WordPress Classic Editor vs Gutenberg – Which Should I Use?

WordPress is a staple for anyone hoping to launch web content, offering a variety of web hosting and content management tools to make setting up a blog or online store as easy as possible.

Regardless of whether you’re a beginner with web design or a coding aficionado, WordPress guides you through the entire process with tutorials and helpful hints so that you can launch a website and achieve your content creation goals. For those who were already familiar with WordPress’s Classic Editor, though, there may have been a bit of an adjustment period when the site switched to using the Gutenberg editor.



The WordPress Editor is the tool you use to create and edit your pages and blog posts. Whether you’re editing from the main WordPress dashboard (the one that’s available as soon as you click on My Site once you log in) or from the admin version (YourWordPressURL.com/wp-admin), it allows you to easily add pages, format your posts, and submit content.

You can add text posts, images, URLs, videos, quotes, and all manner of submission types from the Editor and customize your posts so that your site is unique but accessible to a wide range of viewers.


A WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor is a type of pagebuilder that literally shows you what your completed content will look like while you’re editing it. In terms of WordPress plugins, these are incredibly popular thanks to how quickly they allow users to modify and personalize their content with drag-and-drop capabilities and a wide variety of widgets.

These editors are ideal for those who want to be able to really dive into customizing their site and just need the tools in order to do so. Other pagebuilder editors are going to be very straightforward, but perhaps a bit less flexible in terms of what you can do.



The WordPress Classic Editor is still available as an option, though the Gutenberg has replaced it as WordPress’s default. To use Classic, all you have to do is be on the Admin version of your website (MyWordPressURL.com/admin), go to Pages, hover over whichever page you want to edit, and select “Classic Editor.”

This will take you to an editor that looks similar to a typical word processor with the ability to select Bold and Italics, bullet points, and alignments. Unlike a regular word processor, though, it will also have buttons for adding media, polls, contact forms, location, and “Read More…” breaks in the text. This part is fairly user-friendly, and WordPress offers numerous guides for those who would like a little extra help on specifics.

For those who are more code-savvy, there’s also a tab for plain text typing. This will give you a document to type in that will be completely reliant on your HTML coding abilities.

Every little bit of formatting will be reliant on HTML, but if you’re familiar with CSS and have at least the usual “meat and potatoes” codes like H1, H2, P1, P2, a href, b, i, and u memorized, you should be able to create quality content fairly quickly this way. Users with more experience in this department may find it easier to simply input the codes themselves rather than fussing with formatting shortcuts.


Gutenberg simplifies several aspects of the editing process, especially for those who either aren’t very familiar with or simply don’t enjoy all of the HTML coding involved in web design. This new editor has introduced what are referred to as “blocks.” Each block can be formatted for a particular heading, a text paragraph, a picture, a file, a url, or any other formatting choice that you would have otherwise needed all of the proper HTML coding for.


For example, say you want to insert an audio file into the middle of your content. In the Gutenberg editor, you’ll see a plus sign at the top left of whatever page you’re adding to, which will give you a menu of block types to choose from, including an audio file.

From there, it’s a simple matter of either uploading or attaching a url of whichever file you wanted. The Classic Editor currently has similar choices under the Visual editing option (which shows you what the content will look like post-formatting) and will let you toggle between that option and the Text option (which is the plain text version with all of the HTML coding).

However, one of the biggest draws of Gutenberg is the ability to easily organize and reorganize your blocks. Unlike with Classic, you don’t have to worry about copy/pasting, reformatting, or searching through a full document for the material you need to relocate. Instead, you can literally drag and drop each block until you find a flow that works for your content. This in itself can be a huge time-saver if you have a large amount of information on each page, regardless of what type of content it is.


elementor screenshot

If you’re interested in trying out a plug-in that will give you significantly more editing freedom than WordPress’s default editors can, you might try one of these:

1. Elementor – This WYSIWYG plug-in has several levels available to users, including a free version that still has a wide variety of editing tools and widgets. Among these are the usual block options, but you also get extras like the ability to add shapes and highlighters over text and images, including “drawn” circles that can add a more fanciful and unique vibe to your content. Other versions include a Personal plan for one website (with several more widgets and add-ons available than in the free version), a Business plan for up to three sites, and Elementor Pro for an unlimited number of sites, which is ideal for actual web designers and developers. You can see Elementor vs Divi differences in this excellent article, given Divi is our next suggestion.


2. Divi – Also a WYSIWYG plug-in, Divi has a lot of the same options that Elementor has, with the main differences being in the way its layout allows you to see the full screen of your final product while still being able to edit and block. Additionally, Divi has both a yearly plan and a lifetime purchase option, the latter of which Elementor does not yet offer.

beaver builder

3. Beaver Builder – This is one of the most developer-friendly plug-ins. It’s open source and has no restrictions on how site creators can sell products and services on whatever sites they’ve used the plug-in to create. This can be invaluable for those who intend to use WordPress to run full-fledged businesses.

Which one is best?

Ultimately, which editor you use is going to be determined by how you’re most comfortable operating. If you’re an expert in coding and prefer to have full control over your site development without having to adhere to pre-coded formats or restrictions set by plug-ins, you’ll likely be far happier with the WordPress Classic Editor. If you’re more of a visual person, though, or are less experienced with the finer details of HTML coding, or even just enjoy the creative process that comes with WYSIWYG editing, Gutenberg has everything you could possibly need and more.

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