WordPress releases Gutenberg …how to remove it!

Traditional printing blocks

Over the last year we’ve been following WordPress’s exciting news about its new editing interface, Gutenberg*. It’s a major change in the world of WordPress.

When you update WordPress core to version 5.0.3, Gutenberg is automatically installed and you will lose the old ‘classic editor’ interface that we’ve known and loved for years. Or, if your WordPress site is a bespoke development or built using a theme, the chances are that you’ll see a very different edit screen from now on.

Much as we promote new technologies and improved ways of working, our advice is to let things settle before upgrading. As with many system and software updates, there will be inevitably be some teething issues. If you wait a few weeks or months then all being well these will be ironed out.

WordPress were originally going to make the upgrade to Gutenberg optional but changed their minds and forced it from version 5.0.3. And so we felt it would be helpful to offer some advice to those who want to restore WordPress’s classic editor.

How do you uninstall Gutenberg?

To disable Gutenberg and return to the old classic editor interface you can use the Disable Gutenberg plugin (we’ve tested this and it seems reliable), or use some code to your theme (or child theme)’s functions.php file (we’ve not yet tried this so won’t be publishing it here just yet).

We love the idea of a major WordPress update – it’s overdue – but we’re not going to implement this until we’re happy that it plays ball with our (clients’) existing websites, themes, plugins and customisations. We’re hoping the appropriate time will come later in 2019…

* Gutenberg is named in honour of Johannes Gutenberg, a 15th century German printer, publisher and inventor who introduced Europe to the movable-type printing press. Naturally the ‘Gutenberg Press’ had a major impact on the transition of knowledge, hence WordPress’s namecheck for their new ‘block’ based editing and our choice of a printing block image for this blog post. It’s all about the blocks. History lesson over.