[Community Poll] The Future of ClassicPress

ClassicPress has been around for over 4 years now. It is a community-funded and community-driven project. That’s why we need your help deciding where ClassicPress should go.

Over the past few years, our core team has been working on improving ClassicPress and backporting features from WordPress. As WordPress continued to evolve, ClassicPress got a bit behind in adding new features as the focus became PHP 8+ compatibility.

Now, we have an opportunity to decide what the future holds for ClassicPress.

We’re presenting you with 2 paths to choose from:

Path 1: Re-fork ClassicPress using WordPress 6.0

For a while now, we’ve had some work done on a fork of WordPress 6.0, removing the block editor
and related components. Anyone interested can check out this WP-CMS repository.

It’s not finished, it has issues, but a lot of the work to remove the block editor from WP has been completed. This would serve as a starting point to re-fork ClassicPress based on WordPress 6.0. Potentially, this could become ClassicPress 2.0. There are pros/cons:


  • PHP 8.0/8.1 compatibility (same as WP)
  • Some plugins/themes compatible with WordPress 5+ would become compatible with ClassicPress
  • The new cherrypicking process could make backporting easier
  • Updated, more modernized codebase easier to maintain
  • Core team would focus on more pressing issues instead of chasing PHP compatibility
  • Potentially new core developers joining to help


  • A lot of work, this would take months to complete
  • Coding standards may need to be adjusted (if we decide to keep our standards)
  • In addition to forking WP, we would need to port ClassicPress changes (custom login image, post ID column, color changes, etc.)
  • ClassicPress 1.x would need to be maintained (security patches only) for some time

This option would help us catch up with WordPress and PHP world, just needs time and a lot of work.

Path 2: Continue As-Is

This path means we would continue to work on ClassicPress 1.x as we have for the last few years. Version 1.5.0 is about to come out with full PHP 8.0 support, which also does help with PHP 8.1 compatibility but we haven’t officially started on PHP 8.1 yet.


  • Nothing extra to do, continue as is
  • No coding standards need adjusting
  • No need to port changes already in ClassicPress
  • No need to maintain separate versions of ClassicPress (1.x, 2.x)


  • Our small core team will continue to focus on PHP compatibility
  • Backporting from WP is prioritized, so new ClassicPress features might not happen
  • We won’t be able to catch up with WordPress, functions/features will be missing
  • Plugins/themes compatible with WordPress 5+ would be incompatible with ClassicPress

It’s important to note, whatever option we choose to go with our plans to integrate the ClassicPress directory will go as planned. We will integrate our directory with ClassicPress alongside WordPress repository integration. So you will be able to install plugins/themes from both places.

Now, you have to make a choice to help us decide what path ClassicPress should take. Please, share your feedback on why you chose Path 1 or Path 2. We need to know what your needs are and what you want to get out of ClassicPress. Don’t just vote and leave. Give us a little bit of information to help us understand your needs.

It’s time to cast your vote. The results will be visible after the poll closes. Hopefully, we’ll have our answer by the end of the month and year.

What path should ClassicPress take?
  • Path 1: Re-fork
  • Path 2: Continue As Is

0 voters

:warning: NOTE: The poll’s winning choice doesn’t guarantee the final outcome. We will weigh the feedback in the comments to better understand what ClassicPress users really need and want while considering what is doable with our current resources and manpower.


This should not be a topic for a vote. This should be decided by those likely to be doing the work. If the vote goes one way but no-one wants to do it after a few months, that will leave us stranded.


There was a discussion in the core channel about this a few weeks ago, which prompted this poll. I’ve checked with Matt on this. We didn’t want to make this decision without the community’s feedback.

Personally I have no issue with CP drifting away (a little) from WP. WordPress is taking a different route and CP is a good alternative as long as the most important functions (shop, SEO, security plugins) are available. I’d say I even prefer them to be build in.

Make CP more like a “out of the box CMS solution”, hardened security and suitable for most small business. As an alternative to WP, Joomla, Drupal - imho there’s no need to stay compatible with WP.

That’s just my opinion though. I like using it, support it, but can’t tell you what direction would be best. Agree with @timkaye his point - it also depends on the developers.

1 Like

My choice is for Path 2.
In short: my idea is that CP is not just WP without GB.

  • We can state that plugins are/are not compatible with a fork from 6.x with GB removed, as they can call GB’s functions, register blocks etc…
  • Now we reached PHP 8.0 compatibility and we are at a good point for 8.1.
  • There are a lot of things to rebuild and pick up from 1.x.
  • We added some interesting features and backported some interesting features from Wordpress.
  • The changes introduced from WordPress 5.0 until current are many, and looking at those most are not interesting.
  • Starting from WP 5.1 cloning the repo is not enough to get a working enviroment.
  • It is not just a matter of votes but it’s important to know from people that are contributing to core what they think about.

These are just my very personal opinions.


I do want to note that Classic Commerce (shop) and Classic SEO (seo) are not actively maintained as we haven’t found developers willing to contribute. They haven’t been tested with PHP 8+ and will likely have issues. I’m not sure what will happen to them.


The community in general is not in a position to know what’s best. This isn’t a popularity question. It’s a practicality question. Only those who understand the practicalities and are wiling to get involved in addressing them should have a say. That’s what leadership means!

1 Like

While this may not be a suitable question for a poll, I have voted to continue as is, because like some others I have no problem with CP drifting a little bit away from WP.

Please state what aspect of reforking WP would dictate the change to CP 2.x. With semantic versioning, that would indicate breaking changes. What would that be?

My thought on reforking is to fill the gap ideally as much as possible to be able to benefit from the similarities while we grow up a ecosystem to become standalone.
WP is going to continue on its path diverging from the 4.9 branch, and somewhere down the line WP 4.9 and the newest WP will be two entirely different things. We still need to grow a ecosystem to allow CP to grow as something that doesn’t need WP. Starting with a clean version of WP 6 with no Gutenberg gives us imho at least 10/12 month in which people will use the dir and will submit plugins and themes to it before WP goes further away. I know it means keeping CP 1.5 stable while working on CP 2, but I think is our best option.


We can’t make decisions in a complete vacuum, that’s how Gutenberg ended up in WordPress, then WEBP nonsense, and so on.

We went away with petitions as that wasn’t maintainable, but we still need to listen to the community. Discussion in the Slack channel didn’t yield a definitive answer, and it was agreed to get the community’s feedback on this. This is why I asked everyone to share their thoughts on their decision, to better understand what users need and want.

We’re not building ClassicPress for 2-5 people that make decisions. This can’t be a community-driven project if we can’t listen to the community. Making informed decisions is fine, but being a dictator doesn’t sit right with me.

As a side note, our small core team does A LOT of work and we don’t want to burn them out… as it happened with James and others. We haven’t gotten any new core developers in a while. If any of the current ones leave or simply won’t have time to contribute then ClassicPress will come to a halt. Re-fork could attract new core developers, at least one already said they will start contributing again.

Maybe I should note in the post that the poll doesn’t yield a final decision, but rather helps us make the right choice while weighing the feedback in the comments. Done, added a note at the end.


Please state what aspect of reforking WP would dictate the change to CP 2.x. With semantic versioning, that would indicate breaking changes. What would that be?

As the text states, “Potentially, this could become ClassicPress 2.0.” It could, but it doesn’t have to be if we find out there are no backward compatibility issues. The version number isn’t important at this stage. Off the top of my head, we could leave certain things that we are phasing out from CP such as the Security page. Don’t port it to the new fork, that would be considered breaking change. Just an example.


Considering the team size of ClassicPress and all the effort towards WordPress development, I guess leveraging WordPress’ work is the way to go.

WordPress is still usable and it doesn’t take much work and/or time to get rid of Gutenberg nonsense.

There’s an opportunity window for ClassicPress to step up and automate or make it easier to do those tweaks. Despite all the fluffy and bad decisions made on WordPress in recent years, its foundation is rock solid and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for the sake of being different.

My hopes in CP is to provide a path to those who fell in love with WordPress, but is uncomfortable with its direction. It could, ideally, be more a “remove stuff” type of work than “(re)creating stuff”. This could be achieve in several ways — a plugin, a script, a set of plugins, tweaks etc.


It is a lot from my last post here, but I want to give some thoughts about this.

When the project started I suggested that we needed to avoid as many possible changes to the codebase, instead there was for example a manual replacement of all the WordPress Core Trac tickets to prefix them to WP to differentiate them from the classic press tickets (instead it is more easy to just mention the new CP tickets with a prefix).

To me is always more easy to strip off automatically stuff and re-add new one with patches. Usually forks do in that way.

They keep a list of patches to let them to reapply changes and in case they just need to update them.

So the real question is ClassicPress is a Pre-Wordpress 5.0 or just WordPress without Gutenberg?

Considering also that CP is based on a codebase of 5 years ago and the web is moving on, I think that we should move to Re-Fork and find a way to automatize it as much possible and simplify it.


Exactly. WP 7 or 8 may be something that doesn’t even resemble WP 4.9

Trying to play catch-up is not going to work long-term.

CP has to stand on its own and develop at the pace it can, with the developers we have or can recruit. Otherwise we are just a WP clone, which is a pointless exercise.


PHP minumum requirement alone is a breaking change.


Con: to not reforking

Pro: to not reforking

Pro: to reforking

It does seem like it is a matter to let the developers decide, since they are the ones able to do the work necessary.

I certainly have no problem “drifting away from WP”. I stopped using WP in 2018. And I have explored other CMS options since. But I keep coming back to ClassicPress.

I won’t vote because I can’t really understand the question. :thinking: And I am unqualified to help in development.


Good! That’s more like it!




Just my two cents, but I sadly feel like ClassicPress might die with path 2. There is a bunch of great work done by the WP guys and in the current status, 99% of the non tech users don’t want to use CP because they don’t want to hire a developer/code themselves.

Either way, a lot of people HATE gutenberg, but CP isn’t a option for them since it’s not compatible with the most famous Page Builders and modern plugins.

I will always keep an eye on this project regardless of the choice though