ClassicPress Version 2.1 is out!

We’re delighted to announce the release of ClassicPress version 2.1. This is a maintenance release and so, like version 2.0, it is based on a re-fork of WordPress 6.2.3. But, if you’re one of those who likes to say that “ClassicPress is just WordPress without blocks,” this release should make you think again. Version 2.1 illustrates how ClassicPress is developing its own personality, while performing faster than WordPress and with a codebase that’s only around half the size.

New features

We have revamped ClassicPress’s directory of themes and plugins so that it now runs on ClassicPress itself. In version 2.1, there is a new dashboard widget that explains how to integrate its features into your site in a manner similar to the traditional WordPress repository.

We have also added a new default theme that’s based on the theme used on this very site. It’s simple, fast, and easily customized. You can use it as-is and make it your own via the Customizer, or you can use it as a parent theme, or change the name and use it as a starter theme.

Beneath the Hood

But it’s arguably the changes that you can’t see that really make this release shine. For example, ClassicPress no longer uses jQueryUI. And we’ve managed this without breaking anything! (So theme and plugin developers who continue to use jQueryUI don’t need to worry!)

The jQueryUI library will continue to be bundled with ClassicPress for at least the lifecycle of version 2. But it will be deprecated in version 2.2, and it might therefore be removed in version 3. In the meantime, we’ll have a blog post or two here about how plugins and themes can follow the ClassicPress lead and replace jQueryUI with regular HTML, vanilla JavaScript and, for the sorting of drag-and-drop elements (like Menus, Metaboxes, and Media) the SortableJS library. Unlike jQueryUI, which is old and hasn’t been actively maintained for years, SortableJS is a modern, actively-maintained library that uses vanilla JavaScript throughout.

For the avoidance of confusion, please note that dropping jQueryUI does NOT mean dropping jQuery itself. ClassicPress continues to both bundle and use jQuery. It does mean, however, that several core files have been re-written entirely in vanilla JavaScript, so that the user interface in the ClassicPress admin pages is now noticeably faster when performing certain tasks, such as autocompletion of tags lists.

Another library whose demise has come is Thickbox. Again, it’s still bundled in ClassicPress in case themes or plugins continue to use it, but it will be deprecated in version 2.2 and may be removed in version 3. We have replaced Thickbox with the HTML dialog element, which is faster, more accessible, and requires far less code.

Indeed, switching to modern replacements for jQueryUI and Thickbox now makes the ClassicPress user interface on admin pages both far more accessible and much easier to use on touchscreens. Improvements to the Color Picker and Revisions slider are among the highlights.

Media Library

A common complaint we’ve heard about both WordPress and ClassicPress is how hard it is to manage media properly. In version 2.1, ClassicPress has begun to address this valid criticism. One simple change is that media attachments are now ordered not by ID, which never did make much sense, but by date. Probably of more significance, though, is the ability to upload media to a folder for the current year (i.e. without having it go in a subfolder for the current month). Since this now means that users have three options, the setting at Settings -> Media has been reconfigured to use radio buttons instead of a checkbox.

Another improvement in version 2.1 is the inclusion of media categories and tags by default. These can be used just like categories and tags for posts. We’ve also updated the video and audio player so that there are now some awesome new features for playing videos!

Much More Besides!

This summary only scratches the surface of all the improvements and upgrades in ClassicPress version 2.1! A full list can be found on the ClassicPress forums.


In no particular order the following people have contributed to this ClassicPress release:

Notable Replies

  1. When I click on “Install”, I get sent to an error page that is blank with a white box at the top?

  2. First impressions. The site has become much faster. Good job. :slight_smile:
    However, I couldn’t find CP’s new theme anywhere. Where did I miss it? I’ll have to download a zipped version to find it.

  3. Yes, I think it’s faster too. That’s almost certainly because we eliminated a lot of slow-loading dependencies that we inherited from WP.

    Sorry, it looks like the theme isn’t being added to the bundle. We’ll investigate and put out a version 2.1.1 when we have a fix.

  4. It can happen. Then I’ll wait for 2.1.1!

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