WordPress 5.0 Will NOT Break Your Website

Last Update: November 12, 2018

Don't Panic

I've seen some misinformation on the internet with people fearing that the upcoming major update to WordPress will break people's websites. This is not the case.

Even after the change to the blocks editor your site will look and work exactly as it does now. The difference will only be in the way that you create new content and edit the old stuff.

As you know, WordPress converts your new content to static HTML. The HTML for your old content will not be changed when WordPress updates to the blocks editor, it will only affect new content. So your old content will remain exactly the same. Your website is not about to break.

Install the Classic Editor plugin

If you are not ready for the change then install the classic editor plugin which is available from your WordPress dashboard. This is what is recommended by WordPress.org.

You can even use the new blocks editor in conjunction with the classic editor plugin

Gutenberg or Classic Editor? You CAN Have Both

Backup first

As always, create a backup of your website and save it on your computer before you update WordPress. Major changes to the version number such as updating from version 4.x.x to version 5.0 are not automatic so you have time to create your backup before updating.

Full Backup With a Plugin

If you have any questions please add to the discussion below.

As always, I'm here to help you.

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Recent messages
davehayes Premium
Well said Marion and well put, nothing you do in WordPress will break your site as you have said and more importantly, the Gutenberg Editor is going to be a good thing.

For those of us that use different theme builders such as Thrive and Elementor for example, Gutenberg, won't be daunting, because those theme / page builders work in a similar way
Abledragon Premium
Actually, I would disagree with the statement that Gutenberg will NOT break your site.

It's true that Gutenberg *should* not break your site, or is *unlikely* to break your site, but it's not a 100% certainty that it will not break it.

While the testing I have done has not broken any sites, there are still a number of questions outstanding.

Gutenberg version 4.3 was issued today, so the outstanding items which have been identified (so far) should have been fixed.

It's a concern that they're still issuing updates 6 days before the most recent launch date - WP5.0 has now been pushed back to 28th November, as a result.

Depending on the theme that's in use, and plugins that are installed, there may still be some incompatibilities. The number of themes and plugins in circulation is simply too great to have covered them all.

And, of course, the theme and plugin authors may not have done the work required to become compatible with Gutenberg.

This is a particular risk if you have any themes or plugins on your site that are old or have been abandoned.

There are 2 elements to this:

1. What Gutenberg does to *existing* posts and pages (it *should* not break them) and. . .

2. What it does if you *edit* an existing post/page (it may break it).

A couple of suggestions:

1. Install the Classic Editor plugin so you can fall back to the current editor. There are two settings in this plugin: Completely replace Gutenberg or replace it selectively.

Choosing the selective replacement setting will enable you to test it progressively on your site, including on a post by post basis. This would be a sensible route to take, rather than going cold turkey.

2. Check each of your plugins and your theme against the WordPress repository to see when they were last updated and the WordPress version they have been tested up to.

Be wary of plugins or themes that have not been updated in the last 12 months or where the WordPress version tested-up-to is lower than 4.9.8.

Be sure to take a full backup of your site before you update, and make sure that if you have WordPress core auto updates activated (not just minor updates, but major branch updates) then deactivate this so you have full control over the update process.


MarionBlack Premium
Good advice, Martin, thank you.
KElam Premium
Thank you, Marion! I’m so glad that us new members didn’t have time to panic before you wrote this blog. Kirk and I, working on the beginnings of our first website, and we wouldn’t be ready for 5.0 yet. We would like having the opportunity, like Yu said, to have both options so we can make that transition. We appreciate your post!

SAWalden Premium
Thank you for sharing this. I too have a read comments here and there about what some fear is a near apocalypse regarding anything WordPress or Gutenberg!

And thank you for the reminder to back up my site - especially before the before the 5.0 update.

BTW: I've been using Gutenberg for quite a while and have yet to experience any problems!
MarionBlack Premium
Exactly, it's fear born of ignorance.
kimwolfe Premium
Thanks for the helpful info Marion. So glad you are on top of Gutenberg :)
dragonfly10 Premium
Marion, you are so helpful and informed. I have tagged your post for future help.
baritonetom Premium
Thanks for the info.
lynnsam61 Premium
Backup first is always solid advice. Thanks Marion!
Debs66 Premium
Hi, Marion,

I seriously need to take the bull by the horns and get my head into this instead of messing around. I keep putting it off. Thank you for the update on it not breaking our sites as so much info is floating around. I have to admit. I will always trust what you have to say.

Just a question though Marion.

I have a site that I have had for over a year but I let it sit. I haven't done much with it at all. I am thinking of going back to it and adding a ton of posts and pages to it. It now has 14 pages and 8 posts so it needs work.

I use the Sydney theme and I like the page builder. What would you do if you was in my shoes shall I just start off with the Gutenberg plugin and move on from there. Should I just stay with the page builder.

I am not quite sure what to do Marion on this. I don't want to start out on it and then find I need to redo a lot of it again as I have to update a lot of it already.

I would love your input Marion and I defo need to start the training you have on this already.

As you know already I am a great fan of you Marion and all your training. Would love to know what you think on this.

Thank you.

Debs :)
MarionBlack Premium
Most of the page builders work hand-in-hand with the blocks editor. So I don't anticipate a problem. I would install the Gutenberg plugin now so you can start creating some fresh content on that website.

As you have some old content I would also recommend that you install the classic editor plugin and tweak it the way I mention in the video I linked to above. When you want to edit the old stuff use the classic editor instead of the blocks editor.
Debs66 Premium
Thank you Marion you are a diamond :)
Debs66 Premium
Ive done it Marion that was so easy thank you so much. I am having my cake and eating it lol your just brilliant :)
Larry MaC Premium
Thanks for the update and the information much appreciated.
omark4 Premium
thanks for the infos MarionBlack
Happy2Learn Premium
I love it when you say "as you know....." mostly because I'm really flattered that you think I am across these specific details ( I am not).

It's great to know that you are though. Thanks for keeping us all upto date. Cheers.
MarionBlack Premium
It's a nice way of introducing a fact without offending those who do know 😎
Happy2Learn Premium
he he he!! you are the master diplomat Marion!!
Jenny28 Premium
Thank you Marion, for the helpful info.
hanley Premium
Thanks, Marion, on top off the game as we have come to expect.

It is appreciated.

peter H