17 Jan 3 Important Changes to Expect from the WordPress 5.0 Update
With each new version of WordPress released, we can always expect a few security and performance updates. With the newest WordPress 5.0 update, lots of new features are being added to both increase security, & huge improvements user experience when managing the site or creating posts.
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WordPress is seriously urging users to update to the newest version, mostly because of the security issues it addresses. Among other fixes, WordPress 5.0 stops your user activation screen from being indexed by Google and other search engines. This is important because exploits on that page can lead to extraction of usernames and passwords
More Bugs Fixed With 5.0
WordPress 5.0 update fixed a few cross-site scripting issue with the platform. For example, the ability of low privileged users to edit comments of other users has been removed. This is important because low-level users could edit comments of administrators to potentially contain malicious code that could harm website visitors.
Another huge issue has been corrected with a fix for a cross-site scripting bug that opened up sites to attack because of some plugins. This was a problem because some hackers or malicious groups could go to exposed URLs of plugins, causing a potential exploit.
A smaller fix was done to limit the ability of users to delete certain files and posts when they shouldn’t have been able to.
The last big bug fixed with the WordPress 5.0 update was a PHP bug identified by the WordPress team. This PHP bug was very technical in nature and a short explanation is that because of this bug, hackers or malicious actors could control certain archives on a server storing your WordPress installation files.
But, you can’t stop being vigilant about security issues by relying on what the WordPress 5.0 update provides. You still need to be diligent against other types of attacks that 5.0 doesn’t take into account.
These things are largely attributed to users who don’t properly maintain their site. You can avoid these security flaws by having a good understanding of how to keep your WordPress site secure, such as choosing the right WordPress theme and a secure web host to name a couple of things.
Back End Editor Updates
With WordPress 5.0, we are getting the long awaited Gutenberg update. This update moves the post and page editor from a WYSIWYG and HTML based editor to a block-based editor. This is going to drastically change the way people create content on the WordPress backend. What do we mean? Well, it’s a whole new editing experience that is more closely related to content builder plugins like Visual Composer.
While this might be panic-inducing for some WordPress developers and designers, the update is going to make editing and updating a page much easier for beginners. A huge advantage the block-based system provides is the ability to reuse blocks over and over. It’s an old development mantra “D.R.Y” or “don’t repeat yourself.” With the Gutenberg block system, this is easier than ever. It is amplified by the ability to edit re-used blocks and have the changes echo across the whole entire site. This can be huge for efficiency and speed when creating WordPress sites.
However, don’t worry if you don’t like the new editor. That’s because you can turn off the block editor if you prefer to use your favorite page builder plugin or just prefer the old WYSIWYG or HTML version. WordPress does this by providing an external plugin you have to install if you prefer the old editor instead.
Are you wondering how these changes are going to affect any existing pages on your WordPress site before the WordPress 5.0 update? As you might have expected, there could be some issues with this process. However, WordPress has you covered. And by covered, we mean that all pages or posts that existed before the 5.0 update will be opened in the old version of the editor in either WYSIWYG or HTML format, whichever you used before. This means that most if not all of your old content should still look the same.
Theme & Plugin Changes Incoming
With the WordPress 5.0 update, we are sure to see theme and plugin changes. That means that your favorite theme or plugin may be updating soon to be “Gutenberg compatible”. Not surprisingly, we are going to see a whole new era of themes modifying the Gutenberg blocks system to add additional functionality.
This also creates a huge opportunity for theme & plugin creators to create functionality that will work on all WordPress installations, and to set themselves apart from others by producing “Gutenberg ready” products.
There are also improvements in the code syntax used by WordPress 5.0. In the previous versions of WordPress, the editor tool would generate HTML code with what you put in the WYSIWYG editor. This still occurs on the new version, however, the code is rendered differently and in a much more efficient way. The team at WordPress say it will be great for developers who like to interact with the platform in a programmatic way.
Additionally, WordPress 5.0 now supports a newer version of PHP, 7.3. That means that the support functionality of the WordPress backend will be supported until 2022, much longer than the older PHP versions pre-version 5.0. The new version of PHP also has a huge performance boost compared to the previous versions.
Lastly, the other big change to themes is the new default WordPress theme “Twenty Nineteen,” which is going to be the default theme on fresh 5.0 installations.
Even though you may have initially thought it wasn’t that big of a deal, the truth is the WordPress 5.0 update will change how you and others interact with WordPress in a major way.