What is ClassicPress you ask? ClassicPress is an offshoot, or fork as it's called among developers, of WordPress 4.9. The last version of WordPress before they went the wrong way with their blocks.
ClassicPress started in 2018 with the idea to be better than WordPress in a few ways. Like increased security and don't add useless features to the core systems. I think ClassicPress acknowledges the strong WordPress foundation by building on it with what the creators of ClassicPress think is the best version of WordPress.
For now ClassicPress has a lot of overlap with WordPress, because technically it is WordPress. But as time goes on the ClassicPress team and people like me hope that ClassicPress will gain enough popularity to separate itself from WordPress in a meaningful way and become its own system with a thriving community. Not unlike what WordPress did way back in the early 2000s with b2evolution.
For now though, if you have a WordPress plugin or theme that works with WordPress 4.9 or older. It'll work on ClassicPress with 100% compatibility. Many newer plugins often still work fine, but that's a bit of an experiment to see if it actually works.
This excellent compatibility fortunately also means that switching to ClassicPress from WordPress is often very very simple. With a little preparation you can probably switch your WordPress website in under 2 hours from start to finish. In an ideal case it simply means replacing WordPress (also 5 and newer) with ClassicPress with no special skills required.
Switching to ClassicPress and why you should think about it
While ClassicPress for now is technically an older version of WordPress, it is not the same in its mission and focus. Where WordPress forces you to use silly 'developments' like Blocks before they're ready ClassicPress recognizes that that is not what everyone wants and thus avoids it altogether - Hence why they choose version 4.9 as a starting point. And while WordPress with many features and functions seemingly sneaks towards a cloud oriented direction. ClassicPress does not.
This not only lets you keep control of your website. It also stays familiar and manageable as it should be. I think this is increasingly lost on WordPress.
I've switched both my websites to ClassicPress almost a year ago. That's right, my fancy WordPress website is actually using ClassicPress and you didn't even notice it. I use a WooCommerce optimized theme (Storefront), most of the plugins I use are made for WordPress and everything works just fine. I did have to downgrade my SEO plugin a few minor versions to a compatible version though.
Updates work the same way. And when ClassicPress sees that the plugin is no longer compatible with itself, the update won't show - Like with the SEO plugin I use. Simple, understandable and very neat.
Eventually switching to ClassicPress probably won't be that easy as the two platforms will go their own ways and eventually loose sight of each-other. But for the foreseeable future you can easily switch. And I'm sure an easy to use migration tool will be developed when the time comes. But for now, there is no need for such gimmicks.
Plugin and theme support is great too
As mentioned, most themes and plugins will work 100% on Classic Press. Just make sure they are compatible with WordPress 4.9 to be extra safe.
Almost all of my plugins support both ClassicPress and WordPress and will continue to do so. This includes of-course AdRotate Banner Manager and AdRotate Pro.
But what about WooCommerce?
What about it? WooCommerce is just another example of Automattic going in a direction many people don't care about. If you're among those people, you can switch to Classic Commerce, which is based on WooCommerce 3.5. I have switched my WooCommerce 5 setup to Classic Commerce last year as well several days after switching to ClassicPress.
I still use many of the official WooCommerce plugins, for creditcard payments and invoices for example. Also here, eventually I'll move away from those. But for the time being there is no need. As long as the plugin supports WooCommerce 3.5 it'll work 100%.
Benefits of ClassicPress over WordPress?
If you're like me you're probably not too fond of Blocks in WordPress. You know, that stupid new(ish) system that barely works and has terrible controls. But also slows down your website even worse than Yoast SEO or Jetpack do...
Similarly, if the idea of moving your website into a connected system - Kind of what Jetpack tries to do - doesn't really appeal to you. Yes, yes, Jetpack is optional but consider where the mindset of those who come up with systems like that may take you and your website.
Or; If you simply want to keep things lightweight, simple and familiar on a trusted platform that feels like yesteryear if for no other reason than to follow the 'don't-fix-what-isn't-broken' mentality... well...
ClassicPress if for you.
I think the best way to make the case of switching to ClassicPress when talking to disgruntled WordPress users;
If you don't like where modern WordPress is going, but don't want to abandon WordPress - ClassicPress is an excellent choice!
Another benefit, I find, with ClassicPress is because there is a lot less useless features and modernist nonsense in the system my websites work much much faster as a result - Way less overhead. Less things to break and less things to complicate things.
That may seem like few or even benign benefits to make the hassle of switching. However the overall impact is profound and your decision is very important for the success of your website. So don't think too little of this.
I believe that websites should be what amounts to being their own 'boat' in the sea of the internet. With services connected to it like ropes. There shouldn't be an overbearing force that slowly pulls on your ropes to absorb it into a bigger whole. It strips you of your online freedom, identity and individuality - Even if your website is all business. Your website is yours and represents you or your business. You can't allow yourself to loose your freedom and individuality.
If you want to talk about switching to ClassicPress or need more information feel free to contact me either with a comment below or via the contact form. I can advise you with your switch to ClassicPress or if you want I can do the switch for you.
Either way, let's talk about ClassicPress!