How to restore WordPress classic widgets?

So, you installed a new WordPress and want to find out how to restore WordPress classic widgets? You’re in the right place.

Probably you have noticed that WordPress 5.8 brought a major change in widgets management. Now you can add widgets by using Gutenberg block editor and your old classic WordPress widgets editor is disabled.Therefore, in this post I’m going to show you how to restore WordPress classic widgets.

Video: how to restore your WordPress classic widgets?

Why would you need to restore WordPress classic widgets?

Well, I guess there are two main reasons:

  • New block based editor feels cumbersome, and for some users it is hard to use
  • Block based widgets slows down your backend. It will add some additional requests and therefore, it increases your backend loading time. For example, on my site it will take 234 requests for the block based widgets and 124 requests for classic widgets. For the block based widgets loading time is 2,3 seconds and for classic widgets it’s only 1,1 seconds.

If one of those reasons (or both) feels familiar to you, then you are probably looking for an easy way how to restore WordPress classic widgets. I have two easy solutions for you.

How to restore WordPress classic widgets?

There are two easy solutions that I can offer. One of them means that you have to use a plugin and another one means that you just need to paste a small piece of code. Let’s take a look at both of them.

Use Classic widgets plugin

Classic Widgets is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous WordPress widgets settings screens. On the plugin description page it is said that this plugin will be supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary.

After installing this plugin there is nothing to configure. Just activate it and all your widgets are restored in a classic way.

Restore classic widgets with the help of a code snippet

If you are like me then you probably don’t like to use plugins for every simple thing. Hence, I offer you another way. Just grab this piece of code here below and add it to your child theme’s functions.php file.

Or do as I do: I use Code Snippets plugin for adding all sorts of code snippets. This way, I can be sure that after switching my theme in the future, all my snippets are still in place and working.

// Disables the block editor from managing widgets in the Gutenberg plugin.
add_filter( 'gutenberg_use_widgets_block_editor', '__return_false' );
// Disables the block editor from managing widgets.
add_filter( 'use_widgets_block_editor', '__return_false' );

Useful WordPress tips

Here are some of my favorite Wordpress tools

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you build your own websites and e-commerce sites. Here are some tools I use as a Wordpress developer and enthusiast that I hope you’ll also find helpful.

These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission and this helps me create these tutorials and make Youtube videos. But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my friends and family.

Themes: For the last couple of years I have two go-to themes which I use for every kind of projects. Those two themes are Blocksy theme and Kadence Theme. On this site and my Youtube channel you’ll see a lot of tutorials I have made about them. If you would like to get a 10% discount for both of them then:

Contact forms: There are hundreds of contact forms out there but Fluent Forms is the one I like the most. If you need a 20% discount then use this link (save 20% coupon is WPSH20).

Gutenberg add-ons: If I need a good Gutenberg blocks add-on then Kadence Blocks is the one I have used the most. You’ll get 10% discount with the coupon SIMPLEHACKS here.

Website migration: While building a website you probably need a good plugin that can help you with the migration, backups, restoration and staging sites. Well, WpVivid is the one I have used for the last couple of years. If you use this link along with the WPSH20 coupon you’ll get 20% discount.

Woocommerce extensions: There are a bunch of Woocommerce extensions that I really like but the one that stands really out is Advanced Dynamic Pricing. Once again, you’ll get a 20% discount if you use this link here (save 20% coupon is WPSH20)

Web Hosting: For getting started, I really like A2 Hosting. They have the dedicated and fast Wordpress hostinh and support has also been fast and responsive. If you’re more tech savvy and want to have a really fast managed cloud hosting then I recommend Cloudways. (Btw, this site is hosted in Cloudways.)

To see all my of most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource that I made for you!

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Janek T.
I am a Wordpress enthusiast who has been making websites since 2011. In this site I am offering simple to follow tips on how to use Wordpress and Woocommerce. If you want to be the first to be notified about the new tutorials then please subscribe to my Youtube channel here Follow me in Twitter here
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