How to Migrate From WordPress to ClassicPress

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Dashboard screen of ClassicPressSince the inclusion of block-based Gutenberg editor within WordPress core, millions of users have switched to the Classic Editor plugin as they found this new editing system, hard to work with. Although Gutenberg developers are diligently working on improving its features based on user feedback, the adoption rate doesn't look promising. The bad news for classic editor fans is that the plugin they're using to replace the block system isn't going to be supported perpetually. What after that? Nobody knows that! Fortunately, there's a fork of WordPress which keeps the classic editor natively within the core and is available for general use. It's called ClassicPress. This tutorial will help you migrate from WordPress to ClassicPress. Remember, it's for self-hosted WordPress sites. If you're using hosted WordPress service, it's not going to work. The entire migration process is dead simple and even a technically challenged can do it, quite easily. So, let's get started and see how we can shift to ClassicPress in a few easy steps.

Dashboard screen of ClassicPress
Although the migration process is quite safe, I'll still advise you to take a back up before attempting a switch. You can either take backup with the help of a plugin or can go for a command-line solution.

Read Also:
A Step-by-Step Guide to Migrate a Blogger Blog to Self-Hosted WordPress Site


As always, I'll recommend once testing the migration process on a development site instead of directly going for the live version. Without wasting any time, let's learn how to make a switch to ClassicPress.

Things to Know Before You Start

ClassicPress is a fork of WordPress 4.9. Therefore, all the WordPress plugins and themes compatible with that version work seamlessly with ClassicPress too.

This doesn't mean that plugins and themes released for a newer major and minor version of WordPress don't work with ClassicPress. Most of them work, out-of-the-box.

There's also a plugin directory for ClassicPress in case one of your plugins isn't playing nice with your migrated instance.

Back-Up and Migration Steps

Before you start the migration, take a full site backup to ensure you can roll back in case of any mishap though chances of the same are almost negligible.

Thereafter, download the ClassicPress migration plugin from their site.

Within your WordPress dashboard go to Plugins → Add New option and click the Upload Plugin button.

WordPress plugin upload button
Select the ClassicPress migration plugin downloaded earlier and click the Install Now button.

WordPress install now button
Finally, click the Activate Plugin button to enable the ClassicPress migration plugin.

Activation button for a WordPress plugin
The plugin is now installed and activated. Now, click the Switch button as shown in the image below.

A link to start ClassicPress migration
Here, I'll suggest you do this migration at off-peak hours during the weekends or whenever the traffic on your website is at its lowest. It'll ensure the visitors don't see a momentarily garbled site while the migration is going on.

ClassicPress migration start up screen
Now, you'll get a splash screen with some messages. The plugin performs some critical checkups before moving ahead. You may see some warnings on this screen.

If you've edited the majority of your content with the block editor, then you may need to review and find a strategy to deal with the content formatting issues which may arise after the switch.


Now click the big blue button shown in the image above to kickstart the migration process. Next, you'll be presented with the database upgrade screen.

A button to update ClassicPress database during migration
Simply click the Update ClassicPress Database button. The next screen prompts you to finish the update process by clicking the Update button.

A prompt to complete the ClassicPress migration process
And, that completes the entire migration process. Make sure to immediately visit your website to see if everything appears right on the front-end as it should be.

In case a plugin is not working, visit the ClassicPress plugin directory to find an alternative of the same.