4 Ways To Disable WordPress Gutenberg & One You Should Avoid

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Are you ready to start using the WordPress Gutenberg editor? The release was postponed several times, but was finally released on the 6th of December. If you are not ready for the new editor yet, or would prefer to stick with the Classic editor for now. Then you should strongly consider whether you want to disable WordPress Gutenberg. Until you are ready.

But how do you do that?

Well, honestly. It is more simple than you might think! And whilst I urge you to check out the WordPress Gutenberg editor yourself. Because it has some powerful time-saving tools like the WordPress Gutenberg reusable blocks.

I realize, that many of you simply might not have time. Running any kind of blog can be quite time-consuming. Especially at this time of year when you have all the holiday arrangements to worry about too.

In which case, this tutorial on the different methods you can use to disable WordPress Gutenberg. Will be exactly what you need to keep WordPress Gutenberg in check until you are ready to start using it. Quickly and easily, without having to add troublesome code to your WordPress blog.

I’ll even point out one method you should avoid using. As it could put your WordPress blog at risk of being hacked.

So, let’s start shall we?

4 Ways to disable WordPress Gutenberg and one you should avoid!

WordPress Plugins To Disable WordPress Gutenberg

Whilst you can add plenty of code snippets to disable WordPress Gutenberg in part. Or in full. The easiest way is to simply use a plugin. Let’s look at the two main plugins that can disable WordPress Gutenberg for us.

Disable Gutenberg Plugin

The Disable Gutenberg plugin, is the less known option. At 10,000 active installs, this plugin has very positive reviews overall.

How to disable WordPress Gutenberg using the disable gutenberg wordpress plugin

Not only does this plugin disable WordPress Gutenberg. It also replaces it with the Classic Editor.

What’s especially great about this plugin is that you can easily disable WordPress Gutenberg in a variety of ways. For example, you can disable Gutenberg for specific posts, pages, user roles, post types and theme templates. This makes the plugin massively versatile.

How? Well, if you are like me. You might want to create your new posts using WordPress Gutenberg. But still have the ability to edit your older content with the classic editor.

Or you might find it useful if you use a page builder plugin like Elementor. And any other plugin that is heavily based on the Classic editor.

The plugin is light-weight and shouldn’t slow down your blog. Plus it is regularly updated with a focus on flexibility, performance and security.

Classic Editor Plugin

Next up, the Classic Editor plugin currently has a lot more installs than the previously mentioned Disable Gutenberg plugin (60,000 vs 10,000). Mostly because it is being promoted by the Gutenberg developers. This plugin works similar to the Disable Gutenberg plugin. And also has substantially positive reviews.

How to disable WordPress Gutenberg using the classic editor WordPress plugin

The main difference is that this plugin only features 2 modes:-

  • Either disable WordPress Gutenberg fully and replace it with the Classic editor.
  • Or leave Gutenberg enabled with an additional Edit link on your Pages and Posts that will open the Classic editor when needed.

This second mode, actually works identically to how the current Gutenberg plugin works with the Classic editor prior to WordPress 5.0. So, if you want to keep this the same after 5.0. Then this is probably the plugin for you.

WordPress Forks (Variations)

If you want to disable WordPress Gutenberg, then the above plugins are a simple solution. Regardless of if you just manage one site or many for your customers.

However, some people have tried to branch off from the main WordPress project into what’s called ‘forks’. These are in simple terms – variations of the core WordPress systems that are built upon in a different direction depending on the project’s goals.

If you’re not a fan of the current direction WordPress are taking. You could always try using one of these. But, beware that these are in their very early stages. And a certain level of technical knowledge is required.


One of these forks is known as ClassicPress. They have an unknown number of contributors. As there are too many for them to keep updated their web page.

Whilst still in the early stages, they do have an Alpha release to download and try out.


There appear to only be one contributor working on the CalmPress project. And it is in its extremely early stages with an alpha release to download.

How to disable WordPress Gutenberg header image of desktop with keyword from side view

One Method To Disable WordPress Gutenberg You Should Avoid

Lastly, there’s one suggestion that I’ve heard flying around. That potentially has security flaws if used for long term. Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed that – avoiding updating WordPress, was what I was talking about. Then you guessed right!

Whilst this method will work. I cannot recommend it.

Why? Because often when WordPress gets updated it adds fixes for bugs and security vulnerabilities. By not updating, you are leaving your WordPress blog exposed. Something you want to avoid if you can.

I know some people like to wait for the smaller update that closely follows the major release of an update. And that is fine. But any prolonged avoidance of updating is an unnecessary risk.

How To Easily Disable WordPress Gutenberg

So, here we’ve talked about the impacts of WordPress 5.0 and the removal of the Classic editor in favour of WordPress Gutenberg. You’ve learned about 4 methods you can use to avoid being forced to use the new editor.

Plus one that you should avoid doing for a prolonged period of time. As avoiding updating WordPress could have serious security consequences if exploits are left exposed. And let’s be honest, with the Classic Editor plugin and the Disable Gutenberg plugin there’s no real reason to use this method.

How to disable WordPress Gutenberg header image of mug on blue plate next to a laptop

Use A WordPress Plugin

In general, if you want to avoid using WordPress Gutenberg. Go for one of the plugins, as it’s much easier to implement with minimal fuss.

Overall, if you want quick default settings. Then using one of the two modes from the Classic Editor plugin to disable WordPress Gutenberg will be optimal.

However, if you want more precise control, I would suggest going for the
Disable Gutenberg plugin instead.

Either way, both of these plugins are an amazing choice if you want to disable WordPress Gutenberg. If you just aren’t ready for it yet. Or if the Gutenberg editor breaks one of your favourite plugins. As both of these plugins are well-coded and currently maintained with frequent updates.

And not to mention the fact. That they will quickly apply the settings across your WordPress blog. With zero messing around with code required. Which might save you a huge headache if you manage several of your own WordPress websites or even client websites.

WordPress Forks Just Aren’t Ready Yet

Whilst I did include two forks from the core WordPress code, these are mostly in their very early stages. Meaning they are not very practical for everyday users. But perhaps in the future, they may be powerful options you can use if you decide you never want to use Gutenberg.

How they will handle security updates and plugin compatibility in the long run though. Is unclear.

So, what will you do? Use one of these plugins or will you be working through with the WordPress Gutenberg editor with it’s new WordPress Gutenberg reusable blocks tricks?

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