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WordPress Help

Trouble with Gutenberg?

My wife is very frustrated. Mainly because our dog wants to play outside just as we’re sitting down to breakfast, which breaks our number one household commandment, Coffee First.

She’s also frustrated at the “new WordPress.” Just at the dawning of the Gutenberg editor, she started to get back into her WP website. For her, it was like a whole new CMS. Blocks are weird, the old formatting toolbar is gone, the right sidebar menu is totally different. She was so frustrated that she put it all away and went back to more productive things.

I can’t say I blame her. Before Gutenberg debuted, I was used to working in blocks through layout-builder themes. Mostly I tolerated it, sometimes I actually loathed it. Working in a first-rate theme like Divi was great, but when clients had chosen and installed low-quality themes, I was forced to figure out workarounds for simple things. Feature bloat was common. Then WordPress announced Gutenberg and I groaned. I didn’t want to be forced to figure out yet another system of blocks and how to apply any custom CSS to posts.

Eventually, after lots of tutorials and sifting though forums, I got over it and now I’m actually enjoying Gutenberg. While it’s still not perfect and will likely never be a true front-end WYSIWG editor, I love how WordPress has leveled up and is looking to the future.

Like my wife, you may feel the same frustration with Gutenberg. I hear you, but I don’t want you to give up right away. Just like learning WordPress originally, it will take some time to get used to using it, and I know you will.

That’s my pep talk.

Now, if you’re truly hating Gutenberg and you just want the world to go back to normal (as far as your website is concerned, anyway), I have some magic words for you. You can go back to using the classic WordPress editor. It’s true!

There is a plugin called Classic Editor that does exactly what it sounds like. It changes your editor back to the way it was before blocks and all that weird new stuff you’re hating. The best way to get it is to go to your Dashboard under Plugins and click Add New. Then search for Classic Editor and make sure it’s the one from WordPress Contributors. It should be the first one to come up, like the screenshot below:

Install, activate and you are back in your beautiful, classic WordPress world.

One caveat is that WordPress will only be supporting this plugin until late 2021. So while you’re happily posting again in the classic mode, it might make sense every once in a while to jump back into the new Gutenberg editor and practice creating there.

One last tip. When I’m writing a long post, I’ll write in my favorite writing app of choice, like Word or even Google Docs. When I’m done, I copy and paste into a WordPress post and do all my formatting there.

I hope you’ll try to learn the new way of WordPress, but in the meantime you can stop pulling your hair out and be productive again.

By D.J. Billings

I'm a WordPress fan geek and I love to help people with their WP websites.

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