Bring Back the Classic WordPress Editor

Sometimes You Just Need a Classic—car, burger, or in this case, a WordPress editor. I won’t go on a diatribe about WordPress woes with the new Gutenberg editor. WordPress loves it and is pushing it, but throughout the internet, you’ll find people who aren’t as enthused, disability or not.

With all that in mind, I thought I’d talk a little about the classic WordPress editor. Right now it is possible to have your classic interface back.

Note: unfortunately the following will not apply if you are blogging via the platform. For this to work, you must have a self-hosted site or blog, essentially, not controlled by

What is the Classic Editor?

The classic editor is the old style editor, where there are no blocks that you need to worry about moving around in order to put your post together. It is also less cluttered and makes it easier to find really important things like post options, categories, and tags. This is especially true if you happen to be using a screen reader. As of this writing, the classic Editor plugin gets five stars and is used by more than five million people. Take them stats, Gutenberg!


Classic Editor is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous (“classic”) WordPress editor and the “Edit Post” screen. It makes it possible to use plugins that extend that screen, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor.

Classic Editor is an official WordPress plugin, and will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary.

At a glance, this plugin adds the following:

◾ Administrators can select the default editor for all users.

◾ Administrators can allow users to change their default editor.

◾ When allowed, the users can choose which editor to use for each post.

◾ Each post opens in the last editor used regardless of who edited it last. This is important for maintaining a consistent experience when editing content.

In addition, the Classic Editor plugin includes several filters that let other plugins control the settings, and the editor choice per post and per post type.

By default, this plugin hides all functionality available in the new block editor (“Gutenberg”).

How Do I Get it?

Here are the steps to get this classic:

  1. From your dashboard, find Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Type “Classic Editor”, without quotes.
  3. You don’t need to press enter; just below the search box should be the Classic Editor.
  4. Check the description to be sure it is the same one.
  5. You will notice an Install option just below the title of the plugin.
  6. Once it is done installing, you will have an Activate link.

Once you activate the plugin, all you need to do is start using it. You will want to go back to your dashboard, then go to Writing Settings. Under Default Editor for All Users, be sure that Classic Editor is checked.

You may also want to check Allow Users To Switch Editors; This is a yes or no option.

When you are done, make sure you hit that all-important Save Changes button.

That’s it for this time around. May all your editing be quick and easy! Read the next Jetpack article in this series.


3 thoughts on “Bring Back the Classic WordPress Editor”

  1. What’s even worse about this situation is that it’s tyranny of the minority. The 5%-10% of users with the most computer experience are shoving this down the throat of the rest of us. I predict, and I have sent this to WordPress several times, that they will lose 20% of their bloggers when the Classic Editor is no longer available. It is highly unlikely I will continue when I have to use the awful Block Editor; I have written more than 1,000 posts (>500,000 words) and I love blogging.

    Thanks for writing this.

  2. Pingback: Bring Back the Classic Editor #Reblog – My Corner

  3. Thank you, Casey, for this valuable information. Unfortunately, as you said, the classic editor will only be supported for another year. So, as I understand it, all WordPress users will need to learn how to use Mr. Blockhead, as I like to call the Gootenberg editor. It’s a shame that WordPress isn’t listening to its customers. If we bloggers move to a different platform, we risk losing followers. So, they’ve got us where they want us, and they know it.

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