New WordPress Version Release – WordPress 5.0 Bebo

WordPress has just released version 5.0, named “Bebo” in honor of Cuban jazz musician Bebo Valdés. Learn about the new WordPress v. 5.0 updates.

WordPress 5.0 BeboNew WordPress Version 5.0 – Bebo

Release Date: December 6, 2018

WordPress released WordPress 5.0, named “Bebo” in honor of Cuban jazz musician Bebo Valdés (October 9, 1918 – March 22, 2013).

Bebo Valdés

(Bebo Valdés. Image: Wikipedia)

With the release of version 5.0, WordPress introduces a new block-based editor as the first step into a new future aimed at making the platform even easier to use for non-technical website users, especially when it comes to adding, editing, and displaying content on your site.

WordPress 5.0 introduces the new Gutenberg content editor

(WordPress 5.0 introduces the new Gutenberg content editor)

The new WordPress content editor is called Gutenberg after Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press and aims to provide greater flexibility and a streamlined editing experience across your site.

Here are some of the changes you will see in WordPress 5.0:

Block-Based Editor

(Gutenberg – The new block-based content editor)

The new block-based content editor is a radical departure from the previous content editor (referred to now as the WordPress ‘Classic’ editor).

According to the WordPress  version release notes, the changes are aimed at helping WordPress simplify the process, not the outcome.

The WordPress Gutenberg editor lets you insert different types of content (e.g. paragraphs, images, quotes, multimedia, etc.) into your posts and pages and configure or rearrange layouts using ‘blocks’.

The WordPress Gutenberg editor includes many useful default blocks (with more blocks being developed and added to the platform by the WordPress community) …

WordPress Gutenberg Editor - Blocks

(WordPress Gutenberg Editor – Blocks)

Blocks can be added anywhere on the page with the click of a button, inserted before or after other blocks using dropdown menus, converted into different block types, and easily reordered using ‘drag and drop’, or ‘up and down’ buttons.

This lets you build your pages and display your content exactly as you imagine, without having to learn how to code.

(Blocks let you build pages to look the way you want them to!)

Important

As WordPress 5.0 introduces a number of significant changes to how you work with content on your site, we have created a comprehensive guide to understanding and using the new content editor here:

To learn more about using ‘blocks’, see this tutorial:

New Default WordPress Theme – Twenty Nineteen

New WordPress Theme - Twenty Nineteen

(New WordPress Theme – Twenty Nineteen)

WordPress has introduced a new default theme that lets you experience and take full advantage of the new editor.

The Twenty Nineteen theme ships with all new WordPress installations and aims to create a true WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) content creation and editing experience for users and features custom styles for the default blocks available in WordPress 5.0.

Additionally, the theme features a modern, simple, and clean-looking type-driven layout with lots of whitespace and uses system fonts to display sans-serif headlines paired with serif body text, combining a strong, visual presence with fast loading page speed for your readers.

Twenty Nineteen is designed to be flexible and versatile and can be deployed for a variety of uses.

To learn how to install WordPress Themes, go here:

WordPress Classic Editor Plugin

WordPress Classic Editor Plugin

(WordPress Classic Editor Plugin)

If you have been using WordPress for a while and prefer to keep using the pre-WordPress 5.0 content editor (i.e. the WordPress ‘Classic’ editor), a ‘WordPress Classic Editor’ plugin has been developed by the WordPress community that restores the familiar editor to your WordPress site, replaces the new Gutenberg editor as the default content editor, and lets you keep working as you were previously.

Important

If you are updating your WordPress installation from a pre 5.0 version, you may see a window in your dashboard giving you the option to install either the new Gutenberg editor or the old WordPress ‘classic’ editor …

Updating WordPress from a pre-5.0 installation (Updating WordPress from a pre-5.0 installation)

If you are installing a new WordPress site on your domain, it will have the Gutenberg editor installed by default and you will then need to install the WordPress Classic Editor plugin to restore the old editor functionality.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to install, activate, and use this plugin, go here:

Additional Enhancements And Bug-Fixes: WordPress version 5.0

In addition to the new features and improvements listed above, WordPress 5.0 also includes a number of other enhancements and bug-fixes.

Important WordPress Update Tips

WordPress 5.0.2 - WordPress Update

Important

*** Important ***

WordPress versions 5.0 and higher require using themes and plugins that support the new WordPress content editor blocks.

Being quite new, not all WordPress themes and plugins currently support the Gutenberg editor and may cause issues or create conflicts when you update your site to the new 5.0 version.

During the transition phase to the new editor, you may see notifications on your dashboard from plugin developers about plugin compatibility with the Gutenberg editor …

Plugin notifications - Gutenberg compatibility

(Plugin notifications – Gutenberg compatibility)

If you are not sure, refer to the plugin or theme developer’s notes and documentation for compatibility issues.

Tips

You can check the official WordPress Plugins directory for a list of free WordPress plugins that offer block-enabled features …

WordPress.org: Block-Enabled Plugins

(WordPress.org: Block-Enabled Plugins)

To view all block-enabled plugins click on ‘See All’ …

WordPress.org: View all block-enabled plugins

(WordPress.org: View all block-enabled plugins)

We also recommend doing the following before upgrading to any new version of WordPress:

  • Perform a complete backup of all your WordPress files and database.
  • Search online for any problems or issues that other WordPress users may be experiencing with the new version. This includes incompatibilities and conflicts with plugins, themes, and other issues (search online for something like “WordPress 5.0 Bebo problems” or “WordPress version 5.0 bugs”, then go through some of the results to see what kind of issues and errors users are experiencing).
  • Once you have done the above, then upgrade to the new version as soon as possible to ensure that your site remains protected against any security vulnerabilities found in previous versions.

WordPress version 5.0.2 - Important WordPress Update Tips

Important

If you don’t want to perform your own backups, then consider getting help from a professional WordPress service provider, test your WordPress site on a local environment, or use a backup plugin.

(WordPress 5.0 Bebo)

***

Note: WordPress images used on this page were sourced from the official WordPress site’s release notes.

New WordPress Version Release – WordPress 4.9 Tipton

WordPress has just released version 4.9, named “Tipton” in honor of jazz musician and band leader Billy Tipton. Learn about the new WordPress v. 4.9 updates here.

WordPress 4.9WP Update: WP 4.9

WordPress has just released WP version 4.9, named “Tipton” in honor of jazz musician and band leader Billy Tipton.

Billy Tipton

(Billy Tipton. Image: Wikipedia)

If you plan to edit your existing WordPress theme, WP v. 4.9, released on November 16, 2017 contains major theme customizer improvements, code syntax highlighting and error checking for a cleaner and smoother site building experience, plus a new Gallery widget, improvements to theme browsing and switching, and more.

WordPress Theme Customizer

(WordPress Theme Customizer)

Here are just some of the changes you will see in the new WordPress version:

Improved Customizer Workflow

Improved Customizer Workflow

In version 4.9, WordPress introduces new features to improve your website’s design. This features include:

  • Draft And Schedule Site Design Customizations – Experiment with your site’s design and schedule your design changes to go live on a specified date and time of your choosing.
  • Collaborate With Design Preview Links – WordPress 4.9 allows you to collaborate with others in your team and get feedback on proposed site design changes by sharing a preview with others.
  • Design Locking To Guard Your Changes – WordPress 4.9’s design lock feature secures your draft design, preventing others from making changes.
  • A Prompt to Protect Your Work – If you are interrupted and step away from your desk before saving your new draft design, WordPress 4.9 will ask you if you want to save your unsaved changes.

Coding Enhancements

Coding Enhancements

WordPress 4.9 also introduces a number of coding enhancements, such as:

  • Syntax Highlighting and Error Checking – Scan, pinpoint, and fix CSS editing and coding errors quickly and easily.
  • Sandbox for Safety –  Avoid saving errors that can cause issues like the WordPress white screen of death when working on themes and plugin code.
  • Warning: Potential Danger Ahead! WordPress 4.9 will warn you when editing themes and plugins directly that this is a dangerous practice and recommend that you backup your files before saving to prevent files from being overwritten by future updates.

Widget Updates

New Image Gallery Widget

WordPress 4.9 lets you add an image gallery to your sidebar using a widget …

Image Gallery Widget

(Image Gallery Widget)

Add Media To Text Widget

Add Media To Text Widget

(Add Media To Text Widget )

WordPress 4.9 lets you embed images, video, and audio directly into the widget along with your text.

Site Building Improvements

Search & Preview WordPress Themes From The Customizer

(Search & Preview WordPress Themes From The Customizer)

WordPress 4.9 offers a number of site building improvements, including:

  • More Reliable Theme Switching – WordPress 4.9 offers more persistent menu and widget placement when you decide to switch themes.
  • Finding and Previewing Themes – You can search, browse, and preview thousands on WordPress themes from from your Customizer screen before deploying changes to your site and speed up the search for new themes with filters for subject, features, and layout.
  • Better Menu Instructions – Reduce confusion when creating new WordPress menus by following built-in instructions for a smoother menu creation process.

Menu Instructions

(Menu Instructions)

To learn more about using WordPress text widgets, see this tutorial:

Additional Bug-Fixes & Enhancements

In addition to all of the above, WP 4.9 also includes many other enhancements and bug-fixes.

Important Update Tips

WordPress version 4.9 - WP Update

We recommend doing the following before upgrading to any new version of WordPress:

  • Perform a complete backup of all your WordPress files and database.
  • Search online for any problems or issues that other WordPress users may be experiencing with the new version. This includes incompatibilities and conflicts with plugins, themes, and other issues (just search for something like “WordPress version 4.9 problems” or “WP v.4.9 bugs”, then go through some of the results to see what kind of issues and errors users are experiencing).
  • Once you have done the above, then upgrade to the new version as soon as possible to ensure that your site remains protected against any security vulnerabilities found in previous versions.

WP v. 4.9 - Important Update Tips

Important

If you don’t want to perform site backups, then consider getting assistance from a WordPress professional, or use a backup plugin.

You can learn more about a WordPress backup plugin that we recommend using to completely automate your WordPress file and database backups here:

WordPress 4.9 Tipton

(WordPress 4.9 Tipton)

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Note: Some of the images on this page were sourced from WP 4.9 release notes.

New WordPress Version Release – WordPress 4.8 Evans

WordPress has just released version 4.8, named “Evans” in honor of jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans. Learn about the new WordPress v. 4.8 updates here.

WordPress v. 4.8WP Update: WordPress 4.8 – Evans

WordPress has just released WP version 4.8, named “Evans” in honor of jazz pianist and composer William John “Bill” Evans.

William John "Bill" Evans

(Bill Evans. Image: Wikipedia)

WordPress version 4.8 Evans, released on June 8, 2017 contains a number of updates that provide more ways for users to express themselves and for businesses to represent their brand.

Here are just some of the changes you will see in WP 4.8:

WordPress Widget Updates

In version 4.8, WordPress introduces three new media widgets covering images, audio, and video, and an updated text widget that supports visual editing

WordPress 4.8 - WordPress Widget Updates

(WordPress 4.8 – WordPress Widget Updates)

Below is a brief description of these new widgets:

These widgets let you add content from your media library and media stored in other servers or storage locations (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc.).

Let’s go through how to configure and use each of these widgets:

WordPress Image Widget

The WordPress Image Widget lets you add an image to your sidebar from your media library or an external storage location …

Add an image to your sidebar with the WordPress image widget

(Add an image to your sidebar with the WordPress image widget)

To learn how to add and display images on your sidebar using the WordPress image widget, see this tutorial:

WordPress Video Widget

The WordPress Video Widget lets you add videos to your sidebar from your media library, YouTube, Vimeo, or an external storage location …

Add a video to your sidebar with the WordPress video widget

(Add a video to your sidebar with the WordPress video widget)

To learn how to add and display videos on your sidebar using the WordPress video widget, see this tutorial:

WordPress Audio Widget

The WordPress Audio Widget lets you add audio files like podcasts, music or a personal greeting to your sidebar from your media library or an external storage location …

Add an audio to your sidebar with the WordPress audio widget

(Add an audio to your sidebar with the WordPress audio widget)

To learn how to add and display audios in your sidebar using the WordPress audio widget, see this tutorial:

Rich Text Widget

WordPress has also added native rich-text editing capabilities to text widgets …

Rich Text Widget

(Rich Text Widget)

This lets you format text, create lists, add emphasis, and insert links into your sidebar text quickly and easily …

(Format text easily with the new text widget)

To learn more about using WordPress text widgets, see this tutorial:

Link Boundaries

WordPress has introduced a new feature called Link Boundaries that fixes common issues users experience when trying to update a link or the text around a link and can’t seem to edit it correctly.

These issues include:

  • Editing text after the link and finding that the new text also ends up linked,
  • Editing text in the link but finding that text ends up outside of the link.

Link boundaries create a ‘shield’ around the link to help streamline the link editing process …

New WordPress Feature - Link Boundaries

(New WordPress Feature – Link Boundaries)

To see this feature in action, watch the short video demo below:

(Link Boundaries)

Additional WP 4.8 Release Notes

Here are some other changes you will see when you next log into your WordPress admin area after updating to WP 4.8:

Nearby WordPress Events

WordPress has a thriving offline community of developers and users with groups that meet regularly in more than 400 cities around the world. These groups include WordCamps and WordPress Meetups that allow you to continue improving your WordPress skills and meet new friends.

WordPress now displays nearby WordCamps and local WordPress Meetups on your dashboard …

WordPress Events and News

(WordPress Events and News)

Being part of the WordPress community can help you improve your WordPress skills and network with other WordPress users. Now you can easily find your local events by logging in to your dashboard and looking at the new Events and News dashboard widget.

For example, when logging into WordPress from Sydney, Australia, this is what shows up on my dashboard …

WordPress displays information about your nearest local meetups

(WordPress displays information about your nearest local meetups)

Practical Tip

Depending on whether or not you are interested in attending WordPress events, you can hide the WordPress Events and News widget or make it more prominent in your dashboard.

To learn how to hide or reorganize the WordPress Events and News widget in your dashboard, see the tutorial below:

How To Customize Your WordPress Dashboard

WP version 4.8 – Additional Enhancements

In addition to all of the above, WP 4.8 also includes a number of other enhancements and bug-fixes.

Important Update Tips

WP 4.8 - WordPress Update

We recommend doing the following before upgrading to any new version of WordPress:

  • Perform a complete backup of all your WordPress files and database.
  • Search online for any problems or issues that other WordPress users may be experiencing with the new version. This includes incompatibilities and conflicts with plugins, themes, and other issues (search for something like “WP 4.8 problems” or “WP 4.8 errors”, then go through some of the results to see what kind of issues and errors users are experiencing).
  • Once you have done the above, then upgrade to the new version as soon as possible to ensure that your site remains protected against any security vulnerabilities found in previous versions.

WP 4.8 - Important WP Update Tips

Important

If you don’t want to do site backups, then consider hiring the services of a professional, or use WordPress backup plugins.

You can read about a WordPress backup plugin that can fully automate your site backups here:

WordPress 4.8 Evans

(WordPress 4.8 Evans)

***

Note: Some images shown above have been sourced from WordPress’ own release notes.