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What is new in WordPress 5.0?

WordPress 5.0, the latest version of the world’s most popular content management system, is now available on CloudNX Managed Applications from Fasthosts. But what is new in WordPress 5.0?

whats new in wordpress 5.0

For years WordPress has dominated the CMS market, and to this date powers over a third of all the websites on the internet. WordPress has a tradition of releasing small, iterative version changes with relatively minor (though still useful) improvements and bug fixes each time. The latest WordPress release, however, brought arguably the biggest change so far: Gutenberg.

What is Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0?

Gutenberg is the new block-based editor for WordPress 5.0. It is, both on the surface and behind the scenes, a complete overhaul of the way in which users interact with their WordPress sites, create content, and utilise widgets and themes.

The previous edition of the WordPress editor was a simple text window that allowed for basic content customisation and additional functionality, but the Gutenberg release completely revolutionises the way content and page creation is handled within WordPress. Now, each bit of content on a page is treated as its own block, and each block can be edited individually, moved around, scaled, or customised with little effort.

These blocks aren’t limited to just text content, and the new block-based design makes it easier to add other previously used content elements like images, videos, lists, quotes, buttons as well as more advanced elements and widgets. Because these elements are now contained in individual blocks, WordPress 5.0 gives improved formatting options for colours and padding, bringing content to life visually without needing to write HTML or CSS.

To make the most of all these extra customisation options, Gutenberg allows you to save edited/styled blocks to reuse them again in other posts or pages. By selecting ‘Add to reusable blocks’ from the menu toolbar, custom blocks can be added in a couple of clicks without having to redesign and replace them each time.

Changes to existing content with WordPress 5.0

Although WordPress has implemented this seemingly radical change to the way content is created and managed on their platform, they also took measures to ensure that any existing content was unaffected. With the WordPress 5.0 update there should be absolutely no change to any existing posts or pages – though old content can be converted to Gutenberg blocks manually if required/desired.

New content will be created with the Gutenberg block-based editor by default, but users who really liked the old version have the option to revert to the Classic Editor if they wish. However, WordPress has stated that the Classic Editor will only be officially supported until the end of 2021, so it’s recommended that users familiarise themselves with Gutenberg as soon as possible – the blocks are here to stay.

React-ing to Gutenberg

One other notable change that came with the release of WordPress 5.0 is that the block-based editor is now built on the JavaScript framework React. The editor being built on React will change the way that theme, template and plugin developers operate. Developers will need to update their plugins to co-operate with React and Gutenberg, and users will need to install these updates to ensure that no cross-version bugs occur. It’s worth testing all plugins and themes before the update – perhaps in a staging or development environment – as they could be impacted by the Gutenberg update if developers have not yet reacted to the change. 

 

With all these new features and changes, there’s no better time than now to run a WordPress website, and the Fasthosts CloudNX platform gives you the perfect place to host it. With WordPress cloud hosting we look after the infrastructure and guarantee the highest levels of performance, so all you have to worry about is making your site look great – and WordPress 5.0 makes that easier than ever. Plus, our WordPress cloud hosting platform is optimised for PHP 7.3, giving your website more features and more power.

James Norman's picture

James Norman

Content Editor James is a writer and content editor for Fasthosts. He contributes articles on upcoming trends in web hosting and technology to the Fasthosts blog.