Everyone is on the edge of their seat — waiting for that fateful day when the beloved “Classic” WordPress Editor is replaced by the new block-based Gutenberg editor. Needless to say, the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue is:
“When will Gutenberg replace the Classic WordPress editor?”
The definitive answer to that isn’t known yet. It probably won’t be known until a week or two before WordPress 5.0 is fully ready to ship. But we can make some highly educated guesses based on development progress and trends we’re seeing.
Over on the Make WordPress blog, they lay out the following dates as milestones:
- October 19, 2018 – First Beta
- October 30, 2018 – First Release Candidate
- November 19, 2018 – Release
At the time of this publication (October 23rd), the initial beta hasn’t been released. The bleeding edge version of WordPress is currently an Alpha.
What happens if we miss the initial release dates?
The core team does acknowledge that their initial dates are a proposal and may need to be flexible stating “We know there is a chance that 5.0 will need additional time, so these dates can slip by up to 8 days if needed.”
If these initial projected dates are missed, the timeline will change pretty drastically with the First Release Candidate not due to ship until January. These are the dates the core team has identified as “Secondary Dates”:
- January 8, 2019 – Secondary Release Candidate
- January 22, 2019 – Secondary Release
We’re still within the window of the first dates, but with nearly 1300 open issues on Github, and over 300 of those identified as bugs, it seems unlikely the Beta will be in the best shape upon release.
There has also been a lot of vocal opposition to the first set of dates for various reasons. They range from interference with personal schedules during U.S. holidays and core contributor burnout — not to mention the potential disruption of eCommerce sites during Black Friday.
My personal take is that sixty days won’t make or break the success of the WordPress 5.0 release. If there’s an opportunity for more quality assurance and testing time without jeopardizing the future of the platform, we should take that time and make the 5.0 release memorable for all the right reasons, instead of all the wrong ones.
What to do if you’re not ready for WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg
Many of you may be concerned with these aggressive timelines. If you are, and you’re feeling generally skittish about this major update, you have options. I will say that Gutenberg will fundamentally change the way we use WordPress. Aside from (justified) compatibility concerns, I’d encourage you to learn more about it and how it will change WordPress for the everyday user.
Many managed web hosts like Flywheel, WP Engine, and Pagely will have modified release schedules based on their users and specific environments. With any of them, you can defer the update until you feel more comfortable.
If you want to take control now and prevent website problems in the coming months, here are some options that you can use no matter where your website is hosted:
- Shameless Plug – Grab one of our WP Site Care plans. We’ll manage the entire upgrade process for you. 😉
- Classic Editor Plugin – You can install the Classic Editor plugin, which will disable Gutenberg throughout your website, even if you upgrade to WordPress 5.0.
- Gutenberg Ramp Plugin – This handy little plugin lets you ease into using Gutenberg by allowing you to selectively choose the content types where you want to use Gutenberg.
When do you think Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0 will drop? Is it imminent? Or do we have some time? Hit us up in the comments!