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Exploring WordPress Classic Blocks

The WordPress classic block editor - WordPress logo surrounded by multicoloured blocks

Andy of Eden in Babylon was asking the other day about alternatives to the block editor. I’ve lost traffic of the different names of editors and what exactly they’re getting rid of. I also realized I wasn’t sure how to access the classic block editor that WordPress says gives similar functionality to the editor they’re now in the process of get rid of.

There doesn’t seem to be a distinct classic block editor; rather, you can use the “classic block” type within the block editor. Let’s take a look at an example of what can be done in a single classic block, as shown in the screenshot below that runs between the teal lines.

Classic block starts below

Test 1: Heading 2 with colour

Test 2: indented x1

blue and pink mandala

Test 3: horizontal line below this text

Test 4: 2 lines of white space below this line

  • test 5: list
  • test 5

Test 6 – link

Test 7:  blockquote ( this is the last line of this classic block)

Standard block editor blocks start here

The following image is a screenshot from the toolbar that was displayed what I was editing the classic block above:

screenshot showing the classic block toolbar

What you see above this teal line is a screenshot of the tool bar that was displayed while I was heading the classic block. The camera/music note icon lets you add media. The weird box with black dot thingy beside it toggles whether or not the bottom toolbar row is displayed or not.

When you click on the A that appears with an aqua underline in the screenshot, it shows the same colour selection there used to be in the old editorl.

Classic blocks used to ignore blank lines, but that doesn’t appear to be an issue anymore.

When you insert an image within a classic block (using the camera/music note button), you get the image adjustment setup from the old editor. This is shown in the screenshot below.

screenshot showing image editing im a classic block

I think WordPress has really dropped the ball with this whole transition. From unclear naming to unclear descriptions of alternatives, it’s really been poorly done.

While I used a mix of new blocks and one classic block in this post, it seems like it should be doable to do a whole post, complete with images, within a single classic block.

Since it took me some fussing around to figure out the classic blocks, I wanted to do this post in case any of the folks thinking about leaving WordPress haven’t tried this out.

How are you feeling about the whole editor situation?

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29 thoughts on “Exploring WordPress Classic Blocks”

  1. I don’t like the new editor at all, apart from the easier way of shifting blocks of text around. I don’t know how much is just not being used to it yet, but I find the new system hard to use, without necessarily being able to put my finger on what exactly the problem is.

  2. I still have not been switched by WP to the block editor. I am using the same as I have done for the past couple of years. But it sounds as if one day I will wake up and it will just be there.

  3. So far, knock wood, I haven’t been forced to convert. I might just be using the old ‘new’ editor anyway as I blog through WP Admin on my dashboard in the first place. I have absolutely no interest in using ‘blocks’ because one of the hats I wore during my working life was assistant to a publisher and he had to use something extremely similar to that block crap. It was difficult and frustrating and even with experience it’s still a pain in the adipose. One will get used to the damned thing, but I cynically think the moment the wordpress blogging community does get used to it, they’ll foist some other piece o’ crap ‘new and improved’ one on us. What ever happened to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought?

  4. It takes a bit of getting used to. I don’t understand why we can’t go back to the days of Amstrad Word Processors and keep it simple, as far as simple text goes. Not being able to ‘select all’ and edit is such a pain!! Line by line, oh dear Lord.

    1. If you do a post that’s written all within a single classic block and then you go select all, it will select every line that’s within that block.

  5. As you know Ashley, I am done blogging here at WordPress, by the end of the year.
    I am still in the dashboard that they want to get rid and not looking forward to when it disappears.
    I have made several posts in advance in the event one day it happens. So when it arrives, I just won’t be writing.
    New blog set up at blogger. I ocassionally post there, until I am there full time in the New Year.
    I will only here to comment, when my blogging stops at WordPress now. WordPress can do what they like. I won’t be back blogging. I hate the happiness engineers.

  6. I guess I came in on the end of the Standard Editor. For this guy who doesn’t like sudden changes I have muddled my way in this new Block Editor. I am sorry for those who will be leaving WordPress. I once had Blogger, but I learned about WordPress and I just let the former go.
    I wish somebody who is part of the decision making committee would read through the blogs and comment sections to see the negative thoughts about this change.

  7. I’ve started using WP with the block editor!! I use the classic block, and it removes the plus signs that show up every time you hit enter. Those were bugging me to death!!

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