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Blog status update (April 2022): The blog switches to ClassicPress (again)

Updated on May 31, 2022

Time again for another blog status update, given a few changes on the blog this week.

Diverse Tech Geek moves to ClassicPress (again)

Three years ago this month, I moved the site from WordPress (its home since day one) to ClassicPress. Basically, I disliked the changes being made to WordPress, especially the switch from the traditional editor to the Gutenberg block-based editor.

Since then, I briefly went to Ghost in 2020, before switching back to regular WordPress in 2021. However, my criticisms of WordPress still stand. It feels like Automattic (WordPress’ developer) is mainly pushing WordPress as website design software (similar to Squarespace or Wix), with blogging feeling like an afterthought. The block editor might be fine for occasional text changes on a site; however, any extensive writing feels awkward. Automattic has also made a few other questionable decisions, such as almost making WebP WordPress’ default image format.

ClassicPress main page
ClassicPress main page. (ClassicPress / screenshot by author)

Given the above, I finally got fed up and decided to switch out WordPress for another content management system (CMS), before next month’s launch of WordPress version 6. However, things haven’t changed much since I last looked at alternate CMS software a year ago. WordPress’ dominance over CMS software has left relatively few popular alternatives. Most of the alternatives either: are too hard to use/install/customize; are lacking in features; are too expensive; and/or aren’t geared toward blogging. Thus, I’ve decided to give switching to ClassicPress another go.

For the uninitiated, ClassicPress is a fork of WordPress, only sticking with the classic editor and lacking anything Gutenberg/block-based. There’s a few other minor changes, but it’s basically like WordPress 4.9 (the final pre-Gutenberg WordPress). It also works with themes and plugins that’re compatible with WordPress 4.9 (or before).

How the switch to ClassicPress is going

The only major obstacle at first was switching out a few plugins not compatible with ClassicPress, as well as switching (yet again) my previous theme. Despite the previous theme stating it’s compatible with ClassicPress, I kept getting a white screen when accessing any of my posts while logged into ClassicPress. Thus, I’ve switched to the current theme, “Fairy,” which I briefly used years ago. (It seems to have improved since I last tried it.)

So far, things are working just fine, and I’m glad I don’t have to worry about WordPress’ block editor anymore. The only downside is needing to make sure any plugins/themes I use stay compatible with ClassicPress. I also wonder what ClassicPress’ long-term future looks like, since it’s a WordPress fork; however, things seem OK for now.

Another look at Mastodon

On the social media side, Twitter’s recent hijinks, plus the suggestions of a few people I follow on Twitter, have made me decide to open a new Mastodon account. For now, it’s just a secondary account, just in case the worst (read: Elon Musk) happens for Twitter. I’m mostly just using it to post links to new blog posts.

If anyone’s interested in following me, here’s my Mastodon account: https://mastodon.social/@dtgeek

Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay

4 thoughts on “Blog status update (April 2022): The blog switches to ClassicPress (again)

  1. ClassicPress sounds like a pretty decent alternative if WordPress goes too far in the quest to make its CMS more like an easy website builder.

    We started our blog in 2008 and we originally ran on Movable Type until they did away with free licenses. In 2013 we switched to WordPress and it has been largely great. Since the swap to Gutenberg we’ve been running the Disable Gutenberg plugin for years. Hopefully the open source nature of WordPress means that there will be continued support for plugins that make life easier as a blogger. If not, it’s good to know that WP forks exist.

    1. I’m assuming someone will keep making third party plugins to disable Gutenberg aspects, even after the official Automattic plugins are dropped. Still, I didn’t want to take the chance/deal with plugins, so switched to ClassicPress. Hopefully, it’ll be OK in the long run; if not, expect another “Anthony switches the blog to (something)” post…

  2. ANTHONY

    I stumbled over your site here and wanted to ask you a couple of questions.

    But first—I have current WordPress (6.0) with Advanced Editor Tools plugin with Replace the Block Editor with the Classic Editor activated. About once every six months I switch to Gutenberg to see if I have any use for it yet but find I prefer the classic editor version.

    I have considered switching to ClassiicPress but keep putting it off.

    The latest WPTavern newsletter featured the article “ClassicPress On the Rocks: Directors Resign, New Leadership Installed.” So, my questions:

    • Will this affect your decision about using ClassicPress?

    • Does it look like ClassicPress will stick around?

    Keep on keepin’ on!

    NEAL

    1. I wasn’t aware it was going through leadership or funding issues until now. That said, I hope everything turns out OK. For now, no plans to switch away from ClassicPress. As for ClassicPress’ future, I don’t know, but certainly hope it does; alternatives to WordPress besides just Ghost/static site generators/Tumblr are needed.

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