ClassicPress vs WordPress: Which one should you pick?

Various changes have been made to the WordPress interface since its initial release in 2003. In just a few short years, WordPress has gone from being a nominal blogging platform to a powerful Content Management System. Over the past couple of years, WordPress has experienced quite a seismic shift (and continues to do so). Gutenberg is a new block-based content editor that came with the WordPress 5.0 release in 2018. With the release of WordPress, the block editor (aka Gutenberg) has become the standard.

A drag and drop interface allow you to easily create attractive content layouts with Gutenberg. Furthermore, your WordPress blocks can be saved and re-used. The new editor will continue to expand the scope of WordPress as it becomes an integrated part of a website’s entire structure. As a result, WordPress will be able to compete with services including Squarespace and Wix, as well as ClassicPress.

ClassicPress, what exactly is it?

Its basically a content management system (CMS), ClassicPress comes with a wide range of functions. Originally developed for WordPress 4.9, ClassicPress is a lightweight fork of that version with few improvements.  Forked from WordPress in August 2018, ClassicPress is a free and open-source content management system. This codebase is the codebase of WordPress 4.9 before the block editor was integrated into WordPress core.

A fundamental disagreement exists between the project’s developers and WordPress’s current direction. It was not only from the standpoint of the block editor, but also in relation to what was going on behind-the-scenes. ClassicPress aims to remain community driven and democratic in nature, as was the case in the WordPress community in years past.

Is ClassicPress right now available to use?

Yes, in a nutshell. There was a release of ClassicPress in March 2019, which is 100% compatible with WordPress 4.9.x. As well as receiving long-term support, Version 1 will also be available for download. Therefore, you won’t have to upgrade to new versions or worry about losing support when new versions become available (which they will). There is a migration plugin available to help you convert your WordPress site to ClassicPress if you want the route you’ve chosen.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ClassicPress?

ClassicPress has its pros and cons, just like any other content management system.

The probability exist that this list will undergo some changes as the project develops, Here are some points to consider:

Advantages of ClassicPress:

  • It doesn’t have a block editor

Having said that, the block editor has actually improved since it was fully integrated with the core codebase. Nevertheless, its interface still seems a bit clunky to those unfamiliar with it and its ease of use remains somewhat unattractive. WordPress is expanding its block editor to other parts of the site as well, such as the sidebar, footer, and header, until it can be used to edit every part of the site. ClassicPress offers you an alternative if you disagree with, or are not interested in using that feature.

  • Support on an ongoing basis

The constant evolution and change that WordPress undergoes may lead to websites breaking. In support of long-term compatibility, the ClassicPress group has committed to backward compatibility so issues of that nature should not occur.

  • Acquaintance

In Version 1, ClassicPress is WordPress, even though it’s running version 4.9. The WordPress familiar will have no problem using it. You will be able to continue to use WordPress after the two systems diverge and become two separate systems. You will not have to reinvent the wheel if you are familiar with this platform. Your clients will also have an easier time learning the new block editor since they are already familiar with ClassicPress.

Disadvantages of ClassicPress:

  • The plugins

It’s likely that most plugins will continue to work with ClassicPress. However, there may come a time when they will no longer work once they adapt to the block editor. A big-name plugin like WooCommerce stands out as an example of this. In some cases, this may require users to use an older version of a plugin to work with WordPress 4.9.

ClassicPress compatibility has been pledged by a number of prominent plugin developers, but no one knows when the list will grow beyond this. So, plugins make up to the cons of ClassicPress.

  • It’s still early

It’s not a long time since ClassicPress was launched in the market. Due to the fact that ClassicPress is run by volunteers, its adoption will depend on the number of users. Unless interest continues to be high in ClassicPress, the project might not be able to survive. Even so, considering the backlash that the new block editor has received, demand for ClassicPress may not be in short supply. Nonetheless, one should remember that the future of this project is still uncertain.

  • It’s Community of a small size

ClassicPress doesn’t have a massive community (yet), but WordPress does. Creating an infrastructure around ClassicPress should take time, as well as the ClassicPress community itself. Companies have been built by tapping into the WordPress platform and extending its capabilities. Likewise, ClassicPress must be updated as well. The possibilities are there, but we’ll need to be serene.

Classic Press: Is It for You?

The answer depends. Here are some ways to determine if ClassicPress is the right choice for you:

You should use ClassicPress if:

  • If you are looking for a welcoming community with a growing sense of inclusivity and friendliness
  • WordPress is your favorite platform, but Gutenberg is not for you
  • You want to make use of your WordPress skills and knowledge moving forward
  • It doesn’t sit well with you to have your feature requests dictated to you
  • A lightweight CMS that is secure, stable, and fast is what you want
  • Plugins and themes are something you’d like to develop
  • You want to contribute to the core of the organization
  • It seemed you would always be using WordPress 4.9
  • Want to migrate from WordPress to another platform easily
  • If your goal is to have a simple CMS like WordPress, you want one that is easy to use and install

There is a good chance that ClassicPress is worth looking into if you can identify with any of the above. While changing platforms can be daunting, especially if you have been using WordPress for some time, it can prove beneficial.

The following reasons may make you think twice about switching:

  • Page builders are popular with your clients and they are comfortable using them.
  • The plugins you use were created by automattic (like WooCommerce).
  • The block editor works perfectly for you and you’re eager to explore its potential.
  • Page builders are your favorite.

If any of these describe you at all, WordPress might be the best choice for you.

Final Words:

In the end, both platforms are tools, and you need to keep that in mind. A website’s logic may not apply to another’s logic. There may be a difference between what makes sense for one website and another. In addition to using WordPress and ClassicPress for various purposes, both of these can also be used for the concept of a headless CMS.

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