Update: WordPress 5.0 will be officially released on Dec. 6th, 2018, as Matt Mullenweg confirmed on Dec. 4th.
- The WordPress 5 Release Candidate is available for testing
- In our test installation, the Divi theme backend page builder was not accessible when activating WordPress 5.0 with the Gutenberg block-based editor
- After suppressing Gutenberg with the Classic Editor Plugin, the Divi page builder was available again.
“Give me five” usually has a positive connotation, but many WordPress site owners are not really enthusiastic concerning the upcoming version 5.0 of the world’s most popular content management system. This is due to the huge changes and uncertainties the new release has due to a radical change concerning the most important interface of a CMS, the editor.
Anybody needing to check the consequences which the big upcoming WordPress 5.0 release will have? Now it is the best time to go and try yourself. An official WordPress 5.0 release candidate is available for download and testing.
Included in the new WordPress version 5.0 is the block-based Gutenberg editor which has caused an intense debate. Critics stated that it has many usability also compatibility issues. The official developer team is optimistic and states:
The block editor is used on over a million sites, we think it’s ready to be used on all WordPress sites. We do understand that some sites might need some extra time, though.
WordPress site owners who want to refrain from using Gutenberg
by now are encouraged to install the Classic Editor plugin. Sites using this plugin will continue to use the classic post editor even after upgrading WordPress 5.0.
The public WordPress 5.0 release was previously due on November 27th, 2018.
This date has now shifted “to give more time for the RC to be fully tested” according to the developer team. A final release date, they say in their posting, would be announced “soon, based on feedback on the RC”.
Update on Dec 5th, 2018: WordPress 5.0 will be officially released on Dec. 6th, 2018, as Matt Mullenweg confirmed on Dec. 4th.
The WordPress 5.0 RC can be tested with a special WordPress Beta Tester plugin or by downloading the release candidate as a zip file.
News about the WordPress 5.0 release candidate compatibility with the Divi Theme by Elegantthemes:
Of course, for me as a power user of the Divi multi purpose premium theme by Elegantthenes, it was especially relevant how an install of WordPress 5.0 RC behaves when there is an active Divi theme with a Divi child theme. The reason is that ElegantTheme’s communication about the compatibility was somewhat unclear in the last months. There had been a post in August announcing proudly that there was now “Initial Gutenberg Support” given. But if you read this blog posting carefully and especially the comments, you get the impression that this compatibility was very limited.
In particular, the compability which had been announced by ElegantThemes was only related to the front end editor, not to the Divi page builder in the backend. This was stated by Nick Roach from ET in a short comment:
The Classic Divi Builder is part of the Classic WordPress Editor. If you want to keep using it with WordPress 5.0, you can installed the Classic Editor plugin.
And indeed, this is the only choice anybody working with more complex setups has. The reason is that in a visual editor / front end editor you will always encounter problems and limitations. To use a picture: working on somewhat complex websites only in a front end editor is comparable with repairing a car while driving.
Since August, it has been very quiet from ElegantTheme’s side as far as Divi and Gutenberg are concerned. It will be interesting which updates on this topic they will have in the next weeks.
Meanwhile: What happens if you have an active Divi child theme and upgrade to the current WordPress 5.0 RC? I jumped right into it, and this is what happened:
My initial check of WordPress 5.0 with Divi and a child theme
led to the following conclusion:
- When upgrading to WordPress 5.0, the “visual editor” of Divi – which is the front-end editor – seems to be loading. We will yet have to see if it really works reliably.
- After the upgrade to WordPress 5.0 RC, the Divi Page Builder editor in test site’s backend was no longer accessible.
- After installing and activating the official “Classic Editor Plugin” by Automattic, the well-known classic editor was there again – and the Divi page builder was able to load.
It is not really a big surprise because this was exactly the situation I had expected. I think in the next months I will be using the Classic Editor Plugin in order to remove Gutenberg on the WordPress sites I am taking care of. And I will have a close eye on the discussion in the Divi / ElegantThemes community, because I see a certain tendency in the public statements of ET that the visual editor (front end editor) should be considered as the main working tool in future – not really an option in my point of view because it is far less reliable than the backend page builder.