New Classic Editor Addon Plugin Disables the “Try Gutenberg” Prompt Coming in WordPress 4.9.8

photo credit: Hermes Rivera

Gutenberg development continues along the roadmap Matt Mullenweg announced at WordCamp Europe with WordPress 4.9.8 set to introduce a “Try Gutenberg” prompt to increase usage and testing. Core design contributors are currently working on a few new iterations of the callout. They are also considering including a section inside the prompt with an option to install the Classic Editor plugin in preparation for Gutenberg.

Developers and agencies have time to install the Classic Editor on client sites that are not ready for Gutenberg, but this will not prevent users from seeing the “Try Gutenberg” prompt. Greg Schoppe, one of Gutenberg’s most outspoken critics, partnered with Pieter Bos to develop a plugin called Classic Editor Addon that changes how the Classic Editor plugin works.

“For agencies supporting many sites, whose users have no way of knowing whether Gutenberg will break their site or not, this nag screen is a danger,” Schoppe commented on our most recent Gutenberg update. “Pre-emptively installing Classic Editor unfortunately won’t suppress the nag notice either, but since Classic Editor is being used as a bellwether of the success of Gutenberg, it’s important that you install it, if you expect issues.”

Schoppe co-wrote the Classic Editor Addon to solve this problem. It suppresses the “Try Gutenberg” prompt and when the new editing experience ships in 5.0, it will automatically suppress Gutenberg as well.

Since the Classic Editor plugin doesn’t remove Gutenberg by default, the addon plugin sets the option to fully replace Gutenberg. It also removes the Classic Editor’s options from the Settings > Writing screen. Schoppe said he believes this is what the Classic Editor plugin should have done out of the box, instead of requiring the user to find the settings screen to replace Gutenberg.

Installing both the Classic Editor and Classic Editor Addon on tens or hundreds of client sites could be time consuming, so Schoppe suggests using a site management dashboard, such as MainWP, ManageWP, or Jetpack, to bulk install both plugins for clients.

According to stats on WordPress.org, Gutenberg is active on more than 10,000 sites and the Classic Editor is active on 4,000+ sites. The “Try Gutenberg” prompt is expected to go out in WordPress 4.9.8, which is targeted for the end of July. The goal for the prompt is to make users aware of the plugin and get more testers involved before Gutenberg lands in WordPress 5.0.

22 Comments


    1. If you ask them about that they’ll tell you that the missing 90,000 were installed through Github…

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      1. Actually it doesn’t matter where user download the plugin. CMIIW, data of active plugins sent to WP org twice daily when a site check for update.

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  1. I installed the Gutenberg plugin, wrote a post and then uninstalled it. I don’t like using the visual editor and I don’t like the “extra” code visible in the code editor. I’m used to the plain HTML editor in the classic editor. I’m not even fond of markdown.

    I want to hide parts of the editor, like the current classic one. I suppose that’ll be possible when it becomes part of core. I don’t see a problem with Gutenberg, I just don’t like adding blocks one at a time. I would like to be able to use two blocks as a default.

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    1. That’s fair, and I use the classic editor for the same reasons. I write in a text editor, paste it into WordPress, then add formatting while I reread and copy edit the content.

      But that’s me, and I do not expect myself to be the norm. So, I installed Gutenberg on my BBQ team’s site a few months back. Just for giggles.

      Since then, they made 3 posts using it and nobody mentioned it to me. I checked the posts, they were clean, simple, made use of blocks correctly. And so on.

      So, I’m convinced. I think it’s a fine thing. I’ll probably still never use it, but I’m not the target audience. I can accept that and use an alternative editor that is better suited to me.

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    1. Classic editor is the official plugin for removing Gutenberg, and the install count is apparently being used as a metric to gauge success of the Gutenberg project. So, although other plugins exist to force-disable Gutenberg, using them doesn’t properly notify the core team of the number of issues users are having, that’s why Classic Editor Addon doesn’t disable Gutenberg itself, it just properly sets the options for Classic Editor and disables the Gutenberg Nag notice, making it easier to mass-install classic editor.

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      1. Thanks, but I find this ridiculous having to install 2 more plugins just for that. There will be nothing wrong with my installation to tell them as all I want is to never cross paths with this thing they call Gutenberg. In that case. I think Disable Gutenberg plugin will be more appropriate.

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      2. @John
        In that case forking might actually be the far more appropriate course of action.

        Just saying…

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      3. @John

        That is, of course, your choice. However, keep in mind that Gutenberg is currently a plugin, and is registered and included differently than it may be post-merge. “Disable Gutenberg” currently removes the actions and filters that the Gutenberg plugin uses to install itself, but that will probably be ineffective against the merged version of Gutenberg.

        So, if you use Disable Gutenberg, you have to trust a third-party developer to update their code to properly remove Gutenberg, before the 5.0 release.

        Classic Editor, on the other hand, is the official tool to remove Gutenberg, and is being actively supported by the WordPress Gutenberg team. So you know it will work before the 5.0 release.

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      4. @John

        Disable Gutenberg will be ready for WP 5.0 :)

        @Greg

        “Disable Gutenberg currently removes the actions and filters that the Gutenberg plugin uses to install itself, but that will probably be ineffective against the merged version of Gutenberg.”

        Disable Gutenberg will be updated as needed to disable Gutenberg once merged into core.

        “So, if you use Disable Gutenberg, you have to trust a third-party developer to update their code to properly remove Gutenberg, before the 5.0 release.”

        Been developing WordPress plugins for 10+ years with lots of happy users. No problems keeping up with Gutenberg.

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  2. Will this plugin remove the prompt or won’t it? The headline says it will. The article says it won’t in the second paragraph.

    Thanks in advance.

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    1. The “Classic Editor” plugin, by Andrew Ozz, won’t disable the nag screen on its own, and doesn’t completely disable Gutenberg without changing settings.

      “Classic Editor Addon” is a second plugin that fixes both of these behaviors in “Classic Editor”. If you install both plugins, Gutenberg will be completely disabled, and you will not see a nag screen.

      The only reason “Classic Editor Addon” doesn’t just do the whole thing itself is that “Classic Editor” is the official path to disable Gutenberg, and its number of active installs is being used to measure the success of the Gutenberg plugin.

      Therefore, if you expect trouble with Gutenberg, it is important to use “Classic Editor”, despite its flaws, to let the core team know how many people are having issues with this release.

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      1. The Gutenberg admin nag can easily be disabled.
        remove_action( ‘try_gutenberg_panel’, ‘wp_try_gutenberg_panel’ );

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  3. Quick question…

    So if I install Classic Editor AND the Classic Editor Addon, today, will it affect my sites at all? Any weird conflicts between the plugin(s) and the current classic editor?

    And then when 5.0 launches I won’t need to worry about springing Gutenberg on my clients so fast? :)

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    1. That’s the exact course of action I’m in the process of taking with my Agency’s 300+ sites.

      “Classic Editor” offers dire warnings not to use it on a site that doesn’t have Gutenberg, but the first thing the plugin does is check to see if Gutenberg is installed, before making any site changes, so there is absolutely no risk to a non-gutenberg install.

      As for “Classic Editor Addon” it interfaces directly with hooks provided by “Classic Editor”, so will make no changes to any non-gutenberg install.

      In short, you are perfectly describing the intended use case.

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      1. Greg, if I may ask, since I’m in a similar situation as yours, what are your thoughts concerning the following potential problem:
        Using “Classic Editor Addon” and “Classic Editor” we will be able to stop Gutenberg from being installed and causing problems with existing custom made themes and plugins. However, most sites use one or more plugins. Those plugins get updated to work with Gutenberg. For example WooCommerce is working hard to get it ready for Gutenberg. But I wonder if this could cause conflicts if “Classic Editor Addon” and “Classic Editor” block Gutenberg.

        So even if I block everything related to Gutenberg on my clients’ sites, there still might be problems. I cannot NOT update any plugin, since some of these updates might be security related. And once Gutenberg has been out for a while, more and more plugins will switch to using it (if applicable).

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      2. @matthijs

        you are correct that this is a temporary solution, because eventually some plugins will make Gutenberg mandatory. For the next year or so, I believe most plugins that move to a Gutenberg-only interface will receive significant backlash from their classic-editor userbase, which will force them to support classic metaboxes as well as Gutenberg. This fundamental schism is one of the most worrisome parts of the whole project, as it will either alienate developers’ userbases or it will make developer’s jobs twice as hard, when building admin interfaces, as they will have to build two variations.

        Because Gutenberg can be enabled or disabled on an individual post-type basis, this will effect many plugin developers like yoast, who add interface elements to all post types, regardless of the use of classic editor.

        Personally, I think WooCommerce’s experiments with Gutenberg make the least sense of any I’ve seen, as stores should be a highly structured interface, to make all products uniform and easily scannable.

        In any event, if we want 3rd party support for classic editor to be a priority for plugin authors, we are going to have to be very vocal in demanding it. Whenever a plugin updates in a non-compatible way, there is going to need to be a concerted effort by many users to report tickets, comment, and leave reviews.

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    2. @Jamie, if you install them both now, you indeed will be good to go for when WP 5.0 launches.

      And on top of that, you will also not be bothered by the “Try Gutenberg”-prompt that will be added to the dasboard of the upcoming WP 4.9.8 release.

      Please let us know how it is working for you.

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      1. Thanks Pieter and Greg for your responses. :) Just wanted to double check before I went ahead and installed on my many sites! Thanks so much!

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  4. A quick update:

    We have just released version 2.0.0 which offers the possibility to auto-install and activate the “Classic Editor” plugin.

    This means that it no longer is necessary to go through the process of installing two separate plugins, which hopefully makes things a little more convenient for everyone!

    During its first week we already have gathered 5 5-star reviews and 300+ active installs. With this new addition we might be able to be at 1000+ active installs by the end of this week? :)

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