From WordPress 5 upwards, the WordPress post and page editor has a new look and new functionality.

It aims to make creating content a smoother and more creative process. But if you just love the classic interface or you’re not quite ready yet for the new experience, you can still use the WordPress editor you are used to. Just install the classic editor plugin and everything stays as it is.

Changes between the old and the new WordPress editor

Compared to the classic editor, WordPress’ new block editor has a much cleaner and, at first glance, simpler layout. Many settings that are readily available in the classic editor, now become accessible by hovering over items or clicking on them. We personally like the calm and smooth editing experience this gives, but if you’re very used to the old way of doing things, or if you simply prefer to have all settings and options visible all the time, then there’s an easy way of keeping things the way you’re used to.

the classic editor:

Screenshot of the classic WordPress editor before the WordPress 5 update

The new editor:

new gutenberg block editor

Keeping things the way they were

WordPress are aware the new editor is a fairly big change in the way people are used to working. And many users have been asking for a way to continue using the classic editor they’re so used to. And so WordPress have created the ‘Classic Editor’ plugin, which does exactly that (and a little bit more). You can read the full info about this plugin on the Classic Editor entry in the plugin directory.

The plugin will be actively maintained until at least 2022, so there’s plenty of time for you to delay getting used to the new experience until a later date for now.

How to install the classic editor plugin

To install the classic editor plugin, in your WordPress admin navigate to plugins > add new.

Next, in the search box type in ‘classic editor’. Then in the results find the plugin and click the install button. Wait until the plugin is installed and then click the blue ‘activate’ button. That’s it, you’ve installed and activated the classic editor plugin. Here is what it looks like when you’re done:

screenshot of the classic editor plugin after activating

Switch back and forth between editors for ultimate flexibility

There is a lot to like about the new editor and so you still may want to try it out, even if your default editor is the classic one. Luckily you can do so by adjusting a simple setting.

If you navigate to Settings > Writing, you’ll see that the classic editor plugin has also added a few options here.

WordPress' writing settings with the classic editor plugin installed

With the classic editor plugin installed you can go into your writing settings and set your editor preferences


You can indicate which editor you’d like to use by default, and under “allow users to Switch editors” you can choose whether you’d like to have the ability to switch between the two editors, so to switch to the classic editor while you’re in the new block editor, and vice versa.


WordPress block editor post edit screen with link to switch to classic editor

With the ‘classic editor plugin’ installed, you can switch back to the classic editor from inside the WordPress block editor.

WordPress classic editor post edit screen with link to switch to block editor

And from the classic editor you can switch back to the new block editor again.


We hope this post will help you to dip in and out of the new WordPress editing experience as it suits you : )