How to Disable the Gutenberg WordPress Editor

How to Disable the Gutenberg WordPress Editor

Many people using WordPress are either not ready for the new Gutenberg Editor or like many people they are using an existing page builder. Many of these page builders are not compatible with Gutenberg at this moment in time so disabling the Gutenberg Editor is essential.

A number of people I have spoken to have held back from upgrading to WordPress 5 (version 5.02 is now available) for fear of breaking their current page builder. This is simply because they do not know how to disable the Gutenberg WordPress Editor.

I do not normally advise this as we like to keep our customers WordPress sites up to date (including plugins) but for now at least, until a security vulnerability is found you are OK. That said we are now in the process of updating our customers sites, and where necessary disabling the Gutenberg Editor.

Disabling the Gutenberg Editor

The Gutenberg WordPress editor is the default editor in WordPress 5 but that doesn’t mean you can’t update to WordPress 5. If you want to disable the Gutenberg Editor here are three ways to achieve that:

  • Option 1 – Install the Classic Editor WordPress Plugin
  • Option 2 – Install the Disable Gutenberg WordPress Plugin
  • Option 3 – Disable Gutenberg Editor with Code (My preference!)

Option 1 Install the Classic Editor WordPress Plugin

This plugin simply restores the old classic WordPress editor. The plugin has been built by WordPress Contributors and is fully endorsed by the WordPress Core team as the way to retain the old editor, the plugin currently has over 1 million active installs.

It can be download from the WordPress plugin repository or search for “classic editor” within your WordPress dashboard under Plugins >> Add New. Simply install and activate the plugin.

Then head to Setting >> Writing in the left hand WordPress menu

Image of the simple WordPress Editor Plugin

The one option I would recommend changing here is the “Allow user to switch editors” option. The last thing you need if you are running a site that has different users is a broken page because a user has chosen to use Gutenberg and your particular page builder is not compatible!

Download the Classic Editor Plugin

Option 2 – Install the Disable Gutenberg WordPress Plugin

Although the Classic Editor is the official way to roll back Gutenberg Editor, the Disable Gutenberg WordPress Plugin does a similar thing but does have a few extra features and is very lightweight (there is nothing worse than a bloated plugin to slow your site down!).

Again, head over to the WordPress dashboard and under Plugins >> Add New search for the Disable Gutenberg and install and activate the it.

Disable Gutenberg Plugin Search

The plugin options can be found under Settings >> Disable Gutenberg in the WordPress menu. There are a few options with this plugin.

Like the Classic Editor Plugin you can choose to hide the annoying “Try Gutenberg” widget on the WordPress dashboard. If you untick “Disable Gutenberg everywhere” you will be given the options to select which user roles will have the Gutenberg Editor disabled but again I would opt to Disable Gutenberg everywhere.

Disable Gutenberg Everywhere.


Option 3 – Disable Gutenberg with Code

This is by far my preferred option as myself and the team tend to keep plugins to a minimum to improve site speed and security.

To disable the Gutenberg Editor with code simply add the following to your themes functions.php file:

add_filter(‘use_block_editor_for_post’, ‘__return_false’);

Of course, you should only do this if you know what you are doing as a mistake here can break your WordPress site. Also, I would always recommend carrying out this operation via SFTP or with direct access to your server. Do not edit the functions.php file through the WordPress editor even if you have access. Making a mistake here will break your site until your developer can access the server directly.


Are you having problems with your WordPress website? Is it too slow or is your hosting letting you down? Contact Us Today for a free no obligation chat to find out how we can help you.

This post originally appeared on the Forte Web Solutions Blog

You may also be interested in some of our SEO guides:

6 biggest technical SEO mistakes reducing traffic to my website?

What are the 6 biggest technical SEO mistakes reducing traffic to my website?

If you build a house without good foundations, what will happen to it? It will fall down, of course! So why would you have a website which doesn’t have those strong foundations for being found by search engines? Here we look at the 6 biggest technical SEO mistakes reducing traffic to your website.

Your website’s technical SEO is the foundation for everything. Make it strong, and you have a functional, stable website. Make it weak, and your main marketing tool isn’t doing its job. It’s not getting you found and generating leads.

So, here are six basic technical SEO mistakes which are reducing the traffic to your website and which need to be fixed right now:

  1. Failure to have a mobile-friendly website

This is one of the deadliest mistakes a business can make, so don’t ignore it.

The majority of views of web pages are now from mobile devices such as smartphones. Research by Statista in April 2018 showed that 51.2% of views were from phones.

In response, Google has begun mobile-first indexing, giving a higher priority to mobile versions of content.

So, how can you make your website mobile friendly?

Write shorter content (between 700 and 1,000 words is sufficient), make the web design responsive, use AMPs (accelerated mobile pages), don’t use flash videos, limit intrusive adverts (interstitials), and get your calls to action, buttons, and typography optimised for mobile screens.

  1. Failure to optimise your meta tags

Search engines use meta tags to catregorise the content of web pages. A meta tag is a snippet of information which tells search engines what your web page is about and it appears in the page code, rather than on the page itself.

Optimising the tags helps improve your ranking in searches. You have to use the most relevant keyword for the meta tag (meta keywords attributes), use a keyword in the start of a title (title tag), use important keywords and phrases in your descriptions (meta description attributes), and tell the search engines what you want them to do with your page (meta robot attributes), which could be to index and follow it, or not to index and don’t follow it.

  1. Ignoring a slow website speed

Simpsons GIF

People who surf the web just don’t have the attention span for slow-loading web pages.

The loading time will have a major effect on the bounce rate from your site, the number of visitors who get to one page and just bounce back off. A poor bounce rate hits your site’s ranking in searches.

Here’s what research by Google shows:

  • Load time of 1-3 seconds – bounce probability goes up 32%
  • Load time of 1-5 seconds – bounce probability increases by 90%
  • Load time of 1-6 seconds – bounce probability up by 106%
  • Load time of 1-10 seconds – bounce probability up 123%

It’s vital that you optimise the speed of your site as it’s now a factor in ranking your site.

What can you do? Optimise your CSS and your image sizes, keep script below the fold, enable compression and caching of browsers.

  1. Failure to make the right redirects

If you’ve directed URLs to your website or you’ve recently migrated from HTTP to HTTPS, make sure these redirects have been completed properly.

Faults with redirects hit your traffic and seriously compromise the SEO of your website.

  1. Failure to carry out regular link analysis

When it comes to link-building, it’s all about the quality. Poor quality links can do your SEO far more harm than good because Google is wise to detecting anyone manipulating links to improve their SEO.

Take a look at the Google guidelines for links and make sure you avoid selling or buying links, keyword-rich guest posting on a large scale, and including your site in links from poor quality bookmark and directory sites.

Don’t be afraid to disavow any bad links. Make this a key part of your strategy for technical SEO.

  1. Failure to use canonical tags

What is a canonical tag? It’s a way to tell search engines that a specific copy of content which is on the web in different locations is the master copy.

This is helpful if you have similar content on pages with different URLs, telling search engines to treat them as one, if you syndicate your content among other websites, or if you need to deal with duplicate URLs.

The tags encourage search engines not to spend their time on any duplicate pages.

This is especially important for your home page.

If you need technical SEO advice, please book a free consultation today to see what we can do for you.

So, having learned about the big 6 technical SEO mistakes, how will you ensure you get good traffic to your website and great leads for your business?

What Is Domain Authority

What Is Domain Authority (DA)

The Domain Authority score isn’t new in the world of search engine optimisation, however the term domain authority and it’s significance is often misunderstood.

Here is a detailed guide about “domain authority” (including how to check your domains authority score!).

Domain Authority is one of the big factors that define how well your website will rank in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) .

In the “old days”, websites were weighed based totally on its web page-rank. Now, domain and page authority play a huge function in the domain authority.

What is domain authority?

Domain authority is a metric which was created by Moz to rate the score, or rating of a website on a scale of 1 to 100 (a 100-point logarithmic scale). The better the domain authority of a website, the higher its rating in search engines like google and yahoo.

Domain Authority is a great competitive metric measure against other sites. If you compare your website’s Domain Authority score with your competitor’s site, the site with the higher Domain Authority score is likely to rank higher in search engine searches.

Domain Authority contains many metrics including number of links pointing to your website, the number of linking root domains – the number of other sites linking to your site.

Domain Authority measures the authority of the complete domain. Page Authority (PA) is the measure of an individual page rather than the whole domain.

How Do I Check The Authority Of My Domain?

There are a number of Domain Authority checkers online, which can be used to check your website’s Domain Authority. The best is the official Moz open site explorer, simply type in your domain name or sub-domain address and you can view your Domain Authority Score. If you are using the Chrome or Firefox you can use the MozBar extension to check the domain authority and page authority of any website.

Factors which affect Domain Authority

  • The websites that you link to:  Always link to high quality websites and never link to spam or illegal sites. So if you receive emails asking to “exchange links” do so with caution!
  • Domain registration information: Many people have commentated that your domain registration information could play a significant role in deciding the trust factor for your domain. So for example if you have 5 websites with similar domain registration info and a significant portion of those are seen as spammy websites, it might make it hard for you to earn trust for your one or two quality websites.
  • The Age Of Your Domain: This is huge, and you can’t do much about it! Try not to change your domain name often, stick with your original domain name.

How to improve Domain Authority

Improving your domain authority goes hand in hand with improving your Search Engine Rankings. consider Domain Authority as a way of calculating how well a website performs in a google search, the better the domain authority of your site, the more difficult it is for your competitors to outrank it.

Getting More High Quality Incoming Links To Your Website

So when you are working on link building for your website you should attempt to gain links from websites with a good domain authority. Take a look at my Blogger Outreach Service for gaining high quality natural incoming links.

Diversify your link profile

Instead of going out and getting lots of links from one or two sites I would focus on getting high quality links from a diverse source of sites.

Through active link building you should aim to get incoming links from a variety of sources. Needless to say, links should be relevant and should be of high-quality.

Days To Expiry Of Your Domain

Although this is only a small factor but renewing your domain long term is well worth it.

If your domain is set to expire in the next year or so, I would recommend that you renew it for the next 3-4 years. It does not cost much and it is well worth it in the long run.

Internal Linking

Internal linking is the easiest SEO wins! Make sure every page on your website is linked to 2-3 others page on your site. One big win is every time you publish a new blog post or add a new page go back to some old blog posts and link to the new page / post. This can help give valuable link juice to your new page / post.

Be Sure To Remove Toxic Or Bad Links

Use Tools such as SEMrush to find toxic backlinks and use the Google Disavow tool (Google Search Console) to ignore any toxic links. I usually do this once a month for my clients.

Onsite SEO

Your website itself needs to be Search Engine Optimised. How easy can Google Or BING crawl your website? There are some basic things you can look at to improve on site SEO:

  • Noindex your archive pages, especially on WordPress sites. (Noindex your tags, categories, pagination and author archive pages)
  • Make sure you have submitted an XML Sitemap to the two major search engines, Google and Bing.
  • Make sure that all of your Meta titles and Meta descriptions  on each and every page are formatted correctly and contain your keywords.
  • Maintain proper heading hierarchy on your pages and blog posts.

Your Website should be quick to load

One of Google’s ranking factors is page load speed. This is one area where I find time and again that people are prepared to ignore. use sites like PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Tools  to check the load time of your site.

If your site is not loading within 3 seconds, you should start working on speed optimisation of your site.

  • Use a reliable web host – I have worked with many client who are only want to pay peanuts for their web hosting and are paying the price for it. Paying £2.99 or around $3.50 a month for hosting will land you with a host that will put you on a server with hundreds of other sites. The highest I have seen is over 5,000 websites hosted on one server! Contact me for advice on hosting services.
  • Compress and optimise your images before uploading them.
  • If you are using WordPress use a caching plugin such as Super Cache, WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache.
  • Use a CDN to serve your content. You can use free CDN from Cloudflare

Have a question? Please add your comments below or contact me for a free consultation.