No-Frills WordPress version update steps

  • Backup your database and files.*  Backup plugin suggestions:,, BackupBuddy from 
  • Install and activate Classic Editor plugin (optional, useful if you are not ready to work with the new editor style)
  • Update your installed plugins
  • Update your install theme
  • Update WordPress version to 5.0 (the available version may be different depending on when you are implementing the steps in this article).
  • You might see a prompt to allow a database update.

*some webhosting plans include daily backups — ask your webhosting support team if that is an available option for your site

Project Outline Test Drive

I had created a project outline in Trello using Markdown formatting language. The project outline was inspired by questions from several clients to advance their upcoming projects.

I am experimenting with using the new Gutenberg editor tool on this website and thought it would a good opportunity to test drive the Gutenberg block support for Markdown by selecting a paragraph block and pasting outline directly into it in a new post.

Results: On my first try, I pasted the entire text from the Trello card all at one time. 9 heading blocks were created. The text I expected to be formatted as a list became paragraph blocks instead. The unexpected list format was due to my list syntax (formatting) error. After adjusting my list formatting, I pasted the entire text from the Trello card all at one time again. 9 heading blocks were created and several list blocks were properly created.

Below you can see the final text for the basic project outline.

Website URL:

Who is requesting this project?

What is the importance and purpose of this project?

Content Related:

  • Text (including internal and external links)
  • Visuals + Multimedia (i.e. custom images, stock images, videos, graphics, audio, custom fonts, logo)
  • Interactive Elements(i.e. payment forms, contact forms)

Known functionality Issues:

  • Theme
  • Plugins
  • Integration with external applications (i.e. email provider, payment processor-gateway, social media)


  • Desired starting week
  • Requested completion week
  • Payment schedule suggested (i.e. single payment, extended payment plan)

Other professionals who will be involved:

  • Graphic designer (name, phone #, email address)
  • Content creator (name, phone #, email address)

General Housekeeping:

  • Are redirects needed for deleted content?
  • Are Automatic backups happening?
  • Any themes, plugins or WordPress version outdated?
  • Is webhosting access available?
  • Is SSL certificate active?
  • Is WordPress dashboard access available?

Special Concerns:

Trying out the Gutenberg Plugin

(This post was set up using Gutenberg blocks)

As I was preparing this week for my workshop at Winter Writers Weekend  — I decided it was time to make the change on to incorporate the new blocks system provided by the Gutenberg plugin. The Gutenberg plugin is a tool that allows site owners and content creators to try out the new editing experience coming to WordPress.

Most of my adjustments turned out to be non-dramatic. I chose to streamline the content layout of some of my pages. To replace the widgets used for Conductor Plugin and Ninja Forms, I used the available Gutenberg shortcode block as a transition tool.

There will be questions from existing site owners about how to handle the changes that will come with when the blocks from Gutenberg plugin become the normal editing experience for sites powered by WordPress.

While the new editing experience is under active development there are a few preliminary steps that existing site owners can take without changing anything which would impact the website visitor experience.

Preliminary steps:

  • Learn how to create a backup of your files and database-pick an automated tool or manually copy you files regularly
  • Learn how to properly restore your files and database if something goes wrong
  • Ask your current webhosting vendor if a staging site is included with your plan 
  • Are there any users that should no longer have a author, editor or administrator role on your site?
  • Themes:
    • If you have purchased a premium theme: do you have a valid licence key to access to support?
    • If you are using a free theme: is it still actively supported?
    • If you are using a completely custom theme: is the original theme creator reachable?
  • Review your installed plugins:
    • Delete plugins that are not used
    • Are your active plugins supported and compatible with the most recent WordPress version?
    • Ask plugin authors what the plan is for becoming "Gutenberg compatible"

Get to know the new WordPress editor

post last updated: 12/12/2017

Gutenberg on GitHub
Test Gutenberg

Timeline for implementation into WordPress core software

Spring/Summer 2018

WordCamp TV videos

Event: WordCamp US
State of the Word (approx 35 minutes into the video)
Gutenberg and the WordPress of Tomorrow

Articles about Gutenberg project from various sources

Gutenberg and the Future of WordPress: Conditions for Success
The Economic Impact of the Timeline of the Gutenberg Rollout
Twitter #gutenberg
Ithemes-10 things you need to know
What Lisa Linn Allen learned at WordCamp 2017
Preparing WooCommerce



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