This article originally appeared on the REQ blog.
The next version of WordPress is coming soon and it will dramatically change how content is created and edited on its platform. WordPress 5.0 brings with it a new way of organizing content as “content blocks” will replace “page sections.” For years, developers have used custom themes and plugins such as Divi to provide a similar function on other platforms. This concept that has been at the core of other content management systems (CMS) will now be found in the core code for WordPress.
The WordPress development team has been working on this feature called Gutenberg for well over two years. Viewing the Gutenberg demonstration site is a good way to gain an initial understanding of its user interface. Those who have used a plugin such as Divi or a block-based CMS such as Drupal will find it is similar to what you have used in the past. Those without this experience should start to become familiar using blocks as they will now be the foundation for editing WordPress posts and pages.
Working with Your Current Site and Theme
The update to WordPress 5 will replace the current editor style, now called Classic, with Gutenberg. WordPress 5 is designed to provide a level of compatibility with a design and theme that has not been updated with blocks. However, some content authors may be confused by this interface and it may not be compatible for all sites. Some users may want to install a plugin offered by WordPress to maintain the Classic Editor. You will then be able to toggle between either the Classic or Gutenberg editors.
Updating Your Theme
If your WordPress site is created with Divi or a similar plugin, then no immediate edits are needed. These plugins will be updating their codes to be compatible with the Gutenberg feature. Traditionally-developed sites and themes may find it advantageous to update the code to support the Gutenberg feature. This will provide users with improved layout and management capabilities and ensure compatibility with future WordPress core updates.
WordPress has already issued its first Version 5 release candidate with the Gutenberg editor and other advancements. This will probably be adjusted for a second release candidate within a couple of weeks and then posted as a final official release a week or two later. This means you should plan on the update being made available within WordPress within a month. Be sure to then copy your site and test on a development site before upgrading your production site. This will allow you to identify and resolve any issues before you perform this major upgrade on your public site.