ClassicPress: Why a WordPress Clone?

ClassicPress is a GPLv2[Free Software Foundation] clone of WordPress version 4.9.x – any theme, plugin or website that runs on WordPress 4.9 will run on ClassicPress. The ClassicPress FAQ page provides key insights into the reason for ClassicPress:

ClassicPress is a community-led fork of the WordPress content management system that preserves the classic TinyMCE editor as the default option. We want to get back to basics and focus on open dialogue and democratic decisions. To learn more, view our mission statement.

ClassicPress is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) (or later) license from the Free Software Foundation. A copy of the license is included with every copy of ClassicPress, but you can also read the text of the license at  https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.en.html.
Among other things, the GPLv2 license requires that any code you write that derives from ClassicPress, and which you distribute for use by others, will automatically be covered by the GPLv2 license.

What is the difference between ClassicPress and Classic Editor?  ClassicPress is a community-led open source content management system (CMS) that was originally a fork of WordPress. Classic Editor is the TinyMCE editor, used by WordPress for many years until
the introduction of the block-based Gutenberg editor.

How does your democracy work? ClassicPress is a democratic community-led fork of WordPress that enables all stakeholders to shape the direction that the project takes. The Democracy page aims to explain how we handle this process to ensure that power doesn’t become centralized and that every voice can be heard; no single person within any group has the power to force through a valid Topic which affects ClassicPress. This ensures that we stay true to our goal of being a community-led fork.

Now as users read the ClassicPress About, Democracy, and Roadmap pages it becomes more evident that the unilateral directives of WordPress by Automattic and CEO Matt Muhlenweg was becoming contentious. Smashing Magazine describes the disagreement over the launch of Gutenberg. But there was contention in the choice of ReactJS versus Vue,js or Svelte  and JSON based RESTAPI versus GraphQL among other technical decisions.

Gutenberg remains a point of contention due to its unpopularity [2.02/5.0] as measured in WordPress.org’s own ratings:


But during Gutenberg’s beta it had a 2.4/5.0 popularity rating; but since Gutenberg’s release in December 17th 2018, its popularity has sunk to 2.0 5.0. This matters because the Classic Editor that allows users to bypass Gutenberg is slated to be “fully supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary.” Think of ClassicPress as an added guarantee.

Does ClassicPress Work?

Users can download the ClassicPress zip file and install it many ways. This review used the classic install – 1)unzip in server directory. 2)Create an empty MySQL database with username and password. 3) then run proverbial WordPress install:

Yes it does, with speed too!

Install Database Step
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Classic Install Database
classpinstall2
Website Setup Step
classpfirstadmin
First run of ClassicPress!!
classpplugindownload
Proof the Website is working
and could load Plugins and Themes
PlayPause
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What works with ClassicPress? Most of the major PageBuilders, Sliders and Gallery plugins, plus a full range of text and contact form apps. But the testing of plugins and themes is far from complete. So if you have information on what does not work in ClassicPress send a screenshot in the comments below. Here is our mugshots of apps that do not work in ClassicPress

Summary

This reviewer is somewhat surprised and relieved that ClassicPress works pretty robustly. It means the fate of the Classic editor in 2022 is not so pivotal. But equally surprising is the sorry state of the Gutenberg editor in the court of Public Use and Opinion. Yes. PageBuilders have picked up the slack but most PageBuilders have a Text-Editor component that emulates TinyMCE and the Classic Editor. So this is a mixed result. A much better Classic Editor is still overdue.