Automattic was not ready for WordPress 5

The problems with uploading Jetpack videos in WordPress 5 is just one example of many as to why I continue to recommend not upgrading to WordPress 5 at this time. It is clear that Matt and the folks at Automattic rushed WordPress 5 to market too quickly. Many seasoned WordPress developers including the folks at Yoast — asked Matt to wait.

The ONLY reason they pushed WordPress 5 out to the public was to show it off at WordCamp US 2018 — the big annual event that runs the first week of December.

I get it — who doesn’t like all the “oooh’s and aaah’s” when up on stage a big event. It is a big adrenaline boost.

But it is a bad business decisions that impacts millions of customers, business partners, and vendors.

WordPress 5 was not in a stable state for long enough for plugin and theme developers to start testing and building tools for the new platform. While the core team might argue that “WordPress 5 and Gutenberg plugin have been around for over a year” the simple fact remains that it was bug ridden, unstable, and a moving target until 30 days before the December 6th 2018 release.

WordPress Core, plugins, and themes all suffer

We had a “hell week” just before the Christmas holiday thanks to the premature release of WordPress 5. We started getting hammered by our paid plugin users because they could no longer upload CSV files. It is our number one paid feature in the Store Locator Plus® map plugin.

Instead of working on custom development, new WordPress blocks, or important feature updates we were stuck in “what the hell did WordPress do” mode — scrambling for a workaround for WordPress 5. To this day the patch for WordPress 5 that enables proper CSV support is nowhere to be found. Rumor has it this will show up with WordPress 5.0.3. In the meantime we had to pull resources off of other projects and put extra support online to help our customers use tools they used for years that broke when the WordPress 5 release went online.

To make matters worse some issues “discovered” after the WordPress 5 release were deemed critical security issues and backported to ALL versions of WordPress going back to 3.7 — which broke CSV imports for ALL sites. Sadly the “minor patch release feature” of WordPress upgraded many sites to the “CSV is no longer valid” version without consent from the site owner.

Developers need more than 30 days

30 days is not nearly long enough for complex plugins and themes to fully test and integrate with WordPress 5 — Automattic’s own Jetpack and the plethora of modules included. While Jetpack has released a number of shiny new “block enabled” tools for WordPress 5 many of their older core modules have not been fully tested or upgraded for the new block editor. Videopress (Jetpack’s CDN for videos) included.

Eventually this will all work out — in the meantime many devoted WordPress fans as well as the developers responsible for the tens-of-thousands of themes and plugins have become more disenfranchised with WordPress. I would not be surprised to see the WordPress economy shift even further into “millions more sites on WordPress now” due to a huge influx of “My Cat Is Cute” blogs while they lose twice as many serious business sites in the process.

Many of my Store Locator Plus® customers and some follower of this blog have already defected to other platforms.

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