Disabling the Gutenberg Editor in WordPress 5

Disabling the Gutenberg Editor in WordPress 5
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Most WordPress users are probably happy with regular updates on their favourite content management website software, but for me, a striking difference starting at WordPress 5 was the Gutenberg Editor instead of the, now, ‘Classic Editor’. Without going into too much of a discussion, this post will show how to disable the Gutenberg Editor.

This is an ongoing post. Please suggest corrections, explanations, etc. in the comment section at the bottom of this page.

The, now default, Gutenberg Editor plugin (replacing the TinyMCE aka ‘Classic Editor’) is said to pave the way forward for WordPress in more ways than just a WordPress editor. With its block layout (aka ‘Block Editor’), Gutenberg is paving the way for page templates and is aimed to turn WordPress into a full site customiser. This sounds very exciting for the future of WordPress and will make layouts easier for new websites (and new users).

Putting it simply, my concerns are that I don’t like change (because the TinyMCE is not broken), I don’t like blocks, the editing section is too small for my PC screen and there are many features that I use that are missing. Upon testing it on some of my other sites, posts could not be edited at all (blank white screen) without deactivating Gutenberg. These concerns are probably more because I have established website layouts. Fortunately, the Classic Editor is still available for the time being (said to be until 31 December 2021).

Disable the Gutenberg Editor using the functions.php

For established WordPress users, the simplest, and cleanest, way to disable the Gutenberg Editor (and continue using the Classic Editor) is by adding the following filter to the (Child) Theme’s functions.php file:

// Disable Gutenberg Editor
add_filter('use_block_editor_for_post', '__return_false');

Disabling the Gutenberg Editor using plugins

For less advanced WordPress users, the Gutenberg Editor can be disabled by using one of the following plugins. Both got good ratings at the time of writing and worked well out of the box.

Classic Editor plugin

WordPress Classic Editor plugin

At the time of writing the Classic Editor plugin had more than 900 000 active installs and an average rating of 4.9 out of 5. Because Gutenberg saves its markup in HTML, you can still roll back to the Classic Editor even after you used Gutenberg. The Classic Editor plugin can be installed from your WordPress plugins section or downloaded from WordPress.org and extracted or uploaded into the plugins folder. It should start to work immediately after its activation.

Disable Gutenberg plugin

Disable Gutenberg plugin

At the time of writing the Disable Gutenberg plugin had more than 30 000 active installs and an average rating of 5 out of 5. According to its author, this plugin does will also not expire when TinyMCE support expires for WordPress. It can be installed from your WordPress plugins section or downloaded from WordPress.org and extracted or uploaded into the plugins folder. It should start to work immediately after its activation.

Background

WordPress Gutenberg Editor header
The official WordPress Gutenberg Editor plugin header.

Prior to WordPress 5.0, the Gutenberg Editor was available as a plugin available from WordPress.org.

WordPress Gutenberg Editor plugin

Even after all the hype, the plugin wasn’t received well by users, but has a lot of active installs. Looking at the plugin and WordPress correspondence, future of Gutenberg should be bright – once all the kinks have been sorted out.

About the author
Renier busies himself with improving his English writing, creative web design and his websites, photoshopping, micro-electronics, multiple genres of music, superhero movies and badass series.
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