How to disable Gutenberg and keep the Classic Editor in WordPress

posted by Digital Group on 29th April 2019

Despite the fact that it has not yet been fully released to all WordPress sites, the Gutenberg editor has already displayed its fair share of problems.

Need proof? Just check out the overwhelmingly poor reviews it has gathered on the official WordPress site. Many are looking to disable Gutenberg and keep the Classic Editor in WordPress. Does this apply to you? Well, if so, then just keep reading …

First up, what exactly is Gutenberg?

The core idea behind Gutenberg is to give content creators the chance to craft much more varied layouts for individual pages on their site. As opposed to the Classic Editor in WordPress, Gutenberg is designed as more of a drag-and-drop builder which allows you to drop in a variety of multimedia elements to each page. 

At the moment, Gutenberg is still only available to try out, and not compulsory for those using the WordPress CMS. However, with growing negativity from the majority of those who have reviewed it, many are calling for the ability to disable Gutenberg and keep the Classic editor in WordPress before the release of WordPress 5.0.

Why might you want to disable Gutenberg?

Now WordPress 5.0 is released, the aim is for Gutenberg to be the default editor to use. But as mentioned above, it has thus far been met with incredibly bad reviews. As of April 2019, it has garnered just 2 out of 5 stars, with almost four times as many 1 star reviews as there are 5 star reviews. The sorts of issues being reported include:

– No automatic update of word count
– Difficulty in finding basic functions, such as underlining text or changing font colours
– It’s incredibly awkward for those just wishing to publish largely text-based articles
– Element blocks are causing the rest of the page to publish incorrectly
– Site owners only want certain users to have access to Gutenberg

How can you disable Gutenberg and keep the Classic Editor in WordPress?

You have two main options for achieving this. Either one will be more effective based on the extent to which you need to disable Gutenberg.

1. Use the Classic Editor plugin

The Classic Editor plugin is one that has been developed extensively by the core WordPress development team. Like you would any other plugin, simply go ahead and install it. Afterwards, it will automatically disable the Gutenberg editor. 

However, if you do wish to use the new Gutenberg editor for some future posts, then this is possible. Under “Settings”, go ahead and click on “Writing”. From here, you can then edit “Classic Editor settings”. You also have the ability to go back and edit all your old posts using the Classic Editor. From “Posts” and then “All posts” you will see a link under each one offering you the chance to “Edit (classic)”.

2. Use the Disable Gutenberg plugin

The Disable Gutenberg plugin does exactly what it says on the tin. Once installed, its default settings disable the Gutenberg editor for all pages on your site and for all users. But don’t worry, if you wish for certain users to still have access to Gutenberg, then this is possible as well. Under “Settings”, you can click on “Disable Gutenberg”.

This will present you with a variety of different options, such as the chance to uncheck “Complete disable” and customise individual user accounts. You can also customise based on theme templates, individual posts and post types. Many users find this second option better if they only wish to disable Gutenberg for certain posts. 

Seeing as many other plugins cannot run if Gutenberg is activated, even after WordPress 5.0 is rolled out to all sites, we anticipate that this second option will be very enticing as thousands of plugins will not yet be fully compatible. 

As such, we recommend you check which other plugins you have and which ones are fully compatible with Gutenberg. You may find that many of the issues you currently face with Gutenberg are based solely on the fact that the developers have yet to fully update the plugin.

If you are experiencing issues with your WordPress site, please contact us and we will be happy to help.