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The WordPress apple cart

WordPress really upset the apple cart a few nights ago by converting all users to their new “block editor.” Readers who don’t blog on WP won’t understand or care what that means but basically it means they’ve taken away the toolbox we’ve been using for many years and left us with a scrambled pile of unrelated parts and pieces. Somewhere in that pile are the tools we want, but it takes hours to find them or their new versions — time that should be spent thinking about our content, not how to get it onto the page. (My last post, meant to be a quick note that should have taken 15 minutes, required an hour or more of intense frustration to complete.)

For some months there was an option to use the block editor or revert to the classic editor. And many of us had continued to use the classic editor because it was familiar, fast, and easy.

Now familiar, fast, and easy are gone. In their place, all kinds of new stuff that may or may not be “better.” The most basic things, like how to center a single picture on the page, or add a caption to it, are buried in menus of totally unfamiliar terms. Sure, new things always entail learning curves, but in this case there’s nothing intuitive to aid the process. Nothing.

I would dearly love to pick the brains of the developers and understand why they think this new block editor is the way to go. I’ve been blogging, designing, coding, etc., for many years and I think I could understand their rationale — if only they’d present it!

There is still one backdoor open to the classic editor, but I expect it to close any day. Meanwhile, I’m using it to compile this post. Wish me luck in the future.

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Note: A “sort of” explanation was posted earlier. It doesn’t tell me specifically why the devs made the wholesale changes, only that the new editor is better. In their estimation.

16 Comments »

    • I know. I’ve been here for 13 years. They never explain why. But WordPress.com (vs WordPress.org) is their lab and we are their lab rats, even if we are paying for special features.

  1. The backdoor to classic is supposedly good until 2022.
    Lots of discussion about all this on Friday, too. Yes, the options are there (somewhere) but as you said what used to be simple – centering pictures- is unnecessarily complex between the searching among all the little icons – and trial and error.
    There’s a great deal of stuff for making money off your blog now – options for selling/business. Guess the casual bloggers are not considered the “future” to WP…so let then byte cake.
    Sure I can manage the blocks, but right now sticking with classic – the whole beauty of WP was the simplicity – bloggers could just write or feature images. Not really needing a PayPal button or any Credit card buttons or interest in monetizing the blog ( I know many are working from home now and maybe they think small businesses are the future?)
    Who knows. Day by day and see how it goes….

  2. I’ve been using the new editor for a few months and haven’t found it too bad… yet. I figured out the whole image centering thing as well as how to size it and add captions. What I want to do with my most recent draft post is to indent a few lines. I can’t figure out how to do it for the life of me. So frustrating. Oh, and I can’t see a preview of my posts. Maybe not “not too not” after all.

    • When I finally got my caption in, it wasn’t the style I had specified in my CSS customization. So I had to deal with that. I did figure out how to preview my post, but I don’t recall now how I did it. Like everything else, it’s in there “somewhere.”

  3. My post this morning should have taken no more than a half-hour to do, but it ended up taking me over and hour and a half yesterday, and the captions are in the regular type, so I have no idea how I’ll do my regular Wednesday post since it usually mixes texts and images. This makes no sense!

  4. Okay. I suspected what they did, and after I did a quick post, I was right. The reason for the change is the setup now makes posts more responsive – better to view on any device – a computer, a phone, or a tablet. WP calls it a “block” but it’s really more along the lines of a widget – but that doesn’t really matter. Basically, WP will re-align and resize those boxes so that they have the best layout depending upon what device you’re using to view the post.

    Just recently, the registration system that I use to build convention/meeting websites also updated to something very similar. Trust me, I was pissed!!! I prefer to write code, use Dreamweaver. That is no longer available in their last update. With some time and a lot of just clicking around, trying “this and that”, I eventually learned my way around the new system. I still prefer to write code, and they have added a “code” widget to my companies account so I can use code to create some items within a page. Just not the entire page. Plus no more CSS (that’s the overall style sheet – ie. default font, font-size, color, etc.

    I promise, in time you’ll figure it out. Just go in and cruise around. Try out different options I see in the left content window. It is a good update for WP and all bloggers.

    • Yeah, I tried that cruising around thing. Thought maybe some of the new features would help me revamp my “favorite webcams” page. After two hours of playing around — with little satisfaction — I clicked on something that deleted everything I’d done. No retrieval that I could find. As for making stuff more responsive on different platforms … my blog, using a responsive theme, has always looked just fine on all platforms. I can’t speak to anyone else’s blog. Your theme may be one of the older ones that isn’t responsive. Er, strike that. I just noticed you’ve switched to Beacon. That’s what I’m using, albeit with a bunch of changes.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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