websites may function perfectly, while others may require minor or major updating. Read on to discover how I am preparing client websites for the upcoming upgrade.

New Editor Coming

First, I am preparing clients for the new editor. Named Gutenberg, the new editor takes a different approach by using blocks to create content. Think of each element of your web pages as a block. For instance, a heading is a block, a paragraph is a block, and an image is a block. Designed to create a more user-friendly and reliable interface, this block approach will take some getting used to. In some websites, the new editor may break the page layout. In others, installed plugins may have compatibility issues. Some of the larger plugin editors are already testing and releasing Gutenberg compatible plugins (for example, Yoast). For my clients, I have a testing server set up which is a mirror image of their website with the Gutenberg editor enabled. Clients can test out the new editor without affecting their live website.

Notify Clients

Second, I am preparing their website for the upgrade for WordPress 5.0. I sent out an email to all my WordPress clients discussing the new version upgrade and describing the new features of WordPress 5.0. I outline the pros and cons of upgrading. I also talk about the process we will take to implement the upgrade. This opens a dialogue and clients get to ask questions before the upgrade gets installed.

Prepare for the upgrade

Third, I prepare each website for the upgrade. I will install the upgrade on the test server and run a suite of tests to ensure that the functionality still works. Also, I will check the layout on several different systems (looking for issues with responsibility, display errors, etc.). I check each page for errors (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code). After fixing any issues, I will report my findings to my client. We will discuss any issues found and fixes required. Fixes may include theme updates, new plugins, and code rewrites. I will record the upgrade process so that I can replicate it on the live server.

Backup live website

Fourth, I will make a backup of the live website. Then I will install the WordPress 5.0 upgrade. Next, I will repeat the recorded upgrade process. Finally, I will test everything again to ensure that the upgrade installed correctly, and the website looks and functions as it did before the upgrade.

Have a plan

Having a plan for the WordPress 5.0 upgrade is very important for business website continuity. Testing everything on the website is crucial before launching an update. Business owners who upgrade WordPress without testing may be in for a shock when they discover that their website does not look like it did before the upgrade. Even more upsetting is discovering that the website no longer functions correctly. Having a non-functioning website may lead to loss of business as visitors will leave the website and look for one that is properly functioning. With the new WordPress 5.0 upgrade coming, it is crucial for businesses to have a plan in place for implementing and testing the upgrade.

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