Will the TinyMCE editor be available after WordPress drops support for the Classic Editor in 2021?
It’s worth asking because the Gutenberg Classic block depends on TinyMCE for editing our older content that has not been converted to separate Gutenberg blocks.
Discover what you need to know about this important editor element and whether you should get busy converting your older content to individual Gutenberg blocks.
It’s a valid question
She asked if we should convert all of our current content over to individual blocks after we switch our sites to Gutenberg.
What happens to current content?
One of the things I cover right off the bat in my Gutenberg Ninja course is what becomes of your site and content once you switch to the Gutenberg Editor.
When you switch to Gute, all of your content is preserved in its native HTML format inside one big Classic block.
(The Classic block is a native Gutenberg block and not to be confused with the Classic Editor.)
That Classic block has a TinyMCE editor available so that you can edit it just as you have always done.
It also supports other classic type editors, such as TinyMCE Advanced.
This means that all of your special formatting is entirely kept as it originally was and you can edit like normal.
Converting to all Gutenberg Blocks
But you don’t have to leave your previous content in the Classic Block.
You can convert it to individual Gutenberg blocks and take advantage of all the extra styling and formatting options that Gute offers.
The native conversion tool within Gutenberg will read the HTML tags around your content and split the content into an appropriate block.
For example, it will see an <h2> tag and split that content off into a Heading block.
It will see a <ul> tag and split that content off into a List block (for an unordered bullet list).
Auto conversion is fast, but can be inaccurate
Gutenberg’s conversion tool won’t always interpret your HTML code or special styling accurately.
You may need to manually tweak some of the blocks it creates for you.
Sometimes I find it faster just to convert the content manually in the first place by copying the content while in the visual view mode and then pasting into the correct block to begin with.
But, what works best for you really depends on how you generally format your content, and how much content you have.
So, what about TinyMCE?
TinyMCE is open source code that WordPress adopted as its native editor over a decade ago.
This is still the same code available in the Classic Editor plugin (and in TinyMCE Advanced).
Even before Gutenberg first rolled out in WP 5.0, they announced that support for the Classic Editor would continue through 2021.
What We Don’t Know
Nobody knows for sure if dropping support for the Classic Editor in 2021 is a hard deadline or not.
And nobody knows for sure if dropping support for the Classic Editor plugin also means dropping support for TinyMCE editor in the Classic block either.
What We Do Know
Gutenberg is based on TinyMCE.
They didn’t entirely reinvent the wheel with the editor, even though it may look like it to end users.
As mentioned previously, TinyMCE is open source software.
The current level we are using of TinyMCE is Version 4.
Version 5 is already available.
Support for Version 4 will drop in 2021.
That may be why WordPress announced they will drop support for the Classic Editor plugin then too.
I’ve heard from a TinyMCE developer that they were told WordPress has no plans to make use of TinyMCE Version 5.
So do we need to convert all of our older content to individual Gutenberg blocks?
I’ve been advising both my Gutenberg Ninja course members as well as my DIY SEO course members to begin converting their most popular content to Gutenberg blocks so they can take advantage of all Gutenberg features, like block styling, Reusable blocks, and more.
And they can convert to Gute as they update old content to make it more SEO competitive during their normal content revamp cycle. (Revamping old content is covered across 3 workshops in the DIY SEO course.)
But do we need to convert from the Classic block to individual Gutenberg blocks to avoid a drop in support of TinyMCE?
Nobody can say for sure right now.
But, here’s what I’m thinking, and betting the future of BlogAid on.
There’s no way millions of WordPress site owners will convert to Gutenberg and get all of their old content updated to individual Gutenberg blocks before 2021 ends.
So, even if WordPress were to drop support for TinyMCE, or not adopt Version 5, it’s open source software and some plugin dev will pick up the banner and/or carry the torch for us on this.
In other words, I’m not worried about it for now.
And I’ll be keeping my eyes on this situation for us as it unfolds.
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