Removing Gutenberg, also known as Block Editor, from WordPress 5.0 is the biggest concern of billions of website owners at the moment, all wanting to get back to Classic Editor. The reasons for some may be comfort and getting-used-to issues, while for others they are much more serious.
The Block Editor works neither with page builders as stand-alone plugins, nor with themes built around a page builder. Furthermore, many themes offer additional page options and settings that aren’t supported by Gutenberg. Last but not least, many experience that other vital plugins are either disabled or malfunctioning because of Gutenberg.
Given the current state of WordPress 5.0′ new Block Editor, it is hard to understand, why one must sacrifice so much in order to conform with this change. The editor is indeed underdeveloped and not thought-through. It makes everything more difficult by requiring additional clicks and unnecessarily spreading the different content and page options. I certainly don’t understand the logic in hiding options in accoreon-menus. While it might be the beginning of something great, it is at this point a real time-waster. Combined with the fact that it causes malfunctioning of a large number of themes and plugins, it is easy to understand site owners’ wish to get rid of Gutenberg that is now the default editor in WordPress 5.0.
Understanding the Change to Know How to Act
As of WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg is the default text editor, combining the functionality of a simple text editor and a very simple page builder. While it is meant to become the beginning of a completely new and more advanced publishing experience, Block Editor is in its current state difficult to use due to requiring extra clicks and dispersing editing options. In addition, Gutenberg doesn’t support page builders, and many other plugins, meaning that you cannot use the palette of options, made available by them.
Gutenberg isn’t a completely new invesion though. It is based on TinyMCE. This means that the rumors that TinyMCE is going to be totally removed from WordPress at some point, aren’t true. The rumors made some WordPress’ users anxcious, as they were considering diasbling Gutenberg via code and only relying on the Classic Editor. However, as noted before, these rumors are not true.They surfaced due to the fact that WordPress’ developers presented a separate plugin, Classic Editor for those who didn’t want to embrace the Block Editor just yet. It’s goal is to enable you to easily switch back to the Classic Editor, without necessarily disabling or removing Gutenberg.
Even though the Block Editor provides more or less the same options one has with the Classic Editor today, just styled differently, with time it is expected to develop into something completely different, where it will not longer belong under the category text editor but under the category page builder. It is of course difficult to predict, how advanced it will be or when this will happen.
Another aspect worth considering is that, as long as you use a page builder plugin, you’ll probably have to wait for some time before it is truly compatible with Gutenberg. The compaitbility of additional plugins, such as SEO plugins, has to be reviewed for each individual case.
What to Do?
I recommend that you disable Gutenberg right now and go back to Classic Editor at this point. Firstly, you won’t be risking that something stops functioning or you’re unable to work due to missing extensions. Secondly, you’ll be saving yourself quite a lot of empty clicks.
It is, however, smart to not burry the Block Editor too deep. With time, it will develop and overcome greatly the Classic Editor. It will therefore be a good idea to easily be able to switch back and forth in order to get the most of the two worlds.
For that reason, it might seem a bit drastic to use code to remove Gutenberg (further down, you can read how to do it, if you want). My choice will at any time be WordPress’ own plugin, Classic Editor, allowing you to choose, whether to use Block Editor or Classic Editor, when editing each post/page
As you can see in the screenshot above, you can always check, which editor has been used to create a page – and you can choose, which one to use to edit it with. Block Editor stays of course for Gutenberg.
Disable Gutenberg via Code
While this way to disable Gutenberg isn’t optimal from a technical perspective, it is the one that will spare you for having to deal with a child theme. You have to simply do the following:
- Access the public_html folder on your server – or the core directory of your WordPress installation, if different.
- Locate wp-config.php
- Download a copy of the file for backup
- Select wp-config.php on the server and choose to edit it.
- Find the closing line “That’s all, stop editing“.
- Copy the following piece of code:
$_GET['classic-editor'] = true;
- Paste it just before the line mentioned above.
- Save the file.
That’s it. Of course, you have to check your site after changing the file, to make sure everything is as it is supposed to be. If you encounter an error, it might be due to deleting/altering something in the file that you shouldn’t have; or due to the fact that something you made using Gutenberg stopped working. If it is the latter, you don’t have much choice but either enabling Block Editor again or removing the elements created with it and redoing it using Classic Editor.
Disable Gutenberg via Plugin
If you choose to use a plugin to disable Gutenberg, there is no better choice but WordPress’ own developers’ plugin, Classic Editor. It isn’t overcomplicated and it does exactly what it needs to do. Besides, you can’t get better guarantee for compatibility than the fact that the plugin has been developed by the WordPress community.
Here’s how you can disable Gutenberg “the right way” using the Classic Editor plugin:
- Navigate to Plugins->Add new in WordPress admin menu.
- In the search field, enter Classic Editor and wait for the matching plugins to appear.
- Locate Classic Editor by WordPress and click on Install Now
- Wait for the installation to go through and then click on Activate
- Go to Settings->Writing to edit Classic Editor’s settings.
- Change the default editor for all users from Block Editor to Classic Editor.
- Decide, whether you want to be able to switch from Block Editor to Classic Editor from the page/post overview page. I recommend to set it to Yes, as this is your guarantee that you won’t forget to check Gutenberg out some months or years from now, where it might really make sense to use it – and all plugins have grown compatible with it.
That’s it. You can now get back to WordPress editing as you know it and enjoy the advantages of page builders and other plugins, currently incompatible with Gutenberg.