Just as Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized printing with the invention of an effective mechanized printing press, WordPress believes it is releasing the next evolution in website development. In truth, it is trying to catch up to the current Page Builder themes that third-party organizations have created for WordPress. WordPress 5.0, also called Gutenberg, is being hyped by many — but just as many experienced designers and developers are dreading the release. It offers drag and drop and simpler building tools to create websites. (If you’re one of our SharpSpring clients, Gutenberg shares the same block and element structure as SharpSpring’s email and landing page editors.) This ease of use will make website creation more accessible to the greater population, but it comes with significant restrictions for those wanting to create unique and creatively branded websites.
The consensus among developers and designers that we’ve spoken to is that WordPress 5.0/Gutenberg is far more limited than most of the Page Builder themes developed for the Classic WordPress.
Unfortunately, WordPress 5.0 won’t play nice with Page Builder themes (which includes many of the newer, more sophisticated themes). Websites built with these themes, and updated to WordPress 5.0 will need significant work to maintain design and functionality (and some features and design may be lost). If you are planning to update to WordPress 5.0, budget the time and cost for that design and development work.
As with any new software release, there will be bugs and glitches. This is what most scares the programmers we deal with. We recommend not switching to WordPress 5.0 for six months at least. Let them go through several patches, fixes and upgrades of the beta release with other websites before you make the jump.
WordPress has already proven itself to be a dominant force and a leader in website creation. Gutenberg may be a harbinger of the future in WordPress website creation, certainly as they add features and upgrade it. The digital world continues to progress in a constant state of flux and we will likely embrace the evolution of WordPress down the road. For now, we recommend maintaining what you have, sit back and watch the parade for a bit until it has truly found its way and is moving along smoothly.