Announcing “Bella”: version 2 of ClassicPress!

We’re delighted to announce the release of ClassicPress version 2.0, codenamed Bella. This is a re-fork, based on WordPress 6.2.3, and so brings ClassicPress the best of the new features in WordPress, such as Site Health. It also brings compatibility with a much larger range of themes and plugins, but without all the downside of “blocks”. There are also some security upgrades and efficiency improvements that we have taken from WordPress 6.3.x.

In addition, version 2 also includes significant improvements that are unique to ClassicPress:

  • HTML5 is now the default content output: there is no longer any need to specify theme support for it
  • Widgets, Nav Menus, and Meta Boxes are now much more accessible in the admin pages for those unable to use a mouse
  • There are new navigation buttons (Previous and Next) on every post and page admin screen: go to Screen Options and check “Enable Previous and Next buttons” to turn this on
  • Upgraded PHPMailer library
  • Fixed deprecated jQuery message in bundled themes
  • Build, Test, and Dependency upgrades and updates

Please note that the minimum version of PHP required to run Bella is 7.4. Bella is compatible with PHP versions 8.0 to 8.2; work is underway to support PHP 8.3.

Installing ClassicPress v2.0

If you are already using the v2 Release Candidate, you will automatically receive notification of the availability of the full release of version 2. You can then update as normal.

Using the Migration Plugin

If you are currently using WordPress, or version 1 of ClassicPress, or the nightly build of version 2 of ClassicPress, then we recommend that you download and install the migration plugin to migrate to v2.0.

Once the migration plugin is installed and activated, go to Tools > Switch to ClassicPress, and click on the “Show advanced controls” button on this page. Then paste the following URL into the text field:

Downloading ClassicPress v2.0

If you prefer, you can also download ClassicPress v2 and then install it via SFTP.


Plugins requiring WordPress 5.x or 6.x may work now. Those that require “blocks”, Full Site Editing, or Gutenberg will not work.


Themes requiring WordPress 5.x or 6.x may work now as long as they are not do not use “blocks” or Full Site Editing. Full Site Editing themes are incompatible with ClassicPress. ClassicPress will notify you when it detects such a theme, and you will be unable to install it.

Block Compatibility

Many plugins and themes include block functionality, but it’s not always required for the plugin or theme to work. ClassicPress has no block-related functions, which would cause fatal errors when activating plugins and themes. To help prevent broken websites and allow you to use more plugins and themes with ClassicPress, we’ve created a new feature called “Block Compatibility” to provide polyfills for the missing block-related functions. This feature is enabled by default but can be disabled, though disabling it that may break your website if any plugins or themes call block functions. This feature can be found under Settings > General.


In no particular order the following have contributed to this ClassicPress release:
The ClassicPress community
WP Team