ClassicPress is a fork of WordPress 4.9 that offers a classic WordPress experience with better security, less bloat, and no blocks.

ClassicPress is a community-led open source content management system and a fork of WordPress that preserves the TinyMCE classic editor as the default option.

Take one quick look at the ClassicPress admin dashboard and, if you’re a WordPress user, you’ll see something instantly familiar. That’s what our community wanted. Something that looks and works like their favorite CMS…but better. And if you are one of the many people who are still using WordPress 4.9 or the Classic Editor plugin, here’s 10 reasons why you should consider switching to ClassicPress.

I’m happy using the latest version of WordPress (including the blocks), but I get the appeal of the Classic WordPress functionality. It’s one of the beautiful things about Open Source that people can have choices like this.

Organize Series Plugin for WordPress

Organize Series (apparently rebranded as PublishPress Series) is a plugin for WordPress that allows users to organize related posts together so readers can easily discover the related posts.

For example, I recently did a series of posts on a line of DC Comics greeting cards from the 1970s. Since there were so many such greeting cards, I divided these into five separate posts.

Someone discovering one of the posts via Google, etc., may not easily find the other four posts. With the Series plugin, I can make that more visible to visitors like this:

DC Greeting Cards Series Example
DC Greeting Cards Series Example

PublishPress recently purchased the plugin and has a series of “Pro” enhancements that adds shortcodes, the ability to add a post to more than one series, etc.

Local Gravatars Plugin for WordPress

Local Gravatars is a WordPress plugin designed to minimize potential privacy issues around Automattic’s Gravatar service.

The plugin will get your users gravatars and host them locally on your website.

Your visitors will get the gravatars directly from your website instead of the gravatar CDN, therefore increasing privacy and performance.

To avoid cluttering the filesystem and to allow refreshing gravatars, the files get flushed on a weekly basis (interval can be modified using a filter).

To avoid performance issues server-side, the download process for gravatars is limited to a maximum of 5 seconds (value can be modified using a filter).

In an interview at WP Tavern, the plugin’s author, Ari Stathopoulos, outlined the sort of risk he’s trying to reduce with the plugin,

“And when I visit a site that uses Gravatar, some information is exposed to the site that serves them — including my IP,” said Stathopoulos. “Even if it’s just for analytics purposes, I don’t think the company should know that page A on site B got 1,000 visitors today with these IPs from these countries. There is absolutely no reason why any company not related to the page I’m actually visiting should have any kind of information about my visit.”

The Local Gravatars plugin must still connect to the Gravatar service. However, the connection is made on the server rather than the client. Stathopoulos explained that the only information exposed in this case is the server’s IP and nothing from the client, which eliminates any potential privacy concerns.

WordPress WPS Hide Login Plugin

WPS Hide Login is a WordPress plugin that obfuscates the login page for a WordPress install.

It doesn’t literally rename or change files in core, nor does it add rewrite rules. It simply intercepts page requests and works on any WordPress website. The wp-admin directory and wp-login.php page become inaccessible, so you should bookmark or remember the url. Deactivating this plugin brings your site back exactly to the state it was before.

Honestly, I did this more to stop an annoyance than anything. There are tons of bots out there that try to do credential stuffing and dictionary attacks against even tiny sites like mine.

They’re unlikely to get past my strong password and 2FA, but it was getting annoying to see the constant stream of “user X has been locked out for 4 hours.”

I used the WPS Hide Login to set my login page to a random 16 character alphanumeric string that would be essentially impossible to guess.

Inserting Multiple Images Into A WordPress Post Using Gutenberg

One of the frustrating things with WordPress’ Gutenberg block editor is that in some cases it removed a lot of functionality that I had come to take for granted in the old editor.

For example, it is a pain in the ass to add multiple images into a post. With the old editor, you could simply hit the insert image button, select all of the images you wanted from the Media Library, and then you were done.

Gutenberg, however, insists that you add images one at a time–which is absolute hell when I need to insert 70 images into a post.

Anyway, I’m not the only one with this frustration and Nico Morgan found a workaround which I have been using for awhile now to solve this problem.

  1. When you want to insert multiple images, first insert a gallery and select all the images you want included from the Media Library.
  2. Once the gallery is created, switch the block back to an image block.

This will force WordPress Gutenberg to create a separate block for each image, instead of having to go through the mind numbing busy work of adding each image one-by-one.

But FFS, why can’t I just insert multiple image blocks to begin with? (Correct answer: because it wouldn’t be WordPress if it didn’t ignore obvious user interface improvements. If you don’t like it, just install Yet Another Plugin that does the same thing).

Simple Post Notes Plugin for WordPress

Simple Post Notes is a WordPress plugin that adds a Notes section on the post edit screen, where WordPress users can leave comments about a post that are not displayed with the post. The notes also are displayed in a column on the All Posts screen within WordPress as well.

It doesn’t happen very often, but once in awhile I want to leave myself a note about a post, and this is a nice way to do it.