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Will WordPress 6.0 support the Classic Editor plugin?

Will WordPress 6.0 support the Classic Editor plugin?

Last week, some webmasters will have received an email from WordPress about the coming introduction of its new 6.0 version.

The email we received drew particular attention to making sure your plugins are ready for the change, which is set to take place in less than a fortnight’s time on May 24th. It included a link to this guide to plugin readmes, and the WordPress blog has been busily providing further info about what changes we can expect, and what we should do in preparation for them.

The talk of plugins reminded us of one we’ve found particularly useful – Classic Editor – and had us wondering what WordPress 6.0 would mean to a plugin that was really only created as a backlash to WordPress 5.0.

What is Classic Editor?

When WordPress 5.0 was released in late 2018, it came with its new Gutenberg editor. This brought about a remarkably different user interface, and meant developers and bloggers immediately had to get used to the concept of “blocks”.

As editors, our immediate reaction was one of revulsion. What on Earth had WordPress done? A year or so later I started to warm to it a little, particularly through blogging on music as a hobby, but for almost all of our clients, we still do what we can to steer clear of Gutenberg. We’ve never known our techies to like it much either, with our Web Developer Gab describing its user interface as “messy”.

The Classic Editor plugin was introduced for the benefit of people who, in short, liked WordPress better the way it was before. Today, the plugin is active on more than five million WordPress installations, suggesting it’s not just ourselves being a bunch of old fuddy-duddies.

How long will Classic Editor last?

In somewhat unspecific language, WordPress’s description of the Classic Editor plugin says:

“[Classic Editor] will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary.”

That leads to the question of whether WordPress will see the introduction of 6.0 as the perfect opportunity to stop supporting Classic Editor and force us to use Gutenberg. Some developers suspect WordPress is trying to phase out Classic Editor due to it not being built on the JavaScript library React. To improve speed and user experience, WordPress has been moving towards a single-page back-end structure since 5.0 was released, and React is a solid, dynamic framework for doing this.

It means we can only speculate on the future of Classic Editor, but with millions of active installations in place, WordPress would be extremely foolish to ditch support for it overnight on May 24th. We predict it will stick around for 6.0 with support running through the earlier versions. By the time version 7.0 comes out, we may have to bite the bullet and get used to Gutenberg.

If you’re concerned about WordPress plugins, or need any assistance with web development or hosting, why not get in touch with us at Engage Web?

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray

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