Are you a die hard fan of the Classic Editor? Do you absolutely hate Gutenberg? If you’re agonizing over the way WordPress has been changing things on you, you’re not alone.
I get it.
You may have had your site going for years, way before Gutenberg was even a thing. And over time with the introduction of Gutenberg blocks, it’s slowly becoming less like your beloved and familiar playground. That’s super frustrating.
If you love the WordPress classic editor experience, then it’s likely you’re using the Classic Editor plugin. Which is great, don’t get me wrong. As long as you can use that, then you’re in your familiar editing environment and everything is cool. However.
At some point, WordPress is going to completely do away with everything classic and it will all be blocks, forever. Matt Mullenweig said as much at WordCamp US in 2022. We all have to face that reality, even if we want it to be different. WordPress has spoken.
For the record, I am 100% on board with blocks and full site editing. This site (and many others I’ve designed) was created that way, and I love it. But I’m not writing this post to convince you to “just evolve,” I’m trying to give you a solution so you can stay in your comfort zone — even if it differs from the way I use WordPress.
I’m going to show you how to get the Classic Editor back — for good. No plugins, no fear of blocks creeping in, just your good ol’ posting and editing environment right where it should be.
You Can’t Do That in WordPress
The first thing you should understand is that this isn’t going to be possible using the WordPress you’re using now. And we’re not going to just roll you back to version 4.9.
No, this is a whole new thing. But don’t be nervous, because:
1. Moving won’t be too hard — there’s even a plugin to do it for you
2. Once you’re using the new platform, it will be instantly familiar
So what is this “whole new thing” I’m talking about? It’s called ClassicPress and it will save your sanity.
ClassicPress is Your New Friend
Let me introduce you to what may your new website BFF.
ClassicPress is a separate platform, but it replicates the WordPress experience before blocks were introduced. That’s right — it’s like using WordPress before all the things you hate crept into the code. It looks and works just like your favorite version of WordPress. It’s compatible with all browsers, so your site will look great from wherever your audience is accessing it. They’ve also developed a fork of WooCommerce, so if you run an ecommerce store, you don’t have to give that up.
The developers at ClassicPress have forked WordPress and created a new platform just for you. They can do this because WordPress is open source and anyone can create what’s called a “fork” and develop a new version of the software.
For a while, ClassicPress was a just a tiny project, but with community support it’s grown enormously and has the funding it needs to be solid and reliable. Apparently enough folks hate Gutenberg that it’s become very popular. That means you don’t have to worry that if you move to ClassicPress, it’s going to disappear and leave you hanging with an outdated website. I’m confident it’s here to stay.
How to Move to ClassicPress
Even if that sounds like manna from heaven to you, you might be wondering if it’s going to be a pain in the butt to move your whole kit and kaboodle over there. It’s going to take a few steps, but the ClassicPress team couldn’t have made it easier.
First, if you don’t have a website yet, you can just get started from scratch with ClassicPress right now. If you need to move your existing site, there are some steps to migrate. I’ll skim over them here, but you can find detailed instructions and support on their website.
- Download the migrate plugin
- Add the plugin to your WordPress site
- Run the migration
- You’re done!
No, seriously. That’s all there is to it. Once you click “Switch,” ClassicPress does all the work. It doesn’t touch any of your post or page content — it will all be intact. But now you’ll be in the ClassicPress environment.
Some plugins and themes may not work with ClassicPress, but that’s to be expected since it’s possible that some depend on Gutenberg blocks to function. But you didn’t want that, anyway, right?
Important! Once you do this, you can’t switch back. Even if you deactivate the plugin, your site is now running ClassicPress, not WordPress. If you change your mind, you’ll need to restore your site from a backup. You made a backup, right? Of course you did.
If You Hate Gutenberg, You’ll Love ClassicPress
Gutenberg and blocks have been around for a while now, and they’re not going anywhere. If that rankles you, and you want to go back to the simpler days of classic WordPress editing, then ClassicPress is your answer.