2016 #YearEndWrapUp: #WordPressFails Grade for 2016: F-

Epic Fails signWhen I began blogging in 2011, I initially went with Google’s Blogger platform, because a friend of mine was a Blogger user. It was simple and easy to use, but several friends had WordPress blogs, and I liked the way their blogs looked in comparison.

So I made the switch. Up until January of 2016, I was a happy WordPress user. On January 15, 2016, I went to write my blogpost for the day only to find I couldn’t get to my faithful Dashboard and was forced to use the “new improved posting experience.”

That didn’t sit well with me. That post was titled  WordPress Blues. For some reason, that rant struck a chord with many WordPress users, and it started off like this:

WordPress people…you have pissed me off.

For a year now you have been trying to shove this new, less-than-useful dashboard down my throat, and for that same year, I have refused to use it. You allowed me the option to stay with the expanded version that played to my needs, and so I didn’t complain.

Today, however, you cut off my simple access to the old, better-for-my-purposes dashboard, and forced me to hunt for a way to get back to it. So rather than the post I had intended, we are going to discuss how a determined blogger can get around your arbitrary decision.

I posted my workaround so that bloggers like me who have compromised eyesight can get back to the easier to read dashboard. Pale blue on white is nearly impossible for me to see, so I need to be able to access what is now the WP Admin Dashboard and which is not easily accessible unless you know where to look. That post was popular because the wonderful people at WordPress are possessed of an “I can’t hear you” attitude. They ignore and refuse to answer the questions and concerns that long-time users have with the uninformed and unnecessary changes made to their product. A large number of bloggers felt that their legitimate needs and complaints were ignored by the new generation of WordPress Developers’ desire to be “new” and ‘innovative” at the expense of being useful.

For several months, the fabulous people at WP let things roll along in a dysfunctional sort of way, and I got used to it. I thought we were going get along despite my having to work around their unwieldy new platform.

But no. In April of 2016, the developers at WP somehow made it nearly impossible to upload images unless you upload them directly to the media library. Inserting links became a frustrating procedure.

But as always, I had a handy workaround for that too: #Amblogging: WordPress: If it ain’t broke, we’ll fix that.

Of course, the year is nearly over, so they had to break one last thing before 2017 came along. This time it is the stats page. They have messed with the stats page several times before, giving us less and less useful information to judge how our posts are doing and which posts are getting the most hits over all. Now they have us going to a page with so little information I wonder why they even bother offering it. But once again, grandma has a work-around that will take you back to the 2015 version (but still not as useful as the pre 2014 stats page):

In the upper left corner of your blog are the words My Sites and Reader. Click on My Sites. The new blue on grey and difficult to read menu will open. The developers at WordPress are ignorant of the fact that many people have vision problems and these colors tend to fade into each other, making the menu harder to read:

step-one

Next, click on “Sites Stats.”  Above the new, useless bar graph, you will find a small disclaimer indicating they have a better option that you may never have heard of.  You have heard of it, it is just the back door to the 2015 version of the stats page. Click on the arrogantly labeled little button that reads “Show Me.”

step-two

The developers at WordPress are not done talking down to us–they don’t really have a better stats page, as they have decided we couldn’t possibly have a use for something that really works, but they will take us back to the one that they forced on us last year. I have found the most useful information on the “Days” page. It’s all on the lower half of the screen, which doesn’t appear in this screenshot.  But for now, it is still there.

step-3

I blog from my PC. I’m sorry, if you’re trying to blog from your android or tablet, good luck. The menus they are offering you there are nearly nonexistent.

From all the wailing on various tech blogs, I am not alone in considering migrating my website to Blogger, as they don’t jerk their users around nearly as much. I have four Blogger sites and they are easy to use, images and links upload beautifully, and the amount of detail on their stats page is excellent.

If you are tech savvy, there is a way to get back to the really good stats page that they took away from us in 2015. Diary of Dennis has a workaround for you:

Check Out The WordPress Classic Stats Redirect Script V2

All in all, I give WordPress a failing grade for 2016. They have failed to listen to their customers, failed to meet their clients’ needs, and failed to give a damn for the entire year. To top it off, they don’t offer feedback, just canned responses. Quote from my blogpost,  #Amblogging: WordPress: If it ain’t broke, we’ll fix that.

If you go out and check the forums for this issue, you will see that the stock, canned answer by the forum mod is always: Have you tried deactivating your plugins?

On this particular blog, I am NOT running any plugins, nor have I ever ran any. Thus, that particular canned answer does not cut it, and there doesn’t seem to be any other answer out there.

WordPress developers and tech support need to rely less on the Ouroboros model of customer satisfaction and become connected with the users. There is a real disconnect between what the powers-that-be at WordPress want to give us, and what we long-time users need to have available.

I have no problem embracing change.

I have embraced it and found the workarounds I need to make my site work for me.

What I have a problem embracing is dysfunctionality.

OuroborosWordPress, I cannot and do not recommend you and your platform to new bloggers. I am one of your legion of bloggers who don’t want a dumbed-down, useless dashboard and stats that tell us nothing. We want the map so we can see what countries our reader’s hail from.

I feel no sense of loyalty to you as you don’t have any loyalty to me as a longtime user. At some point, if you continue down this path of dumbing-down your platform to the point of complete uselessness, many of your loyal, long-time bloggers will be forced to leave you and seek out other platforms with better functionality and real customer service.

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14 Comments

Filed under blogging, WordPress, writing

14 responses to “2016 #YearEndWrapUp: #WordPressFails Grade for 2016: F-

  1. Sadly, Connie, I have to agree with all you say here. However, leaving WP is probably not an option for me. It is the community here that makes the place special, not the site.
    The map is still available through their silly ‘show me’ link> years> countries and click the arrow to expand. It no longer shows you more than the single year though, not an all-time map.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Although I love much of what WordPress gives us to make it easy to interact, like, share, etc, I agree with Connie regards it’s ‘Behind the Scenes’ Admin area ‘enhancements’
    Come on WordPress – Spare a thought for Old Bloggers like me, who still use archaic devices like computers and tablets to do our blogging from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the reblog Chris – I have to upload images via my android, as for some reason they won’t upload to the media library from the PC. While I’ve been doing that for some time now and sort of have a system, suddenly that has become quite an involved process as the menus for the android and tablet users have suddenly become nonexistent. I discovered yesterday that you can no longer access the media library directly from the menu on your android – you have to do it by editing a post (!) which is ridiculous.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I seem to be the only person unbothered by the changes at WordPress. I’ve been using it on my iPad and Mac, and while I don’t like the new interface I’ve had no problems getting back to the old one. As to inserting images and links, I can always manually insert them with HTML on the text page if I don’t want to use the media browser.

    When I’ve contafted them with a real problem, like coding the CSS on their stylesheets, I’ve always gotten great responses.

    But then, I am used to seeing great shareware programs fall to the wayside because they can’t keep up with new versions of an OS, watching my favorite features of apps and programs disappear as the developers decide they can offer us a better way. (I remember when Pages stripped out essential features to make their iOS and OS X version compatible). It seems to be part of the game.

    They developed the wonderful field across the street from my duplex and now we have to look at a fire station and an office complex too.

    Too me the rule of software is: If you love this feature, expect it to disappear within three updates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly I’m not tech-savvy, which is why i went with a what-you see-is what-you-get platform. HTML may be simple for some people, but to me it is a foreign language and I can’t remember simple things. I could get my hubby-the-programmer to stop enjoying himself in his free time and come in and upload images for me though, so thanks for the tip!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Connie, Scottie has a suggestion regards images posting for you, in the comments under my reblog 🐵

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am okay with the changes, quickly converting and finding ways back to the views I prefer. Interesting to note, though, is the fact the media outlet I work for use the older views as well…

    Like

    • For me it’s a matter of being able to see the dashboard and the menus, as well as having the tools that come with the expanded dashboard. A conversation I had with another blogger just tipped me off that the disconnect may be the fact I pay an annual fee for my domain here, but I’m hosted though WP.com instead of WP.org. He is also a bit more tech-savvy, so maybe the difference lies in the area of dot com vs dot org.

      Liked by 1 person

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