The most comprehensive knowledge base plugin for WordPress, GD Knowledge Base Pro, has got a major new release in version 5.0 bringing many new improvements, features, and fixes, including blocks for the block editor, improved display, and more.
The development for GD Knowledge Base Pro 5.0 started in July, and the Beta period lasted for the last month or so, with 3 Beta versions available. Last Beta #3 was fully stable to use, and since then, only a few additional changes were made for the stable version 5.0 you are seeing today. Also, WooCommerce Integration Addon has been also updated, and the new version 2.0 will only work with the main plugin 5.0 version or newer.
But, before you update to version 5.0, make sure you know this: if you used some custom code or custom templates, it is possible that you will see some errors, and you will for sure see some deprecation warnings. Make sure to update your custom code or customized templates to match the changes made in version 5.0. If you used a plugin without custom code or modified templates, you are good to go, there should be no issues after the update.
So, GD Knowledge Base Pro, version 5.0 is finally here, and it represents the biggest update for the plugin since it was first released. The main goal with this release was to replace the underlying Dev4Press Shared Library with the latest version, improve the core code organization, improve the handling of templates, improve styling. But, once I started changing things, the work has expanded further.
The new version brings support for the WordPress Block Editor, and various blocks to replace shortcodes and widgets. All existing shortcodes and widgets remain, but they will not be worked on in the future. What is more, if you use WordPress 5.8 and the new Block Editor powered Widgets panel, you will only see blocks from GD Knowledge Base Pro, classic widgets will not be available.
When it comes to core features, not much has changed on the surface, but, based on the feedback from the past 6 months, the plugin now offers much deeper control over the way it displays content, including options to change the layout, visible meta elements and more. And, the default styling has been mostly rewritten, and now it relies on using CSS variables for basic styling, and there are even new options to changing basic styling from the plugin’s settings.
For now, the plugin has 8 blocks, and more blocks will be added in the future, based on what get’s requested, and how new blocks can be used to improve knowledge base building and layout, so all suggestions are welcome. But, due to the way the blocks are built, for blocks to be used, the plugin requires WordPress 5.6 for blocks to work. If you don’t need blocks, the plugin works with WordPress 5.1 and newer versions.
As for other changes, the plugin has been changed quite a lot, and one of the most important changes deals with the streamlining of the plugin development processes. Because of that, and all the code structure changes, over 100 functions have been deprecated and replaced with better solutions, many old templates have been deprecated and many new templates added, and support for the old Shortcake UI plugin is also deprecated and will be removed soon. This version also sees a lot of old code and styling being deleted and the cleanup will continue in the next few versions with many deprecated functions scheduled for removal.
There are many bugs fixed in this release, and some bugs were reported, and many more were found during the development of the 5.0 version. However, even with the long Beta phase, I expect that version 5.0 has some bugs left, and it would be great if you can report any new bugs you may find in this new release.
You can check the demo for the new version here. And, there is a collection of GitHub repositories with the demo content for themes, and it will be updated in the next few days with more 5.0 related examples.
Finally, we are offering a special new version discount for new purchases for any of the license types for GD Knowledge Base Pro, Integration Addon for WooCommerce, and Dev4Press Plugins Pack. The 30% discount will be available until the end of this month, and to get this discount, use the code KNOWLEDGE5 on the checkout.
To see the list of all the changes in this version, please check out the changelog. If you find any issues with the new version, please, report them in the support forums.