How to disable Gutenberg and get the original WordPress editor back

Wordpress Software

I might be late to the party here but it’s almost 2020 and I just realized that I haven’t made a single post to any of my own websites since Gutenberg become WordPress’s new default editor.

The pitch was that it’s supposed to be “easy” to build block based websites, but what I’m seeing is an editor dominated by white space and inconsistency. I know that designers love empty screen space these days for the minimalist aesthetic, but I need that space to do work.

Gutenberg might have value if it was the first editor someone had ever used and they knew absolutely nothing about HTML markup, but the fact is that those people probably aren’t installing their own content management systems, either.

Getting back to Basics

The good news is that WordPress is supporting a plugin that brings back the old editor. It’s available at this link and you can also install it directly from WP-ADMIN by clicking on “Plugins” then “Add New” on the Plugin page. Search for “Classic Editor” or just browse – it’s already one of the most popular plugins around.

A Warning to Developers, Designers, and Brand Managers:

Newer isn’t always better.

Even when something is already popular, there’s always going to be a desire to make it better. This is dangerous ground, however, because changing the thing that’s popular can undermine that very popularity. Think of your favorite band that started a new style and never quite pulled it off. Or the “new recipe” that doesn’t taste half as good as the old one.

The people running the show at WordPress clearly felt like they were under competition from Wix and needed to adapt some of those features that differentiated the two systems.

But the people that didn’t like those features were the ones using WordPress. If they had wanted those features, they would’ve gone to Wix.

Turns out most of us just wanted WordPress.


Anyway, good luck in 2020!

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