First Look at “Try Gutenberg” Prompt in WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2

WordPress 4.9.8 Beta 2 was released today, featuring the new “Try Gutenberg” prompt that will appear in user dashboards when the official release drops at the end of the month.

The prompt invites users to install Gutenberg if they want to try the new editor or install the Classic Editor to keep using the current editor until they are ready to make the change. WordPress contributors discussed variations on the design and wording of the callout and finally settled on what you see in 4.9.8 Beta 2.

Even if users don’t get involved in Gutenberg testing, the callout serves to inform them that the new editor will be enabled by default in the next major release of WordPress. It includes a link to the Gutenberg information page so users can learn more about the project.

Contributors agreed that they wanted to clearly communicate three important points in the callout, as per designer @kjellr’s suggestions on trac:

  1. Gutenberg is coming in the next major release.
  2. If you’re worried about compatibility, there’s a plugin to help ease the transition.
  3. The plugin lets you use the editor you’re used to until you’re ready to switch.

The prompt is clearly geared towards encouraging users to test Gutenberg, as that section has a more prominent, colored button. If your clients’ installations are not ready for users to act on the “Try Gutenberg” prompt, now is the time to install a plugin that will disable it. Clients with free-range of the WordPress admin, in sites that are running Gutenberg-compatible extensions, are better candidates for testing the new editor.

The Classic Editor Addon is one option that will suppress the prompt and automatically suppress Gutenberg when it ships in WordPress 5.0. It was also recently updated to auto-install the Classic Editor plugin as a dependency so users don’t have to install two plugins as part of the process.

A release candidate is slated for July 24, and the official 4.9.8 release is scheduled for July 31st. The Gutenberg plugin is currently sitting at 10,000+ active installations and the Classic Editor at 5,000+. After 4.9.8 is released, changes in these numbers will demonstrate how WordPress users across the globe are responding to the call for testing.

15 Comments


  1. So 7 days between the RC and final/official….is that enough testing? Is this normal time to test things out?

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    1. This is a pretty standard timeline for a point release. 🙂

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  2. “The prompt invites users to install Gutenberg if they want to try the new editor or install the Classic Editor to keep using the current editor until they are ready to make the change.

    What about the people who will never be ready to make that change and don’t want to hear anything about Gutenberg, ever?

    – Clicking on “dismiss” will keep things as they are without any further notification or this will simply dismiss the notice and install Gutenberg at next update without further approval?

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    1. > What about the people who will never be ready to make that change and don’t want to hear anything about Gutenberg, ever?

      You should install the Classic Editor plugin, which will keep the current editor as the default when WordPress 5.0 is released, which will include the Gutenberg block editor.

      The Classic Editor plugin will continue to be maintained into the future, so you can continue to upgrade your WordPress install, and keep your current editor.

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      1. Well noted, thanks.
        But, as previously asked, what will happen if I don’t install Classic Editor plugin and simply click on “dismiss”?

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      2. Actually it would be better to install the Classic Editor Addon, because the Classic Editor plugin doesn’t do anything by itself.

        The aforementioned free addon changes that and as a bonus can auto-install the Classic Editor in 1 click.

        It also removes the “Try Gutenberg”-prompt and cleans up the settings so anything Gutenberg and Classic Editor will vanish as snow for the sun.

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      3. But, as previously asked, what will happen if I don’t install Classic Editor plugin and simply click on “dismiss”?

        If you just dismiss the notification, it’ll be hidden. If you ever need to bring it back at any point, you can find it in the “Screen Options” dropdown at the top right of your Dashboard.

        Gutenberg itself will be released in WordPress 5.0, so if you don’t install the Classic Editor plugin, it will become your default editor when you click the upgrade button. (WordPress 5.0 will not be an auto update release.) You can still choose to install the Classic Editor plugin after upgrading to WordPress 5.0, should you find that something isn’t quite working right.

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  3. I followed your link to the Classic Editor plugin and have a few questions about.

    My first question is this plugin ready to use on a live site? The description currently says:

    Warning: This is beta software, do not run on production sites!

    The second question is will the Gutenberg plugin need to be installed on the site before I can use this plugin? The description says that:
    Requires WordPress 4.9-beta2 or newer and Gutenberg plugin 1.5 or newer

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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    1. Same questions here.
      It would be really important to know what this plugin does exactly as this is not clear at plugin’s description that provides some cryptc sentences like this one:
      “Classic Editor restores the previous Edit Post screen and makes it possible to use the WordPress plugins that extend it, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor.”
      There is nothing to restore if you don’t install Gutenberg!

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      1. I agree. This plugin is not clear about what it does.

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    2. Thanks for the feedback, Sue!

      The Classic Editor plugin is safe to install on production sites, it’s a fairly simple plugin. The warning was important a while ago, when we were ensuring that the APIs we intended to use for it were stable, but these things are all in a good place now.

      You should expect to see an updated to the Classic Editor plugin in the next week or so, to tidy these messages up and ensure everything works smoothly. 🙂

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      1. Thank you so much for the your response. It is great to know that is ready to use when WP 4.9.8 launches.

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  4. Does anyone know it the new nag appears for all roles or just admin?

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