In less than 24 hours, one of the most anticipated software releases of the past two decades will take place. On December 6, 2018, WordPress 5.0 will be released in all of its glory (and blunder). Assuming everything goes well, Matt Mullenweg, Founder of Automattic, the parent company that owns WordPress.org and WordPress.com, says that the new release will be available for update.

As with any new software releases, there will always be pushback from members of the community. It seems to be split right down the middle. Half of the WordPress developers I’ve spoke to seem to be in favor of the new release; the other half is all but protesting it. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, the new release symbolizes an evolutionary age where new opportunities will arise and chaos will ensue.

But before we panic, let’s break things down a little.

What Is WordPress?

While it originally began as a simple blogging platform, WordPress is now the largest content management system (CMS) in the world. Powered by more than 20% of all websites currently on the web, the popular CMS provides developers with a framework to build full-scale websites including e-commerce stores and news sites. Today, some of the most visited websites on the web use WordPress to power their sites. BBC America, TechCrunch, and Mercedez-Benz all use the CMS on their sites. You know it’s legit when Sweden uses WordPress to power its official website!

Today, you can use WordPress to do pretty much anything. It’s a force to be reckoned with and programmers who haven’t already caught on will do well to learn about it.

What Is Gutenberg

While WordPress is the underlying framework (software platform) that powers sites, Gutenberg is the new Page Editor that website designers use to publish blogs, post content, and make changes to their websites. And it’s now the default Administrator user interface for WordPress.

Gutenberg is a fresh take on the old way of doing things. It’s a block-based grid editor that makes publishing rich content to your WordPress website simpler than ever. For some, it will feel familiar. For others, it will feel unfamiliar and may take some time to get used to.

In any case, it’s always a good idea to set up a STAGING or DEVELOPMENT site to try out the new Page Editor. When you feel comfortable and perform necessary regression testing, you can push the site LIVE.

Why Does All Thi Matter?

At Site Assembly, it’s in our mantra to “Always Evolve”. To us, that means always learning new ways to tackle new problems in this ever-changing world. WordPress 5.0 is one of those “new solutions” to a problem some people didn’t even know they had.

It matters because it’s going to impact any business that has a WordPress website, any developer who makes a living from WordPress, and any agency that operates WordPress endpoints. It matters because regardless of whether we like it or not, it’s coming in less than 24 hours, and it’s going to change the way we build and manage WordPress websites for years to come.