I plan to keep banging this drum — WordPress 5.0 is coming this year, a lot will change, and the big change will be the introduction of a new default editor codenamed “Gutenberg.”
Elsewhere I’ve (hastily) sketched out some things WordPress users should do to prepare for 5.0, here I’m addressing WordPress developers.
Blocks of content entered into a post (keep in mind that everything is a post) via Gutenberg get tagged with a block-specific CSS class, like
.wp-block-cover-image. Default styles for core-blocks are loaded (for now, While we use a plugin) from
somedomain.com/wp-content/plugins/gutenberg/build/core-blocks/style.css, and are loaded before the theme stylesheets. The Gutenberg developers have written well-formed CSS so a theme’s stylesheet overrides the default styles without problems like over-specified selectors or
Much of my work is building custom WordPress themes and the custom themes I make almost always start from Automattic’s Underscores starter-theme. Underscores provides modularized CSS using SASS. Anticipating WordPress 5.0, and for the sites (like this one) that currently use the plugin, I’ve created a collection of SASS files copying the default styles for Gutenberg core blocks, organized according to where the block sits in the editor’s selection dropdown. The files are available on Github.
A developer can incorporate this collection to a theme’s SASS folder for quick availability of the necessary selectors for styling blocks, providing a head-start in matching block styles to the theme.
In addition to the theme styles, there is also a collection of editor-styles in the GitHub project. I don’t want to blab about it here, but with careful development of editor-styles, a theme can come very close to displaying the editor contents just as they will appear on the live site, approaching the What You See Is What You Get promise that no one has ever quite delivered.
WordPress 5.0 is expected to be released in August. It’s a big change that will break some sites that aren’t prepared.
Here’s my take on what ought to be done when a release date is announced:
suspend any automatic upgrades;
make sure a backup program is in place;
install 5.0 and test on a staging/development site before upgrading a live site;
install, activate, and test a "Classic Editor" plugin.
The big change in WordPress 5.0 is the vastly improved editor (called “Gutenberg”) and it won’t work on existing themes without revising them. The necessary revisions aren’t predictable so we can’t estimate even a ballpark cost for the necessary revisions.
Kitchen-sink themes like Divi and Avada will probably take it upon themselves to replace Gutenberg with their own page-builder, but they might be sacrificing some medium-term benefits — Automattic has big plans for WordPress and much of it is centered around maximum use of the new editor.
It’s a good time to start planning to re-do older sites, looking at completion in early 2019 when WordPress 5.x has stabilized a little.
I don’t know when it started, but as I write this (June 2018), domain forwarding on the registrar GoDaddy is awful.
At least GoDaddy forwarding is simple to set up. You click “DNS” on the domain you want to forward, scroll down to “Forwarding” and click a couple of boxes. Things would have been great if it was all there was to it.
Recently, a client acquired a company with several websites and asked me to direct all traffic from the acquired website to a single page on an established site — like “redirect
new-domain.com/some-page/“. That would have been trivial with a .htaccess file but the old hosting accounts had expired during the acquisition so the trivial solution wasn’t available. The domains were registered with GoDaddy, and forwarding the domains using GoDaddy’s deceptively simple form seemed the best solution.
After clicking the right boxes, the domains and subdomains, like
worked fine, redirecting to the base redirect url
. But URLs for individual pages, like
, were redirected by GoDaddy to what seemed to be the error page of a link-shortening utility. Two long battles with GoDaddy support ended with them telling me that’s just how it is and that I don’t understand how the internet works.
Which is true enough, I suppose, but that didn’t solve my problem and luckily other people do know how the internet works.
To fix the issue (without having to purchase hosting or talk with GoDaddy support again) I set up the old domains in a Cloudflare account, pointed the GoDaddy DNS settings to the assigned Cloudflare name servers, then used a Cloudflare “Page Rule” (see image) with a couple of asterisks as wildcards to forward everything hitting the old domains to the new landing page. A free Cloudflare account provides 3 page rules, if you need more than that they cost $5/month each.
This is a workable but not perfect solution. Perfect would be for the registrar’s domain forwarding to redirect without an error page intervening, but GoDaddy has messed this up.
The theme used on this site, “SwingYourPartner” (that’s what popped into my head) was built to maximize page performance. The screen-shot shows the current score on Page Speed Insights. The two Font Awesome files mentioned as things to improve are served by the CDN without expiration directives in the header, and although I could work around that by serving local copies, the advantages of the CDN outweigh the Page Speed Insights ‘score’, to my mind, because the site is fast, loading in about 2 seconds.(read more )
The low initial cost of commercial WordPress themes compared to the relatively high cost of developing a custom theme can be a huge benefit regardless of the purpose of your site. But, depending on how your future needs shake out, you might pay a high price later for that initial convenience.(read more )