Knock it off, WordPress!

angry-old-lady-rev2WordPress has done it again, in case you hadn’t noticed. Go ahead, start a new post. Or try to edit an old one. Beep beep boop! Bubbles. Baby blue background. Long, looong pause for loading.

Doncha love it?

I’ll let my favorite angry old woman picture speak for me, along with all those other WP users who are giving WP a piece of their minds over on the forums. The thread is up to 8 pages and still growing.

Once past the childish loading screen you’ll be met with a greatly simplified edit page with a much smaller editing space. Sized just right for all those really serious bloggers using tablet touchscreens to compose their posts. That’s how all serious, dedicated bloggers get their heavy duty blogging done. Right?

There’s a sort of workaround available for now: For a new post, you can skip the ugly blue screen and get to the old familiar full-featured editing screen by clicking on “New” in the dropdown (from the admin bar) menu instead of selecting “Post,” “Page,” “Media,” or “Link” in its submenu. (Of those items, for whatever reason, only “Post” drops you into beep beep hell.) Or add more clicks to open the Dashboard, scroll down to “Post,” and click “Add New.”

The change that really ticks me off, however, is the editing. Previously when I wanted to edit a post (which may be many times a day, given my penchant for editing everything repeatedly), I just clicked the edit link in the post’s header (in this theme it appears as a pushpin after the post’s title) and the edit screen for that post opened. Now, if I don’t want to edit on a beep beep boop screen, the only way to do it is to go to Dashboard > Posts > All Posts. Then, because I have more than 2,000 posts, I have to type in the title of the post to bring up the one I want and, when it comes up, click Edit under its title. Then and only then can I edit my post in the old editing screen. That’s a lot of time and effort wasted if all I want to do is correct a misspelling or add a comma. Maybe for something so simple, I’ll settle for using the new blue screen. But I’m not at all sure it will be acceptable long-term for more extensive editing.

Oddly enough, the comment edit screen remains unchanged. So far. Frankly, I expect it and all the old screens currently accessible with workarounds to eventually go away. It would make no sense for WP to keep supporting two different systems. Unless, of course, they were wise enough to realize that only mobile users need the smaller simpler screens. Computer users with full screens and keyboards want and need their large, full-featured interfaces. Two different UIs for two different platforms. Makes sense to me.

I do resent WordPress’s constant changes. It means instead of being really comfortable with the existing interface and navigating it quickly and easily without a second thought, I have to stop, fuss, fume, and waste time learning a new system. All of which gets in the way of my reason for being here — blogging. It’s like having a nice set of tools that you are happy with, accustomed to, and proficient with. And then overnight someone steals those tools and replaces them with a new set that has different tools in different places. Your favorite wrenches are gone and in their place are pliers.

Or, the most relevant way I can think of to describe the current change, and many of the others WP has made: Imagine you wake up one morning, ready to work on your blog, and discover that someone has rearranged your keyboard. It’s no longer QWERTY. Now it’s FUBAR. You won’t be able to work efficiently until you learn that new FUBAR keyboard. In the meantime you’ll have to hunt and peck. That’s a hell of a way to produce a blog post.

29 comments

  1. I’m almost to frightened to look PT; I’m not a big blogger like you. I work in spasms, which recently seem to be coming less frequent; the work type spasms that is; but I’m quite used to and comfortable with the system that I’ve been using since 2011 or 12 whenever it was I started. There have been a couple of minor changes in that time I think, but if they obviously didn’t worry or upset me.

    But after reading your blog I’m a bit “thingoee” (an Australianism) about starting another blog.

    You certainly haven’t made my day with this post thank to WP; I might downgrade to a cheaper WP when my annual fee falls due now. Bugger them!!! 😦

    1. I haven’t worked with the new interface yet, and you might like it. It’s possible all the pieces are there, just in different places. But that alone annoys the hell out of me. I don’t like people messing with my workspace, period.

  2. ” Your favorite wrenches are gone and in their place are pliers.” Exactly.
    WP has been slow and quirky for several days – which is a heads up for me….struggling to write/edit is frustrating – and Molly is less trouble and more entertaining….so really feel like wandering off.
    The changes are causing a lot of talk….think I’ll wait until tomorrow to try another post…I just want to write or visit and comment….WP please don’t make it a chore.

    1. Oh, but it’s their job, they seem to think, to keep putting roadblocks in our way. It’s not like anyone launched a campaign demanding WP change something. Who has gone to WP and said, “Please, please you have to change this interface.” When was the last time you heard of WP users demanding cute bubbles and smaller workspaces and misplaced tools?

      I think my son (the developer) made a relevant point when talking about a certain game and he said, “It’s because it’s run by a bunch of developers.” All they know how to do is tinker with the code and the interface. They don’t deal with customers, make policy, etc.

  3. I like the QWERTY to FUBAR analogy PT, but it leaves out the fact that (at least in my case) they’ll change the darn thing again before I can get up to speed on it. Heck, I was just getting used to the annoying changes they made with the New Editing and Media Updates Are Here announcement – which left me with a “fixed” editing toolbar, but having to constantly scroll up and down save my draft, preview the post, and set my category, tags, & featured image!

    1. That update was dated July 29 (and I never saw it. Don’t they mail these notices to users?). And now, just two weeks later, they’ve chucked that whole interface? Who the hell is running this asylum?

      1. I did get it in an email PT. Are you subscribed to WordPress.com News? Once I figured out how to avoid the “beep beep boop” screen, the old editor was as that post, and my complaints, described.

        1. I thought I was subscribed. I get news of new themes and other stuff. But what I’d most like and don’t seem to get is news of any changes or “improvements” WP is making.

        2. Took me a while to find my subscription list, but I am subscribed to WordPress.com News. It’s about the fifth thing I ever subscribed to. (Your blog was fourth!) So yes, maybe they’re avoiding me because I make so much noise when they change things.

    2. You know, it’s not that I don’t eventually adjust to and learn new features, UIs, etc. I have to in order to keep publishing. It’s that WP doesn’t stick with one. They keep changing things. We’re always off balance, trying to deal with new, unfamiliar features and get proficient with them. Even making allowances for my possibly being “old and set in my ways,” this is ridiculous.

        1. I’ve always been the most optimistic person I know PT, at least when it comes to what’s possible. It’s knowing that we’ll always fall short of the mark that depresses me! O_o

        2. You said that so much better than I did PT. I know no one’s ever gonna be perfect. Certainly not me. But there just seems to be this attitude that says not even trying is okay. I don’t get that. Especially when the people with that attitude are also the ones complaining the loudest about how bad things are…

  4. Why is WordPress.com ignoring us (its paying customers)?
    Microsoft Office Live Small Business (OLSB) website builder did the same thing to its customers a few years ago. I had OLSB for 4 years prior. For some reason, OLSB started making desperate changes too. They also ignored customers complaints about those changes (like WordPress.com is doing now). Eventually, all their customer’s websites were wiped, unless you had hundreds of dollars to transfer it to another site before the deadline. OLSB eventually shut down and now Microsoft is taking another shot at it via Office 365. (http://www.pcworld.com/article/254755/microsofts_office_live_small_business_closing_today.html).
    WordPress.com appears to be doing the same thing here. Why else would they be making drastic changes without consideration to current customers?
    Wordpress.com customers… If I were you, I would look into moving to another blogger site soon, as I am doing.

    1. Hi, Andrew

      I don’t know how many WP bloggers are paying customers, but two years ago WP said they were hosting 426,589 blogs. And they are way bigger than that, as you can see here. The few hundred of us who complained in the forum thread are just a drop in the bucket to WP. Certainly not worth their getting upset about. But they do read the forums and they are taking note of the actual bugs that were pointed out and they will eventually fix what isn’t working properly. And yes, they will implement the new screens. I can think of only one time they made a change and then retracted it.

      Thousands of WP bloggers, maybe most of them, are not paying customers. They are enjoying the benefits of a great free blogging platform. I was one of them for maybe 4 or 5 years before I finally started paying for some premium upgrades. When you’re getting something for free, you can’t really complain or expect your complaint to be heard (although that never stopped me from complaining!).

      It’s widely known and grudgingly accepted that WordPress.COM is a beta tester for WordPress.ORG and maybe even the giant commercial clients (like CNN and the NFL). For all the hassles, changes, complaints, etc., it’s still a great free or relatively inexpensive platform for bloggers.

      I’ve been with WP for 7 years and I get bent out of shape every time they make some change I don’t like. And sometimes I’ve gone out and looked for an alternative. And every time, I’ve come running back. Other platforms charge more, or don’t have great themes (or nearly as many), or don’t give me enough control or as many options, or any support. Not to mention most don’t offer any way to import this blog, and I’m not about to leave behind 7 years of work.

      I’ll admit this is one of the biggest, most disruptive changes I can recall. It looks like they dumped something on us that was only half done and completely untested. I’m furious. But I’m only a grain of sand on the WP beach. They’ll get it ironed out eventually and I’ll get used to the changes eventually. I’m not going to look for another platform. If there’s a better one out there now, it’s too new for me to take a chance on.

      Sorry, didn’t mean to write a whole ’nother post.

  5. I’ve been posting comments this past week about the new WordPress Reader. The Happiness Engineer says “… as users (and developers) of the Reader, we much prefer…” That comment, to me, explains much about the changes going on at WordPress – they are driven by people who aren’t producing content. If the millions of blogger’s needs were even remotely important, then the Beep Beep Boop reader would never have seen the light of day.

    I’ve been thinking about the ‘free’ blogs, and I think they must (through the ads that are inserted at the end of each post) produce some amount of revenue. I’ve read that the revenue generated from serving Google AdSense ads on WordPress.com hosted blogs may be significant as they do about a billion page views per month.

    1. I’ve given up trying to figure out what WP does or why. I assume it’s profit driven. And I’m convinced it has absolutely nothing to do with what we the users want or need.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s