WordPress is the most popular platform for creating personal and business websites. During the many years of its existence, the platform has undergone numerous changes.
While these changes are essential in enabling WordPress to serve its users better, the recent changes are perhaps the most impactful. By ‘recent changes, we mean the brand-new Block Editor, also known as Gutenberg.
The new Block Editor serves as a replacement for the old Classic Editor. Gutenberg block editor operates similarly to page builders. It contains additional features that provide users with more editing options compared to the more straightforward Classic Editor.
As expected, we met the release of the new block editor with mixed reactions from WordPress users. Some are happy with the extra features, but others are not. This development informed the choice of this article’s title Block Editor Vs. Classic Editor.
In this Gutenberg vs. Classic Editor article, we will compare the two by focusing on their usability, performance, and interface. After reading this article, you will clearly understand which editor suits your needs better.
Let’s begin, shall we?
What Is the Classic Editor?
The Classic editor was the original editor used by WordPress before Gutenberg.
We can compare the Classic editor to Microsoft Word or other word-processing software. WordPress used this editor for years before launching the more advanced Block editor.
WordPress currently uses Gutenberg as the default text editor. If you’re a sucker for old ways, you will need to use a classic editor plugin to edit your text using the Classic Editor.
The plugin won’t cost you a dime and will fully restore the Classic Editor in WordPress.
However, WordPress announced they intend to discontinue updates for this editor by the start of 2023.
What Are the Features of the Classic Editor?
The Classic editor contains several features, including filters that allow other plugins to control the settings and the editor per post type and choice per post.
The editor’s plugin has been customized to automatically hide all functionality available in the Gutenberg editor.
On top of the typical editing features that one can find on Microsoft Word, the classic editor adds:
- Each post will open from the last memory regardless of the individual who edited it last.
- When enabled, users can select which editor to use for individual posts.
- Administrators can permit users to shift their default editor from classic to Gutenberg and vice versa.
- Administrators are allowed to select the default editor for all users.
Pros and Cons of the Classic Editor
Here we compiled some noteworthy pros and cons of the Classic Editor.
|It is simple to add content and edit it.||Slower than the Gutenberg Editor.|
|Easy to navigate and find features on the screen.||One has to be proficient in HTML for SEO and editing.|
|Allows users to include various HTML tags.||Creating huge and complex pages can be a daunting task.|
|It doesn’t require intense learning to master.||Third-party plugins are required for additional features such as blocks.|
What is the Block Editor (Gutenberg)?
The newly launched Gutenberg editor came with the WordPress 5.0 update. This update was codenamed ‘Bebo’ and was released in 2018.
The term ‘block editor’ is obtained from Gutenberg’s ability to drag and drop texts and add blocks to a user’s content.
WordPress made this tremendous improvement to provide users with increased flexibility in the content and design of their web pages.
With over 15 blocks that come by default, users can never go wrong with Gutenberg. The editor provides them with everything they need to create captivating pages.
Gutenberg prides itself on simplicity. It allows users to create content and designs without writing a single line of code.
What are the Features of the New Block Editor?
Gutenberg provides users with many features as an improvement from the original classic editor. Most of these features were unimaginable during the classic editor era.
On top of over 15 blocks that allow users to generate unique designs and content, Gutenberg also has:
- Dynamic options come with a new technique for handling content alternatives.
- Document outline to give you a quick glimpse of your work.
- Anchor support allows you to add HTML anchors to your blocks or content.
- Tables that no longer require a plugin or HTML code.
- Presence of a button block that lets you add this option to your content.
- Text columns; allow users to split their content across responsive columns.
Pros and Cons of the New Block Editor
Here we compiled some important pros and cons of the new Block Editor.
|Better API for post and content data.||The Editor’s API documentation is still not well-developed.|
|Improved writing experience in contrast to the Classic Editor.||Changes are too rapid for other developers to keep in sync.|
|Extremely fast.||Typography control is not very efficient.|
|Increased capacity.||The editor cannot be appropriately used as a Page Builder.|
Block Editor vs Classic Editor: Which One Wins?
Now that we know what both editors are, it is time to address the elephant in the room:
In the contest between Gutenberg vs. Classic Editor, which one wins?
To make an informed choice, we need to understand the similarities and differences between the two editors. We will then use this information to determine the one with the most benefits.
We shall begin our Block Editor Vs. Classic Editor contest by analyzing the interface of both editors.
Classic Editor Interface
The classic editor interface looks like a typical Microsoft Word page. You can see it in the image below:
As the image shows, the classic editor uses a simple interface with editing and formatting options at the top.
The classic editor only provides users with basic formatting features, unlike Gutenberg, which can allow you to incorporate unique design elements into your webpage using blocks.
The absence of blocks means that users cannot do much with the individual content elements.
The permalink setting is located just below the page title, despite the document settings being placed on the right sidebar.
When you compare this interface with Gutenberg’s, you notice that the structure is the same. The difference between the two interfaces comes from how users interact with these structures.
Gutenberg’s blocks are new and different, which the classic editor lacks.
Block Editor Interface
We structure the Gutenberg interface in a somewhat similar manner to the Classic Editor, but it has a slightly different appearance, as seen below:
Gutenberg has a more modern interface compared to the Classic Editor. It features more colours and formatting options and is more welcoming and user-friendly.
This interface allows you to add your title and begin typing your content immediately!
The (+ plus) button at the top and bottom left corner allows users to add blocks to their content. If you want to see all the Gutenberg blocks, click on this button, and a drop-down menu with the blocks will appear. The block menu will additionally reveal the blocks incorporated by third-party add-on plugins.
If you are impatient, you can add a block more quickly by adding a slash (/) followed by the block’s name.
Gutenberg will promptly detect the name within the first few letters.
Editing blocks on Gutenberg’s interface is a walk in the park. Click on the block, and a settings menu will appear. Every blog comes with its styling and customizing options.
Users can also locate the document settings in the right sidebar.
A casual glimpse of the Document tab will reveal the featured image, categories, permalink, and post/page status.
Ease of Use
The next step in our Gutenberg vs. Classic Editor contest is the editors’ ease of use analysis.
Usability is a vital factor in determining the better editor between the two.
WordPress relied on the Classic Editor for years before replacing it with Gutenberg, so both editors have robust usability.
The difference comes from Gutenberg’s improvements that make it more advanced than the Classic Editor.
Below are our two cents about the usability of the Classic and Gutenberg Editors.
Classic Editor’s Ease of Use
A newer and more advanced solution might have replaced the Classic Editor, but it no denies that it is effortless to use.
The editor’s limited features make it easy for users to navigate through the interface quickly and get what they are looking for.
Users can leverage the editor’s simple layout to add visual elements such as videos, galleries, and images and write content.
You might be mistaken to think that Gutenberg’s numerous features make it complicated to use, but this is not the case.
Gutenberg is more accessible than the Classic Editor, primarily when one analyzes the ease of adding multimedia or other elements, such as buttons, to a webpage.
With Gutenberg, you can add these features with a simple push of a button on the screen.
However, with the Classic Editor, a user would have to leverage third-party plugins to add these features, and we haven’t even begun talking about editing them.
Gutenberg’s Ease of Use
Gutenberg’s inception came when many WordPress users were moving to page builders.
Most of these page builders contained a visual drag-and-drop builder interface, meaning that the concept of blocks was not new to most users.
With experience in using the drag-and-drop option and blocks, Gutenberg came as a Hail Mary for many WordPress users.
WordPress made it very easy for visitors to use Gutenberg.
Adding and editing blocks on the platform is a piece of cake! Users can quickly locate blocks, move them, or delete them.
Users who have been in bed with the Classic Editor for years and lack experience with page builders might find the first days of using Gutenberg difficult. Still, the transition will happen swiftly.
Performance is perhaps the most vital comparison in the Block Editor VS Classic Editor challenge.
WordPress users accustomed to using the Classic Editor will tell you it is fast and efficient.
We attribute this feature to its simple layout and limited components.
The replacement of the Classic Editor with Gutenberg was met with mixed reactions. A section of the users believed that the new Block Editor would cause lags, affecting the workflow or content creation.
This was a valid concern, especially considering the numerous additional features that the new Block Editor had that were missing in the Classic Editor.
These users forget WordPress had significantly improved its platform to accommodate the new editor.
The Gutenberg Editor is just as fast as the Classic Editor, and users can operate their WordPress platform comfortably, even with multiple tabs open on their browsers.
Since its inception, WordPress has received no complaints about the new editor crashing users’ pages.
We cannot say the exact words about the Classic Editor. Users who have relied on this editor while working on massive posts have regretted their actions.
The Classic Editor is notorious for its minutes-long lag and freeze whenever massive guides or posts are involved.
We are going to have to give Gutenberg the trophy in this one.
Which Editor Should You Choose and Why?
Based on our experience with both editors, we can confidently advise that you lean on Gutenberg because it is more straightforward, easy to use, and fast.
When you use the new Block Editor, you realize that everything this article says is accurate.
The good news is that WordPress has made Gutenberg their default editor, meaning you will have to use it at some point.
We can promise you that the moment you taste its magic, there won’t be going back!
Developers have already begun creating add-on plugins incorporating new blocks to the editor.
If your niche is in media-rich content, you’re lucky because this is one area where Gutenberg excels.
However, if you want to add text-based content to your website, the Classic Editor will do just fine. But while you’re at it, don’t forget that you can also use the Classic Editor inside Gutenberg.
FAQs about Gutenberg vs Classic Editor
Here are some common concerns and questions addressed when choosing the right editor.
Q. Gutenberg vs. Classic Editor Which is Faster?
A. Gutenberg is faster and more efficient despite having more features than the Classic Editor.
Q. Is Gutenberg a Part of WordPress?
A. Yes! Gutenberg presently serves as the default editor in WordPress.
Q. Is Gutenberg for WordPress Free?
A. As the default editor on WordPress, Gutenberg is entirely free.