IMPORTANT UPDATE: In mid-March 2021, WordPress.com rolled out unified navigation to combine both the newer “Calypso/WordPress.com” dashboard and WP Admin. Later, in July 2021, a dashboard “Switcher” was introduced to make changing from one dashboard to the other more intuitive with a further refinement to the interface. As a result, in order to continue accessing (for now) the Classic Editor in WP Admin, you must first change to the “Classic View” by selecting it in the Screen Options tab that appears in the top right corner of the Posts or Pages dashboard in your browser window. The post below has been updated to reflect this change.
For those of us who joined WordPress.com after November 2015 when the “MySite/Calypso” editor was introduced but still prefer to write in the “original WP Admin/Classic” editor, let me give you a quick tour of our earlier WP Admin dashboard. It is still there in the back end of every WordPress.com website and in daily use on sites running the WordPress open source software. Grab your day pack and let’s go!
On our tour we’ll cover:
- How do I get there?
- What will I see when I get there?
- What can I do when I get there?
- Are there areas I should avoid?
- What do the locals recommend?
How do I get there?
Head over to your site’s Posts or Pages dashboard. If you are not already in the WP Admin version of the dashboard, you can switch to it by clicking on the Screen Options tab that appears in the upper right corner of your browser window and selecting “Classic View.”
(You’ll be able to switch back to the “default view” if you prefer it, but you won’t be able to access the Classic Editor from there.)
What will I see when I get there?
Once you are in the Classic View of the Posts or Pages dashboard, you’ll see an option to create or edit a post or page with the Classic Editor.
To create a new post or page, click the down arrow at the top and click on the Classic Editor link. To edit an existing post or page that was created originally with the Classic Editor, click the “Classic Editor” link that appears when you hover your cursor over the post or page title.
What can I do when I get there?
Once you’ve opened the Classic Editor, you’ll see an editing interface looking much like the one below:
The right sidebar should already be familiar to you. The various modules can be moved around to suit your needs or hidden by clicking the Screen Options tab at the very top right of your browser window and unchecking the modules you want to remove from view.
If you previously used the MySite Classic editor, the WP Admin Classic editor toolbar icons and buttons should also be familiar. If not, this support guide to the Visual editor will help. If you previously composed your posts or pages in HTML in the MySite Classic editor’s HTML tab, the Text tab is where you can do that now.
Now that we’re here, let’s take a breather and enjoy the view!
Are there areas I should avoid?
Clicking certain editing links on your site will open the Block editor by default. If you prefer to write or edit in the Classic Editor, you need to avoid clicking:
- The Edit link that appears to you when you’re logged in and viewing the public side of your posts and pages.
- The Edit button in your site’s Action Bar, again on the public-facing side of your site.
- The Write button in the WordPress.com Admin bar.
- The “Write blog post” and “Add a page” links in the Quick Links section of your MySite dashboard’s homepage.
- The Add New Post or Post or Page titles in the MySite Posts and Pages dashboards.
- Even the Add New link in the sidebar on WP Admin’s Posts and Pages dashboard.
In all the above cases, you’ll need to navigate to your site Post or Page dashboard’s Classic View and click the Classic Editor in the drop down menu to create a new post/page or click the Classic Editor link to edit an existing post/page.
After the MySite/Calypso editor was introduced in 2015, there was an uproar among WordPress.com users wanting to get back and write in the original WP Admin dashboard editor. At the time, a fellow WordPress.com user collected the various workarounds for detouring back to WP Admin when creating a new post. You can read more about those workarounds in his post. Use that info at your own abilities and discretion.
What do the locals recommend?
Back in the middle of August 2020, the WordPress.com blog published a follow-up post concerning the switch to the Block editor where there was no mention at all of editing in the WP Admin Classic editor interface, unlike in the first announcement last May.
On my own site, I mentioned in a comment reply to my “The Classic Editing Experience” that Staff’s attitude in assisting users to return to the WP Admin Classic editor was changing. That change is now even more pronounced in recent Staff replies in the community forums, as well as on the Support site itself with the removal of mentions of the WP Admin Classic editor as an option from the support documents. So, the push is on to have everyone writing in the Block editor, whether be it in the Block editor’s full range of blocks or the Classic Block alone.
As painful as this might be for WordPress.com’s long-time users, this makes sense from WordPress.com’s perspective because we’ve been advised that the Classic editor plugin (which is what we’re actually using in WP Admin right now) will be supported officially only through the end of 2021. That’s a little more than a year from now. Whether something will change between now and then (see update here), or an alternate method of posting will be developed and integrated, we just don’t know. Perhaps the writing is (in a block) on the wall.
I hope you enjoyed the tour. Like any good tour guide, I would be remiss in not sharing a slideshow of our journey.
As always, the information in this post is correct as of today’s date. Changes are inevitable.
This post was originally published in 2020 and updated in September 2021.
Featured Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com