Fears at Work 2 – The WordPress update

Have you tried the WordPress update yet? I notice a lot of people in comments are saying they’re scared of it but haven’t tried it yet. 

Well… Go try it. It’s an update that’s been coming for well over a year. We’ve had nearly a year to try Gutenberg, the new editor, to see if we like it or not. There are options for returning to classic editor, but ultimately, the new editor is coming (or here if you updated this weekend) and it’s here to stay. make a new account or if you self host, create a subdomain and use a fresh install of WordPress 5.0.

If you don’t like Gutenberg you can always try Medium.com for a brilliant writers website. From fiction to politics to lifestyle. It’s a social media built for writing and reading. If you need a homepage, try Squarespace, Wix or Weebly

In my opinion, the WordPress team are trying to make an editor that can in some way stand up to Squarespace’s and Wix’s website editors. It has a block functionality that allows you to add new and different things to your blog posts without the need for plugins or HTML. For some people, this new way of doing things is completely awesome. For others, it’s going to really mess with peoples workflow.

The old editor was pretty dated. Squarespace, Wix and Weebly have made website creation very accessible, WordPress was going to start losing a decent lump of new bloggers to the more modern website builders. Not everyone wants to learn HTML or website building to run a blog. Even if it’s just five minutes of their time. WordPress has always lagged behind in that respect.

The downside to this is you get people like me. I’ve been using WordPress to blog since 2004’ish. I’m well stuck in my ways. So the new editors an issue for me. I used WordPress because it was WordPress. Not a block-based web builder.

The reason my own website broke so completely is partly my fault. This website has broken numerous times over this last year and hasn’t even been fully fixed when I’ve done complete re-installs. So when updating to WordPress 5.0, it was a catalyst that blew up every bug, issue, code error and media problem I’ve had this last year. I back up once a month so had access to a folder with my media library, but when importing the websites XML it didn’t want to accept my media library was there. Even using plugins to re-attach all my media, I’m still having to go through and manually edit every single post.

I also have an issue with inline images no longer working unless made with the Gutenberg editor. So that little line of icons at the bottom of every post exploded across my screen and made a right mess. Again, every post on this site needs that edited out. 

My old theme also spat the dummy out and won’t function with WordPress 5.0 so I’ve spent a lot of today figuring out a new layout for the website. Almost there.

The amount of work I need to do on this website is going to take me weeks. It’s a horrific pain in the arse, that’s partially self-inflicted. I could have been far more prepared for this.

So, the thingy of this post. Don’t panic. There are good reasons why my website died so catastrophically. Gutenberg is coming. Like it or not. Go try it now. Don’t fear something you don’t understand. You might like it. You can revert to the classic editor through a plugin, but eh, Gutenberg is the way WordPress want things done now. Reviews on Gutenberg are pretty split. As is often the way with the Internet, it’s easier to rant than to praise.

One last thing. If you hate Gutenberg or find bugs, let the devs know. But have some humanity with it and don’t go abusing, threatening and being a dick to the developers. The internet doesn’t need any more abusive rage.

86 thoughts on “Fears at Work 2 – The WordPress update”

  1. I have tried it. I tried it when it first appeared. I’m not afraid of trying new things, I like new things, I DON’T like this ‘blocks’ editor. For the time being I haven’t seen anything the new blocks editor can do that the Classic editor can’t do, so therefore don’t see the point at the moment. I tried making a blog on Weebly a couple of years ago, drove me insane in the end (because of their blocks type editor). I’ve tried Wix several times over the years, don’t like that either. So I came back to WordPress and now look! ?

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    1. Yeah, your comment sums up why I’ve always stuck with WordPress. I like WordPress because it is(/was) WordPress. Haha.

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    2. Totally agree with you. That’s why I am NOT using weebly (had to because I took over a site for a group and I hated it while I had to do it). I haven’t seen any adantages to the old editor here on wordpress.

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  2. I tried it only once so far; couldn’t find the symbols icon-not sure how to yet. Hope it exists somewhere in WP. Had a difficult time adding my photo, eventually figured it out, but doesn’t show on my post like it used to-only on the lists of past posts. I don’t like the limited options compared to original.

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    1. I can live with Gutenberg, but I’m not enamoured with it. I’ll move onto using the new editor over the classic as it’s the future of WordPress. I imagine the classic editor will become defunct at some point.

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  3. I have upgraded all four of my websites to 5.0 with only one site breaking, and that was due to a plugin. The new editor will take some getting use to as I do coding. Wishing you great success with your website updating.

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    1. Cheers, Cinnamon. I often find it’s the plugins that are the issues when upgrading/updating. Occasionally the theme too. Good to hear your updates have gone well!

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  4. Thanks little fears. My problem is I don’t understand all the technical issues. I don’t know how to write code and I like the simple way WordPress works. I know other people who have even struggled with WordPress as it is! Is there somewhere on here to get information on how to do things? A home page that explains?

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  5. I avoided the change, until it was pushed onto me a few weeks ago. I didn’t like the new editor at all. But, having fiddled, etc., I do like it. So much so, that I’ve asked WordPress if they can develop a tool to make it easier to mass convert old posts to blocks. I’ve had to change things the hard way by working through my hundred or so posts – but that wouldn’t be practical for someone with thousands.

    Please don’t dismiss Gutenberg out of hand. It does need more refinement, but the blocks offer up new design possibilities through css.

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    1. Hey there, Baldy. Good to hear a positive story for the new editor. I’ve had the Gutenberg plugin installed for a few months now. I’ll be using the new editor instead of the classic editor as it’s where WordPress is taking their platform. But honestly, I liked WordPress because it wasn’t a block-based editor. It’s a tad frustrating to see the last mainstream non-block website builder turn block-based. Current issues will take me a few weeks to deal with, but I’ll get there in the end.

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  6. I actually like the Gutenberg update. It did take a bit of getting used to, but not all that much, and I like how it clearly identifies every piece of content by function.

    In a lot of ways, it’s probably more intuitive for people who have never done any blogging or worked with a CMS before. And if you’re the type who wants to use inline coding, each block can still be edited in html and now can be toggled to css, which offers massively more flexibility than ever before.

    The only real issue I’ve had is that a few nifty things like the inline image galleries don’t work anymore, but I think that’s a matter of getting themes squared away. Give it a few weeks for theme developers and the WP devs to work out the kinks, and it’ll all be fine.

    This time next year, you won’t be able to imagine how you got along without it.

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    1. Good to hear another success story with Gutenberg.

      I’m certainly not anti-Gutenberg. But I find the experience frustrating. I’ve always liked WordPress because it wasn’t a block-based editor. Doesn’t matter how many of them I’ve tried, I’ve just never gotten on with them.

      I’ll adapt and change with time.

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  7. I’m with a lot of the people in the comments here, it’s not as intuitive as the previous editor, but it appears to work when I try. Since I generally write in markdown and import the html, I’ll have to play with how well this works for me.

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    1. That’s actually one of the problems I’ve had. I used to use saved HTML templates in notepad and just paste in what I needed then copied it into WordPress HTML editor. There are quirks that stop me doing that with Gutenberg. Like it doesn’t like inline images unless made with the black-editor. A tad frustrating.

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    1. Ooof. Haha. Sorry to hear that, Mermaid. They’ve made a lot of changes to it over the last few months. I still don’t like it, but I would say it’s improved a lot.

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  8. I like how you wrote this and how we need to stay open – but change is so hard!
    Also loved this:
    “used WordPress because it was WordPress. Not a block-based web builder.”
    Had no idea you have been on wp since ’04
    You are a legacy user

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    1. Chers, Prior. Is a legacy user a thing or just a way of saying been here a long time? Haha. My first blog was for Mandriva Linux then Ubuntu Linux when it appeared. Then started a personal blog in 2008’ish covering my dogs and motorcycle adventures. 2012 I made two more sites, one art, one fiction. Then they came together for a new project, the Fears, over Christmas 2016. Been about a while haha.

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  9. Will this be foisted on us like we wake up one day an$ it’s all different, is it only on paid sites/versions. Gutenberg was ok when I auditioned it but the further we get away from “standard” document creation the stranger it becomes.

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    1. Paid ads? On the Fears? Lord, no! Nobody could make an advert that would fit the aesthetic of the website. I’m not opposed to adverts on blogs but I mentally can’t deal with out of place looking adverts on any site, haha!

      The theme change has come about here because the WordPress 5.0 update doesn’t agree with my old theme, and was part of the cause of Friday nights website meltdown.

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    1. Cheers, Donna. Life’s a lot easier when you resolve to just get on with things rather than flapping about them. Also, yeah, always nicer to be nice about it. 🙂

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  10. I would prefer it if WordPress allowed more design customization on your main page rather than just blog posts. There were a couple themes I would have liked to use but didn’t due to the navigation bar being at a place that I didn’t like or the banner being weird.

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  11. Hello. Thanks for sharing your experience. I had been playing with the block editor while it was a plugin to get used to it a little, and now that it’s in the core with WordPress 5.0, I’m going to try to use it exclusively. The update went well for me; but I have very few plugins and knew my theme had been tested with the new version. Plugin and theme conflicts seem to be behind many of the problems I see reported on the WordPress.org forums; that, and people having trouble figuring out how to do things the did in the past, like publicize to social networks, add links, and the best way to handle images.

    You may already know this, but there is a Classic Block with the new editor, that pretty closely emulates what you could do with the classic editor but within a post containing Gutenberg blocks. This has helped me make the transition: putting a Classic Block in the post for some things, but experimenting with other blocks to try out the new capabilities. I’ll still be creating image galleries using this Classic Block because the slideshow carousels I like to put in my posts aren’t yet fully supported in Gutenberg.

    You can also create content in the Classic Block, then convert it. I can type several paragraphs in the Classic Block, for example, then select “Convert to blocks” and Gutenberg will recreate the content as individual paragraph blocks. I have only tried it with paragraphs and images, but you may be able to take advantage of it as you work through fixing your posts.

    Good luck, and bye for now!

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    1. Great to hear the update went well for you. Always nice to hear good experiences. Plugins do seem to be the most troublesome issue with the 5.0 update. Not entirely unexpected, heh.

      I have tried the classic editor. In all truth, using plugins and forks to hold onto the past usually just means you have to adapt anyways at a later date. Jump into the new editor with both feet and get learning it as soon as possible I say.

      One of the other common issues I have is some basic HTML markdown doesn’t work. Be it in HTML blocks, converted blocks or classic adapted to 5.0. Inline images for me is a big deal. That’s one of the things I need to go back and edit every post on my site for.

      I’ll get there with it. Hopefully before Crimbo. Cheers, Dale, and thank you!

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  12. I left Squarespace for one reason: WordPress was where the people were, and we still are! I hope for the best of both worlds: an easier ride with Gutenberg for new bloggers, and friends who push through the change. I really like the tone of your post, which is true to the WordPress spirit — accepting.

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    1. Cheers, Rachel. I agree WordPress is where the people are compared to Wix, Squarespace and Weebly. They’re more page builders than communities. Would say people are also on Medium.com. It’s a fab writing and blogging community. And yep, if people could stay positive, both in themselves and to others, life would be a lot nicer!

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  13. I actually enjoy the new editor. At first, I was iffy but because I use an email service, I am familiar with it. I have had a premium plan with WordPress, not this site, and plan to go self-hosted in the future. Is WordPress really difficult because I have no knowledge of html or css but I do want a nice website without hiring someone?

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    1. Hmm, I would say WordPress pre-5.0/Gutenberg was unfriendly. As for setting up on self-hosting, it’s really easy. Look out for a host that has Softaculous. It’s a server-side product that allows you to install WordPress in a couple of clicks. Not the best of videos, but it’s a good guide for how simple it is to do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlfpQ6hud7c

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  14. My issue was copy and paste. I used to copy something and add it to my site rather easily. Now it doesn’t seem to work as well. Lots of work to make it look good when pasting into my blog was once pretty easy to do. I also don’t care for change, but I don’t mind to adapt if it seems like that adaption is worth my time and effort. Maybe I can make it work if I try it some more.

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    1. Also a problem of mine, Anthony. I have to change my HTML copy/paste template going forward because 5.0 won’t accept my inline images in HTML form. They have to be made with the Gutenberg plugin. Sigh. It ws all so easy haha.

      You know, I would recommend Medium.com to you. It’s got a stella community and is far ore focussed just on the writing than WordPress is. Give it a nosey.

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  15. I answered my own question by just reading further! hahaha! You will get it done! Just work at it a little at a time and it will be finished in no time. I myself need to go through my site and fix some things cough and I did try the new editor I am just old and stuck in old ways. I am having to relearn a lot of things for new programs so might as well add wordpress to the list.

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    1. Arf, funny, tech seems to be going through a “change all the things” period at the moment. That, or we’re all just getting older haha!

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    1. Didn’t think of the waiting until Christmas thing… Before Crimbo has given me a good goal of getting the entire site done by Crimbo day. I can understand for some folk it’s a real fecker of a time of year though. Heck, even I should be selling my wares instead of 2-3 hours a day fixing old posts. Sigh

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    1. Great to hear it worked for you. Not sure if using a Mac helps there, though. my problems stem from the server and a lot of the problems I’ve heard of are to do with plugins and themes. Also server side.

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  16. I’m hoping it will be easier to use once I’m used to using it! It seems to be ok on my actual site at the moment but not for email/reader views etc…

    Also I saw someone else mention that the fact it creates a new text box for each paragraph is irritating and I’m glad that’s not just me being picky – ’cause it is irritating 😛

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    1. As with all things, it gets easier with extended use. I’ve been using the plugin for a few months, but the changes to all my old posts was a bit of a shock when I re-imported to 5.0. Good luck with the big change!

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  17. Ah. The new thing I’m too scared to try. I have no idea what most of the comments above mean. It truly is a foreign language! Oh dear, I fear trouble coming. I’ll be watching the video you linked to! I’m so glad to read that you have solved the mystery of most of your woes. Sorry it’s causing so much work though. Onwards and upwards!

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    1. Ach, my troubles, to some extent, could have been avoided. Like I said though, how ever the update went down, I was going to have to edit every single post at some point. Good luck with your upgrade, Echo!

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  18. For some reason your post is very comforting.

    I jumped right in – both on this website and my wordpress.org website. Prior to Gutenberg, I’d never heard of “the white screen of death” now me and TheLeadstorydotorg know it intimately.

    Much continued success your platform. It is very inspiring.

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    1. It’s getting a thumbs down from a lot of us. Fixing 100 out of 800+ posts has taken 10 hours of time so far. Soooooo much wasted time!

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  19. I tested Gutenberg once, but I went back to the old one.
    The reason was that I didn’t get along with Gutenberg in a hurry and with my Advent calendar, where I had made a post every day, there was no time to deal with the new one.
    But new year, new attempt. Happy New Year

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    1. Yeah, there’s some adjustment time required for Gutenberg. I’d been using the bet thingy for ages so was fairly familiar with it on launch, but bow howdy I wasn’t expecting all the other issues with the 5.0 update. Happy new you to ya, Just!

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    1. Gutenberg’s not as bad as many folks are ranting about. But it has caused some of some serious headaches. Best thing to do, roll ya sleeves up and get stuck in. It’s here and here to stay, aye.

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  20. I stay busy creating content. To take time to learn a new editing system, with the trial and errors that come with anything new, sets me back in content creation. The format was not broken and did not need “fixing.”

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    1. Ooof, sorry. Don’t fear the update. What happened to me shouldn’t happen to everyone. It was a particular set of circumstances. I’ve been saying this a lot this weekend. Make a dummy account with a dummy name on WordPress.com, import your website via WordPress import/export tool. Not only will you have a backup but you can have a quick check of your website before you upgrade in a safe place of no consequence.

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      1. Yes and no. That does import all content. However, media is an issue if it’s been disconnected or removed (like mine was). The other issue for me was every single post containing theme specific shortcode and inline images. Neither of which worked with WordPress 5.0. I exported the WordPress install under 4.9. Imported it back into 5.0 and that made an absolute mess of my entire site.

        I have resolved 95% of my troubles now. I think it took over 40 hours total to resolve.

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      2. Oy. Not ready for troubles. Hope I don’t have any. Would rather spend 40 hours doing anything else. Wish I knew how to make my own website and not have to deal with updates. Right now, I can’t “like”
        anyone’s posts or follow pages. Annoyed.

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