[Community Poll] The Future of ClassicPress

I’m just a regular user of CP and here are some of my thoughts:

  1. There is definitely wasted potential. There’s no way to deny that. But we are talking about the future. So let’s set this aside.
  2. To me, path 1 is clearly the way ahead. There will be a lot of improvements that we can inherit for free. Yes. We can do this ourselves. But why don’t we use our limited resources for something else? :man_shrugging:t2: This path is highly beneficial if people want CP to not depend on WP anymore since there will be much work ahead.
  3. Some people here think that if we fork WP 6, then we will fork WP 7, WP 8, etc. Well, this is assuming that we don’t learn anything from the past. And if that’s the case, then we deserve to be failed. :joy:

One day in the future, Gutenberg will fully merge into the WP core. And more and more themes and plugins will rely on it. I mean, with Gutenberg, you can edit 404 pages now. What’s next? Login pages? Admin pages? Also, some missing essential features will be implemented through Gutenberg, like the highly-requested multi-lingual one (Joomla already do this for a while now without extensions). In the future, if you “unplug” Gutenberg, you will undoubtedly miss some essential features. (I’m currently keeping a close eye on the Webfonts API)

What I want to say is, if CP succeeds, it will eventually become independent from WP no matter what (especially if you consider that Mullenweg strongly favors JS over PHP :thinking: and more people know JS than PHP).
We better use WP 6.0 as leverage and focus our limited resources on building a better base and ecosystem and unique features. So we don’t have to fork WP in the future, again.
It’s the best way forward whether you consider CP to be just WP without Gutenberg or not (as of right now).


LOL. Not quite. @viktor is doing a great job as a leader. Best leader I have seen in CP since I know the project. And some people are working quite efficiently in this project (not me!).

Nobody has said that the idea is to copy WordPress and be “SlavePress” as it has been mentioned.

The point that many don’t seem to be understanding here is, to copy the very complex evolution that happened in PHP, Javascript and other dependencies that ARE PART of ClassicPress because ClassicPress is a fork of WordPress.

ClassicPress has fallen behind those improvements over time, and now the idea is to refork and start fresh, but keep it as an independent CMS with an independent plugin directory.

No one will ever be able to come up to date with all those improvements that happened in all those dependencies since WordPress 4.9. No one. It has taken many many many people to work on this on WordPress over the recent years, and all of that is already done, and can be moved into ClassicPress “for free”.

The idea is to start fresh and keep copying the improvements to dependencies, to PHP, to the way core handles and caches queries, … and so on. If you want to ignore that and let CP become an old version of WordPress with a custom login screen and few plugins that will NEVER be used by a serious business, then cool… keep talking about hamsters! :joy:


I’m webdeveloper with 10 years experience in PHP and 4 in WP, specialized in server configuration, resource optimization and security. I have been looking for the lightweight alternative for WP since from release 5.0, and I have even thought about to write micro CMS using the WP highlights (Template Hierarchy, pack of fuctions compatiblity)…

At frist let me describe my subjective view of current WP development
– WP is already too heavy and too much in mess
– One need to put a lot of efforts to disable a junk output code, unwanted functionality and so on, but this is very limited (you are not able to remove everything you want), never ends, and each of new release add 20% more of junk stuff
– Currently WP contain 360 000 lines of JS what is more than PHP, far from lightweight solution
– Gutenberg head to block protocol, it means every block will be synchrized on the fly with global database
– It seems Wordpress already more appreciate mouse-using people than real programmers, effect? a lot of people install carelessly heavy theme + Gutenberg + Elementor + additions to each of them and they have no idea what actually this stuff are doing
– Let’s take a look at current plugins, it’s already not possible to be up to date with everything, a lot of them do jobs in the background what is much more burden than the main functionality itself, tons of trackings, ads, notification and other ways of fighting for admin’s attention.

Path 1: Re-fork
In this light, maintaining compatibility with current WP and current plugins looks for me like bringing to the project all most disadvantages of Wordpress, sorry, this way the project will make no big difference than WP.

Path 2: Continue As Is
I think the market is lack of lightweight solutions and here may be a big opportunity for ClassicPress.
How about providing only a small amount of very lightweight plugins (300KB rather than 30MB) and keeping it under strict verfication? Then the users would be more sure about stability, optimization and free of distraction. I think it would be great if the software can go back to respect users and serve to users, not vice versa.

I hope nobody will feel offended by this words,
all best for CP Development Team


Assuming there is a similar amout of work to get from WP6 to CP 2 as from CP1.5 to CP2 and no other considerations then toss a coin especially given limited manpower.
Does WP6 fork get back any plugin compatability that would be, although probably short term, a plus.
Would it get more core contributors, probably not.
Would it possibly get some plugin developers to actively maintain compatability again probably not.

So for me it comes down to what the team actually doing the coding and updates prefer and hopefully I like/can use the result.
I have written another post on what CP could/should be.


At least one developer said he will only contribute to re-fork effort.

Yes I read that, so I will rephrase “would that in itself get many more contributors”

It is a long post, thake a breath or a Cedrata (italian soft drink) before reading.

Something that didn’t change since when the project started. At the same time, I think that the project did too many things like the custom repository for plugins/themes that to me is unnecessary.
Anyway, to go back on track, I think that when the roadmap or what is the purpose of the project is clear it will be easier to contribute to CP.
Honestly, I left the project when I saw there were more interests on adding things like the custom login screen that backport stuff from WordPress.

CP born when Gutenberg was forced to all the WordPress community with all the technology issues (https://daniele.tech/2020/05/gutenberg-drama-2020-edition-why-wordpress-is-against-the-wp-org-users/) that are still there (as example is not still accessible like the previous classic editor).
I am the one that suggested Discourse to get our forum, the one that put online GlotPress to localize ClassicPress (as I contributed to that project) and I don’t know if it is still there. I was doing also tickets that gather all the patches of every release that to me should be integrated.
There is also my long post written in 2018 Why I have chosen to join the ClassicPress project - Daniele Mte90 Scasciafratte
When the portal to vote ideas was there it wasn’t bad after all, in the WP community there isn’t such opportunity and the development is based on what the contributors want to do. Looking at today, I think that we did too many things with very few people, comparing with WP WordPress Core contributions by (tickets) numbers - Daniele Mte90 Scasciafratte where they have some people that are doing basically everything.
My experience in the project has just 2 lines in my book about contribute to open source Contribute to open source: the right way 3rd edition - Daniele Mte90 Scasciafratte because my effort also if I was in the founding committee wasn’t kind of ignored when pushing things (@ElisabettaCarrara was one of the first reviewers).

I am disappointed as today also on contributing to WP, but I am still doing it with patches because there was margin to do things and with people to talk that are real contributors, not just giving opinions. This is the issue of WP where the opinions are ignored usually if not pushed by core committers instead on CP everyone can say something. So we see now the problems of every side of that.
What is the solution for all this?

Define clearly what is the purpose of CP, to me is just WP without gutenberg.

About the plugins that need gutenberg like WooCommerce for the analytics stuff it is something to discuss but to me not with a custom fork of Woocommerce again. Just 1) because add more things to do and keep up with the official release, 2) create more troubles with integration with other plugins.
It is something that we need to address in this thread? No.

Define what is the future of CP and the purpose, excluding the issue of “How many contributors we have” as if there is interest in our direction we can find the skilled contributors that want to put efforts on that.

To the people that says that CP in that way is not different to WP with Classic Editor/Classic Widgets, well it’s not true.
If you are a coder, you know that when there is less code to maintain it’s better, there are less risk stuff and so on. Including also that the technology is more performant just because some stuff it’s not there or enabled only when needed (like for integration with woocommerce).
Also, we have to remember that the plan is to have the gutenberg stuff also in other part of the backend like in the menu editor and who knows also where? Moreover, those plugins that put back the previous UIs have a deadline for support, and who knows if it will be postponed after 2024?

If I have a business running or multiple, I need to thrust someone that let me sleep well and not with nightmares. WP gives that safety to support the latest PHP versions, but doesn’t give me safety about the performance/security because of Gutenberg.
Our customers don’t care if it is using a tractor or a drone, just matter that the website can be pursuing his business. This means listen to what Google is asking, what are the new performance trends, integrates with plugins and so on.

If the project can offer natively a WordPress Gutenberg-free in any side, that is turned on only when a plugin required to work because needs a JS library or whatever I think that is worthy.

Probably I said too many things or forgot to specify something better. If you (everyone) want to discuss with me (on my website put above there are all my social reference), but I am not anymore on the CP slack instance.

Thanks for reading, there it is an Italian Porchetta (few months ago) just to refresh your mind after all my words Daniele Scasciafratte on Instagram: "Una cosa proprio estiva #porchetta"


Here’s a thought, refork WP CMS instead - https://wpcms.dev/

Thanks for the good insight Daniele. With blocks taking over classic features and JS taking over from PHP, there will be a time when CP won’t be just WP without Gutenberg. It will be a different CMS.

WP won’t develop these features further, so do we freeze them in time and never work on them? Because if CP is the only one with classic menus, widgets, etc. we have to develop these features and enhance them so they cater to the present needs of users. For example, when jQuery v4 comes out. We would need to upgrade it, and make these features work with the new version.

I think a hybrid approach would be the best approach. This is the only way to leverage the WordPress codebase while meeting CP users’ needs.

CP will never beat WP, it doesn’t have to. It was created to fill a specific need WP can’t fill.

That’s what I linked to in Path 1, just to the GitHub repo.

A hybrid solution that keep CP without gutenberg to me is fine, as we are still following that idea.

The problem is right now what is the idea for this project after all those comments.

CP can fill the market for a WP that is a LTS, that was the initial plan. So you don’t have to worry every 3 months for a new release but you have something that doesn’t change but is still working with the latest stuff.

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Aha! That’s where the link reference came from… totally missed that. :roll_eyes:

Well, out of curiosity I installed it yesterday and classic commerce works on it. So did most other plugins i use.

It kinda renders the whole ‘forking wp6 is a lot of work’ moot, as it’s already been done. So the little resources you guys have can be used to add to this (or something) and then add the classicpress flavor on top, if any is needed.

You won’t be classic anymore though… so a rebrand is in order then.

I’m not sure if that’s necessary. We’re still using classic features TinyMCE editor, nav menus, widgets, etc.

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The fun fact is, that has been to proposed idea since day 1. This only proves that people against the idea didn’t really get the idea.

Again. I created that fork because after having discussed this a million times in the forum, I decided to do something about it and test it, see if this idea works.

And, as you well said:

Of course, the whole point is, keep the WordPress Core WITHOUT Gutenberg/FSE intact (just with PHP 8.1 compat inside, query optimizations, code modernization, dependencies updated…) as well as a VERY easy to maintain workflow, which consists of git cherrypicks.

I stopped maintaining it (even though it’s something I can bring up to date in less than 1h) because I don’t want to waste more time in an open source project with no traction. That’s why I reached out on slack and proposed the idea of using this as a base for a new version of ClassicPress.

AGAIN. No one is saying that we have to copy WordPress. That would indeed be a very stupid thing to do. The idea is just to have a fresh start which will make it EXTREMELY EASY to bring in further enhancements (compatibility with upcoming PHP 9, jQuery updates, …) while at the same time focus the little team we have to work on a standalone plugin directory, instead of chasing compatibility changes and random problems that were solved months ago…

Che bella frate, sei un genio!

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And just so you can see how extremely difficult it is to maintain this project, I recorded the whole process and uploaded it for you:

Of course, before pushing stuff into the repo, gotta run the tests, make sure everything works fine and blahblahblah.

Thing is: MOST commits are about performance optimizations, code improvement, dependencies updates, … so yeah, why miss all of that?

Update: I went over the whole list (60 commits - could you please link to any useless commit, or is it all about good things to bring in?), now WP CMS is up-to-date with WordPress again. Easy.


Except I clearly stated I didn’t really care either way which way it went in my first post.
So no, it proves nothing like that. :wink:

I just missed the link and had never heard about wp cms before seeing the referenced links 2-3 days ago.


Well I’m not sure if I understand all the issues here but I think this is primarily a question for the main contributors. But otherwise my gut feeling is as follows:
In my mind, the primary reason for Classic Press’s existence is not for what wordpress is today but the threat of what wordpress will (supposedly) become in the future - namely an unusable CMS for those of us who see Gutenberg as an intolerably inelegant solution to a real problem. When that day comes we want to be ready for it. So in my mind the question for the current maintainers (the ones doing the most work) is: what’s the least labor-intensive way to keep the codebase as up-to-date as possible between now and that future time (re-fork or continue back-porting)?


The poll is closed now. Path 1 has 20 votes while Path 2 has 18 votes.

Although path 1 has more votes than path 2, the difference is negligible and highlights how divided the ClassicPress community is. What’s more important is that every participant wants ClassicPress to exist and grow.

With the WPTavern article about our “crossroads”, many outsiders across social media channels said they don’t understand why ClassicPress was created to begin with, how it survived for over 4 years, that it’s a stupid idea, and that it will die.

Comments like that are not new. We’ve heard them since day one, we’ve heard them when ClassicPress turned 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years and they will continue… so will ClassicPress.

ClassicPress continues to exist and slowly grow because it’s not WordPress without Gutenberg. It is WordPress. It stayed true to WordPress philosophy, something WordPress leadership failed to do in order to advance their commercial interests. There’s a reason why Matt killed WordPress Governance project, then pushed a half-baked, bug-ridden Gutenberg into the core a few months before securing $300 mil and $80 mil from investors to compete with website builders. Why some controversial features are forced into the core by Google-sponsored contributors. WordPress might be open source, but it’s not a community-driven project anymore.

Gutenberg was the breaking point for the community when WordPress failed its own philosophy:

The core of WordPress will always provide a solid array of basic features. It’s designed to be lean and fast and will always stay that way. We are constantly asked “when will X feature be built” or “why isn’t X plugin integrated into the core”. The rule of thumb is that the core should provide features that 80% or more of end users will actually appreciate and use. If the next version of WordPress comes with a feature that the majority of users immediately want to turn off, or think they’ll never use, then we’ve blown it. If we stick to the 80% principle then this should never happen.

We are able to do this because we have a very capable theme and plugin system and a fantastic developer community. Different people have different needs, and having the sheer number of quality WordPress plugins and themes allows users to customize their installations to their taste. That should allow all users to find the remaining 20% and make all WordPress features those they appreciate and use.

The Gutenberg plugin is still 2 stars. Classic Editor is still 5 stars.

ClassicPress users don’t hate WordPress, they love it. That’s why they chose to use ClassicPress instead of Joomla, Drupal, etc. WordPress right now is basically MySQL when Oracle acquired it, so now we have a community-driven MariaDB (or ClassicPress in our case). No wonder WordPress lost market share for the first time recently.

Forking is a natural part of an open-source project’s lifecycle. Even WordPress was a fork of b2/cafelog. Look at all the Linux-based operating systems and their forks, and forks of those forks. When the project doesn’t meet the specific needs of a group of users and these users are willing to dedicate time and money to make something to fill their needs you get a fork.

WordPress didn’t (and still doesn’t) meet the needs of a group of users. The fork lives on:

After listening to part of the #WordPress #StateOfTheWord I am so glad I have stopped using WordPress and moved to @classicpress (source)

Frankly, many developers in the ClassicPress community use both. I use WordPress for many projects and when I need something lighter, leaner, and easier to use I choose ClassicPress. Use the right tool for the right job, not everything is a nail that needs to be hammered in. Sometimes you need a screwdriver, sometimes an Allen wrench. Pick the right tool for the right job.

ClassicPress won’t beat WordPress. It doesn’t have to. It will help fill the needs of users that WordPress can’t fill anymore. This is why forks are important.

ClassicPress community has made mistakes, no open-source community is perfect. We’ve learned from our mistakes and are trying to implement changes to build a better foundation for the project to grow.

That’s my personal 2 cents.

This topic will be closed.

The core contributors will discuss the results of the poll, the feedback given by the users, and what we can realistically accomplish. All active contributors will be contacted. Since it’s the holiday season this may take a few weeks. We’ll try to draft a plan/roadmap to leave this crossroads behind us, and give WPTavern something to write about again.

Anyone willing to start contributing to the core should PM me, but all non-coders are encouraged to step up and help the project grow - writing documentation, translations, testing, marketing, blogging, etc. Whatever your skills are, they can help ClassicPress grow. PM me, join Slack, stop by GitHub, pick your channel. Donating to support ClassicPress is also a great way to show you care!

And remember, use WordPress, use ClassicPress, use Joomla, use Drupal, use Django, use Laravel, use Backdrop, use the right tool for the job.