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.

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' );

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