Migrating to ClassicPress: Run ClassicPress Migration Plugin

ClassicPressThis post is part of a series on migrating to ClassicPress from WordPress.

With the migration plugin installed, the next step is to complete the site migration.

The activated plugin is available from the Tools menu in the sidebar; select Switch to ClassicPress:

Migration Plugin on Tools menu - Switch to ClassicPress

Continue reading “Migrating to ClassicPress: Run ClassicPress Migration Plugin”

Migrating to ClassicPress: Install ClassicPress Migration Plugin

ClassicPressThis post is part of a series on migrating to ClassicPress from WordPress.

With the migration plugin downloaded, the next step is to install the plugin.

To do this, log into your WordPress site’s admin panel and select Plugins from the navigation pane and then click the Upload Plugin button at the top of the page, next to the Add Plugins header:

Add Plugins - Upload Plugins button

Continue reading “Migrating to ClassicPress: Install ClassicPress Migration Plugin”

Migrating to ClassicPress: Migrating from WordPress 5 to ClassicPress

ClassicPressThis post is part of a series on migrating to ClassicPress from WordPress.

In the last post, I downloaded the migration plugin. If the site you’re migrating is on WordPress 4.9.x then you are good to proceed; if your site is on WordPress 5, then you’ll need to wait a little time.

ClassicPress are about ready to release a version of the migration plugin which will allow migration of a WordPress 5 site. Once this updated plugin is released, all WordPress sites could be migrated to ClassicPress.

Migrating to ClassicPress: Download ClassicPress Migration Plugin

ClassicPressThis post is part of a series on migrating to ClassicPress from WordPress.

The easiest way to migrate an existing WordPress site to ClassicPress, is to use the ClassicPress migration plugin available from here:

ClassicPress migration plugin available at https://www.classicpress.net/migrate/

The file downloaded is a zip file, but, as the download page says, this does not need to be extracted; the zip can be uploaded directly via the WordPress plugin upload function.

Migrating to ClassicPress: Why Migrate to ClassicPress?

ClassicPressThis post is part of a series on migrating to ClassicPress from WordPress.

As mentioned in the series index post, ClassicPress is a fairly recent fork of WordPress which has announced itself as ready for use on live sites. Initially as a response to the inaccessible Gutenberg, they are now positioning themselves as a CMS business-focused CMS which is modified and enhanced version of WordPress (without Gutenberg) that serves the business website market.

From the About ClassicPress page, ClassicPress styles itself as a community-led fork of the WordPress content management system who wants to get back to basics and focus on open dialogue and democratic decisions. This is reflected in the mission statement and the Petitions site.

Like WordPress, ClassicPress is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) (or later) license from the Free Software Foundation.

I’ve been a user of WordPress for almost 8 years and have been developing plugins for WordPress for quite a while. I’ve known about Gutenberg for a while, but only really delved into it farily recently.

If you’re hearing about it now for the first time, I did a post recently which might be useful: What is Gutenberg (for WordPress)?

I also did a post WordPress and the Problem With Gutenberg and why it is unusable to me. Some of my friends use WordPress5 now and are happy with the new Gutenberg block editor, as are many people online, but there are also many people who are unhappy with the new Gutenberg block editor.

One of the other issues with the development of WOrdPress, is the lack of transparency and development direction which appears to be completely controlled by Automattic. WordPress.org is, in theory, the independent open source project. However, the creation of Gutenberg appears to have been decided upon and drbvien by Automattic to benefit Automattic’s wordpress.com site.

The ethos of ClassicPress, is that the community will decide the development direction by way of the Petitions site.

ClassicPress v1 is fully compatible with WordPress 4.9.x and will remain so; ClassicPress v2 will potentially start to diverge from WordPress, but this will be by the petitions logged and voted upon by the community.

ClassicPress appears to align better to the type of sites I run, and the democratic structures for development offers the best opportunity for this to continue to be true going forward.

Migrating to ClassicPress: Series Index

ClassicPressClassicPress is a fairly recent fork of WordPress which has announced itself as ready for use on live sites. Initially as a response to the inaccessible Gutenberg, they are now positioning themselves as a CMS business-focused CMS which is a modified and enhanced version of WordPress (without Gutenberg) that serves the business website market.

In this short series of posts, I’m going to take a quick look at what is involved in migrating an existing WordPress site to ClassicPress.

Migrating to ClassicPress
Why Migrate to ClassicPress?
Download ClassicPress Migration Plugin
Migrating from WordPress 5 to ClassicPress
Install ClassicPress Migration Plugin
Backup Before Running the Migrate Plugin
Run ClassicPress Migration Plugin
ClassicPress Migration Plugin Now Supports WordPress 5
What About The Plugins and Themes I Use?
Using Migration Plugin With Unsupported WordPress Version

ClassicPress: An Alternative to WordPress is Ready for Live Sites

ClassicPressClassicPress is a modified and enhanced version of WordPress (without Gutenberg) that aims to serve the business website market; the concept of this fork was launched by Scott Bowler. I’m not going to try to speak for Scott, so I’ll link to the original post he did on why ClassicPress was created .

The Mission statement from ClassicPress is:

1. If it isn’t broken, we won’t fix it

The original idea behind ClassicPress was to provide a version of WordPress without Gutenberg, a drag and drop page builder, which was slated to become part of the core WordPress code from version 5.

It is our firm belief that the original publishing experience was (and still is) a tried and tested solution complimented by a wide array of plugins to extend its functionality. In other words, it wasn’t broken, so it didn’t need to be fixed.

This philosophy is central to ClassicPress. We won’t change things for change sake — just because something has been around for a while, it doesn’t mean it’s broken (in fact, it’s probably the optimal solution).

2. Business-focused CMS

The main target market of ClassicPress are businesses and as such we will move to being a full CMS. Blogs can be a part of an CMS, the other way around is often much more difficult.

The features that we will implement are all focused around offering one of our 3 key takeaways:
Powerful. Versatile. Predictable.

3. We will facilitate democratic discussion and decision making

In order for decisions to made by the community it is essential that we provide a platform that makes it easy for every member of the community to share ideas, debate, vote and give feedback without censorship.

We will ensure the platforms and systems are in place and maintained to make this a reality.

4. We will make people’s lives better

There are many people involved in an open source project such as ClassicPress. Programmers, designers, marketers, businesses and website visitors to name a few.

It is our mission to ensure that we make the lives of the people who use ClassicPress better. For example, for programmers we will campaign for ideas that make programming more efficient, less prone to bugs and faster to do. For end users we might suggest a project to make websites load faster.

5. We will invest in the future of ClassicPress

ClassicPress will be registered as a not-for-profit company (a Limited by Guarantee company based in the United Kingdom).

We will be transparent about any money raised (or spent) and encourage the community to vote on how this money will be best used. It is our mission to ensure that we re-invest into the ClassicPress platform and any supporting systems.

In the long-term this might, for example, include hiring of a core team of developers to work on ideas voted for by the community.

I’ve joined the forums and slack channel for ClassicPress and have been both keeping a general eye on things as well as doing some beta testing for various aspects of the project. I’ve liked what I have seen so far and am seriously interested in moving my sites over to it when the first version is released (currently it is in beta).

For me the key item is that it does not contain Gutenberg (they’re open to a Gutenberg plugin that people can choose to use) and it works fine with all of my plugins (both the ones I have created as well as the ones from other developers (such as Contact Form 7).

While ClassicPress is still in beta, James Nylen, the development team lead, has given the green light for the announcement that it is safe to use in a live environment as there are no open bugs on our GitHub repository.

If they’re saying it is ready, but still in beta you might be wondering why?

The answer is quite simple; there are a few items which still need to be completed before the official version 1 launch (none of which will have a negative impact on sites using it):

  • There are a few dashboard areas which still need converting to being ClassicPress focused rather than WordPress focused (for example, they’re adding a Petitions dashboard widget)
  • There is still the occasional mention of WordPress instead of ClassicPress, such as in the README file
  • Localisation is incomplete

Full details of the announcement are here.

I’m in the process of building a new plugin demo site on ClassicPress and will be looking to migrate all of my sites over as soon as I can; in the mean time I will be sticking with WordPress 4.9.8 (plus any 4.9 security updates) as I don’t find Gutenberg to be useful (and would go so far as to say it is would have a major detriment on my blogging if i did upgrade and try to use Gutenberg.

For me, ClassicPress is the future and I am participating in the new community where I can (mainly in beta testing of the various aspects).

What If Gutenberg for WordPress Doesn’t Work For Me?

GutenbergGutenberg is coming. Gutenberg is included in WordPress 5 which is slated for release on 6th December 2018. This is avoidable in the short term, by preventing WordPress upgrading or by upgrading and then installing the Classic Editor plugin, but this plugin has been announced as only supported until 31stDecember 2021. After this the Classic Editor will no longer be supported.

At this point you either need to switch to Gutenberg or find an alternative to WordPress.

That alternative might be another CMS, another blogging platform, or a WordPress fork.

I mention that last as a new WordPress fork called ClassicPress has been announced which I’ve been looking into and I think it has possibilities. I’ll have more posts soon on ClassicPress as I continue my investigation.

Stop WordPress Updating to Version 5

WordPressGutenberg is included in WordPress 5 which is slated for release on 6th Decmeber 2018. Hopefully you know what Gutenberg is and if it will work for you.

If Gutenberg won’t work for you, or you haven’t finished testing, then you have two options.

Unless you’re on a hosted WordPress, in which case you may only have one option.

The first, or possibly only option, is to revert to the Classic Editor by installing the plugin. This will allow you to keep the current editing experience (until the end of December 2021).

However, if you’re using self-hosted WordPress, or otherwise have access to your wp.config file, you can add a line which prevents all core updates:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

One that line is added, WordPress will not update; this will allow you to remain on WordPress 4.9.x until such time as you have made a decision as to the route you’re going down.

WordPress and the Problem With Gutenberg

WordPressI’ve already posted about the problems I’ve encountered testing the Gutenberg Editor, which basically makes it unusable to me.

However, the problems go far beyond this as you can install the Classic Editor to retain the current functionality. The problem for the future, is that Gutenberg is not intended to simply be an editor, but a fundamentally new paradigm for site building with WordPress.

This appears to be a reaction from Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com and which controls WordPress.org) to the progress of Wix and Squarespace.

Gutenberg is intended to become WordPress’s answer to competition by these site builders, but, very unfortunately, this development seems to be driven by commercial pressures on Automattic for WordPress.com and without considering the needs of the wider WordPress community.

I am at the starting point of considering replacements for WordPress (on which I host several sites) as Gutenberg is unusable in current form and, from all appearances, Automattic is all in and will continue to rush forward with Gutenberg (there has been a number of, ignored, requests to delay the implementation of Gutenberg phase 1 in WordPress 5).

There is a very good, and long, write-up of the details and potential impact of Gutenberg on Delicious Brains.

From a personal point of view, I have two issues:

  1. I can no longer write posts the way I do, and from what I’ve seen so far, can’t post formatted code which works using Gutenberg. This means I can only use WordPress for as long as the Classic Editor is supported; which from the announcement will be until 2021 at the latest.
  2. I’ve added a lot of functionality to my sites by writing Plugins for WordPress (although not all of the plugins I rely upon have been released publicly); from my reading up on Gutenberg, much of the functionality I rely on in plugins for WordPress cannot be replicated easily in Gutenberg blocks and, if they can, will rely on me learning more development languages which I don’t have time for as things stand.

I have an issue to resolve with my web host in the next few days after which I’ll start taking a look at some alternatives. ClassicPress is a key one that I’ll be taking a look at, as it is a fork of WordPress 4.9 aimed at businesses and recently reached Beta release.