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In the coming weeks, it is likely that you will be presented with the option to upgrade to WordPress 5.0. While you may have upgraded your core files in the past without warning, there are many reasons why you should carefully ensure you are ready to upgrade to avoid plugin failures or other common site-breaking issues. Perhaps the most anticipated feature included in WordPress 5 is the Gutenberg WordPress editor that seeks to make page creation easier.

While most WordPress updates pass with little fanfare, the newest version aims to dramatically change the functionality of the platform and how you develop your website. In many cases, large changes like this can seem daunting for businesses because they may already not be too familiar with the way the existing WordPress version works. In this article, we will look at some of the new features that are included with WordPress 5.0 and how they can improve your content creation.

With the growing importance of privacy awareness as a result of the new GDPR law that was implemented in the EU on May 25, 2018, WordPress is encouraging its users to take advantage of the new privacy features that are available in their most recent core update. This enforced law ensures that websites and the businesses that run them remain transparent about the personal data that they store, use or share. To help accommodate this transition, WordPress 4.9.6 has been released as a Privacy and Maintenance release.

If you are running an outdated version of WordPress you likely received a Google Search Console email recently recommending that you manually update your WordPress core file. Because WordPress powers nearly 60% of all websites on the internet, this shouldn’t be a surprise as Google continues to work towards improved internet security and an exceptional user experience. To ensure this, it appears Google now monitors your WordPress version and provides reminders when updates haven’t been completed for critical security flaws that haven’t been corrected.

As you are likely aware, WordPress has quickly solidified its place as the top CMS used worldwide. Each month, WordPress issues Maintenance Updates that for FREE to not only improve the functionality of the Content Management System but provide critical security updates anytime vulnerabilities are identified. However, it is astonishing how many business owners don’t update WordPress regularly because they don’t know how or aren’t comfortable doing it without help.

If you use any online software during your day to day business tasks, you likely have started to receive messages about the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, law that will be going into effect on May 25, 2018. This new European Union privacy law will serve as a replacement to the existing European Data Protection Directive to bring EU member states under a single umbrella that can be enforced by one data protection law. The GDPR establishes clear regulations and guidelines on how businesses or online entities are able to securely process, use, exchange or store data.

If your website doesn’t work as intended, you likely are experiencing high bounce rates that are hurting your search engine ranking position. Even worse, potential conversions or important sales could be slipping through the cracks as users struggle to make it past the errors your website gives them. For this reason, it is important to have website error monitoring in place to not only detect issues but fix them whenever they arise.

While there are many plugins available through WordPress that can improve your website, no plugin is a silver bullet. In this day and age of increasingly required ADA and other compliances, it is very important to have a development team that understands and is capable of performing inside the guidelines set out by WordPress. As new plugins make their way into the WordPress Plugins database, the company has begun to crack down on claims of guaranteed legal compliance with a new amendment to their plugin guidelines.

If your website still hasn’t migrated to HTTPS, visitors using the Chrome browser will soon begin seeing security warnings that label your page as “Not Secure”. This new feature, arriving in October of 2016 with Chrome Version 62, will be shown based on the browser’s detection of a few different website components that could potentially cause security threats including password fields, payment fields and other text fields the browser believes could be susceptible, even while in Incognito mode.

As the popularity of free drag-and-drop websites become more prevalent, the inherent dangers associated with them becomes more apparent. It was recently discovered the Wix platform, which boasts over 87 million users, was vulnerable to an XSS bug. Using this bug administrator accounts became vulnerable, potentially giving full control of the website to attackers.