Johannes Gutenberg was the German inventor who brought the printing press to Europe in the 15th century and started the printing revolution, but enough of history, today Gutenberg is a new WordPress Visual editor that is integrated into the WordPress core. 

Gutenberg was officially released on December 6, 2019. The new editor is based on visual blocks and allow you to easily make rich content layouts.

When creating a new page or post, you add blocks to the content area. The blocks can be text, images, galleries, video etc. You can also add columns of content. 

Each content block can be styled or have a css class applied to it. 

While it’s always difficult to transition to something new, I believe Gutenberg is going to open up a lot of layout possibilities without using a lot of extra plugins or page templates. Over the next few months, I will be posting more content / demonstrations on how to use Gutenberg. 

As of January 2019, PHP 5 will no longer be supported. What, pray tell, is PHP and why does this matter?

PHP is an open source programming language that is used for web development and is the language WordPress is written in.

The latest version of PHP is 7.1.20, but a lot of WordPress sites are still using version 5. This is a problem because version 5 is reaching its End-of-Life. That sounds almost like a nice vision of retirement, doesn’t it?

On the contratry, End-of-Life (EOL) in software means that a version/product will no longer be supported or maintained. This means that if any security holes are found, they will not be patched, which would put your site at risk for security breaches or plugin failures.

There are several plugins available to help you test your site to see if it’s compatible with the newest version of PHP. My personal favorite is WP Engine’s PHP compatibly checker. Once you know that your site is compatible, you would contact your host to change the PHP version or log into your hosting account to change it yourself. Make sure that you have a good, working back up of your site and databases before you make any changes.

If you are a Hammersmith Support client, never fear…this is being taken care of for you. If you need help with this, please reach out. We love helping clients keep their sites updated, secure, and running smoothly.

Disclaimer: I love WordPress so this post may be slightly biased.

Both WordPress and Wix are solid choices for a website.

Wix is a hosted solution where you pay monthly for the hosting and site. Although the monthly cost is initially low, adding additional features can add on to the price. Wix also has beautiful templates, but the ability to customize them is limited. If you just need a simple, one-page site with limited functionality, Wix may be right for you.

WordPress is an open source platform. WordPress offers a hosted solution, but you can also run WP on your own server or hosting account. It’s estimated that WordPress powers 25% of all sites on the web. This means there is a huge community that supports and develops features and plugins. Open source also means it’s more vulnerable to hacking, so WordPress sites have to be maintained and updated regularly.