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What’s New in WordPress 5.0 (Features and Screenshots)

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

WordPress 5.0 was released just a few hours ago. It is the first and the only major WordPress release of 2018 with a whole new set of improvements and some big changes. In this article, we will show you what’s new in WordPress 5.0 and which features you should try after updating your websites.

What's new in WordPress 5.0

WordPress 5.0 is a major release and unless you are on a managed WordPress hosting service, you’ll have to manually initiate the update.

Important: Don’t forget to create a complete WordPress backup before starting the update.

Introducing Gutenberg The New Block Based Editor

WordPress 5.0 comes with a completely new editor codenamed Gutenberg. It is a block-based editor which allows users to create beautiful layouts using content blocks.

New block-based editor in WordPress 5.0

The old WordPress editor was a simple text window. While it worked well, you had to use different approaches to add images, create galleries, shortcodes, video embeds, and other content elements.

The new editor replaces them with a streamlined writing experience where each content element is wrapped in a block. You can move them around the editor, change their settings, and create engaging layouts without writing code.

By default, it comes with several blocks to add most commonly used content elements. This includes blocks to add images, audio, video, photo gallery, cover image, lists, quote, media, text, buttons, and more.

Adding blocks to create content

Blocks come with their own toolbar and settings. Apart from basic formatting options, you can also change width, colors, and other attributes.

Block settings

Widgets are also included as blocks, so you can easily add shortcodes, recent posts, recent comments, categories, and archives.

If you relied on adding shortcodes to your articles, then you can continue using them as a block.

Widget blocks

The new editor also makes embeds much easier. Simply expand the embeds section under the add block button, and you will be able to see all supported embed options.

Adding embeds as blocks

This makes adding videos, tweets, and facebook embeds a lot easier. Each embed is its own block, so you can adjust their settings just like any other blocks.

Video embed

If you feel a bit distracted by the WordPress admin sidebar, then simply switch to the distraction-free full-screen mode. This will hide the WordPress admin sidebar, and you will have a lot more room to design your content.

Fullscreen mode in new WordPress editor

You will find all your usual post editing features neatly tucked under the sidebar. This includes publishing and saving options, permalink or post-slug, categories and tags, excerpt, and more.

Post settings in new WordPress editor

Create and Reuse Blocks

If you often add things with the same style or content, then you can now save them as reusable blocks to use later when needed.

Simply edit a block you want to make reusable. Once you are satisfied with it, click on the menu dots in the block toolbar and select ‘Add to reusable blocks’.

Reusable blocks

You will be asked to provide a name for this block. After that, WordPress will save this as a reusable block. You can find it under the Add Blocks button and reuse it in other posts.

Insert reusable block

Editing Existing Content After Upgrading to WordPress 5.0

WordPress 5.0 will not affect any of your old content, and you would still be able to edit older articles. When editing an older article, you will see your content wrapped inside a “Classic” editor block.

Editing old articles in new WordPress 5.0 editor

You can continue editing the article inside the classic block. You can also break it into multiple blocks which will allow you to use all the features of the new WordPress editor.

Can I Still Use The Old WordPress Editor?

Yes, you can use the old WordPress editor by simply installing and activating the Classic Editor plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Switching to the classic editor

Upon activation, the plugin will disable the new blocks based editor, and you’d be able to use WordPress with the old classic editor that you are used to. For more details, see our article on how to disable Gutenberg and keep classic editor in WordPress.

Twenty Nineteen – The New Default WordPress Theme

WordPress 5.0 ships with a new default theme called Twenty Nineteen. It is a versatile and minimalist WordPress theme that can be used to start a blog or make a website.

Twenty Nineteen

Twenty Nineteen is based on Gutenberg starter theme, which means it is fully compatible with the new WordPress editor. It offers a clean canvas with minimal distractions, which gives you the freedom to experiment with the new editor and create beautiful layouts for your WordPress posts and pages.

WordPress 5.0 Compatibility with Themes and Plugins

WordPress 5.0 brings a big change to how users create content using WordPress. It has been under development for quite some time, which provided plugin and theme developers enough time to test their products and add compatibility for the new editor.

Most essential WordPress plugins like WPForms and Yoast SEO are already compatible with WordPress 5.0 and the new editor.

All top WordPress theme shops have also made their themes compatible with the new editor.

However if a plugin or theme on your website is not working properly, then reach out to that plugin or theme developer and ask them to update it.

If you do not hear back from them, then you can temporarily disable the plugin / theme and find an alternative. Alternatively, you can install the Classic Editor until your favorite plugin / theme have switched over.

We hope this article offered you a good insight into what’s new in WordPress 5.0. We are particularly excited about the new WordPress editor and the new ways to create content in WordPress. What are you excited about?

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

43 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Jay bro says

    Okay, I have gone through the new updates and I really hate it. WordPress is a community centric CMS and they should avoid updates on fancy looks. The editor is worst formatted. With almost all the elements are ‘display on hover’. It will be really difficult for the newbie users to adapt to this messy format. It will waste hours of time for the first time users on just to figure out the editor.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      As with any update, there are pains with changes made that will need to be addressed. If you agree or disagree with the current editor, it is what we have for the time being.


    • chris says

      not that happy with the whole block thing. i found lots of issues myself
      taken off everything and reinstalling old version.

      • WPBeginner Support says

        Rather than reinstalling the old version, you may want to use the classic editor so you can still receive security updates for your site.


  3. Isaac says

    After upgrading to 5, our sites got complete disabled. No one can edit the pages any more with our paid visual composer.

    We ended up having to pay visual composer again for the WP 5 compatible version.

    WP should have told the users the impact and remedy upon upgrade.

  4. Charles says

    Thanks for the guidelines. Please, how do I justify text in the new Gutenberg? Again, How do I find the insert page break? Thanks.

  5. Cath says

    How do I change the size of my image gallery?
    I already scaled the images down to 150pixels. But the gallery still displays them in their original size.

  6. Cath says

    How can I resize the gallery? The images are too big. I only have 2 in it and I just want them to be thumbnail size.

  7. hafid says

    With wp 5.0, do we still need a page build like ‘visual composer’, ‘DIVI’, ‘UX builder’? It will change the wordpress industry.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Hafid,

      Right now, you can continue using a page builder plugin if you want. It would be interesting to see how page builders evolve and what happens next as the block editor further improves in the future.


  8. ian says

    this WP update is a disaster, just don’t do it. i have had nothing but problems. first, for some reason the feature image no longer shows on social shares although looking at the meta code the og:image tag is correct. Also, all of a sudden after the feature image and article title the content is hidden and readers must click a ‘read more’ button to see the entire article. the editor is confusing and embeds were already super easy with the classic editor. WP needs to rethink this change and whoever is set to make money from this junky editor and changes that make our sites less user-friendly now.

  9. Andy says

    Thank you for your post – it is informative through 5.0 is a bit bulky to work on for the first time
    I am just wondering how to add alt description for images if I upload a few at one time

    thank you

  10. Elise says

    I am intrigued by all the potential benefits of WP 5! I’m playing with it but do y’all recommend any tutorials to get up to speed? Thanks.

  11. Flueras says

    Hello. How can i insert multiple columns because in the old version it was much more easier…. For instance i want to make 4 icons on a line inserted in the article and them to point me in some external links…

  12. Ikechukwu says

    How do I add a featured image to my posts? I tried using the cover image on 5.0 but it’s not working as a featured image

  13. Amber Humphries says

    For some reason the thumbnail when sharing in social media is now always our blog logo. Is this something that isn’t working with the new format or am I somehow doing something wrong? Would love to have it show up as the thumbnail I select.

  14. Bryan F says

    Most of the reports I’ve seen state that WP 5 will break a lot of sites. I run web sites to present content, not to exercise my programming skills.

    Forcing Gutenberg onto all WP users is a colossal feat of hubris, especially given the overwhelming negative feedback given when the idea first floated. Telling people what they want is one of the most arrogant things anyone can do, and WP management is guilty of this.

    Instead of “fixing” my sites to work with Gutenberg, I’ll most likely switch to the fork ClassicPress.

  15. Haseeb says

    How can I add a button to a posts -page. what hook can be used to add a custom button

    I’d like to place it next to, or near, the setting or publish button, to get content from The new Gutenberg editor to a web service.

  16. EMB says

    What the hell was the point of this? How do I simply insert an image? Why did you need to make this so pointlessly complicated? WHO ASKED FOR THIS??

    • Bryan F says

      No one asked for Gutenberg.

      WP management decided a new editor was needed to compete with other CMS. From what I’ve read, the initial feedback on Gutenberg was overwhelmingly negative, but WP management decided to go forward anyway. It appears that the decision was a financial one, not one that was community driven.

      • Martin N says

        Bryan F : 100% Correct. There was no need for such a drastic change.

        Take a look at the 2,000+ mainly negative comments over at the plugin hub – I think it speaks volumes.

        I see from the Editorial Staff here the comment that more “Block” changes are coming.

        Now, you simply cannot run a business with WP being a core part of it with such uncertainty.

        Do those deciding on these changes understand this? Was the wider WP community consulted?

        This is a watershed moment in the history of WordPress, one that I believe will be the start of its decline.

        Let’s hope they come to there senses.

  17. says

    This update is too heavy lol, its confusing and breakdown websites, just hate dat guterbeng of a thing

    • Editorial Staff says

      Thanks for leaving your feedback. There is definitely a mixed bag of feelings around Gutenberg, but we believe its the right step forward to making WordPress even easier and beginner friendly over the years to come.


  18. Wojciech Pietrzak says


    Do you have some info about performance improvements between 4.9 and 5.0, or could you provide some tests? I would love to read about it!

    I feel that my site is loading faster with 5.0 but maybe is a placebo effect :)

    • Editorial Staff says

      That’s an interesting observation.

      There is so much that goes into website speed that it’s hard to do a proper test.

      But I’m glad to hear that your website feels like it’s loading faster with 5.0 :)


  19. Cynthia U. says

    For some of us who are not yet ready to switch over, please how can we disable or hide the notification block so we accidentally update or something.

    I’d like to give some time for all plugin to adjust, then we can switch over. There’s no rush

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