Classic Editor

Hey everyone, today we’re officially launching Labs. This will be a place where we can put out new experiments for everyone to try. Then we’ll gather feedback publicly, here on the forum, and make changes based on what everyone thinks. If any given feature turns out to be a good permanent fit, we’ll bring it into the main application, and then into WriteFreely.

Labs is open to Pro users, as a perk of their subscription.

Classic Editor

Our first Labs feature is an alternative web-based editor: the Classic Editor. This features a more traditional UI for publishing to – anyone who’s used WordPress or any other blogging platform will feel at home here. It includes:

  • a dedicated title field
  • built-in navigation to more admin pages
  • a toolbar layout that better communicates what different actions do
  • a similarly fast, auto-saving writing experience like the normal editor
  • compatibility with the normal editor (you can freely switch between the two)


This is just the first iteration. This editor could make a good starting point for adding in scheduling, metadata, and social media controls, or a full WYSIWYG editor.


What do you think? What does this improve for you, if anything? What still needs improvement?


I need a walk-through video where you line up the current and prototype editors side-by-side and explain how they differ and the logic behind your decisions.

Parallel placement of common elements is essential between the two. The blog selector dropdown is on the right. I took a long time finding it … but I’m a bit dim that way. Grin.

It’s similar enough to the current editor that I’m unsure what all is different and where it is going. Perhaps a fuller iteration would help me provide more specific feedback.


This is meant more as a replacement for the current editor, particularly for new and non-technical users. That’s why the idea was to try things in a new layout.

So the blog selector was moved next to the Publish button to show that it decides where your post will be published to (some people have had trouble with this). And a future improvement could be moving it so it only appears in a pop-up once you hit the Publish button, to make sure you’re always publishing where you mean to.

I could also imagine adding a sidebar where there’s a dedicated space for setting the publish date, language, and adding tags – basically what you’d find in a WordPress or Ghost editor.

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i just switched to the Classic Editor (the new editor) today, and it looks good. I always added a title to my blog posts, anyway, but this makes the title much more distinguishable and looks good in my opinion. Only had about 15 minutes with it so far, so more feedback will come later. Good work! :slight_smile:


I think the Classic Editor is really a good thing. Not only because is there a dedicated “title” field, but the markdown edition is also clearer… It should be integrated as an option in and Write Freely.

However, I wouldn’t use it, because I built my own workflow to publish with

  • Writing, proofreading, editing with Typora or, sometimes, Atom editor.
  • Copy and paste the result into the interface…

The advantage:

  • I can edit offline on my Laptop, take my time to think and write
  • I have an “automatic” backup of my posts :wink:
  • I benefit from the Wysywig Markdown edition with Typora

It’s my choice but I don’t want to impose it to anybody. That’s why I also think that the Classic Editor should be an option for users.


Thanks for the input, everyone, this is all great to know.

Just to give a little more context to this: I’m looking to make / WriteFreely useful and usable for more people – particularly, less tech-savvy writers. We’ll continue supporting our publishing API for developers, and the current editor for those comfortable with Markdown (or copy-pasting, like @Aris), but the goal for the Classic Editor is to cover everyone else who doesn’t find a writing experience they enjoy in what we already have.

Between this and our upcoming plugins / add-ons, I’m also imagining a future where we offer new users a pre-packaged combination of editor and add-ons that fit their use case. E.g. a business user would get a particular subscription and set of add-ons by default that a casual blogger wouldn’t. Not 100% sure on specifics right now, but that’s the bigger picture.


After trying the new Classic Editor, I found that I preferred it and so I set it to the default.

After that, I wanted to change the font color of the Title link on the main landing page and have the post page title be the same color. I also didn’t want the color to change if the page was already visited. Just messing around a little with the CSS, I found this works for that. Interested in any other CSS tips people might have.

.post-title a.u-url:link, .post-title a.u-url:visited, .p-name {
color:#?????? !important;

Of course, replace ?????? with your preferred color constant value.

I can’t preview the Classic editor, since I’m not a Pro subscriber, but I was thinking of something similar myself.

I wonder if you’ve checked out MediumEditor—they copy Medium’s minimalist and yet WYSIWYG style, which I happen to be a fan of. And there are plugins like Image Uploader to add more functionality.

Again, since I haven’t seen the editor, I hope this comment is not irrelevant :stuck_out_tongue: maybe it’ll help if you put up screenshots, so non-Pro users can comment based on that if not on the actual product?

I hadn’t heard of MediumEditor, took a look at it and it’s good to know about but for posts I find either the original editor or the new Classic editor to be just right for me, as I’m quite comfortable with markdown.

The Classic editor is very similar to the original editor. In fact, at first I wasn’t even sure that I was in the Classic editor. Matt mentioned a few details about it in his original post for this thread.

The CSS I was talking about is not related to the editor, it’s just that I wanted some custom styling for the titles. The CSS is something I entered in the Customize area of the blog. Custom CSS is a Pro feature also, as is the Classic editor.

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I tried the Classic Editor and have no issues with the changes made. I already set it as my main editor.

It’s one step closer towards being like Medium’s editor, which is my favorite of any platform tried so far.

OK…so if I understand right, the Classic Editor is still Markdown, just toolbar buttons have been added so one can click for the function rather than type. Is that correct? [I mean apart from the other features like title field, autosaving, etc., of course]

I personally like Markdown, though like @fjhvio I enjoy Medium’s minimalistic editor too. I can think of many friends who would prefer WYSIWYG, though. Regarding user-friendliness @matt’s future vision above sounds like a great idea to me—everyone can choose the combination that works best for them :slight_smile:

Yes, markdown, though that doesn’t mean that you can’t also use html tags (you can, though not the <div> tag, but you can use the <span> tag).

I don’t see any toolbar buttons, e.g., for selecting bold or italic or any other formatting feature as is available in MediumEditor. If there is a toolbar like that, my browser could be blocking it, but I doubt it. Maybe someone else, or Matt himself, could verify this?

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Ah, perhaps I misunderstood. I’m wondering what the

in Matt’s original post refers to? I assumed it was formatting options but it might be something else

Yeah, sorry that was a little confusing. The toolbar refers to the bar at the very top of the editor, where you find the font setting, publishing destination, publish button, etc.

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So far I like the Classic Editor, but I feel it’s not distinguishable enough yet from the main editor. Would be great to see more SEO/Meta control, footnote insertion, etc. (much like Bear or Medium).

Thanks for offering this option!

P.S. I know I am tardy to the party, but wanted share my two cents. (-:


Just to update everyone on this, we’re continuing our work on the Classic editor now: Classic Editor v2! Besides some very minor changes, most importantly, this replaces Markdown editing with rich text.