Gutenberg is Coming, whether you like it or not. If you have been around WordPress for any length of time, you know that in a month or so we will have a new default editor in WordPress. For better or worse, (we think it’s better), we need to be prepared for this major update because it brings massive changes to WordPress core feature which is creating and editing content.
Step 1- Install the “Classic Editor Plugin
WordPress 5.0 will have Gutenberg front and center with no way of going back unless you restore an old version of your site.
The classic editor plugin will give you the best of both worlds – for a time.
Essentially it will allow you to update to WordPress 5.0 – but still use the classic editor.
This will be a stopgap measure just in case you’re not ready to take the deep dive into Gutenberg when 5.0 rolls out.
Step 2 – Create a staging environment
A staging environment is an exact copy of your current website that is not in “production” – that means the public can’t view it.
If you are using a web host such as Siteground or WPengine, your account has a staging environment.
This gives you a scratchpad to work from while you’re performing step #3.
Step 3 – Get a list of your plugins
You’ll want to get a list of plugins and themes that are currently on your newly created staging site.
The reasoning behind this is that many plugin/theme developers have not yet upgraded their code to handle Gutenberg
So if you have a list, you’ll be able to more easily record which plugins/themes might be giving you problems.
The Debug info plugin is pretty helpful in that regard.
Step 4 – Install Gutenberg on your staging environment
Install the Gutenberg plugin on your staging site and deactivate the classic editor plugin
You are now a Gutenberg user! At least on staging anyway.
Now is the time to check under the hood – see if you have any of the following:
- MIssing or misaligned text
- Errors in certain pages not showing up
- Shortcodes not working
- Weird Behaviors in the admin panel
You’ll also want to check the front end to see if it looks weird as well.
Most of your major plugins will have made updates to handle Gutenberg, such as:
- Yoast SEO
- Advanced Custom Fields
Step 5 – Update/ Deactivate/ or Delete Plugins and themes on your Staging Server
This is where you need to be a detective.
Using the list of plugins that you got from the debug info plugin, take notes on what you’re seeing.
Are some of the configuration items gone from the admin panel? Has your theme gone haywire?
What you’ll then need to do is either –
- Update the plugin if they have a Gutenberg compatible version
- Deactivate plugins one by one to see if they are culprits behind the problem – you may have to find a replacement plugin for those that are not compatible.
- Delete unnecessary plugins that are causing problems
You’ll repeat the above steps for themes.
The actions that you take here on your staging environment can be replicated on your live site to make sure it’s ready for Gutenberg.
If you want other articles and tips on Gutenberg, check out Gutenberg.news
Are there any missing steps in the above list? How was your experience with Gutenberg? Comment below.
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