Twitter has been awash with complaints and groans in the past few weeks from book bloggers who’ve discovered their beloved Classic Editor has disappeared and they’re forced into using the Gutenburg Block Editor.
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of bloggers feeling similarly bereft, I have both bad news and good news for you.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. I know this isn’t what you want to hear but the fact is there is very little you can do to get the full Classic Editor experience back.
As I explained last year, WordPress announced mid summer that their strategy to move over to the Gutenburg platform would see the retirement of the Classic Editor. The timing kept changing: it was originally going to happen in June 2020, then that got moved to August 2020 but then seemed to have drifted still further. Hence why some of you have been able to hang on to Classic Editor for the last few months.
But on March 9, 2021 WordPress released some upgrades to Gutenburg. This is the first major release of 2021 and one of four releases planned for this year. It looks like they’ve used the release of WordPress 5.7 to switch Classic Editor off for bloggers who use the free version of WordPress.
If it hasn’t disappeared from your version of WordPress, then you’re lucky. But it’s only a matter of time before it’s gone for good. Gutenburg is the future as far as WordPress is concerned. And that means Block Editor.
Can You Hang On To Classic Editor?
What if you’ve decided you’ll have to be dragged kicking and screaming to Block Editor, do you have any options? The good news is that you do, though these are very limited.
The first thing you’ll want to try is to access Classic Editor via your WordPress desktop” then select wpadmin. When you create a new post, the drop down menu gives you an option to use either Block Editor or Classic Editor. I’m not 100% sure this is still available but it’s worth giving it a go.
If that fails, then you can install a ClassicEditor plug in. This will work only if you have paid for the WordPress Business plan – the basic free version and the Premium plan don’t unfortunately include the ability to add plug ins.
To install the plug in go to your WordPress dashboard. Choose Plugins.
The next screen will show you which Plugins are available according to your theme. Click on Add New (this is shown on the top of the screen). If you don’t see Classic Editor, just use the search box at the top of your screen. Click Install and then Activate.
I don’t want you to get too excited about this however. Even if you get this plug in installed, it’s going to be only a temporary solution because WordPress has already indicated it will be discontinuing the Classic plugin by the end of 2022.
So What’s The Answer?
You really have only three options:
- Accept that Block Editor is here to stay and begin to use it for your new content. It will feel strange initially you will get frustrated that it doesn’t work exactly the same as the old editor. But over time it will become easier. There is, by the way, a Classic Block which will help ease you into the new editing system
- Buy a WordPress business plan and use it to install the Classic plug in. As I said, this plug in has an expiry date of end 2022
- Find an alternative blogging platform that has an editing programme that you’ll feel more comfortable using. This isn’t an easy decision to take, especially if you’ve been using WordPress for many years and have built a strong following since you’ll likely lose some of those readers in the process. But if you don’t want to pay for a blogging service on feel on principle that WordPress is going in a direction that you’re not happy about, then you do have that option.
Don’t forget, that if you get into difficulties using Block Editor, there is no need for you to struggle alone. I don’t claim to have all the answers but I can probably help with most questions. So feel free to ask.