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How to keep using the classic editor as the default option in WordPress 5

Ben Long

September 21st, 2019

Written by

Ben Long


How-to Use TinyMCE


WordPress 5.0 brought about a significant change to the default editing experience, moving away from the classic editor based on TinyMCE, and replacing it with the Gutenberg block editor.

Despite Gutenberg providing the Classic Block, in which the TinyMCE experience is still available, many developers prefer to make a complete switch back to the classic editor.

Recently, at WordCamp Brisbane, this sentiment was echoed frequently throughout the weekend.

  • For some, it’s the additional time and money they’d have to spend when they’ve already configured themes and plugins that work for them.
  • Others want to keep using the premium plugins offered by Tiny, such as PowerPaste, directly within the default interface. You’ll be able to read more about using Tiny’s premium plugins in WordPress in an upcoming post.
  • And some simply prefer the classic editing experience.

Classic editor in WordPress.

Whatever your reasons, you can return to the classic rich text WYSIWYG interface with the Classic Editor WordPress plugin.

Switch back to the classic editor with the Classic Editor WordPress plugin

Switch back to the classic editor by installing the free Classic Editor WordPress plugin maintained by the WordPress team. (If you’re familiar with the TinyMCE Advanced WordPress plugin, it also provides an option to set the classic editor as the default.)

Once activated, the plugin hides the Gutenberg block editor and restores the classic editing experience. You can also continue to use any existing plugins that you installed to extend the editor, along with any other functionality that depended on it.

NOTE: Although this plugin is powered by Tiny, we are not responsible for providing technical support for it. Reach out to the plugin developers if required.

Install the Classic Editor WordPress plugin

  1. Once you have logged in to your WordPress dashboard, click Plugins, then Add New.

    WordPress Plugins screen with the Add New button highlighted.
  2. If the Classic Plugin is not already listed directly under the Featured tab, search for it, then click Install Now.

    WordPress Add Plugins screen with the Install Now button highlighted against the Classic Editor plugin.
  3. Once the plugin is installed, click Activate.

    WordPress Add Plugins screen with the Activate button highlighted against the Classic Editor plugin.

And you’re done!

Now, when adding or editing your WordPress content, you can go ahead and continue working with the classic WYSIWYG editor as before.

What next?

Now that you’re customizing the editor like a pro, take your editing experience to the next level – check out how to use TinyMCE premium plugins in WordPress.

byBen Long

Computer scientist, storyteller, teacher, and an advocate of TinyMCE. Reminisces about programming on the MicroBee. Writes picture books for kids. Also the wearer of rad shoes. “Science isn’t finished until you share the story.”

Related Articles

  • How-to Use TinyMCE

    How to migrate from CKEditor to TinyMCE

    by Ben Long in How-to Use TinyMCE
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