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One of the cool things about being involved with ClassicPress is the ability to see (and sometimes take part in) interactions with people who are using the platform. In CP’s Slack channel, Petya Mladenova from Bulgaria (who changed three of her websites to ClassicPress) contacted the team with questions for a post she wants to publish about ClassicPress for her “Bulgarian readers who use WordPress and are having difficulties with the Gutenberg editor.” What follows are her questions (unedited; English is not her first language) and answers from Tim Kaye, one of our team members.

Note: I don’t know how this info might have been edited or supplemented before publication on Mladenova’s website after a followup conversation with Scott Bowler (originator of the ClassicPress project), but this is a transcript of her excellent questions and Tim Kaye’s initial answers.

  1. What’s different between WordPress and ClassicPress?
    Version 1 of ClassicPress is intended as a long-term support (LTS) version of WordPress 4.9.8, but with the PHP requirement raised to version 5.6 or above. This has the effect both of enhancing security and boosting speed.
  2. Why ClassicPress is a better alternative to WordPress for users who will not use the Gutenberg editor?
    From reports on the wordpress.org forums, it seems that using the Classic editor with WordPress version 5.0 is not guaranteed to be the problem-free experience that was expected. Such problems are likely to become more common as the reach of Gutenberg expands beyond being merely an editor and touches other aspects of core which the Classic editor has never interacted with. On ClassicPress, by contrast, the editing experience will remain precisely as it has been for years.
  3. Will WordPress 5.0 affect on website’s SEO? Will there be a negative impact on page speed?
    The zip file for WordPress version 5.0 is 12MB in size larger than that for 4.9.8, and much of that added load is sent directly to the browser, so it has the potential to cause sites to run slower and suffer an SEO hit. Whether this happens in practice, however, will also depend on the type of site, its content, its theme, and its plugins, and on the infrastructure provided by the host.
  4. Are the WordPress plugins and themes compatible with ClassicPress? How much and for how long they will continue to works?
    Any theme that works on WordPress v.4.9.8 should work on ClassicPress v1.0. Almost any plugin that works on WordPress v.4.9.8 will work on ClassicPress v1.0. The exceptions are (a) WP Config File Editor, Disable WP Core Updates Advance, Disable All WordPress Updates, and WP Downgrade, all of which are reported to conflict with the process of migrating from WordPress to ClassicPress, and (b) WordFence, whose setting “Scan Options → General Options → Scan core files against repository versions for changes” will need to be turned off (because, obviously, ClassicPress does change the core files). WordFence will also generate a few more errors if you have the ‘Scan wp-admin and wp-includes for files not bundled with WordPress’ option enabled, because ClassicPress has added new files.
  5. ClassicPress has the potential to be as popular as WordPress. What is your professional plan?
    We are using Semantic Versioning so everything from version 1.0 to 1.9 will be backwards compatible. In version 2 we will begin splitting out older or deprecated features like XML-RPC into separate core plugins. Other features added will be guided by our petitions site. We will preserve backwards compatibility as much as we can, and we will indicate any breaking changes clearly at the time of the upgrade.

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