On Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0

A while ago, we gave the advice not to upgrade to WordPress 5.0 as it was nearing release. I’m happy to say that as of about a week ago, we feel we’re happy for everyone to move to WordPress 5.0 and start using Gutenberg. Of course, we still advise you to make sure you test how it works for your site, first!

We were honestly scared of the WordPress 5.0 release. As it turned out, there were some serious performance issues within Gutenberg that needed addressing. But, all of those have since been addressed. The overall load on our support team has honestly been negligible. WordPress 5.0.3, the current release as of me writing this, is good. In fact, you can get the best version of Yoast SEO we have right now by upgrading to 5.0 and starting to use Gutenberg.

Working with Gutenberg is very nice. In fact, our content team here at Yoast, who were also skeptical in the beginning, have been asking for the team to enable Gutenberg on yoast.com. I think that’s a testament to how awesome it is and I look forward to improving Yoast SEO in it even more!

Note: If you need plugin support, please be aware that we’ll advise you to upgrade to 5.0 and no longer support 4.8.x.

Read more: WordPress 5.0: What is Gutenberg? »

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32 Responses to On Gutenberg and WordPress 5.0

  1. Kevin Brown
    Kevin Brown  • 5 years ago

    I was totally confuse with the update . I have a printer repair site and a famous technical printer support site on wordpress. At the release of update it totally messed up the site especially my canon offline support page . Now that i am familiar with the update it is all working perfectly fine.

  2. john givens
    john givens  • 5 years ago

    Using a staging site to test Gutenburg…
    1. I am using WP 5.0.3
    1. I have gutenberg plugin Version 4.9.0 installed but not activated.
    2. I have mClassic Editor Plugin installed and activated.
    2. Still using Classic editor and WP Bakery to develop and maintain my site.

    How do I test Gutenberg in the Staging site?
    – Do I deactivate the Classic editor plugin and activate the Gutenberg plugin?
    – Or – just deactivate the classic editor and the Native Gutenberg editor will become the default operational editor?

  3. John Givens
    John Givens  • 5 years ago

    Still confused about how and why I should switch to the new Gutenberg editor. If I have a site working well and using WP Bakery Page Builder and Classic Editor. My site is only pages – not a blog.

    I have set up a duplicate staging site on my Go Daddy host to test the new editor. I have the latest version of WP installed on Go Daddy Managed WordPress.

    My questions:
    1. What do I have to do on the Staging site to try out the new editor?
    2. Is this a smart way to test the new editor?
    3. If I’m content with the existing editor and using Page Builder…WHY should I consider changing?

  4. Fashina Adebayo
    Fashina Adebayo  • 5 years ago

    I love yoast plugin, although am using the free version, but I don’t know why I always score low in the reading part than in the seo part and I still don’t know how to add image alt using Gutenberg editor on wordpress 5.0

  5. Anh Dang
    Anh Dang  • 5 years ago

    I agree with you! The initial release was a bit scary, all of our client’s sites were not working properly but looks like everything is working nicely now!

  6. Bindu Lall
    Bindu Lall  • 5 years ago

    Joost, thank you for the update. Will be upgrading to 5.0.3. I was actually waiting for a heads up from the Yoast team regarding this issue. We take your advice very seriously.

    Thank you once again

    Warm regards

  7. Ciska
    Ciska  • 5 years ago

    This is good news. I have been using the Classic Editor but would love to finally switch over to Gutenburg.

    • Bindu
      Bindu  • 5 years ago


      thats really brave of you:) . We at Jasmine Trails rely a lot on Joosts’ advice and will upgrade to 5.0.3, now. But I am still not confident of Gutenberg. Maybe the reviews on WP itself have colored my vision a tad..


  8. Sheriena McEvers
    Sheriena McEvers  • 5 years ago

    It seems when I use Gutenberg that Yoast blocks part of the post. I can’t seem to move it out of the way. I would like to use Gutenberg since it came with the WordPress upgrade, but so far I’m not happy with it. With the classic editor the SEO blocks kept moving down out of the way of the post.

    • Joost de Valk

      Hey Sheriena, yes the meta box can be really annoying, I find that too. We’re working hard to make it possible to remove the meta box entirely and move Yoast entirely to the sidebar.

  9. Chris Rowley
    Chris Rowley  • 5 years ago

    Guess I’ll have to find a replacement for Yoast if you guys are gonna abandon 4.9 eventually. The block editor is atrocious, unneeded if you just do long form writing, and foists the excreble React.js on the site.

    I’ve been a longtime customer, but I’ll be avoiding Gutenberg at all costs, be it sticking with 4.9 forever or switching to ClassicPress or some other no-Gutenberg fork.

    • Joost de Valk

      I’m sorry to hear you don’t like the block editor, but I’m also going to be honest: you’re not alone. But we’re not abandoning you at all. If you install the Classic Editor plugin, you’ll keep the same editing environment, and we’ve said that we’ll keep Yoast SEO working with the Classic Editor for at least two years. If by then there’s still a meaningful group of people that doesn’t want to use the block editor, we’ll keep maintaining it.

  10. Jair Prandi
    Jair Prandi  • 5 years ago

    Following your advice, I have not updated so far. Now the time has come!

  11. Bill Peschel
    Bill Peschel  • 5 years ago

    I’ve been updating all along and made sure the Classic Editor is in place on all my sites.

    Gutenberg is terrible for posts. It took more time for me to get a simple post up, and get it tweaked to suit my needs, than it did to write the post in Word, copy and paste, then insert the pictures.

    I can see it working for pages, where you have unique layouts, but for blogs it’s a waste of my time.

    Yoast, as usual, is an excellent plugin, and I appreciated the recent post on the correct use of Alt and Title tags. But you should keep in mind that a lot of WordPress was meant for people who are not programmers and who cannot devote hours per week to maintaining their sites.

    • Joost de Valk

      Hey Bill,

      sorry to hear you feel that way about Gutenberg, but, Classic Editor will be there for you for quite a while longer, and we will support it for a few more years at least :)

  12. Jerry
    Jerry  • 5 years ago

    I’m up to date with the latest WordPress 5.0.3.
    Regardless of what I do, which browser or which OS I use, I am still seeing Gutenberg hanging up, saying “Saving” continuously when I try and preview a page.
    Tried switching off likely plugins, but I’ll stick with the classic editor for now, until it either corrects itself or I have time to debug it.

    Other than Gutenberg it’s working fine! :)

    • Joost de Valk

      Hey Jerry,

      sounds like a plugin is conflicting with Gutenberg. Any plugins that haven’t been updated recently? Might be good to test.

  13. Marcus L. Tibesar
    Marcus L. Tibesar  • 5 years ago

    I told you Joost that Gutenberg was ready for prime time. I said that because we have been using it for months before launch. Your skepticism was not warranted. Glad to see you’ve FINALLY realized it is a great Editor!

    • Joost de Valk

      Honestly, it wasn’t ready when it launched in 5.0, is still my opinion. The performance issues we had, that were solved in 5.0.2, were very real, to the point of making the editor unusable. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the interface, I most certainly do :)

  14. Darren Norbury
    Darren Norbury  • 5 years ago

    I left it until now, as you suggested, and am pretty happy with the Gutenberg experience. I’ll now roll it out to other sites.

    • Joost de Valk

      Good to hear!

  15. Nathan
    Nathan  • 5 years ago

    I’ve upgraded to 5.0 on launch for all but a few client sites, as well as my own. I have no problems with it, and shall look at updating my clients’ sites soon.

    Do you know if Yoast is compatible with ClassicPress, the fork of WordPress without Gutenberg? I may have a client in mind that would use ClassicPress over WordPress, so just want to know if there will be issues with Yoast and ClassicPress specifically.

    • Joost de Valk

      I haven’t seen them do things yet that would break Yoast with ClassicPress.

  16. Ruud
    Ruud  • 5 years ago

    Since 5.03 i’m using Gutenberg. But it’s as often when designers are involved in a new design it is working fine but essential buttons has to be available right above the text. Why do i have to search the button to switch from the Visual Editor to Code it’s now at least to clicks. And it took a long time before I found it. Also the shortcode is not as easy as it could be (4 buttons, why not just 2?). So Usability could be a lot better in WP 5

  17. Nico van Dijk
    Nico van Dijk  • 5 years ago

    There is still one problem with Gutenberg in my humble opinion: to add a no-follow tag to affilliatelinks, a very important rule for Google, you have to add that code manually in the source. A plugin as NoTitle-No-Follow does not work in Gutenberg.

    • Joost de Valk

      Yeah we’re working on a patch to allow adding attributes to links for Gutenberg itself, and will then add this functionality to Yoast SEO.

    • Andrew Wilder
      Andrew Wilder  • 5 years ago

      Completely agree. Being able to add a nofollow tag to links is essential for most of my clients… and most of them are not HTML-savvy, so they’re not comfortable adding the link manually.

      Unless something’s changed in the last week or two, it’s still not even possible for a plugin to hook into the block editor to edit a link and add the nofollow tag.

      It’s a bummer that something as seemingly-simple as this is a dealbreaker… Hopefully a solution will be developed for this soon!

  18. Jillian Bell
    Jillian Bell  • 5 years ago

    I am using Gutenberg right now but it is a little complicated. There is no justify, underline etc. Is there any possible way that the Yoast team can request the Gutenberg team to add those add-ons on their next update ;-). I hope they will at least listen to you guys.

    • ekfarshid
      ekfarshid  • 5 years ago

      me too.

  19. Paul Nwachukwu
    Paul Nwachukwu  • 5 years ago

    Since i created my first blog, Yoast has always been my number choice for my self and client as well. Thanks a lot for providing such a great Plugin.

  20. Annie
    Annie  • 5 years ago

    So disappointed that you decided to go with Gutenberg. Do you even use it? It is NOT user-friendly. Thanks for throwing an awful update to your loyal WordPress users. There’s a reason why we kept trying to go back to the classic editor. Next blog post idea for you: How to remove Gutenberg.

    • Joost de Valk

      Hi Annie,

      we’re not throwing anything at anyone. If you don’t like the block editor, you should really feel free to install the Classic Editor plugin and use that, as said above, we’ll maintain support for that for at least two years.