How To Convert Blog Posts Written With The Classic Editor Into Gutenberg Posts

If like me, you’re using the Gutenberg editor, you’ll have lots of blog posts in your archives that were written with the Classic editor.

However, fear not! Those blog posts can be converted, so they look like they were written with the Gutenberg editor; thus you’ll be able to use the many benefits Gutenberg brings to the art of blogging to those posts.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

I’m still in the process of converting many of my most popular posts to Gutenberg, so I thought I’d share with you the quickest and easiest method to convert those posts.

Let’s get started

First of all, ensure your blog is in Gutenberg mode. To do this, from the draft page of a post, click on the ‘Learn More’ box on the righthand side of your screen.

  • Next, click on ‘Try the block editor‘ box.
  • Your blog will now have been switched to the Gutenberg editor.

Now you’re in the Gutenberg editor, what next?

  • In the screenshot below, you’ll see that Gutenberg has placed the whole post into a ‘Classic‘ block.

Let the magic begin

  • Click anywhere in the classic bar to open the Classic menu.
  • Next, click on the three vertical dots at the end of the bar.
  • Click on ‘Convert to Blocks‘ in the new menu that opens just under the three vertical dots.

Has the magic happened?

It may not seem very obvious, but the post has now been converted into Gutenberg blocks. Instead of the whole post being in one block, in the screenshot below, it’s been turned into six blocks.

The whole post will now be in separate blocks

Anything else?

Yes. Before pressing the update button to confirm you want to make the changes, I’d recommend you preview the post first to make sure you’re happy with its layout.

Something I always do is to ensure that all images in the post are aligned to the centre. I think the layout of them looks better that way.

But that’s not all you can do, is it?

No. You can also resize images to make them fit into the post better, as well as change the order of the blocks, or delete any blocks that are no longer needed. In my case, I removed an out-of-date block at the end of the post that mentioned a competition I was running at the time I published the post.

Don’t forget that you can also update the tags and categories for the post. It’s worth doing this if you’ve discovered more popular tags and categories since the post was first published.

We’re almost done

Once you’re happy with the final layout and do not need to make any further edits or changes, click on the update button.

Hey-presto! Your post is now live in the Gutenberg editor.

Any questions?

Leave them in the comments section. I’ll get back to you with answers as quickly as possible.

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80 comments

  1. Hi Hugh,
    I have eventually got around to posting in this section.
    This post seems an appropriate place for me to start.
    I only started blogging in late 2017 and managed to get my head around the workings of word press until a few months ago when I faced difficulties incorporating text to my photos. I had numerous ‘chats’ with happiness engineers who I began to realise varied in either their technical skills or in their understanding of my problem. Most times I ‘threw in the towel’ after clarifying with them I should be able to use classic editor. A prompt regarding block editor use kept coming up.
    I now seem to be back to square one just posting a blog containing photos only or text only.
    I see here you say the block editor has many advantages. Can you tell me what they are and I will certainly give it a try?
    Many thanks Hugh and no pressure re phompt reply.
    Take care 🙂

    1. Hi Margaret,

      Have a read of this post I published in March 2019. It may answer some of your questions.

      https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2019/03/04/have-you-used-the-new-gutenberg-editor/

      I’ve also written some other posts about the Gutenberg block editor. Click on ‘Gutenberg – How To’ in the menu bar at the top of my blog, and you’ll find those posts. They also contain links to other posts written by other bloggers about using Gutenberg. I’ve only included links to the ones that I think are worthy of reading and which have been of great help to me.

      With regards photos, many bloggers use the ‘Classic Block’ on Gutenberg to insert photos into posts. My understanding is that they are doing so until WordPress improves the photo blocks on Gutenberg.

      I hope that all helps?

      Best wishes,
      Hugh

  2. Hi Hugh,
    As you know, I’m using Gutenberg. However, many of my older drafts were started with the classic editor but now I’m using Gutenberg to finish. Your post may prove helpful, so I bookmarked it. Thanks!
    Janice

        1. That’s a sure sign that comment has ended up in the spam folder. It happens to my comment sometimes. I got your other comment with no issues. Some bloggers never check their blogging spam folder, so it’s best to try and send the comment again.

    1. There’s no rush (at the moment), Clive. When you do give it a try, I’d recommend following some guidelines and maybe watch a couple of tutorials. They are what got me through thinking Gutenberg was too challenging to master and why WordPress was fixing something that was not broke. Of course, I was wrong, because Gutenberg is not replacing anything. All it’s doing is improving what we already have. I see it a little like moving from an HD TV to one that gives 4K viewing. Better quality viewing. Of Course, ‘practice’ also makes perfect, so set up a draft post on your blog where you can practice using Gutenberg as and when you can.

      1. That’s good advice, Hugh, and I’m grateful for it. I’ll give it a try and see what happens. I have a couple of drafts that I started months ago so can practise on them!

  3. I’ve been on the Gutenberg Editor for six weeks now thanks to your prodding us about moving over and I’m glad for it. I’m even faster when loading a slew of photos than before. I now can justify paragraph blocks and underline again Hugh … I wrote to a Happiness Engineer who said they retooled the feature in the drop-down menu… click the arrow and make the adjustment for each block and each subheading respectively. I will go back and justify and put underlines on the few weeks of posts where they removed it/changed how to access it. I still have to try the side-by-side image and text, the next time I do a shorter, less picture-laden post.

    1. You’ve come a long way since starting to use Gutenberg, Linda. I’m so pleased to hear how it’s working for you and your blog. Like anything else new, practising on it is the key to making it work. It still has a few problems (mainly with the photo galleries options), but the Classic version of those galleries can still be accessed from the ‘Classic’ block.
      Congratulations on what you have achieved with Gutenberg. I’m so glad to have introduced it to you.

      1. I am glad you introduced it to me too Hugh. I did a hybrid version of the slideshow – used Gutenberg for the entire post, then switched over to Classic Editor to insert the regular slideshow, then reverted to Gutenberg and it launched without issue. I am sure they’ll be tweaking up until the time it is mandatory to use it, comparable to using Windows 10 … very buggy at first and I understand it is much improved now. I hope so as we are supposed to be going to Windows 10 at our office, once everything is set up.

        Today I can’t remote into my work station or into the company system at all. I could always work from my boss’ work station, but after 3 hours our computer tech concedes I might have been blacklisted from accessing the company website, something he has never seen before. He had appointments scheduled so could not deal with it until tomorrow. He gained control of my computer and remoted in and could find nothing wrong. He is coming to my house with a satellite internet device to verify it is a blacklist issue then he can contact my internet provider and ask them to remove it so I can remote into work. He had to bring the new Windows 10 laptop anyway. So, that is a new problem to deal with. With computers, it is not always easy is it?

        1. As a Mac user, I haven’t used Windows 10, but I’ve read lots about the problems it has had, Linda. I guess it’s like any new software, and will have its bugs, etc.

          I hope they get your remote access sorted out for you. Technology is such a big part of most of our lives. When it fails, many of think it’s the end of the world.

        2. Yes, that is true. We have been using our same accounting software since 2003 and the upgrade to Windows 10 will be problematic as we can’t roll it into a higher version, so will be working off two systems now. I resent that Windows 10 makes their platforms obsolete. Windows XP was made obsolete and it and Windows 7 have been wonderfully bug-free, unlike Windows 10. I have heard only good things about a Mac. I cannot use a Mac to remote in, or I would have gotten a Mac.

  4. I always appreciate your research and how-to posts, Hugh, especially now that more of us are using Gutenberg editor. I have also thought about refreshing some older posts, but my dilemma is related to comments, hence my question. Is there a way to open or close comments on each post older than one year and beyond? Somewhere I closed comments on posts after 30 days(?) which has helped combat so much spam. But I do like to link back to an older post and still allow comments. Hopefully there is a shortcut for this.

    1. Hi Terri, when you go into the draft of any post, in the settings menu on the right of your screen, and under discussion (at the bottom of the settings menu), there is an option to ‘Allow Comments’ on the post. Tick the box next to this option and readers will be able to leave comments again. I hope that is what you were referring to, but do let me know if it wasn’t.

      1. Thanks for getting back to me, Hugh. I did play around with that yesterday and did just that. Funny, I’ve used the admin panel and some options need to be searched. Gutenberg has made posting easier.

    1. What a shame you can’t try it out, Norah. I’m guessing it’s because of the theme you use? I know that some themes are not Gutenberg compliant yet, but WordPress is in the process of making the changes. Fingers crossed that the theme you use is on their list.

      1. I was surprised it needed a plugin. I thought I’d seen, but ignored it, on my blog previously but couldn’t find it when I went looking. I can’t have plugins on my blog. Today I saw something about ‘a new block format’. I’ll check that out.

        1. Gutenberg is available to all WordPress.Com users, Norah. No plugin is needed unless you have a self-hosted site. I don’t have any plugins on my blog, and it works perfectly. If you follow the first part of my guide (under ‘Let’s get started’) on this post, you’ll find the information on how to switch over to Gutenberg. It’s a case of clicking two buttons (‘Learn More’ and ‘Try the block editor’) and your blog will be in Gutenberg mode.

    1. Good luck with Gutenberg, Sam. I recommend you set up a draft post that you can practice on. It’s the best way to try everything out, rather than trying to do it on a post you want to publish. The tutorials I’ve mentioned in previous posts are also beneficial. They are what got me on track to using Gutenberg.

  5. I have been doing this slowly Hugh and it hasn’t been too difficult at all, just finding the time is the hard bit. Great tips and help as usual, thanks again for everything Hugh. #senisal

    1. I tend to do one a week (usually when I do a Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday post), Debbie. I’m not going to change all my posts to Gutenberg, just the ones that still get lots of traffic and comments.

    1. You won’t ever lose the classic editor, Debby. What will happen when WordPress finally do withdraw support for it is another matter, though. From what they’ve said, that will be towards the end of 2020. They’ve given all their users two years notice, so at the moment you all still have time on your hands. 😀
      xx

      1. Uh oh, so you know something we don’t ( of course, lol) ? Are you saying after 2020 even the classic editor plugin won’t work? 😦

        1. It’ll still work, Debby. From what I know, as WordPress wind down support for the classic editor, it’ll take longer for bugs and problems to get sorted as they concentrate more on Gutenberg. As the Plugin is available to download on other platforms, it shouldn’t be affected. 😀 However, those on WordPress.Com (who use free themes) will find that they may have to switch themes, switch to a paid plan, or use Gutenberg instead.

    1. You’re welcome, Rob. You’ll get so many more benefits for your blog posts and blog by switching to Gutenberg. It can take some getting used to, but I’d recommend you set up a draft post and practice on it.

        1. Yes, Gutenberg is entirely mobile friendly, Rob. However, those reading posts on mobile devices do need to ensure they have the latest updates; otherwise, posts won’t display correctly. Unlike the Classic editor, users of Guthenberg do not need to make any adjustments in the settings of their blog to ensure that their posts are displaying correctly.

  6. That is a great and valuable explanation, Hugh.
    Lately, a question came to my mind I wanted to ask you. How can I put a category into the menu bar and when you click on it the page that opens shows all posts in that category in a row. For example, my “Daily Kind Quotes”. I know, many have that and they may laugh reading this but I have no idea how to get this done!

  7. Another fantastic share, Hugh! I’ve started this process with some older posts. It just cements my opinion on Gutenberg. It’s an awesome editor! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. You are so good at figuring these out and explaining in a way that’s understandable. I’m still on classic. But I imagine that someday that will go away. I’m favoriting this for future reference. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Diana. I don’t believe the Classic editor will ever go away. All WordPress has said is that they will stop supporting it by the end of 2020. Which will mean any bugs after then won’t get fixed by them. 😕

  9. Thanks for this, Hugh. Very nicely presented.

    Do you know it if converts galleries to Guttenberg Galleries or does it leave them in a Classic Block? If it converts them to Guttenberg, you have to copy all the captions into the Description field. This has been a big complaint from people who create/edit blogs for customers, and they (WP team) seem to be wrestling with how to handle this so as not to make it a mountain of work.

    1. Thanks, Dan.

      To be honest, I don’t know the answer to your question because I don’t use galleries on any of my posts. I tend to just use single images, rather than any of the gallery options. I used to use them when I first started to blog, but have since deleted all of those posts. However, you may recall that I did try out the ‘slideshow’ block, and I was able to add captions under each photo. I would imagine that the method I have used on this post would convert any galleries into the corresponding Gutenberg block, so those blocks would need to be converted back to the Classic block again (which is easy to do). As somebody who uses galleries a lot, maybe have a go and see what happens? Just remember not to press the ‘update’ button if you’re not happy with the results. Please let us know the results if you have a go.

    1. From what I know, many people are doing it by ways that just take far too long. No wonder they soon give up. This is the quickest way I’ve found of doing it; plus it works. Thanks for coming over from #senisal.

      1. I hope the new editor doesn’t display old posts badly. With over twelve thousand on my site alone, I’d hate to have to reformat all of them one by one…

        1. The only things I have to do is realign some of my images, and update any information on the post I’m converting, Sue. I’m not converting all my posts over, just the ones that still get hits or comments left on them (the more popular ones). It’s a great way of updating older posts that still get visitors.

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