WordPress has decided to continue support for its Classic Editor plugin into 2022. This extension means an additional year of official support for the plugin.
While many hoped for the news, there’s still a push within WordPress towards the block editor. With the Gutenberg Editor on the market set to take the plugin’s place, WordPress users are expected to make the transition.
Still, millions of users continue to use the Classic Editor.
But why is that the case?
WordPress Classic Editor Support Explained
Maintained through WordPress, the Classic Editor is the company’s official plugin. The add-on provided familiarity by restoring the older WordPress interface, and it was supposed to ease the transition to the block editor.
The last major update for the plugin was back in 2018 with WordPress 5.0. It stated the plugin would be supported for three years.
Support has generally consisted of maintenance fixes. WordPress core committer Jonathan Desrosiers labels it as heading into its “sunset phase.”
WordPress’s block editor ‘Gutenberg’ arrived on December the 6th, 2018, to replace the Classic Editor. But even with the block editor positioned to take over, many still preferred the Classic Editor, with active installations remaining high for the plugin.
Why Support for the WordPress Classic Editor Continues
Speculation surrounds why so many have stuck with the Classic Editor. Desrosiers says that based on the diffusion of innovation theory, he thinks the adoption of the block editor is at the stage where the late majority is now beginning to use it.
The theory aims to explain the rate at which new tech spreads. It splits tech adopters into groups based on how soon they’re willing to adopt new technology, with the late majority group sitting one spot before the last, the laggards.
However, there might be more to it than that. There seem to be at least five million Classic Editor installations active. We can’t tell whether it’s a matter of people getting used to the Classic Editor and becoming reluctant to transition or not knowing how to use Gutenberg.
Regardless of the reasons behind the number of active installations, the five million active Classic Editor users are more than enough to justify prolonging support for the plugin.
On that note, Desrosiers pointed out that maintaining support for the plugin requires minimal effort. It has only needed minor adjustments from 2018 to 2021, with the bulk of them limited to “warnings and notices in debug logs.”
So, with the promise that WordPress will support the Classic Editor for another year, should you go ahead and try it out?
WordPress Classic Editor: Advantages and Disadvantages
For years, the Classic Editor has been deemed perfect by users wanting to avoid complex formatting and designs. And when you think about it, it makes sense.
If all you want is a simple, quick way to arrange multimedia content, the straightforward text-based Classic Editor might be all you need.
However, is that all there is to it? Let’s look at the critical advantages and disadvantages of the Classic Editor.
Advantages of the WordPress Classic Editor
- Simple text-focused editor.
- HTML tags are available.
- Coding options.
- The design is familiar.
Disadvantages of the WordPress Classic Editor
- Performance tends to be slower.
- Being competent in HTML is a must for editing and SEO.
- Extra features need plugins.
- It makes creating complex pages an arduous task.
But the biggest disadvantage of all is how it fares against Gutenberg’s built-in features. It’s challenging to find an advantage to the Classic Editor that Gutenberg doesn’t offer.
Gutenberg also comes with a surplus of quality-of-life and content-enhancing features you’d miss out on by using the Classic Editor. And with two out of four phases of the Gutenberg Project still pending, users can expect more to come.
So, where does this leave the WordPress Classic Editor?
The Future of the WordPress Classic Editor
Desrosiers stated that the Classic Editor “is not going anywhere” and will “continue to be listed on the .ORG repository for the foreseeable future.”
Paired with the extended support, Classic Editor users can continue to use the plugin until 2022, at least officially.
After all, there are plugins like Disable Gutenberg that will let users retain the classic editing experience past the 2022 expiration date. That brings a little security to an otherwise uncertain future for the Classic Editor.
Still, Desrosiers encourages users to give Gutenberg a chance, stating, “you may be pleasantly surprised.”
Final Thoughts — WordPress Extends Classic Editor Support: Should You Try It?
When it comes to making the final decision, it’s down to you and your needs. Migrating from the Classic Editor to Gutenberg may take a lot of effort, especially if your website has undergone extensive customization.
But it’s still worth considering. Remember that outdated software can represent security risks for your website long-term, so it’s best to stay up to date to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
And who’s to say you won’t find the intuitive Block editing experience more thrilling after giving it a shot?
Are there any reasons you’re still using the Classic Editor over Gutenberg? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting @Bluehost.