Deborah Edwards-Onoro explains how to enable the Classic Editor at WordPress.com.
Why Deborah felt this needed to be published in the first place is an interesting question. There's an answer: she noticed a blind WordPress.com user couldn't use the site anymore when WordPress.com launched a refreshed interface.
Deborah was surprised this could happen:
“What I don’t understand: WordPress.com chose not to announce the change on their blog. The announcement was only published in the WordPress.com forums. Which doesn’t make sense to me, given it’s a major interface change.”
I wanted to follow up on this, so I reached out to Dave Martin at Automattic. Dave is a member of the communication/PR team. He said, “The update was communicated to all customers within the app as well to everyone via our blog.”
Dave further commented: “Through our interfaces and APIs we enable many ways to post and interact with your WP site, and we're always working to improve the accessibility of every interface. People can also install plugins to enable additional ways to post.”
So there were announcements, but apparently, they were not seen by everyone. There's likely a lesson here — how major changes on any site can affect users, and how important the Classic Editor still is for significant groups of people.
I asked Dave how long WordPress.com will support the Classic Editor, but I didn't get a direct response. I take it that as long as the Classic Editor plugin exists and works with the latest WordPress version, then it's going to remain an option on WordPress.com. It will be officially supported until the end of this year.