Gutenberg–An Opinion and a Question

I must begin this post with an admission: I, generally, am not the first person in line to try out a technological advancement. In fact, if I’m being honest, I tend to stick with the tried-and-true, technology-wise. If something works for me, and always has, I see no reason to “upgrade.” The thing is, in the 2020s, often, upgrades are forced on you. At times slowly, gradually, with some advance notice, but, nevertheless, forced on you, just the same. And so it is with WordPress.

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A couple of years ago, I began to notice a new editor in WordPress. “Gutenberg,” it was called. I didn’t pay it much attention, as the Classic Editor, which I had been using since joining the blogosphere in 2012, was easy and convenient to work with. I had never had any issues with it, and I enjoyed its clean, crisp document-creation functionality.

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Then, about a year ago, when I would create a new post, a new editor would pop up by default–Gutenberg. For me, honestly, it was hate at first site. Where the Classic Editor struck me as easy to navigate, efficient, and user-friendly, Gutenberg was an eyesore, confusing, and needlessly “busy.” (For those who like the Gutenberg Editor, I am glad! I wish I did!) Alas! There was an option right there on the screen to revert back to the trusty Classic Editor. Which I most certainly did. Problem solved.

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Until about a month ago. When I created my last post at the end of March (and now this one here), the option to use the Classic Editor had vanished. Gutenberg was now being forced upon WordPress wordsmiths. Or was it? Surely there must be a way to go back to the Classic Editor. Right?

Sort of. Plug-ins! I researched the issue online, and it appeared as though the Classic Editor was now an easy-to-access plug-in you could add to your WordPress toolbox. But when I looked for it, it wasn’t there. Evidently, it used to be–it had been a free plug-in, easy to find and employ. But now? When I selected it, WordPress informed me that if I wanted to have access to the old (and much-preferred) Classic Editor, it would cost me close to $300 per year. That was the apparent cost for adding the Classic Editor plug-in to my customized WordPress menu.

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I doubt I’ll fork over $300 a year for a plug-in that should be free. So, I am creating this post with Gutenberg. Will I get more used to Gutenberg over time? Surely. Will I ever like it as much, and find it as user-friendly, as the Classic Editor? Not a chance.

But I wanted to take this opportunity to ask the WordPress community: What do you think of Gutenberg? (The WordPress content creator, not the inventor of the printing press.) Do you like it better than Classic?

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Also–does anyone know if I am missing something? Is there a way to be able to work in Classic Editor mode anymore without paying $300 a year for the privilege?

I am not one to complain in a post, nor do I usually write about WordPress nuts-and-bolts issues like this. But I genuinely wanted to hear from the wonderful WordPress community on this. Please share your thoughts!

And tonight? Tonight, I feel motivated to open an old-school book–the kind you hold in your hands. The original Gutenberg, from the fifteenth century, surely would approve.

Thanks so much for reading!

–Mike

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John W. Howell
    Apr 29, 2021 @ 22:25:15

    Here is a way to restore the classic if you wish. Open your WP, click on your face (or whatever image you use) in the circle at the top right in the black bar. Right beside the bell.
    Once you have clicked there, it will bring you to your profile. On the left side, choose account settings.
    Scroll down until you get to Interface settings and there is a slide bar under Dashboard Settings. Click on that, go below the color options, and save.
    Then, you will have the same admin page as before. Just like the last time when they pulled this nonsense! You can then click on posts and then add new and choose classic.

    Reply

  2. Leah
    Apr 29, 2021 @ 22:37:10

    I like the classic. I contacted wordpress help and they told me a way to go back to it that I think is the same as described above. I’m not techy and I doubt I’d ever be able to use the new one.

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      May 05, 2021 @ 10:47:42

      Let’s hope WordPress keeps granting access to Classic. If they eventually take it away completely, they’ll be losing a lot of bloggers off of their platform, and I don’t imagine they’d want that!

      Reply

  3. ellie894
    Apr 29, 2021 @ 22:45:30

    I don’t care for Gutenberg either. I much prefer Classic editor. It’s straight forward and user friendly! ☺️

    Reply

  4. joannerambling
    Apr 30, 2021 @ 03:32:32

    Not a fan

    Reply

  5. Lyn
    Apr 30, 2021 @ 03:53:07

    Hate the new editor. If it ain’t broke, why try to fix it? Not happy Jan 😦

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      May 02, 2021 @ 01:00:53

      Thankfully, John’s trick is a great workaround! The new editor was really making writing a post a chore. Hopefully the Classic workaround will continue to work for months/years to come.

      Reply

      • Lyn
        May 04, 2021 @ 02:24:40

        And when you’re editing a post, even the new one give you the option of editing in the “classic editor” 😀

  6. ptero9
    Apr 30, 2021 @ 12:46:56

    The new editor has deincentivized blogging. There seem to be issues saving edits. I’ve figured out how to jump through hoops to make it work, but it’s a lot of extra work. Also, it’s not compatible with the Chromebook I recently purchased and am now using as my primary computer.

    Thanks for the tip, John! … and to Mike for the post.

    Reply

  7. ghostmmnc
    Apr 30, 2021 @ 14:38:13

    I tried the block kind of posts, and hated it, too. John is right … I did this awhile ago and so far have been able to use Classic just as before. Knock wood it keeps working. 🙂

    Reply

  8. Patrice
    Apr 30, 2021 @ 16:06:39

    I get to my Classic version by starting a new Post and when I click the + sign to add to the post, it shows kinds to insert, I click ‘Show More’ and there is Classic. You can click on it and use it. It works BUT I’d rather just have my good, old Classic.
    I have to add images separately and there are hoops to go thru to get what I want – what came naturally with my good, old Classic.
    I’m trying John’s method! 😀

    Reply

  9. katiemiafrederick
    Apr 30, 2021 @ 18:56:52

    ‘Blogspot’ From
    Google Provides
    A Similar ‘Classic
    Editor Experience’ FREE…

    If ‘They’
    Do Eventually
    Take Away What

    The Customers
    Actually Want

    On WordPress

    They’ll Likely
    Lose 300 Dollars
    A Year From me

    As i Can Do

    More on
    Facebook

    Than The
    New Nutty
    Gutenberg Version Like
    Microsoft’s Debacles
    After Window’s XP…

    The Developers
    Live in A Different
    Universe of Creativity

    Than Me…

    There’s Always
    A Work Around if
    This one Company Fails…

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      May 05, 2021 @ 10:48:34

      Good points! Hopefully WordPress is listening . . .

      Reply

      • katiemiafrederick
        May 05, 2021 @ 13:07:18

        ‘Gutenberg’ is A Take-off
        On The Printing Press
        That Printed The First
        Bible

        Hehe it Still
        Won’t Handle the
        EPiC Long Form
        Longest Free Verse
        Poem Ever at 9.2
        MiLLioN Words
        Still GRoWinG
        In 92 Months
        my Entire Classically
        Edited WordPress
        Blog Called “SonG
        oF mY SoUL”
        Casually
        Referring to
        It As A ‘Bible’
        Too in Long Form
        Poem Way Way
        Over 100,000 High
        Quality Photos And
        Over 10,000 You
        Tube Videos
        To Bring
        Poetry
        Of Visual
        Images And
        Music To Fully
        Illustrate As Just
        A Free Retirement
        Hobby Also Documenting
        14,833 Miles Of Public
        Dance In Travel Joy
        Of Retirement in
        92 Months too
        Flow of Meditating
        Moving Brings
        Ecstatic Nirvana
        Bliss
        Fueling
        Creativity
        Too Hehe Yes
        Broke the Platform
        Calculating The Storage
        Space They Decided

        To Give

        me Unlimited
        Storage Space
        Instead of Shutting
        My Blog Down for
        Exceeding The
        200 Gigabyte

        Storage

        Space

        Limit

        True i Gave
        ‘Em Hell About
        Getting Rid of
        The Classic Editor

        Not One
        That

        Most Folks
        Wanna Get in
        A War of Words
        With When This
        Is A No Brainer

        If

        The
        Customer
        Wants it

        You Come Through
        If Ya Wanna Win This

        Capitalism

        Game Yawn

        i Don’t Play
        It So Every Step
        Of Dance And Word
        Of Song Is Eternal

        Win

        Now

        Yep
        My Bible
        Is All About
        Heaven No
        Place Yet Now For Real ☺️

        Never Ever For Sell Hehe 😜

  10. Lolalia
    May 01, 2021 @ 10:30:31

    I hate it. I’m ready to jump ship to a different, user friendly service.
    Scuttlebutt is WP is discontinuing Classic Editor by 2022.
    BTW I have been a WP blogger since 2009. Every time they change something, it always seems to favor their agenda, never that of their users and paying customers (which is why I blog for free now).

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      May 05, 2021 @ 10:49:57

      Indeed–if they completely remove Classic, they’ll be losing a lot of bloggers. I can’t see how that helps them, so hopefully they’ll reconsider. There is zero reason why Classic should not at least be an option to bloggers who prefer it.

      Reply

  11. Mary J. McCoy-Dressel
    May 01, 2021 @ 13:43:49

    Hi, Mike. I hated the blocks at first, too, and sometimes I still do. My stubborn self fought using Gutenberg. However, I love a challenge. After being away from everything writing related last year, I came back to give it a try–determined to hate it–mainly because of “said” stubbornness. It took a while, and I am still learning new things about it. I don’t think we’ll ever know everything because they keep adding new block options. Something else to learn! I do like some of the post options like Drop Cap, especially for excerpts, and Headings for posts. It also took a while to figure out how to add and resize images. I still don’t get some of that part. I’m glad you found options here in your comments for switching to Classic. Good luck. Enjoy your weekend.

    Reply

  12. CrimsonCorundum
    May 01, 2021 @ 18:41:39

    I hate the new editor and can’t use it. Though I didn’t know there was a plugin. I was about to give up on blogging when my sister suggested I try the app. It worked. I could blog again if I had a computer. Long story. But I have published short blog posts using the app. Unfortunately, I couldn’t comment on your post in the app or in the wordpress reader so I had to type your url into the browser to find this post again.

    Reply

  13. TheDreamGirlWrites
    May 01, 2021 @ 20:40:04

    Oh me too!!
    I hated having to use the new editor and would always go back to the old one.
    I blame me less frequent posts on this xD
    I’m now slowly learning to work with the new editor without trying to cuss too much 😛

    Reply

  14. Alexis Chateau
    May 02, 2021 @ 15:53:11

    I was really annoyed by the Block Editor at first, but I’ve now come to prefer it for the most part. It’s a lot easier to use once you get a hang of it. Unfortunately, getting a hang of it is the hard part! I gave up on trying to get the Classic Editor back.

    Reply

    • The Eye-Dancers
      May 05, 2021 @ 10:46:01

      Hi Alexis! Your approach is probably better because at some point, the option to access the Classic Editor will probably be gone. But I suppose, now that John has provided the tip, I’ll keep using Classic as long as possible! (WordPress really should always keep Classic as an option.)

      Reply

  15. Carol Balawyder
    May 03, 2021 @ 20:58:33

    It took me some time to get used to the block Editor and I’m still not used to it. I’m sure it has a lot of bells and whistles which I’ll probably never use.
    As for the $300. that’s a rip-off! And shame on WordPress for imposing that fee. Glad that John gave you that tip!

    Reply

  16. selizabryangmailcom
    May 05, 2021 @ 16:13:45

    Mr. Howell’s process might be easier, but when I posted something over the weekend, I found that when I clicked on the plus sign to the right, classic popped up in there as an option.
    But I feel like I might be behind everyone else somehow, and maybe others don’t even have the plus sign anymore….?
    So I’m making note of Mr. Howell’s way, too, for the time when classic no longer appears from the plus sign or the plus sign disappears.
    It’s strange that, with the “upgrade” they make things more difficult instead of easier!

    Reply

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