WordPress has been there for so long and has a huge market share of more than 35%. It has made possible to develop almost any kind of website, specially blogs without writing a single line of code. Recently WordPress announced it is going through a major change – and that change is big enough that the whole wordpress community has shaken up. People have started looking for alternatives. One such effort is ClassicPress – It is WordPress 4.9.8 which has taken a separate path to go without – “Gutenberg”. This article talks about ClassicPress – now just another CMS platform to explore and migrate to if WordPress 5.0 is not your cup of tea.

Why ClassicPress was born?

Why to have a website? – Having a website in not a choice any more, technologies will keep changing just to make website designing not only easier but to meet the future challenges. WordPress 5.0 has created lots of ripples and taken away the sleep of many. Still few took that as a problem and started looking for a solution and ClassicPress was born much before the release of WordPress 5.0 named as “Gutenberg” after the name of Johannes Gutenberg (Full name: Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg) after the name of German blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe with the printing press in 1439.

“Gutenberg” or WordPress 5.0 has generated mixed opinions, but certainly it will take time to settle down. Some people from wordpress community decided to better be safe than sorry. Scott Bowler – Founder of Holly Social & ClassicPress – decided to fork WordPress 4.9.8 into a new project called ClassicPress.

What is ClassicPress?

ClassicPress is a maintained fork of WordPress 4.9.8 without “Gutenberg” and focuses on community led development. Hence you can say it has all the features that your current version of WordPress (i.e. WordPress 4.9.8 at the time this article was written) has. It is now another CMS (Content Management System) that can be used to design your website pretty much the WordPress way.

What Scott Bowler has to say?

Scott Bowler is a Director of the company, who founded ClassicPress as a concept and as a company. He firmly believes that WordPress 5.0 should not be released with “Gutenberg” as a core as it is not the right time to do that. People are not prepared for that and its full of bugs.

Scott believes that WordPress community will have no choice but to switch to ClassicPress to stop their old sites from breaking (and to keep their work flows in place for future sites). If this is the outcome, then his goals for the ClassicPress project would be:

  • Maintain compatibility with the WordPress ecosystem by keeping ClassicPress up to date with security patches, bug fixes and non-Gutenberg features from WordPress core.
  • To let the community take the decisions, which will create a future path for ClassicPress.

Quoting Scott Bowler

“WordPress is going to be dominated by Reactjs for the foreseeable future, and either developers will have to up-skill or lose their relevance. This could also mean WordPress development is primed to become more expensive.”

“To say that I don’t like Gutenberg because I don’t like change is, quite frankly, ridiculous. I don’t like Gutenberg because it’s UX is horrendous. I don’t like Gutenberg because it’s buggy. I don’t like Gutenberg because it’s being forced into core and I’d prefer it to stay as a plugin. I don’t like Gutenberg because it’s going to cost my business hundreds of man hours in retraining, support calls and slower workflows.”

“I would like to put a topic to bed. Dislike of WordPress Gutenberg can not be interpreted as a fear of change, to make this claim is disingenuous and demeans the person this claim is directed at.”

“I got banned from the WordPress forums (and for a fair reason, I broke the rules by mentioning ClassicPress in response to a review.”

“If there are people like Scott Bowler, then for sure there are people who are for change and will embrace WordPress 5.0, it is just that the path won’t be that easy.”

Installing ClassicPress

Installing ClassicPress won’t be difficult for sure, would be as simple as installing wordpress. But yes that would be first step for tasting ClassicPress. If you had installed WordPress, it won’t take you more than five minutes. It might not take much of efforts, otherwise if you are installing CMS for the first time either.

Pre-requisites

Before you go ahead, you should find answer to following issues:

Hosting – Shared or Dedicated Server

Acquire a hosting space – this is the place where you will install your ClassicPress and other stuff. It could be Dedicated Sever hosting or shared hosting or any other flavor, doesn’t matter.

You can even install it locally to check out its features, for that you must check out their official website for more details.

Database – MySql or MariaDB

Usually this service comes as part of hosting service, otherwise you will have to setup your own database.

Uploading files to server

You will be required to have SSH account usually provided by the hosting provider. This account can be used to copy files via SFTP (Secured FTP).  (Avoid using less secured FTP for transferring files)

You have another option, widely used for copying, accessing and updating files on hosting server, called FileZilla. This is quite useful program that can copy files to and from almost any server or shared hosting environment.

Installation steps

Once you have all of the above requirements met, you should be able to proceed with the installation.

  • Download the zip file for ClassicPress from GitHub releases page or from their official website.
  • Now Unzip this installation file on your local computer.
  • Next upload this unzipped folder to your server (using either SFTP or FTP).
  • You will be required to create a database for ClassicPress (Check out with your web host – usually they provide all the information on their official website. ).
  • Run the ClassicPress Install option using the hosting interface and selecting the domain name associated with your site.
  • Follow the wizard, fill in the required information requested, including the database information set up.

And you are done, it’s quite simple.

Conclusion

ClassicPress is old wine in new bottle. It is WordPress 4.9.8 taken a new path away from “Gutenberg”. I personally feel WordPress is not going to fade away so fast, it might see some challenges to start with, but for sure it will find its way. ClassicPress is not a bad news either, it will buy you more time and will help you adapt to “Gutenberg” in the time to come.