WordPress roundup: What to make of ClassicPress and much more

WordPress Roundup

In this edition of the WordPress roundup, we discuss ClassicPress, posting to Instagram, installing a mortgage calculator, using Coming Soon pages, and which contact form is the best.

ClassicPress

I knew it was going to happen as we moved closer to the launch of Gutenberg. Some of you are not happy with how it has gone. Scott Bowler has had enough.

He has recently launched ClassicPress, a fork of WordPress that leaves it in the classic editor mode. He outlines some of this in a blog post he posted on Medium.

Jeff Chandler gives a summation of ClassicPress at WPTavern.

Just looking at what Bowler is doing, he is pushing a petition to encourage WordPress not to include Gutenberg in Core. Therefore, it appears this is more of an attempt to get WordPress to sit back and reevaluate the Gutenberg project.

ClassicPress plans to take the opensource code from WordPress at v4.9.8 (prior to any Gutenberg code commits) and bring the direction of one of the world’s most popular content management systems back into the hands of the community. It was was born out necessity after it became clear that Gutenberg was going to forced into the core of WordPress despite significant, valid resistance by the community against the new editor. ClassicPress

You can learn more about the project at ClassicPress.net.  If you want to play with the ClassicPress code, you can check it out on GitHub. There is even a ClassicPress subreddit.

Screenshot: ClassicPress.net
Screenshot: ClassicPress.net

Instagram

Instagram can be really fun, but then again, it can also be tough. A lot of us live on our desktop computers and not having a valid way to post to Instagram without using a phone can be a little frustrating. Posting featured images to Instagram can be time-consuming.

Well, what if you can post it straight from your WordPress website. I ran across this article by B.J. Keeton at Elegant Themes that talks about a plugin that does just that.

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Even better, WP Instagram Post And Widget will allow you to put an Instagram feed on your website. Therefore, if you are really making use of Instagram for your business, you have a way to pull those images into your site as well.

I think I’ll give it a try because on my local media site I use Instagram.

Mortgage Calculator

Do you run a website for real estate? There are a lot of tools available, but maybe you want to have a mortgage calculator for your visitors. WPBeginner takes us through how to install one using the Responsive Mortgage Calculator.

Don’t let users leave your real estate website to find a mortgage calculator.

See it in action on my demo site

Mortgage Calculator
Mortgage Calculator

Coming Soon Page

Remember those days when a website would be “under construction” using those cheesy clip art pics? For years launching a new WordPress site meant you got the default them with a front page that displays “Hello World.” Naturally, we usually try to do something to make it look more appealing.

I usually try to construct some kind of placeholder page while building out the site or waiting to migrate it over. There are few reasons for this, but this article by Blogging Tek actually takes up the case. The author makes very valid points such as creating some hype, collecting email addresses, displaying social media icons, and more.

In the past, I used Coming Soon type of plugins, but these days, I usually fire up Beaver Builder and create a basic landing page with an email registration form and social media icons. You should be able to do this with your favorite page builder.

It Depends

The other day I asked a question in a Facebook Group and got the dreaded “It depends” for an answer. The person acknowledged the dread. No worries. So much of our decisions depends on context. Take contact form plugins. If I have a project that I don’t need anything fancy, I stick to Ninja Forms. I have grown comfortable with using the plugin although others may be easier.

Colin Newcomer wrote an article where he compares the features of Gravity Forms, WP Forms, and Caldera Forsm at WP LIft. He does a good job of breaking down those features and discussing in which situation the plugin is best.

He narrows it down to WP Forms and Caldera Forms as he admits Gravity is probably better for developers.

Overall, if money’s no object, I say go with WPForms if you’re a regular user. If you’re on a budget, or if you’re a developer, go with Caldera Forms. Caldera Forms’ interface isn’t as nice, but it can offer just as much functionality at a maybe lower price and it has some really neat developer integrations, like the EasyPods add-on. WP Lift 

So, which is the best form? It depends. It depends on what you need and your budget, and Ninja Forms isn’t even considered in this article.

Happy contact form plugin shopping!

Wrapping it up

I’m not quite sure to make of ClassicPress. On the one hand, they seem to be serious about the project but on the other hand, they seem to be using it to spur more discussion about Gutenberg. I also wonder how it will affect the use of WordPress products that have been made previous to WordPress 4.9.8. Will products like MainWP work with ClassicPress? Will you always have to use products that were made prior to WordPress version 5.0?

Like Gutenberg, I guess, time will tell.

Have you tried ClassicPress? What are you doing in regards to Gutenberg? Are you taking a “wait and see” approach?

2 thoughts on “WordPress roundup: What to make of ClassicPress and much more”

  1. Have used Gutenberg on a local dev site, I keep trying to use it each release, but it is does seem lacking and the UI and UX is not the best. Gutenberg is far from being production ready.

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