How to Disable Gutenberg Widgets on WordPress via functions.php

With the release of WordPress 5.8, the default widget editor was changed to the new Block Editor, also known as Gutenberg. While the Block Editor offers more design and layout options, some users may prefer the traditional Classic Widgets interface. Fortunately, you can still use Classic Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and later. In this tutorial, we will show you how to disable Gutenberg widgets on WordPress using a filter in your functions.php file or via a plugin such as Classic Widgets Plugin.

Before proceeding with any customizations in WordPress, it’s essential to set up a child theme. A child theme acts as a safe and efficient way to make modifications without affecting the parent theme. If you haven’t set up a child theme yet, follow this tutorial on How to Create a Child Theme for Customization. It will guide you through the process and ensure that your customizations remain intact even after theme updates.

Disabling Gutenberg Widgets via Functions.php

Step 1: Access the functions.php file

To disable the Gutenberg widgets via the functions.php file, you need to access your WordPress theme’s functions.php file. You can do this by going to Appearance > Theme Editor and selecting the functions.php file from the list of files on the right.

Step 2: Add the Code

Once you’re in the functions.php file, you need to add the following code:

add_filter('use_widgets_block_editor', '__return_false');
Code language: PHP (php)

This code will disable the Block Editor for widgets and revert to the Classic Widgets interface.

Step 3: Save the Changes

After adding the code, click on the “Update File” button to save your changes.

Disabling Gutenberg Widgets via a Plugin

Step 1: Install and Activate the Classic Widgets Plugin

The Classic Widgets plugin is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to disable the Gutenberg widgets and use the classic widgets instead. To use Classic Widgets in WordPress, you need to install the Classic Widgets plugin. To do this, go to Plugins > Add New and search for “Classic Widgets.” Once you find the plugin, click on the “Install Now” button, and then activate the plugin.

Step 2: Access the Widgets Screen and Add Classic Widgets

After activating the Classic Widgets plugin, go to Appearance > Widgets to access the Widgets screen. On the Widgets screen, you’ll see the new block-based interface. To add a classic widget, click on the “Add a Widget” button. You’ll see a list of available widgets, including the classic widgets. Click on a classic widget to add it to your sidebar or widget area.

Step 3: Configure the Classic Widget

After adding a classic widget, you can configure it by expanding its options. Classic widgets work just like they did before, so you should be able to configure them easily.

That’s it! Using Classic Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and later is easy and can be done via the Classic Widgets plugin. By following the simple steps outlined in this tutorial, you can continue using Classic Widgets and create content using the interface that you prefer. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

If you’re interested in customizing your WordPress site further, you might also want to check out our tutorial on “How to Disable Gutenberg Editor on WordPress via functions.php“. This tutorial will show you how to disable the Gutenberg editor and revert to the classic editor using PHP code. With these two tutorials, you’ll be able to fine-tune your WordPress editing experience to suit your preferences.

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