Say Hello to the WordPress Block Editor

On June 1 we’ll be retiring our older WordPress.com editor and transitioning to the more recent (and more powerful) WordPress block editor. Want to know how this may affect your site and what you can expect? Read on.

The WordPress.com Blog-Say Hello to the WordPress Block Editor

And so, say goodbye to the Classic Editor in the MySite dashboard which, unless I’ve read this announcement incorrectly (granted, it’s been that kind of a month), will be given up in favor of the even older Classic Editor in WP Admin?

I found it especially ironic reading this in the announcement “Here’s what it looks like, in case you haven’t seen this one in a while (or ever)…” since WP Admin was considered beyond the pale for years while the MySite dashboard took root.

Commenting on the WordPress.com Blog announcement was closed quite quickly, but they’re worth reading for the additional information (and feedback) they give. Dave Martin, the author of the announcement, replied to a user that’s I’d like to repeat here and it perhaps explains the removal of the Classic Editor from MySite:

The reality is that each editor we keep around takes resources to maintain. With the continual development and improvements that have been made to the new WordPress block editor, it no longer makes sense for us to maintain three separate editors.

Not to mention keeping up three variations of support documentation to go along with them.

I appreciate that WordPress.com agrees that there is more than one way to create a blog post, but my mind is just awhirl with thoughts and questions. For starters, what’s the user experience going to be for a member who activates one of the older WPcom themes and wants to work with the Classic Editor and not the Classic Block? I could see where the option to “Switch to Classic Editor” currently found in the dropdown menu behind the ellipsis in the MySite Editor will be retired or point to something else. Or perhaps they’ll style the WP Admin Classic Editor to reflect the MySites dashboard, like they’ve already done with your site’s Feedback tab.

In preparation for this changeover, if you are using the MySite Classic Editor and navigate to your MySite’s Home Dashboard, you’ll now see a large friendly notice:

Clicking on the “Learn More” link in the notice brings you to a support document that echos the WordPress.com Blog post with a few extra how-to details. There was also a mention of video tutorials in the comments, but the only MyHome dash I found them in so far was on sites where the Block Editor was already enabled, which doesn’t make much sense to me.

You can find both those videos on the WordPress Editor Support page

After blogging here for 14 years and watching the changes, no, upheavals to the admin and editing processes in WordPress and WPcom, I have no doubt that we’re going to be in for a rough ride in the short-term. If you’re a longtime user already using the Classic Editor in WP Admin, you probably won’t feel anything. However, for the rest of us, buckle up! I can only hope that TPTB work quickly to smooth out the bumps in the road ahead.

UPDATE: the big friendly announcement is now in your MySites Classic Editor too.

As always, the information in this post is correct as of today’s date. Changes are inevitable.

Published by JenT on a break

Never stop learning.

12 thoughts on “Say Hello to the WordPress Block Editor

  1. I was confused when I read it. I wondered whether ‘WP Admin’ in the sidebar was going away. Thanks for the explanation. I suppose if I had been asked to think very hard about how many editors there are, I would have said ‘two’, forgetting about the one I never used but sometimes saw – and would then exit and go to WP Admin.

    I decided to park my thoughts and wait until 1st June. I think, if I understand it correctly, that I will no longer see something I never use…

    1. David, was something in my post unclear or was it on the WordPress.com announcement?

      I agree with you that “wait and see” is the wisest course of action. Unfortunately, just the mention of Gutenberg or the Block Editor makes some users see a red haze. In the meantime, there have been 3 new WordPress.com blog posts published since that announcement. I think they’re hoping no one noticed. LOL

  2. I won’t miss the MySite editor as I have only ever used it when I’ve accidentally clicked Edit from the view post page. As for accessing the classic editor via blocks… I already do that in my test blog as I still cannot stand the block editor per se. However what really annoys the hell out of me is that they weren’t supposed to be switching to the block editor until 2022. I’m also really appalled that they’re doing this in the middle of the covid-19 epidemic. Can’t they understand people are under enough stress as it is? But of course, nothing can stand in the way of WordPress dot com’s constant march toward so-called ‘progress’. Sorry, I know you’re a fan of the site, but I’m not so enamoured. That said, I’ll continue to blog while I can.

    I suspect what I may eventually have to do is write offline and just paste in my posts via the HTML editor (which is still available, thankfully, even via the block editor. I already use that editor more than the visual one, when I’m in the block editor.

    1. Hi Val! Always glad to hear from you. That is a very salient point about the Edit link on the front facing side of the site. I will have to investigate.

      Yes, I’m a fan of the site, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with the way they’re implementing the Block Editor (or other things in the past). There’s certainly more than one way to write a blog post!

    2. Just coming back to this. Val, I’m not sure what you mean about the HTML Editor. If you mean the Text Editor in WP Admin’s Classic Editor, I think, I hope, it will still be around after June 1st. But if you mean the Visual/HTML Editor which is part of the MySite Classic Editor, that’s what is being retired in favor of the block editor.

      Right now there’s conflicting information about how the Classic Editor will be accessed after June 1; from the WPcom blog post and comments, from comments in the community forums and correspondence I’ve had directly with Support. So, like David, I’m taking a wait and see attitude.

      FWIW in my correspondence with Support I also passed along your valid feedback about the poor timing, not mentioning any names of course.

      1. Sorry, Jen, I only just saw your second reply. Yes, I meant the wp admin text editor. My understanding of the change is that the block editor will be the default with the classic editor that is already currently inside it – as a block – being available still too. But maybe I’m wrong. They are certainly not clear about what they’re doing, though like the rest of us they must be under a lot of stress at the moment and that affects clarity of mind (not the greatest thing for programmers, though!)

        When the change happens, I shall continue (however I can) to use the classic editor in my Colouring the Past and in Sandie Seashore blogs, as coping with blocks in more than one blog is just beyond me at the moment, but I’m just putting the finishing touches to a third blog (not the techno one I’d intended, but I hope there will be some techno posts as well as general posts in the new blog) and am already using the block editor in that so shall try to continue with it. One thing I’ve got to do – can’t find it via the support pages, so will try to figure it out from posts I’ve already done in different blog, and do it via the text editor, maybe – is how to embed a Google streetview in the block editor. Unless they’ve suddenly provided a block for it that I haven’t spotted, there doesn’t seem to be one. I use them a lot in my blogs, particularly the Colouring one.

        Thanks for passing on my feedback about the timing. I have never entirely understood their mindsets, even in better times, with all these constant changes. I know we’re, in effect, guinea-pigs for codex development on dot org, but it’s still a pain in the arse a lot of the time.

        I hope you and your family are well and staying safe.

  3. As of today the 3rd of June, the site-wide switch to the Block Editor has yet to happen. I happened upon this candid reply from Staff to a user today in the forums:

    “Our team encountered some problems when it came to actually making the switch, but the My Sites editor is still going to be removed, hopefully still within the next week or two.

    I understand how this could be disrupting for you, but this change affects millions of users, so we want to make sure we only do it once and do it right, rather than having to roll back changes due to problems we didn’t foresee and didn’t prepare for. :)”

    Which also means that the forum feedback thread on the block editor is doing its work. 🙂

    1. I’m hoping to post to that thread one of these days (hopefully soon, but I need a good night’s sleep first!) as I am really struggling with the block editor (and in my new blog can see no way to turn on the classic editor, so may ask staff to do it for me via chat as the link that others see, is missing from the 3-dot menu.) I think I’m just getting too old and tired for it. I had intended to persevere with it but now can’t see myself doing so. I’ve been copying from text and pasting into the code editor to make it easier, but it’s still a total pain. Sorry to kvetch so much in your blog, Jen.

      1. As it says, kvetch or kvell, it’s all good. 🙂

        It’s likely you can’t turn on the Classic Editor in the MySites Editor because you have a new site, but if you use WP Admin’s Editor, then you shouldn’t need to. After they flip the switch for everyone, that will be the only place you can use the Classic Editor.

      2. Unfortunately, it’s not accessible for me from wp-admin on my new blog. Maybe it will be after the ‘change’ (hey, a menopausal blog site! 😉 ) I turned it back to classic on another blog I have (that’s been moribund for quite a while) but can’t do it on the new one. Not to worry, I’ve contacted staff to (hopefully) have them do it for me, if they can. Oh and I’ve had a whinge on the forum feedback thread about the block editor.

        But… if I can’t get back to classic or if that changes for good to blocks… then… well, you know…

      3. At this point, it’s probably best to wait and see what happens once TPTB throw the switch rather than worrying with incomplete information. I think adding any reservations you have to the forum thread is the right thing to do at this point, especially concerning how the switch will have an impact on anyone with a learning or cognitive disability as you mentioned on your new site.

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