Convert Classic Content to Blocks With the Bulk Block Converter Plugin

Organic Themes released the Bulk Block Converter WordPress plugin last month and updated it in the past week. The plugin allows users to convert classic content, written in the old editor, to the new block format.

Unless end-users have the Classic Editor plugin installed, their old content is placed into the classic block in the newer block editor. WordPress provides an option for transforming this content into individual blocks from the block-editor interface. However, this must be done on a per-post basis.

“Going back and converting each post and page with a classic block to individual blocks can be a very long and tedious process,” said David Morgan, co-founder of Organic Themes. “The Bulk Block Converter plugin quickly scans all your posts and pages for classic blocks, and allows you to quickly convert them all to individual blocks within one interface.”

Originally, Organic Themes built the plugin for internal use at their company. “We developed the plugin to help us convert the content of our theme demos to blocks more efficiently,” said Morgan. The company had to convert over 40 theme-demo sites with an average of 50 posts and pages per site. They built this plugin to avoid a long and painstaking process. Then decided to share it. “We thought the tool could be very useful for other users migrating to Gutenberg.”

For users with a lot of old content, Bulk Block Converter could be the key to moving it all to the new block editor system. Based on the conversions I ran on a couple of test installations, it worked flawlessly.

How the Plugin Works

Screenshot of the Tools > Block Conversion plugin screen in the admin.
Bulk Block Converter admin screen for converting content.

The Bulk Block Converter plugin adds a new “Block Conversion” sub-menu item to the WordPress “Tools” menu in the admin. Once on that screen, it provides a “Scan Content” button. When clicked, it checks all of your posts, pages, and other custom post types for classic content. It then builds a list table of all the content.

From that point, you can choose between converting each post individually or running a bulk conversion of all posts. I always recommend being cautious with such plugins by converting and checking a couple of individual posts before trying bulk conversions.

The process for converting posts was snappy during my tests. In just a few moments, I converted all of my old content over without issue.

Like any plugin that modifies content in this way, it is prudent to store a backup of your site before converting the posts. This is also a one-way conversion process. Once a post is transformed, there is no going back.


14 responses to “Convert Classic Content to Blocks With the Bulk Block Converter Plugin”

    • I wish that were the case Justin but actually they are removed (when using the latest WordPress with it’s included Block Editor). After conversion, the GB shortcode block is present, but sadly, the shortcode is missing.

      Based on Esther’s use-case, it seems it would be beneficial if the plugin developer could add an option to remove shortcodes or leave them in place. I don’t use a page builder, so I need my shortcodes to remain in place.

      • Thanks for all the positive feedback! I’m glad to hear others have found the plugin helpful. :)

        In regards to the shortcode conversion issue, the plugin relies on the core Gutenberg block conversion functionality. Meaning, the plugin doesn’t actually process the conversion, Gutenberg does. The Bulk Block Converter plugin simply makes it possible to convert multiple posts and pages at once from a single interface. As a result, the issue is with the way Gutenberg handles the conversion.

        The same issue occurs without the plugin installed, when navigating to a page that has shortcodes contained within a “Classic” block, and then choosing the option to convert to blocks.

        If the issue is a concern, opening a support ticket with Gutenberg and/or WordPress might be the best course of action,


        • @David Morgan – I installed the latest version of Gutenberg (ver 7.7.1).

          I edited a single post containing shortcodes and Convert to Blocks. This worked great. So this is not an issue with Gutenberg 7.7.1.

          I then opened up the Bulk Block Converter and Scanned. I then Convert one single post containing a shortcode. The converted post did not contain the actual shortcode.

          So it seems the plugin behaves differently than Gutenberg…

  1. Now that is useful. I’ve only around 300 to convert, but will give it a go rather than do each post & page in turn.
    You’d think there would be a bulk conversion option in WordPress already, but then… WordPress.


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