Gutenberg (also known as the “Block Editor”) that came with WordPress 5.0, is an all new editor that completely changes the WordPress editing experience. If you are not prepared for it, or have not spent much time testing it out, it might be a better option to disable it for now until you have had time to test it on a staging site.

The all new editing experience (Gutenberg Editor) was included in the WordPress 5.0 update in late 2018. Previously Gutenberg was only available as a plugin.

If you don’t like the new block editor, you have options

As a WordPress technical person, I would highly suggest disabling the Gutenberg editor unless you have already fully tested it out with your current WP tech stack (on staging server or local WP installation). As of January 2019, there are still some issues with some plugins and 3rd party premium themes/plugins that will need to be fixed by the plugin/theme creators, as well as some minor issues with the block editor (Gutenberg).

There have also been a large list of bug fixes in the WP 5.0.1, 5.0.2, and 5.0.3 updates. Also, WP 5.1 will be coming out soon which will also expand on the Block Editor (Gutenberg).

So here are the options we currently have…

  1. Use the “Classic Editor” plugin which will keep the original WordPress editor working (the one you are probably using right now). This plugin will be supported for a couple of years from the WP Core Team.
  2. Another good plugin if the “Classic Editor” causes some issues for you would be the “Disable Gutenberg” plugin create by Jeff Starr, which takes a different approach where you can actually disable the block editor for specific post types or site-wide. These options may be useful if you have a plugin that adds custom post types and is not ready to use the block editor. According to the plugin author, this method will continue working longer than the Classic Editor plugin, however just bear in mind that eventually, WordPress Core may take away the ability to use the classic editor in a future update.
  3. If you don’t like having plugins for every little thing, and are like me and just like to keep the plugin list to a minimum, you can just use a couple of lines of code as a must use plugin (mu plugin). You can Just navigate in your file manager or FTP to the wp-content folder. If you have a folder in there called “mu-plugins” great. If not, then create it. then follow the directions below:

If you decide to go with step 3 above, then all you have to do is create a new file in your wp-content/mu-plugins folder. You can name it anything you want (I named mine “totally-disable-gutenberg.php”) – it has to end in .php (for obvious reasons).

After you create that file, you’ll need to open up the editor for it. Then just paste in the code in the below snippet and save it. Nothing else to do as Gutenberg won’t be used any longer. You may want to be sure you don’t have the Gutenberg plugin installed either (it won’t be necessary as of WP 5.0).

If you are not very tech savvy and just want a quick and easy way to deal with this, the plugins mentioned in the first two options above are going to work just fine. I am not biased either way. Just because I like to use code doesn’t mean you have to.

I feel that the new Block Editor is a good step forward for WordPress, but also feel that not everyone is ready for it due to other plugins/themes that might not have all the issues worked out for that update. The reason for this post is to provide those options in an easy to understand format and is not intended to suggest disabling Gutenberg/Block Editor forever, but temporarily until site owners can have a proper test and also learn to use the new editor.

Update: This article was updated in January 2019 to reflect the latest information about the Block Editor (Gutenberg) and the options we have for disabling it.