Blog status update (March 2023): The site switches back to WordPress (again)

WordPress blog screen

Time again for a look at the latest goings-on with the blog.

Diverse Tech Geek returns (again) to WordPress

WordPress lanyards
Photo by Gounder (Pixabay / CC0)

Almost a year ago, I switched from WordPress to ClassicPress, in a second attempt to give the block-editor-free fork a go. As I’ve previously discussed, I’m not a fan of WordPress’ block editor; it’s clearly aimed at site developers who only occasionally update text, with blogging/extensive writing usability as a secondary feature. (The reverse of how WordPress was originally pitched, as a blogging platform that could also run a site.)

However, while ClassicPress worked fine for awhile, I ran into some of the same problems I faced the previous time I tried it. Namely, WordPress plugin and theme creators aren’t bothering to maintain backwards compatibility with WordPress 4.9 (the version ClassicPress is forked from). Even plugins that shouldn’t have anything to do with the Gutenberg editor (such as a few redirect plugins) now require WordPress 5.0 (or higher) at minimum. This made finding some plugins/themes difficult.

Additionally, most users who don’t like the block editor are opting instead to go with installing plugins like Classic Editor (created by Automattic itself, the people who maintain WordPress) or Disable Gutenberg, which bring back the classic editor to WordPress. I can see why; it’s easier to just install such a plugin instead of swapping out the whole platform. While there’s a supposed end date to Classic Editor support, said date’s been repeatedly pushed back. Between that and the plugins’ popularity (Classic Editor has had over 5 million downloads to date), I doubt WordPress will lose support for the older editor anytime soon.

So far, WordPress works as well as it did before. Switching back from ClassicPress to WordPress was fairly easy; I followed the instructions on ClassicPress’ own FAQ:

To roll back to WordPress, you can download any WordPress version without the wp-content folder (i.e.

To revert to it you simply delete all the files on the server EXCEPT the wp-content folder and the wp-config.php file.

Upload the files you downloaded and your site will be back to WP 4.9.8. Please note that if you upload the zip and unpack it on the server it will be in a [wordpress] folder and not the root of your public_html unless you tell it to unpack there.

From there, I got WordPress 4.9, with a prompt to upgrade to WordPress 6.1.1 (the current version as of this writing). I then installed Disable Gutenberg to get the classic editor and widgets back.

As for ClassicPress’ future, it’s gone through some changes in leadership and approaches over the past year. Even though I’ve switched away from ClassicPress, I hope its has a better future ahead.

I also note that there aren’t many good alternatives to WordPress/ClassicPress that fit what I want. The alternatives are all either:

  • Too expensive (Squarespace, Wix, the non-free version of Ghost).
  • Too complicated to set up, maintain, or modify (Drupal, Joomla, self-hosted versions of Ghost).
  • Too barebones (static site generators, Blogspot).
  • Proprietary (Medium).

I suspect it’s one byproduct of, or reason for, WordPress’ dominance. WordPress currently runs 43% of all websites online.

Diverse Tech Geek also returns (again) to Facebook

Facebook on an Android phone
Photo by opopododo (Flickr / CC BY / cropped from original)

WordPress isn’t the only thing I’ve revived. I’ve also reactivated my dormant Facebook page.

While I’m still not big on Facebook (for good reason), my Facebook page still had more followers than my Tumblr page ever did. I tried using Tumblr as a Facebook page replacement, as well as one of various non-Twitter alternatives post-Elon Musk. However, I’ve only really used it to follow a few blogs, which I can do in an RSS reader. My Tumblr page also keeps attracting bots, with no good way to block them.

Thus, I’ve reopened my Facebook page, which is working about as well as it did before. That is, visibility is still throttled unless I pay to “boost” a post, which I’m not doing.

I’m still waiting for a truly popular Twitter alternative to come along. While I now have almost as many Mastodon followers as I did on Twitter, I’m well aware that Mastodon has a tiny fraction of Twitter’s users. Still, for now Facebook, Instagram, and Mastodon make up my main social media presence.

Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay


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Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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