Disable the block editor and choose the classic editor

Back in February of 2019, I touched base on an alternative to WordPress with a brief introduction. There is a newer content management system (CMS) called ClassicPress that was released. It was launched on August 18, 2018, by Scott Bowler, which is a fork of WordPress. This means that the source code was utilized from WordPress.

With almost three years of ClassicPress being available, it’s still considered to be new. So now you have a choice of WordPress or ClassicPress. Likewise, you have a choice of using the block or classic editor!

Regarding ClassicPress, the developers are still busy releasing updated versions with gradual progression. The good thing about the ongoing development of ClassicPress is that you will never see anything associated with Gutenberg and the block editor.

Block Editor – The Future of WordPress

I bet there are still millions of WordPress users who are not aware of where this behemoth of a CMS is going. It’s hard to say how many millions of websites use WordPress. Despite the claim by W3TechsWordPress powers 40% of all the websites on the Internet and 60% of the known CMS market.

WordPress is making a HUGE gamble with the block editor; part of the Gutenberg eco-system of what they are implementing.

The block editor is supposed to take less time with more content and image management. You will not require coding skills to create content. After using Gutenberg for my theme development and for the Rough Pixels website, there are advantages of Gutenberg. Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages that you will encounter compared to the classic way of creating content.

Originally, the block editor was to replace the older classic editor, but things seem to have gone beyond that. Eventually, WordPress will become a page builder; similar to Squarespace and WIX. Front-Site-Editing (FSE) is on the horizon!

Are You Excited About the Block Editor?

Ever since Gutenberg came on the scene, the reviews from people have not been kind. It’s interesting to see how WordPress keeps trudging along, despite the negative ratings. Many third-party developers are not too enthusiastic about Gutenberg either.

At the time of writing this, Gutenberg currently has a serious likeability problem. Of course, this rating is for the Gutenberg Plugin version.

Gutenberg ratings

Technically, the plugin version is more of a beta testing ground as they cram more into it. What you see in the plugin will eventually make its way into the core.

WordPress needs some serious stability and good solid marketing to get people excited. The majority of people that use WordPress are still (or have a preference) to the classic editor. Many refuse to use the block editor.

You Can Still Use the Classic Editor

With the amount of dislike surrounding the block editor and Gutenberg, do you have to use it? No, you don’t!

There are a few ways to disable the block editor and even Gutenberg. People now have a few options so that you can be comfortable creating your content. In this case, the classic editor.

(1) Theme Settings

This will depend entirely on the theme that you use, whether from Rough Pixels or other theme sites. Not all themes will have the option to disable everything, but some will include a setting that lets you disable Gutenberg. Reference the theme’s documentation–if available.

(2) Plugins

It appears there are new plugins that let you disable Gutenberg and the block editor. There are plugins that give you the classic editor–still keeping the block editor intact. This gives you the option to use either one or to be selective for certain posts and pages that needs that choice.

  • Classic Editor – A plugin that lets you add the classic editor back into your WordPress and give the option to use either one.
  • Classic Editor Addon – This one is meant to compliment the Classic Editor plugin, albeit, optional.
  • Disable Gutenberg – A plugin that literally disables Gutenberg, or you can disable select elements of it while adding in the classic editor. Ultimately, this is a COMPLETE solution that hides all traces of Gutenberg while putting the Classic Editor back in.

(3) Code

You can also disable the Gutenberg Editor with some code. Although, I strongly recommend doing this with a child theme so that you don’t lose your changes with updates. Simply add the following to your functions.php file.

add_filter('use_block_editor_for_post', '__return_false', 10);

This is a solution for developers more than the end-user, but it does work for the most part. There is a plugin that lets you add code like this, which is the free Code Snippets plugin. However, if I were to choose the best option to disable Gutenberg, I would go the plugin route with any of the options previously noted.

You Have Choices – For Now!

There may be several reasons why you might want to disable the Gutenberg WordPress editor, even if it’s just temporarily:

  • You are simply not ready for it
  • Using the classic editor is what you are most familiar with and don’t want the change
  • A third-party plugin or theme is not compatible with the block editor.
  • You’re preference is using a page builder plugin, such as Elementor.
  • You want to wait until Gutenberg is more stable and free of issues before changing over. A good reason actually because it still feels like it’s in beta.
  • Your posts and pages have content that would break when converting it to blocks. This is something that can happen.

Whatever the case, restoring the previous WordPress editor is easy. Most people are planning to stay with the classic editor for as long as they can.

Classic Editor Expiry Date

What happens after is unknown as WordPress continues to change.

Justin Tadlock wrote a post “WordPress Classic Editor Support Extended for at Least Another Year” at WPTavern. He reached out to several members of the core WordPress team to see if we could get a commitment of assurance. Originally, we were nearing the end date of support for the classic editor plugin.

The WordPress project would continue supporting the Classic Editor plugin for a while longer; past the 2021 deadline. Right now, you can expect support for the plugin to take us through to the end of 2022.

As of now, classic block editor users have a one-year extension.

However, the team stated that the plugin will not suddenly stop working on December 31, 2022. Their decision made this date the newly established deadline by WordPress. Just keep in mind that eventually, the block editor will no longer be compatible–it’s inevitable.

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