It’s easy to turn off the Gutenberg text editor. See my top 4 ways to do it, depending on your needs.
See the 4 ways I recommend, followed by the how-to for each one later in the post.
UPDATED 12/7 for version 1.1 of the Classic Editor plugin.
The 4 Ways
Here are my top choices, and tips for selecting the one that is right for you.
Classic Editor Plugin
Best way if you just want to complete turn off the Gutenberg editor until a later time, or if you want to try the new editor while still having access to the old one.
NOTE: WordPress had announced that the Classic Editor plugin will be bundled with the WP 5.0 update. However, they changed their mind. You’ll need to manually add the plugin via the WordPress plugins repository (like you do for other free plugins).
Disable Gutenberg Plugin
Best way if you need selective control of which user or post type can have access to the new editor. And, it has a way to hide access to the plugin from users.
Best way if you just want to turn Gutenberg off and have zero way for clients to turn it back on.
Classic Text Block
While this is not turning Gutenberg off, it does give you a way to access the original text editor from within the Gutenberg text editor.
How To and Settings
Following are screenshots and tips for each of the 3 ways to turn Gutenberg editor off.
Classic Editor Plugin Settings
Screenshots are below to show you the main change the Classic Editor plugin makes by comparing it to the way settings work in WordPress 4.9 now. (You’ll find these under Writing > Settings.)
NOTE: There are two versions of Classic Editor:
- version 0.5 if you installed prior to 12/6 while using WP 4.9.8
- version 1.x if you have upgraded to WP 5.0 or installed after 12/6
NOTE: As of 12/7 you can’t install the Classic Editor plugin unless you update to WordPress 5.0
The standard WP 4.9 Writing Settings w/0 Classic Editor.
With Classic Editor version 0.5
With Classic Editor 1.x
As you can see, the Formatting option has been removed and a new set of radio buttons has been added.
The first choice is to Replace the Block editor with the Classic editor, or Default Editor to use.
Setting them as shown basically turns the Gutenberg editor completely off and allows you to continue blogging as usual.
The second choice is to have have the Block editor on by default. This way you can make new posts in the Gutenberg editor. But, you have a link to turn on the Classic editor on a per post/page basis.
The third choice on version 1.x is to allow users to switch editors on a per post/page basis. If you don’t plan to use Gutenberg, then set this to No.
You don’t need to modify any other settings on the Writings page.
Scroll to the bottom and click the Save button.
With the above settings, when you create a new post/page, it will be as if Gutenberg is not even running.
Disable Gutenberg Plugin Settings
This plugin gives you more control to selectively disabling the Gutenberg editor based on:
- Post or Page, even by ID
- User role
- Post types
- Theme template
It also has a setting to disable the plugin’s menu item so users cannot access the settings. However, you will be able to access the settings directly via FTP or File Manager in cPanel.
If you uncheck the box for Complete Disable, then you’ll see all of the other setting options.
Hard Code Disabling
The latest method for turning off Gutenberg via code is only compatible with:
- WordPress 5.0 and up
- Or Gutenberg plugin 4.1.1 and up
Place the following code in your functions.php file:
The code completely disables the Gutenberg editor everywhere.
There are no settings.
Classic Text Block
In the Gutenberg Blocks, under Formatting, is the Classic Block.
This will bring up the normal text editor you were using, either the default, or TinyMCE Advanced.
As you can see below, mine is displaying the way I have TinyMCE Advanced toolbars configured.
I LOVE the TinyMCE Advanced editor and recommend it to all of my clients.
See this video tutorial on configuring TinyMCE Advanced for a quick overview of the tools.
NOTE: Some recipe plugins have shortcode that conflicts with turning on the setting for retaining paragraph and break tags setting in TinyMCE Advanced.
Why to Hold Off On Using Gutenberg
As of late 2018, and the initial release of WordPress 5.0, the Gutenberg editor is still in its infancy.
I suspect that the pace of change for it will be just as blistering fast after the release as it has been since the WP devs began work, maybe even faster.
For those two reasons, I suggest holding off on using the Gutenberg editor until it has time to mature.
Plus, all plugins and themes are not yet compatible with Gutenberg.
If you have a money-making site currently, you aren’t missing anything cool by not jumping on the Gutenberg bandwagon immediately.
Stay Ahead of the Curve
I’m actively testing Gutenberg and keeping my eye on theme and plugin designers as they prepare for the WordPress revolution.
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