How to Find the Classic WordPress Editor

Comments 54

peter griffin grinds my gears

(Author’s Note: Feel free to skip to the bottom of this post for help finding the old “Add New Post” page because most of this doesn’t matter. Also, I know most of you have already figured this out because you’re a bunch of smarties. This is for the people who haven’t and are possibly just one or two posts away from offing themselves to avoid having to use the new editor again. They deserve our support.)

Ohhh. THIS is what she was talking about!

A friend who blogs on WordPress asked me how I felt about the recent changes to the “Add New Post” page.

I think she said something like: “I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m not sure I like it,” but at the time I was still seeing the trusty, familiar WordPress editor page that doesn’t hate children and puppies when I went to post something.

It’s because she’s nice and not dramatic, unlike me who has a tendency to arm-flail and loudly express displeasure with more exuberance than is warranted. I’ve had to point this out more than usual lately: I am all about hyperbole and exaggeration and redundancy and saying things more times than necessary.

So, did I really want to kill myself after having WordPress’ updated “Add New Post” page thrust upon me like an uninvited, smelly penis?

Yes. Yes, I did.

Not All Change is Good

For anyone still reading who doesn’t publish on WordPress, you might be thinking: “Oh, Matt! You’re just being silly! EVERYONE resists change at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll see it’s actually better! You can’t stop progress!”

And if you are thinking that, you can go drink pee and like it.

I was in the newspaper business for a decade. We would infrequently make thoughtful design changes to the daily newspaper, and geriatric anal-retentives would lose their minds because we moved the crossword puzzle from the third page to the seventh and now their lives were ruined and they were cancelling their subscriptions just as soon as they finished their episode of Murder, She Wrote.

I’m not one of those All-Change-Is-Bad people.

So when I stumbled on the new-and-different WordPress editor, I embraced it as a fun new toy to play with.

But THEN, I played with it. I used it to publish five blog posts. And honestly? It was a little bit shitty and kind of sapped my will to live. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. But it’s obviously not an improvement, and I’m always confused by “updates” in which regular users lose more than they gain.

The new interface is kind of like a Slinky that doesn’t slink. Or playing basketball with a half-deflated ball. Or playing music with an out-of-tune guitar that’s missing its B string.

Maybe I’m a Terrible User

I may just be doing it wrong.

For example, it’s not difficult to add tags to posts in the new editor. But I’ve posted three times now forgetting to add them because of how different and hidden the new tag box is.

The shittiest change for me was trying to link to old posts. In the classic editor, when I want to add a link, there’s a little search box where typing in a couple keywords will bring up titles of all related old posts, and it’s super-easy to click on them and add the link. But now it looks like this:

Sad Link screen

All the great, user-friendly functionality is gone. I have to open a new browser window and find the post I want, and then copy-and-paste the URL to create a link. And that’s fine! I can handle it, I guess. But why make it suckier and more difficult for no reason?

How to Use the Classic WordPress Editor Instead of the New One You Hate

If you want to use the old “New Post” window that you’re comfortable with, it’s relatively easy to do…

When you’re signed into your WordPress account and you click on “My Site” in the top left corner, it takes you to an Admin page where you can see stats and stuff.

If you choose “Add New” from that page, you’ll be doused in sadness when this pops up:

Booooooo WordPress


If you look all the way to the bottom left, you’ll see “WP Admin,” in all its nearly hidden, understated glory:

WP Admin Click That

This is where you want to select “Add New” to create a new blog post:

That's your friend

And now, dear friends, life can suck a little less:

classic wordpress editor

Maybe WordPress will kill the classic editor entirely one day. But until then, keep on keepin’ on and stuff.

54 thoughts on “How to Find the Classic WordPress Editor”

  1. They made the changes while I was closing one shop and opening another. Thankfully someone clued me in via ranting against WP on twitter and I bookmarked all the “right” pages for the editor as well as the stats so I didn’t give up and just move to Tumblr instead.

    Of course, one day they will catch on to this trick. :/

    1. Because I tend to post the same crap over and over again (long-winded posts with one lone photo up top, and no video or original art or anything) I’ve never really had a problem with any of the tweaks they’ve made. Near as I can tell, they’ve never made it impossible for me to do something I want to do.

      But in this case, they DID make it harder to do a couple things. And, personally, I think updates should make things easier.

      Whatever. Between me and WordPress, one of us only has a teeny tiny bit of money, and the other provides the backend infrastructure for approximately half of all active websites.

      So WP totally knows more than I do about everything.

      This post happened because I sent an email to my friend explaining to her how to find the classic WP editor, and she suggested that might help some people who hadn’t figured it out yet.

      Always refreshing to not write about shitty marriages.

      Hope you don’t defect to Tumblr!

      I’ve been kicking around how to exist on Medium simultaneously, because I want to write there, too, and possibly even repurpose older posts there.

      Still trying to figure out what’s kosher and what’s not in that regard, and whether duplicate content is ultimately a bad thing. (It is in my professional internet marketing world, but I don’t know whether it really matters for blog posts.)

  2. completelyinthedark

    Nice tip, Matt. I was frustrated by this, too: “The shittiest change for me was trying to link to old posts. In the classic editor, when I want to add a link, there’s a little search box where typing in a couple keywords will bring up titles of all related old posts…” I make a point of linking to old posts for readers who need to get up to steam about a subject I already covered. I wish WP would stop fucking around with its users. best, Mike

    BTW Happy holidays my friend! 🙂

    1. I view that as the new editor’s biggest crime. That’s really helpful and awesome functionality that they took away for no discernibly good reason.

  3. I’ve been using wordpress for about 5 years.

    It literally took me freakin 20 minutes to find where the damn tags box was. The whole time I was chating, “seriously, I’m not that stupid. where is this shit? WHERE. IS. THIS. SHIT.”

    No joke.

    1. Maybe they should put this stuff in beta, tell 500 bloggers to use it for a week, and then their developer team can respond to all of the feedback. I feel strongly they could improve the product that way.

  4. Much like Classic Coke, I prefer the Classic Editor for all of my posts. I will be using it until they pry it from my cold, dead fingertips or come up with a better editor. That is all.

  5. Thanks for posting this. I used the new editor yesterday, and I thought, well, it’s not hard, but there’s something that just feels wrong about it. Like this should be the editor I first used five years ago, not the one I’m using now.

    1. I don’t do too many fancy things within my posts so I have no idea how limiting it might be for other users. But it shouldn’t be limited for someone like me who doesn’t do anything cool.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. I wrote my first post in months last week and was like wtf, wordpress? But after a lot of swearing at my screen, I figured it out. Where were you when I needed you, Matt?

    1. Ha! The new editor didn’t prevent me from posting, it simply made it more difficult and time-consuming. Thus, I wasn’t motivated to find a workaround and only did so accidentally three days ago.

      I’m so glad you were able to solve the problem with “a lot of swearing” as the only downside.

      I hope you’re well, Mandi. Awesome to hear from you. Here’s to a very happy holidays to you and yours.

    1. Three possibilities:

      1. You’re using the classic editor and don’t realize the difference.

      2. The updated editor hasn’t filtered down to your username yet and you simply haven’t seen it (these things tend to trickle out slowly to large user bases).

      3. You’re the WordPress equivalent of Neo in The Matrix. You have a magical WordPress brain, and no matter when or where you post, you project reality-changing thoughts that manipulate what you see on the screen to whatever you subconsciously want it to be, so no matter what, you’re always seeing the same optimum thing.

      Of all the possibilities, #3 seems the most plausible.

  7. I only use the old editor because of the lack of link functionality in the new one. It seems pretty straightforward to include it. So I’m with you on hating the new editor!!

    1. Samesies. (Public service announcement: Never say “samesies.”)

      But seriously. Why remove that functionality? Maybe they just forgot. I forget things sometimes too.

      Like adding tags and categories in the new editor. God.

  8. Sigh. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I work in IT and occasionally I work the helpdesk and omg people lose their freaking minds when an update gets pushed out. Users get seriously attached to their familiar favourites and I get that – but seriously, could you quit bitchin about having to upgrade your Win XP?? Hit reality, its not coming back! Jeez.

    Sorry. Just having myself a little need rant.

    That is all.

      1. I don’t like when people are outraged and get worked up about stupid things.

        But as much as I’d like to be the arbiter of what’s important and what’s not, I admit (with sadness) that my opinion counts exactly the same amount as all other 7.4 billion people.

        On this WordPress issue, I’m not particularly troubled by it. As previously mentioned, I haven’t been totally stymied by it yet. I’ve been able to do everything I’ve wanted to so far.

        Certainly writing within the window is more pleasant than the old editor, but I always write in Word and copy and paste the content over anyway, so that doesn’t really benefit me.

        Taking away the ability to easily link to older posts seems like a pretty grave crime against blogging humanity. I feel like, at the very least, you should be able to get on board with that one.

        If you can’t, I’ll try to understand.

        When you say IT, do you mean software and website functionality IT, or hardware IT where you help people who are having trouble operating their computers?

        1. Lol, ah Matt, I empathize. I’m not what you would call a WP “poweruser” – when I post I almost always use the Android app on my phone which lacks a lot of the bells and whistles that the desktop version offers – but, yeah, taking away that particular functionality was retarded. Why make it harder? Who knows?

          The company I work for provides all those services – what is known in the industry as “managed services”. Basically we provide end to end computer and networking services for small/medium-sized businesses who don’t have their own internal IT dept. So we do both – we support end users with their software and apps on all their devices as well as maintain the network. My major functions there are Software Asset Management (which is just a fancy way of saying I keep my clients’ software licenses/subscriptions up-to-date and legally compliant) and Project Management (I boss around the techs), but it’s a small company and we often wear multiple hats so sometimes I jump on the helpdesk to help out.

          I really should thank you, on behalf of helpdesk technicians everywhere, for this public service announcement to frustrated WP users. ?

          1. I appreciate you explaining the job. Thank you.

            No thanks needed! It was a wonderful opportunity to create sophomoric screenshot images in Microsoft Paint.

  9. I tried to use the new one today. WHERE IS THE SPELLCHECK BUTTON!? After messing with all the buttons and wanting to hit my computer with a baseball bat, I went back to the old one.

    1. See!? I didn’t even realize there was a spell check function in WP (I write in Word, and copy and paste it in the Add Post window), but that’s exactly my point.

      They either took away something you were used to, or they hid it somewhere you didn’t know to look for it and couldn’t easily figure it out.

      That, in my humble opinion, is bad design.

      And, bad design is bad.


    1. At least some percentage of the design and coding community is party to changing things simply for change’s sake.

      Thoughtfulness and reasons matter to me. In all walks of life.

      I should totally be more thoughtful.

      Happy holidays to you and your family, Mrs. Groeber!

  10. I’ve used the Classic Editor, reached through WPadmin/posts/newposts ever since I started my blog. Tried the “Beep Beep Boop” editor when it came out, not terribly impressed. Just took a look at the new editor. Is there any way they can make it worse? The new editor is measurably worse than the “Beep Beep Boop” editor, and that was no prize. I’ll stick with Classic until either they drop it or they get the idea that updates should actually IMPROVE the way the app works.

  11. I’ve yet to see WP change something FOR THE BETTER.

    Example…the previous comment posted before I was done with it. Actually, that’s probably my fault. I don’t know what I did. That notwithstanding, I’ve yet to see WP change something for the better.

    1. I’ve always liked, and had very positive feelings toward, WordPress. Those haven’t changed at all. It’s a great tool for writers who want to inexpensively share ideas.

      From an internet marketing standpoint, WP sites play nicely with Google, Bing and Yahoo, so if you create decent content, you can build pages on the web that have a fair bit of value.

      So, I hope this didn’t come off as ripping WP. I won’t join that chorus.

      But in this particular instance, I think it’s fair to point out that they made something new that isn’t just uncomfortable to use because it’s new, but because it literally lacks functionality people are accustomed to having (OR the design is so thoughtless and poor that advanced WP users can’t figure it out).

      I’m quite pleased this comment came in two parts. It made it a lot more fun.

      Thank you, seriously, for chiming in.

      1. It didn’t come off as ripping at all. And I completely agree with you. I’m not sure what combination of buttons I pushed, but I did something while typing that sent prematurely. Happy accident, I guess!

  12. I’m still using the classic editor too, though I did try to make the change – honest!

    The only thing I would say is that I celebrate the fact that WordPress are making a big change at the moment in rewriting from scratch. My gut feel is that it is a brave – and correct – decision. Don’t ask me to explain why.

    It’s like how Pluto should still be a planet and infinity intuitively seems a flawed concept. You know.

    We just have to hope we’re still alive when it all gets set to right.

    1. This is the second time today I’ve seen a reference to Pluto getting demoted from planet status (a lesson I recently taught my 7-year-old… “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” is now “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos.”

      Honestly? It doesn’t have the same ring to it. And while nachos have merit, pizza is WAY better.

      Especially when you have nine of them.

      If we hadn’t ordered pizza last night I would totally want some right now.

      Maybe I’ll go out for nachos. And then fiddle with the new WP editor. (*shakes head no*)

      1. Being British I was extremely confused by your reference to pizzas until I realized this translated to Many Volcanos Erupt Mulberry Jam Sandwiches Under Normal Pressure. (It’s been a busy day). Goodness knows how that one ends up now.

        1. I’m not always thoughtful, so I never considered other pneumonic (or whatever) devices might be used to memorize the planets in the solar system in other places.

          Thank you for opening up my world a little more. I really liked that.

          1. Don’t be too hard on yourself – I’m intrigued by the differences between US/UK English, but it’s hard to predict them up front.

  13. Ohh gah dang that uninvited smelly penis -_- haha… such brilliant prose there, IMO.

    We’re once again, kind of on the same page as I had recently posted some hate-blog about WP and it’s horrendous new updates. Urg. I’m all for change and adjustments too, when they are warranted but… srsly bro. Sometimes this shit gets a little too bananas for my liking.

    Oodles of love to you for showing us how to get the old beloved format back.

    Now, if I could just learn to navigate this maze long enough to figure out how to protect posts again >_< Maybe in another ten years I'll figure it out (if I'm lucky).



    1. It’s always hard to understand why things we like aren’t commerically viable, but all this sucky stuff makes it somehow.

      I mean, what kind of sick bastard buys Cream of Wheat?

      1. I know, right?? Cream of Wheat, that stuff looks like…well, never mind. Nobody actually buys that stuff. Pretty sure those boxes on the shelf haven’t moved in decades

  14. And to find out they now won’t link you to your finished and published post. They keep taking small things away that worked a hundred times better than that new crap.
    Yes I said crap as each of these new menu’s and editors make no sense and only cause more confusion.

    It truly sucks. even links in the classic wp-admin page are slowly being changed to new pages.. I hate it. But wp won’t listen. they set out a course and won’t deviate from it.

  15. Pingback: How to Find the Classic WordPress Editor and Not Kill Yourself | Bihar da berandu

  16. It is so sane to complain. Can’t stand having to change editors. When I reach my hand out for a tool, I want it to be there – and I want it to be the same tool I used last time. I don’t want to have my concentration broken all the time. Seems like every few weeks there’s another sand trap to avoid. Lately it seems it’s getting harder to get off the stats & insight page they land me on whenever I log in, and onto the wp-admin page where I want to go. My rural internet connection is very slow so all this redirecting I have to do takes forever. I wish we could have a 1-month moratorium on change (at least 1 month) every year. But I suppose it would drive the change-addicts out of their minds (or back into them?). Anyway, thank you for complaining. Complaining is GOOD! (Change not always.)

  17. thank you, thank you, thank you.
    seriously, i can’t thank you enough. i really like the old editor, and thought it had finally disappeared for good. but not! great news. appreciate the info.
    what a helpful post. happy new year!

  18. Thank you, a million times thank you. The thing that I hate most about this new editor, is that it makes it much harder for *me* to make images link somewhere else, it does everything in it way for it just to be an uploaded to wordpress image. I prefer to use my own images, from my flickr account where ever possible and the amount of faff I have to go through now is ridiculous (mostly because their stats are so much better than wordpress, I really have no idea how I can only have 2 all-time views on a post, that has 5x the amount of (unique) likes and comments

    1. Hey Karen. I researched WP stats once because the numbers weren’t jibing for me, and I learned two things which could explain it.

      1. WordPress stats do not account for anyone who is signed into a personal WordPress account, and

      2. WordPress stats do not count anyone who has ad-blocking software installed.

      I can’t be sure what percentage of my traffic, or yours, that makes up, but you can be confident it’s significant.

      I’m so glad this helped you. It was kind of a joke, and frankly, I’m surprised updates haven’t rendered it useless.

      Thanks for the note!

  19. Thank you Matt, I have resisted using the “new” editor but haven’t blogged for a while and forgot how to get back to the classic. So, immense gratitude to you for saving my wife’s ears from a foul mouthed tirade as I yelled at my laptop in an effort to get it to find what I wanted.

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