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The Switch

Guten Morgen!

Reading Time: 6 minutes

They let Gutenberg out of the cage. This has been an emotional roller-coaster for a lot of people. It has been an interesting process. So here are my ramblings.

Guten Intro

First about the featured image. 🙂 Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about gluten intolerance and the harmful effect gluten can have on your body and health. And I heard about plenty of cases where someone having health issues started eating gluten-fee food, and magically their health issues mostly disappeared. So there must be something there…

In the German language the word “Guten” – which sounds very much like gluten – means “good” and is widely used in phrases like “Guten Morgen” (Good morning) and alike. So gives place fro nice work games like:

How do people with gluten intolerance greet each other in the morning in Germany?

“Gluten Morgen!”

Stupid joke, I know. 🙂

So Gutenberg – Glutenberg was obvious for me (“berg” meaning hill or mountain in German).

Guten Thoughts

About this whole Gutenberg thing… In the beginning , after reading the first reactions about a year ago I was like “Great, they are trying to force something on us which is going to cause lots of trouble.”

Eventually I think that is exactly what happened. They forced* the block editor on all WordPress users and it did cause trouble and turmoil. Probably more turmoil than trouble. Remains to be seen.

*Yeah, you can still stick to the TinyMCE editor. But as of now it will require extra effort / plugin.

But…

I do believe this is, or at least will be a good thing. So I’m looking forward to the changes this brings to the ecosystem. It will definitely stir up the water.

I also believe that the way Gutenberg was communicated from the very beginning could have been done much better, nicer, smoother. And probably this communication is the cause of most of the turmoil.

One thing I really question is the release date.  You can come up with any argument why it was good to release before Christmas / WCUS, I believe this was a bad move and a mistake! Here’s why:

One

A lot of users do not do any testing before running an update. Simply because they don’t care, they think it’s a hassle, it’s a cost, or they don’t know how to do it. (Check out this post to learn the secrets of this.)

And a lot of users still don’t have the habit of creating backups.

So they are going to upgrade to WP 5.0 and for a lot of them it is going to cause issues. Issues they will not be able to handle. So they will write angry posts to plugin and theme developer support forums and to their hosting providers. This will cause extra work and stress for the people of Supportlandia, which is extra cost for these companies.

And the users will rage at home – some of them admitting they were stupid to have updated without a backup – spreading negative energies in this lovely Christmas season.

Nobody wants an extra headache in this period.

Two

We are in the middle of the Christmas shopping season. There are a ton of web shops running on WP and for them this season is very important obviously.

Some of these website owners belong in the first group I described above, so they are going to update, and possible break their website unintentionally. Their web shop is going to be out of commission for some time resulting in loss of sales and they will probably need to fork out a huge lump of money to get it fixed. (And the results of point one are applicable here as well.)

Three

As the result of the previous two, this will probably have a negative effect on / a bit of a loss of faith in WP.

(If you want to save yourself most of the upgrade-headaches, check out this post and video.)

My opinion is that it would have made more sense to release in January. Have a calm Christmas season, a well working web shop, blog, website, and when people are ready to hit the new year, ready to start with a blank page, then release WP 5.0. Water under the bridge…

Guten Experiment

I started this blog for fun and experimentation. So here is the current one.

I’m writing this post in WP 4.9.2 with the Gutenberg plugin and the twe16 theme. (I just never liked twe17, sorry.) I will publish it, create some screenshots and put them here.

Then I will upgrade to WP 5.0 (without deactivating the Gutenberg plugin), still sticking to tw16 and check if there is any difference. Screenshots again.

And as a finish I will activate twe19 and see what breaks changes. 🙂 Aaaand sceenshots.

And then I will post an update here.

Let’s get crackin’!

Guten Update

I took the risk of updating my live website. If you are running a web shop or you do not want to risk breaking your site I strongly recommend you to test the updates first on a test / staging site.

But, just to be sure, I made backups before every step.

I don’t use many plugins, so the risk of breaking something was lower.

Step 1 – WP 5.0

After updating to WP 5.0 the Gutenberg plugin was automatically deactivated. As it should be. There were no issues with the update.

Also, there is basically no difference between the looks of the pages, as the theme is the same. The only minor difference was a change in the column spacing on the This is me page.

Overall, the update to WordPress 5.0 went well. Heck yeah!!!

Step 2 – Twentynineteen

Yeah, it is a different theme, with different settings and sidebar setups. So the site got borked. 🙂 Not much, actually.

The biggest change is structural. The widgets moved to the footer from the sidebar. The rest is only design tweaks, which can be adjusted with css if needed.

Of course, this is not the fault of WP 5.0. Your design would fall apart, no matter what theme you switch to.

Guten Conclusions

WP 5.0 is very promising. The block editor will bring in some fresh air.

Before you do any changes of your website, create a backup!

Before you do an update, test things first on a test site!

(Although I like the looks of twe19, for now I switched back to twe16, b/c I don’t have the time to tweak it to my liking at the moment.)

If you have any thoughts, comments, I would love to hear them below.


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