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Gutenberg Will be Released with WordPress 5.0 on 19 November – Here’s What You Need to Do

We have known for the past 18 months that Gutenberg was going to one day change just about every aspect of running a WordPress site from publishing posts to designing pages.

As I explained a couple months ago, Gutenberg represents a fundamental change in the architecture of the WordPress platform. This is WordPress’s New Coke moment and will either modernize the platform or send users fleeing to the competition.

Now we know when the Gutenberg is going to happen. Earlier this week the official word came down that Gutenberg will be released with the next major release of WordPress 5.0 on 19 November.

WordPress 5.0 will be focussed on merging the Gutenberg plugin into trunk. In addition, there are two related areas of new development:

  • Updating the default themes to work well with the block editor, and creating the new Twenty Nineteen theme.
  • Creating an upgrade experience to remove the Gutenberg plugin and offer the Classic Editor plugin.

Given the scope of this change, there won’t be any extra feature focuses. In order to ensure that we can keep the release schedule, minor changes, and bug fixes will only be included on a case-by-case basis.

I have written about Gutenberg a couple times, so I won’t repeat myself. Instead, I will discuss what I plan to do.

My current Gutenberg mitigation plan is to do my best to avoid it for as long as possible. Yes, I fully plan to build test sites in Gutenberg in the next few weeks, and I might even build new sites for clients, but I will not be using Gutenberg with existing sites because in its current form it could wreck perfectly functional sites.

Keeping a site up and running is more important than adopting the latest shiny tech, which is why I plan to install either the Classic Editor plugin or the Disable Gutenberg plugin on all of my sites and my clients' sites.

These two plugins can each restore the older editor interface, making it possible to continue to use plugins and other customizations that depend on the previous editor.

I will be installing and testing these plugins in the weeks leading up to 19 November, and I would recommend that you do the same.

Please let me know if I can help you with this.

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Penelope October 6, 2018 um 7:06 pm

I would be very interested in which of the plugins (Classic Editor and Disable Gutenberg) that you end up preferring and why, so I hope you’ll let us know as the changeover date approaches. I just have a personal blog, but the change to Gutenberg is exciting and scary both. At my age, simple and easy to use is best.

Nate Hoffelder October 6, 2018 um 7:50 pm

I listed both because I don’t know which will work better for any given site. They both have high ratings, so they’re worth trying, but one or the other might not be compatible with your site.

Mike Cane October 6, 2018 um 8:30 pm

I loathe their "new, improved" editor as it is and it’s hell when I’m forced to use it. I stick with the Classic Editor, which I have Bookmarked.

Nate Hoffelder October 6, 2018 um 9:16 pm

I’m not sure that DotCom users like you will get a choice in the matter.

Mike Cane October 7, 2018 um 11:46 am

There was a huge firestorm in their Support forum when they tried to force the "new, improved" editor on us. If they force us to give up Classic, I’ll end my blog if I can’t make this latest crap work. For a while, I was using a Windows app called BlogDesk, but it wasn’t very good when it came to inserting photos. Maybe I’ll have to try that again.

Nate Hoffelder October 7, 2018 um 12:39 pm

oh, really?

got a link to the complaints?

Edit: I found them.

S. J. Pajonas October 7, 2018 um 3:34 pm

Same here. I’ve been building websites on WP since 2006/2007 and there is no way in hell I’m going to be updating older sites to use the new Gutenberg. I’ve already installed the Classic Editor on them and hope it works fine in the new release. But I am planning a total redesign of a site I just inherited, and I decided that will be my Gutenberg trial since I’m redesigning it from the ground up. Still, I’m backing the old site up and holding onto it in case I mess it up. Lol.

Nate Hoffelder October 7, 2018 um 4:55 pm

I actually have something nice to say about Gutenberg:

Katie Engen October 12, 2018 um 3:53 pm

Are the 19 November updates also applicable to free/.com sites? As in, do we get the updates no matter what? Or do we NOT get them at all?

Nate Hoffelder October 12, 2018 um 3:57 pm

I am not entirely sure – I did look into it, and I got the impression that DotCom users would have the option to turn it off.

But I could be wrong.

Tristen October 13, 2018 um 11:06 am

I’m not going to claim I understand the tech that goes on behind WordPress, but when a notification asking to try out the new Gutenberg editor before the launch I thought, might as well. This was before I read all the posts saying Gutenberg was the worst. It is definitely a new user experience which takes adjustment, and there are a lot of bugs but they are gradually getting fixed everyday in this beta testing period. I have not experienced any problems or differences to my site. I’m just curious, as a completely ignorant person, what it is I should be guarding against? Is it because my site is only a few years old?

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