An Open Letter To WordPress

Dear WordPress.com,

I am loath to write yet another letter to you, since I typically prefer to spend my time writing actual blog posts, but I’ve been bitching on Twitter and in your forums to no avail, so maybe you’ll pay attention to a blog post. It’s not likely, but hey, you never know.

Please, stop. Just put down whatever you’re working on and stop with the futzing. You have been tinkering under my hood long enough and you know what? None of the “improvements” you’ve made are actually improvements.

Below, you will find explanations as to why your improvements aren’t improvements sorted conveniently by feature.

Post Editor

Let’s talk about this “Beep beep boop” post editor nightmare with less than half the functionality of the old editor. Thankfully, you haven’t taken away the old editor yet. However, I fully expect that one day, I will go to write a post and my only option will be “Beep beep boop,” whereupon I will throw another hissy fit. Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 8.31.02 AM No. I will not. I don’t want to “switch to the improved posting experience.” It’s not because I’m a Luddite who’s resistant to change. It’s because I do not want easier; I want better. I want full functionality, which so far, the old editor has provided. The new editor doesn’t have half the bells and whistles, including theme-specific options that I paid for as part of my premium theme.

Not to mention that, when you unexpectedly dumped it in our laps, I couldn’t write or edit posts for two days. Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.59.43 AM I do not write posts on my phone; I write posts on a computer. If you want to make it easier for people who write posts on phones and tablets, here’s an idea: fix your terrible mobile app. Why are you catering to mobile customers in the regular web interface when there is a mobile app anyway? I don’t need your warped version of “easier.”

By the way, closing the forum thread on the new post editor while the conversation was still going was just rude and pretty much the opposite of good customer service. Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.58.58 AM

Notifications

Second only to the dumbed-down post editor changes, this is the worst “improvement” yet.

It used to be fairly easy to manage comments. I could see what comments were new and to which I had already replied. If I wanted to see all blog comments on a page instead of the little drop down menu, I just clicked “see all” or whatever the link was called. From there, I could sort by comments versus likes versus reblogs. I could see only the comments that were unread. I could reply, approve and delete.

Where is the notifications archive? Am I just not seeing it hiding amongst the countless redundant menus and links (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start), or did you get rid of yet another useful feature I use constantly without asking or telling anyone?

There is no link to a notifications archive, so you’re implicitly telling me that my only options are the stupid little drop down menu, or the cumbersome and clunky dashboard comments page, which I never used, because it shows me all comments including my own and it doesn’t tell me if I already replied to a comment.

When I reply to a comment now, there is no arrow showing me that I already replied. I have no way to know if I already replied to a comment other than going through the comments on a post or relying on my faulty memory.

Do you have any idea how many times in the past few days I’ve re-replied to comments I already answered? Neither do I, because I used to count on you to keep track of that.

I miss you so.
WANT.

Comments are an integral part of having a blog. The conversation starts when we hit publish. What on earth would make you think that a dumbass little drop down menu incapable of expanding would be good enough? Also, clicking “back” all the time as opposed to a pop-out menu is just straight-up retarded, in both senses of the word.

It’s like you keep saying, “Eh, fuck it. They won’t even notice.” We noticed. These changes are unnecessary frippery purely for the sake of doing something. Do any of you back-end developers even have a blog? I don’t think you do. If you actually used your service, you’d know that these changes are incredibly stupid.

UPDATE: Yes, I know I can go to https://wordpress.com/notifications and my lovely notifications are all ducky, but I shouldn’t have to. I am so very tired of your “here, use this complicated workaround for something that was easy before we messed with it.”

HERP DERP.
HERP DERP.

Really?! Are we in the 1980s? Keyboard shortcuts are not a solution. This is how I’m picturing you now:

cat-like_typing
(fascinationplace.org)

Or maybe more like this:

HAY GUYZ, IMPROOVEMNTD R GREET@! (sheilabridgeblog.com)

I will grant you half a point for adding the reply arrow back in. It’s only half a point since you never should have taken it away in the first place. I’m still waiting on a link to the notifications archive.

Stats

Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 9.08.09 AM Yes, I’ve tried it and I’d hardly call it upgraded. Taking away information is not an improvement.

While I do like seeing how many likes and comments I’ve gotten in a certain time frame, there is some important information missing like visitors versus views, views per visitor, best ever views, total views, followers, shares, comments, tags, categories, and posts written. The old page gives 30 days of data at a glance, the new one gives 10. There’s no link to compare yesterday with today. You’ve gotten rid of most of the reasons I even bothered looking at stats.

Do I really need to know that I published X number of posts today as the first box under page views? I’m fairly certain I know how many posts I’ve published today. If I don’t, I have bigger problems than your new diminished stats page.

How sad.
IMPORTANT INFORMATIONS!!!!1!

And, as to the design, what’s with the light blue text, and the one column layout with the giant boxes and ridiculously large line spacing? There’s so much more scrolling involved to get to less data. It looks like Fisher-Price’s My First Stats Page.

myfirst
Ages 3 and up.  Caution: choking hazard.

UPDATE: Still missing: best ever views, shares, a link to compare yesterday to today, and totals for views, comments and posts written. Are you even listening to our complaints? You’re going to make me break out in all caps here: FOR FUCK’S SAKE, STOP TAKING THINGS AWAY FROM US.

Miscellany

You may remember these from Twitter: Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.58.04 AM Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.57.42 AM Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 8.57.01 AM Yesterday, I went to edit a post, and the edit function in the drop down menu was gone: Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 8.47.59 AM That is how I edit since my theme doesn’t have an edit button on individual posts. It was just gone.

Today, it’s back.

Seriously, what the hell are y’all doing in there? I pay you money for this. I am giving you money to take away functionality and break things that work fine. Are you sitting on the stack of money we pay you, laughing at the long con you’re pulling on us? That’s how it seems.

If you’re going to change things, that’s fine, but do not take away functionality. You should be adding functionality and features, not taking them away or moving them around so we have to click five more times to get to the same place.

I’ve been with you since 2009. I used to be a WordPress fan. I am responsible for at least one person switching to WordPress, because I used to very much like your service. I’m reconsidering my decision now. I would switch to the self-hosted option, but I like .com’s community and it seems like you’ll eventually roll out the same idiotic changes to .org anyway.

Stop futzing. Stop tinkering. Stop taking things away. Stop moving them around so we can’t find the important things we need. You should be making our blogging experience better and easier, not more complicated and limiting. Just stop.

Thank you,
Goldfish

P.S. If you are contractually obligated or required to meet a quota of things to take away from us, feel free to stop ping-backing me when I link to a post on my own damn blog. Please, for the love of goats, take it away.

An Open Letter To WordPress Part 2