Recently WordPress 5.8 was released, and this includes a big change to Widgets. The “Block editor” has come to Widgets, and many older themes do not support the new block editor with their widgets. This means, unfortunately, that visiting the Widgets page after updating WordPress to version 5.8 may remove your widgets from your sidebars and other widget locations.
Classic Widgets is a plugin that will restore the old Widget interface, and if it’s installed and activated before visiting the Widgets area of the website, the existing widgets will not be removed and placed in “Inactive Widgets”.
This is similar to the previous update, WordPress 5.0 that launched the “Block Editor”, which some may know as Gutenberg. It’s a simplified page and post editor that was vastly different from the previous editor, known as TinyMCE.
Classic Editor is a plugin that restores the older editor, and brings back the familiar way of editing pages.
We may be loading either or both of these plugins on websites, so if your editing interface changes (Either back or forward), and you’d like to keep it how you had it, please let us know!
If you’d like to try out the new block editor, give it a go. It’s likely going to be how WordPress functions going forward, and if you’re just writing content, it’s a simpler, more streamlined interface.