A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

About WordPress Changes and What We Can Do

This article was first published 27th January 2015.  The current situation (11 Many 2016) seems static with both the old Stats pages still available and very little disruption to the “classic” editor.  The workarounds still being a viable option.   We continue to watch for any further disruption and any cause for further protest as may be required.

For more recent concerns (Dec 2016) regarding the WordPress Reader, please click here  ⇐.


For Help with the UI changes (workarounds) please click here .    

There are additional issues that have not been openly disclosed please click here.  For a full range of articles please click here.


*** On Jan 29, 2015 at 17:57 a reply from CEO Matt Mullenweg with bloggers responses, in comments below.


This article (on 27th January 2015) is about Underlying Motive, The Problems, Probable Cause, How We Can Make a Difference and Remaining Questions.

Underlying Motive

Matt Mullenweg, owner and recently appointed CEO of WordPress, has himself indicated a wish to pursue the mobile market which is made clear in and interview with Forbes click here ! (page 5/6) .  However, that interview does not indicate any intention to abandon desk-top users.

Add to this, Tiger Global now have a total of $110 million invested in WP here !.  Tiger Global also have investments in the expanding Indian and South American mobile and e-commerce markets.

Amended/Addition:  From WSJ/Digits  “We both have a long term outlook, and we’re focused on growth,” said Mullenweg of Tiger  in an interview. “

This is altogether an entirely legitimate business pursuit but it’s gone wrong.

The Problem

The mobile versions of the user interface have been so inept as to spoil its credibility from the outset and at the same time alienate desktop users.  Complaints, on the WP Forum, about the new editor ran to 32 long pages here !.    Complaints about the New Stats here (closed)! and here (closed)! and here (closed) !.    Complaints about the New Notifications here ! .  More on Goldfish An Open Letter to WordPress !.  And, we are told, there are more changes to come.

Amendment/Addition: To make this clearer, the changes that have annoyed people most have been the removal of navigation links that make it difficult to avoid the changed pages.  From the Reader entirely impossible.  Such action being coercive.

This is not at all the “democratized blogging” that WP claims to support.  It was entirely unnecessary to create such nuisance for desktop users when a separate strand could have been developed for mobiles.  A one size fits all approach is unworkable for devices that are so different.

The notion that this is a free service and that we should not complain is false.  Active blogs either accept advertisements (which are not visible to the blogger whilst logged in).  Advertisements  which are based upon their own work as the attraction, or pay their $30 p.a. to keep them away.

Such attitudes and behaviour have a continued corrosive effect which includes the loss of key workers over time.  After 1-2 years a company falls into decline, but by then it is unable to stop that decline or even fully recognise the cause.

If customers migrate to another host, then those remaining are going to lose readership, which is then another incentive to move.  If any of the major players realise that WP is creating its own vulnerability they will surely take advantage.  An easy transfer and universal reader would be enough to tip the balance and create a landslide.

Taken altogether this means that we must rescue WordPress from its own demise.

Probable Cause

Nobody in their right mind would want to spoil their progress into a new market and at the same time alienate existing customers.  From long experience freelancing in industry, I know of only one way this can come about.  Somebody who is more convincing than capable has got hold of the reins.

The symptoms are commonly the use of unrealistic hyperbole, forcing users into the new product so that it appears to be successful (in this case, by manipulating the navigational links),  destruction of  previous work (by removing access),  create a notion that restoration is impossible (manage the complainants instead of the complaint) and ensuring that executives of the company do not know the truth (it’s all going very well and doesn’t it look good).

Problems are exacerbated when there is failure to meet deadlines.  That results in products being launched before they are ready and, needing to meet the next deadline, no time for adequate remedy.   As a result, there is further motive to use the ploys mentioned above and plough on regardless.

The most insidious of these is the notion that we cannot overturn the situation.  It is a ploy to ensure that we do not even try outside of the prescribed avenue (the forums) which only frustrate.  But, to paraphrase FDR, ‘there is no cause for despair except despair itself’.

How we can Make a Difference

Whatever may be thought of the above summary, if we do not make an effort, then we and WP lose by default.  If we get up on our hind legs and howl for the pack to pay attention then we stand a good chance of putting more sensible people in charge.  So:-

  • All the possible remedies and the encouragement to be optimistic need to be widely publicised by ourselves by posts (with plenty of tags for the Reader), links, re-blogging with lots of tags (you can use up to 15 categories +Tags without getting excluded from the Reader), tweets, Facebook, email etc. That is our strength as publishers and the numbers of people who express disquiet count as much as the comment content.
  • Every click to/from the new pages are surely recorded and supports the notion that they are successful.  Therefore, it is vital to boycott their use.  They can be avoided by Bookmarking/Favourite a few pages and opening each in a new tab. For more information and a fairly straightforward approach please click here ! .
  • Whilst the forums are a sink-hole for energy with comments that seek restoration only frustrated, it is still important to increase the number of voices and thus show the extent of disquiet. The most commonly used open threads are  here ! for general comment and here ! for New Notifications.   Comments can be entered at the end of the last page and whilst they do not need to be more than brief to add weight to the cause. However, the forums are free to comment as much as you wish.
  • Make contact with WordPress seniors/founders who may not know what is really occurring.  Many have blogs and can be found on the “About !” page.   Unfortunately it is not at all as useful as the version that was recently removed.  Fortunately I took screen-shots of the original here !.   Matt Mullenweg can be contacted here ! and/or tweeted here ! and former CEO, Toni Schneider, here !.

  More than one link may be held in moderation. Therefore, may I recommend using the exact name of forum topics.

  • Later, when the tide of protest has risen, I will be making contact with the equity holders who stand to lose a great deal and those journalists who would like the story of WP unnecessarily creating conflict with its own clients.

The Remaining Questions

Are the seniors/founders of WP really upholders of high ideals or was it just a marketing ploy.  Some of the delightful descriptions from the original “About” page, screen-shots here, include:-

Matt Mullenwg – As the Chief BBQ Taste Tester of Automattic, Matt travels the world sampling cuisine and comparing it to the gold standard of Texas BBQ.

Nick Hamze  – Chief Swag Officer

Stu West – Chief Festivities Officer (CFO) – Stu spends his time measuring the awesomeness of operations and finance at WordPress.

Michelle Weber – Chief Semicolon Advocate

It begs the questions.  Has it really all been about having fun and making swag or is it just that Matt Mullenweg is having too much fun to mind the shop ?  The eventual answer is that deeds speak far louder than words.

What can do we do about it ?  We can spread the word and raise as many voices as possible.  As a last resort, a method I know to be effective against the unethical,  is to widely embarrass with the truth and threaten income and the value of the company.

I hope that the sensible will get control soon and save us all any more nuisance.  Lastly;  thank you for taking the time to read and may I offer you my best wishes in all your endeavours.

Please do use this as you wish by re-blogging, linking etc.  The more viewers the better.

GrahamInHats

With gratitude and credit to all those who entered comment and information on the forums and apologies if reading has been a bit hard on the eyes (this blog was not intended for this purpose). 🙂


The follow-on from this is now WordPress Changes – Polls #1 – Herded ?

107 responses

  1. This is awesome! In order not to reinvent the wheel, may we reblog your post? Thank you.

    Like

    January 27, 2015 at 19:14

    • Please do so it is the intention. I will be modifying the post to make that clear. Thank you so much for your interest and for being so polite as to inquire. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 27, 2015 at 21:10

      • Great, thank you, Graham!

        Like

        January 28, 2015 at 00:59

    • Thank you for the reblog. So far the number of views on these posts is far more than anything else I’ve posted.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2015 at 09:44

      • Not so much on my end, but the day is still young…

        Like

        January 28, 2015 at 12:47

  2. Thanks for putting this together, Graham. You may wish to check out the amount that Global Tiger invested in WordPress as it’s in the millions.

    Like

    January 27, 2015 at 20:02

    • Thanks for the heads up. I don’t know why I did that. I must have been thinking about my next lottery win. I’ve corrected it, thanks to your observation, to $110 million and put in a link to the source. Thanks again. erg :-\

      Like

      January 27, 2015 at 21:23

  3. This is well written and of great help to the resistance GrahamInHats, thank you for sharing this, and good luck with your battles to come. 🙂

    -John Jr

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 01:13

    • thank you and likewise. 🙂

      Like

      January 28, 2015 at 01:14

      • You are welcome, and thank you GrahamInHats. 😉

        -John Jr

        Like

        January 28, 2015 at 01:15

  4. Reblogged this on Life on the Farmlet and commented:
    REBLOGGED WITH PERMISSION from: Freed From Time
    If you are a WordPress user and are not happy with the changes to the format for communication, stats and “BEEP BeeP BooP” publishing page, then let’s do something about it! If you like and agree with what you see, then please reblog this post to your site too, because unlike in the past, it is clear that the WP Helper Monkeys are not listening to us in the forums.

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 01:37

  5. Thanks for taking the time to research and share that info with us; I’m relieved to know that it’s not ‘just me,’ as many changes seem childish nd unprofessional.

    I especially chuckled at this – “If we get up on our hind legs and howl for the pack to pay attention then we stand a good chance of putting more sensible people in charge.” — thanks, it’s late, and I needed that! Z

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 06:40

    • Thank you for dropping by and thank you for the encouragement. It looks as if it’s getting noticed and as it spreads has got some possibilities. I will be interested in how much the reblogging spreads.

      Thanks once again for being involved. As result I am encouraged to continue. 🙂

      Like

      January 28, 2015 at 09:13

  6. Reblogged this on Treadlemusic and commented:
    This important info is for WordPress users (current and future) who care about the trending changes that have been occurring with WP. To have this information is to be given empowerment to change this current tide that threatens what many of us have come to love and value………a place to share, learn, grow and enjoy relationships that are very precious. If this is something that you consider as “blog-life” impacting, please, read and act accordingly. Thanks so much, dear Friends, for taking your precious time to consider this topic.

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 15:29

  7. I have been opening new tabs for quite some time as this new format is one of the most UNworkable that I have come across! After fruitless hours on the “Monkey Forum”(!!!), I have pursued these alternate routes w/o knowing why all this was taking place. The outrage/tension among WP users is almost tangible. Thank you so much for all that you are doing to give us the tools to, hopefully, change the tide. Doreen

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 15:35

    • Thank you for your interest. Nice bike. 🙂

      Like

      January 28, 2015 at 15:48

      • Thanks so much! 😎 Another obsession, alongside my quilting.

        Like

        January 28, 2015 at 17:04

  8. Thank you. I’ll pass this on and may be reblogging. My husband and I are not fans of many of the changes. We assumed they were because of trying to fit with different devices. Thanks for confirming that. We’ll chime in, too.

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 17:04

  9. Reblogged this on Zenkatwrites's Blog and commented:
    So many things going on at WP; you can follow this man’s links to the goldfish pages for his rant. I concur.

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 18:10

  10. hi, I am rather naive in all this, I post mostly images, I mostly use my tablet for posting and occasionally a quick single image post from my phone. I like the new stats breakdown, am I missing something? Oh and I probably cant spell naive lol

    Like

    January 28, 2015 at 18:25

    • I understand your point of view. I think this is mostly of concern to desktop users who find the new approach cumbersome.

      I think that all anybody really wants is the ability to choose the way they use the UI. An ability that is being reduced by loses of navigational links. Some of the links on this post, to the forums, will give you a better idea, if it takes your interest. Your spelling is fine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2015 at 18:32

  11. Pingback: “WordPress for Old Folks” | Zeebra Designs & Destinations

  12. Matt here, the CEO you mention in your post.

    First and foremost I wanted to thank you for using WordPress.com in the first place, and being so passionate about it that you’ve clearly dedicated a lot of time into thinking about and writing about the improvements we’re trying to make.

    I would like to clarify two things: the changes we’re making are driven by a desire to improve things, not pressure from any investor, and second that we’re thinking as much about desktop and laptop users as we are those on mobile devices.

    It’s the same constant drive and effort that led to the creation of the interface in wp-admin that you currently prefer.

    I can say that the wp-admin interface will also be there for you or anyone else who navigates to it directly or bookmarks it, so don’t worry about that. You can continue using it, and for better or for worse we won’t be changing that interface very much beyond the updates that come from core.

    I’m sorry our new stuff hasn’t met your expectations yet. We’re working very hard on it, and there are many iterations to the interface and interactions coming throughout the remainder of the year, so if nothing else when 2016 rings around the only thing I ask is that you give it a try with an open mind again. We really do want to create a fun, productive, and friction-free blogging environment for you and we use the best we learn from every possible input including user feedback like yours to make it better.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 29, 2015 at 17:57

    • Thank you for your reply. It has made me realise that the post needs a little clarification. Therefore it has been amended to include:-

      “To make this clearer, the changes that have annoyed people most have been the removal of navigation links that make it difficult to avoid the changed pages. From the Reader entirely impossible. Such action being coercive”

      Further, I repeat that actions speak much louder than words.

      GrahamInThisHat.

      Like

      January 29, 2015 at 18:42

      • As Dennis says: ‘My suggestion is to add visible links to them that won’t force us to click or scroll a lot.’ I wholeheartedly agree with him. I myself would like to reach the prior functions with a maximum of ease. I do not like to feel that the changes are pushed down my throat by Word Press. I do not find the changes to be improvements at all – and so do many other users. I paid for the full package last year but come the renewal in 2015 I believe that I will think hard and long before I renew it. DEAR MATT: we are your customers, we buy into Word Press because we like it in an overall approach to WordPress being of SERVICE to us not the opposite. V.

        Like

        January 29, 2015 at 21:58

    • On rereading I would like to add in response to “to create a fun, productive, and friction-free blogging environment for you and we use the best we learn from every possible input including user feedback like yours to make it better.”, regrettably someone in your organisation is doing exactly the opposite and is ignoring the main thrust of user feedback (that feedback can be found using some of the links above).

      It needs attention. And, I believe, that we would all like to hear that it is being attended to.

      Like

      January 29, 2015 at 19:02

    • So we have to wait a year to see any sort of changes? What does that mean for our subscription fees and the money we pay to use a (now) horribly designed, lag filled and buggy interface?

      I can say that the wp-admin interface will also be there for you or anyone else who navigates to it directly or bookmarks it, so don’t worry about that.

      I agree 100% with Graham. The problem is, that so many of the links that existed previously have been completely removed or hidden and we are forced to bookmark and that’s a major inconvenience. It’s the same thing with the /my-stats link. If anything this feels like retaliation from WordPress for those of us who have voiced strong negative opinions about the changes over and over again on the forums.

      Like

      January 29, 2015 at 19:06

    • And, I did not intimate that you were under pressure from investors, only of like mind. To clarify I have made another amendment with a link and quote given to WSJ/Digial.

      Like

      January 29, 2015 at 19:38

    • I am also one of those who doesn’t think that the recent changes make it more fun or productive. From usability standpoint it is rather more difficult to use now. I am happy to hear that the wp-admin page will stay, I hope this also counts for the older stats page because I use both a lot and will continue to do so if they stay.

      My suggestion is to add visible links to them that won’t force us to click or scroll a lot. There have been, and there are still some ways to get to the classic pages, however, things changed often and we had to adapt day by day as links in the UI or on the pages moved. That got me the impression that there is no consistency anymore.

      I will continue using the older pages because they offered complexity without sacrificing the usability. The old pages have a clear but very informative design. I just wish there would be consistency with the links that lead to the old pages, they moved a lot and we had to adapt to the UI changes and the moving links quite often now. Apart from that, there was in the past no real clear statement if they will remain forever.

      I really hope that some links to the old dashboard and stats page will remain, as same as we still can use the classic editor today. We need links that are easy to reach (for example not on the bottom of a page). That is the way how anybody can decide to use the new pages or the classic pages.

      Thanks Matt for listening to community concerns. I am member of this nice community and platform since over 6 years. I suggested the service whenever someone asked for a way to set up a blog. There were quite a lot of reasons why I suggested wordpress.com and the usability was one of the reasons.

      The recent design changes came with a negative impact on the usability in my opinion, at least with a negative impact on my own workflow. Apart from that, a lot of data was taken away with the new stats page for example. But after testing it a lot, the overall design was a big issue as well (1 column scrolling vs. clear 2 column design). The new UI and different pages appear very simplified and that is in my eyes a big problem too. I don’t have a problem with changes, I have a problem with changes that take things away or that have negative impact on the usage. I came here to wp because it offered a lot, if some of these things are taken away, it’s a problem for me.

      I could imagine that the simplfied new design can reach a broad audience and I was afraid this would be the goal (instragram and tumblr vs. wordpress), however, I wish that you do also see the concerns of your longtime users who raised their voices. It look as you do, thanks you. But please offer us a remaining, consistent and easy way to access the classic pages.

      Thank you Matt for listening.

      Like

      January 29, 2015 at 21:21

    • While I must say that it is good to have a response from Matt, I am not comforted by the “drive to improve things” when it seems clear that everything has been “rushed to press” as we used to say at my newspaper when a terrible deadline loomed. As far as I can see there is no terrible deadline and the upgrades are very disappointing.

      I hope that Matt and some of the developers will find time to check out this admittedly informal … but very spot-on … comparison of the old with the new. The mistakes are galringly obvious even to anyone not familiar with web design.

      Please chek out this You Tube link .. http://youtu.be/cR_mX0UY-3I

      Like

      January 29, 2015 at 23:02

    • Matt,

      Yes, it is more resource intensive to develop across two GUI styles, but I would like to point something out. You don’t have to develop the desktop and laptop interface, except intermittently in response to actual bugs. The version that existed in late 2013 is incredibly useful and friendly to laptop and desktop PC users.

      Give us the option to permanently choose to use the old GUI, while actively developing the handheld device market to pursue a new market.

      Laptop and desktop users are not going to appreciate the same features that handheld users are. It will not happen. Trying to please both with one GUI is simply a recipe for spectacular failure.

      Like

      January 29, 2015 at 23:59

      • Thank you Farmerbob1. That is well put.:-)

        Like

        January 30, 2015 at 00:04

      • We’re not trying to please both with one UI, and in our tests we have found some very glaring problems with the late 2013 desktop version you prefer. It’s fantastic that it works for you, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

        Like

        January 30, 2015 at 00:04

        • Matt,

          Thank you for your response.

          Please note that nothing will ever work for everyone. If that is WordPress’ goal, then you are overreaching.

          If that is not the goal, please prioritize development of a simple option for laptop and desktop users to completely disable the handheld GUI.

          Like

          January 30, 2015 at 00:13

          • It’s counter-intuitive, but the way code works on the web now there is no advantage to disabling the interface for different screen sizes, everything can be fluid and responsive. It’s also why WordPress works when you resize your browser window on your desktop.

            Like

            January 30, 2015 at 00:22

            • Matt,

              I do not resize the browser window on my desktop. If, for some reason it comes up as a partial page, I expand it to full page.

              Please bear with me here as I lay a brief foundation.

              There are a great number of productivity studies done in the ancient days of PC computing, when I was in my late teens and early twenties. Many of these productivity studies involved screen size and productivity comparisons. With very few outliers, it was universally proven that larger monitors improved productivity, at least up to 19″ screens, which was absurdly huge for the day.

              Now, there is productivity, and there is convenience. Handheld devices are all about convenience. The convenience of a handheld device can compensate for a great deal of productivity loss, because it’s always right there, easy to use.

              Now, my point.

              There are two completely different ends of the spectrum here – convenience and productivity. A single GUI cannot effectively support both to a high standard. They are mutually exclusive, and there are a great number of studies that prove it. Content creators, especially ones that generate income from their content, want productivity. Content consumers want convenience. There is some crossover, certainly, but WordPress needs to support both creators and consumers. The part of your community that wants productivity optimization is very concerned about this shift away from productive interfaces. This is the community that creates content. The community that generates consumers.

              If you build a GUI that discourages creators, and encourages consumers, when the creators are gone, the consumers will follow them.

              Like

              January 30, 2015 at 00:54

    • I am glad to hear that you intend to leave the old wp-admin interface will be left in place for us desktop users but why do you keep moving the links about. The link to the old stats page which I like was near the top of the new stats page. The latest tweak has put it right at the end. To me that says that you hope that I won’t be bothered to use it. I also dislike being asked if I’ve tried the new stats page every time I visit the old one. Clearly I had to use it in order to get to the old one.

      Like

      January 31, 2015 at 01:05

      • One more thing. Since none of the links in the LHS menu go where I want them to any more and therefore I *must* always go through WP admin to access the classic menu, could we please have a little button that either enables us to default to the classic menu , or makes the new one go away because (creature of habit that I am) every now and again, I forget and use it and then I have to go back out of the new system and into the old and then I get rather irritated.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 31, 2015 at 01:50

      • Taswegian1957, here is the direct link to the old Stats page with the map of the countries: https://wordpress.com/my-stats

        You can find this link at the moment through the classic dashboard by the Stats module, the link says “View All”. I highly recommend bookmarking it as a tab on your browser for easier access.

        Like

        February 1, 2015 at 20:19

    • Present feedback has been mostly complaint or attempts to tweak the new UI to meet desktop needs. This is surely not helpful to the new enterprise. Conversely, relieving users of their concerns would certainly result in feedback that will help the new UI rather than compromise its purpose. Co-operation between us and the restoration of a community spirit, being a lot more productive than a conflict that nobody wants.

      One of the issues that has caused a lot of consternation has been assertions, by staff on the forums, that the old stats pages will be “phased out”.

      I think it has been fairly assumed by some, from your statement “I can say that the wp-admin interface will also be there for you or anyone else who navigates to it directly or bookmarks it”, that this includes the continued existence of the old stats pages which are part of that interface.

      Perhaps it has been a been a simple glitch in communications that has caused a large part of the consternation . Such things do happen even in the best of organisations. A simple confirmation would, I’m sure, restore a more amicable, co-operative and productive approach.

      G

      Like

      January 31, 2015 at 09:27

  13. Reblogged this on Diary of Dennis.

    Like

    January 29, 2015 at 21:28

    • Thank you Dennis. Spread the word and maybe we can get some sense out of WP.

      Like

      January 30, 2015 at 01:01

  14. fjordaniv

    Many of us have commented on this over the past 2 months: the fact remains that there are too many compromises involved in making a user experience that is consistent between vastly different platforms.

    Streamlining should minimize the user interface’s intrusion into the writer’s work without simultaneously impinging on the access to features. The new UI is intrusive—the simple act of leaving the Customizer now brings us to the new dashboard; moreover, we’ve had features removed and restored in a seemingly piecemeal fashion, and our ability to access the old UI is needlessly tedious. We should have more (and more obvious) direct links to the old tools.

    Like

    January 29, 2015 at 21:34

  15. From Matt’s comment : “the changes we’re making are driven by a desire to improve things”

    Why “improve” something that worked just fine? And whose “desire”? Clearly it was not the WP users and customers, because it doesn’t appear that very many people wanted an “improved” stats page or notifications.

    I appreciate that Matt responded here, but this statement indicates some very troubling corporate thinking at WP. If WP wants to “improve” things, how about asking the people who actually use its products what they would like to see?

    Like

    January 29, 2015 at 21:55

  16. Well, there is quite a bit of information here. And on other blogs as I’m discovering. I am going to greatly over simplify things here because others do the technical much better than I ever could. The once wonderful and attractive things that drew bloggers to WP are being whittled away or changed by degrees. Freshly Pressed, once a wonderful way to be exposed to new blogs (nine a day!) is now seldom used to high light but a few a day if we’re lucky. No one that I communicate with in the WP world is exclaiming with joy or happiness or even indifference about the changes in formatting, stats, or notifications. People are not opposed to change if change is needed or if change makes something better. These changes are creating a hardship for people to use a platform that is designed to make writing fun for “us” and make money for “them”. If “we” are not enjoying our process, how long is WP going to make money if they ruin the process? If the process becomes difficult, burdensome and just simply too much work for people who are already working jobs and raising families -and trying to squeeze in the love of writing and creating in busy lives, how long will they continue with this format? Thank you for letting me speak.

    Like

    January 29, 2015 at 23:03

  17. Jen

    Reblogged this on Blog It or Lose It! and commented:
    As he says, “Every click to/from the new pages are surely recorded and supports the notion that they are successful. Therefore, it is vital to boycott their use. They can be avoided by bookmarking the required pages and opening each in a new tab.

    Here is the link to tell you how to do it:

    https://freedfromtime.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/help-with-wordpress-changes/

    And — read the beginning of the article — the WP CEO *is* pursuing a mobile market.

    All is not lost.

    Like

    January 29, 2015 at 23:50

  18. Thanks for the follow-up comments!

    Myself and the entire team listen, especially on the forums (even to threads that are closed), and it absolutely does influence how we build out future iterations. (Of course they’re human too, so be polite while you’re being critical just like you were talking to someone you knew.)

    As to why we try to improve things, that’s a very philosophical and existential question. I think there’s an underlying belief that things can be better because we’ve seen it hundreds and hundreds of times before, how changes can help existing users do more than they could before, or faster than before, or it opened up the ability to use WordPress to a whole new population of people who couldn’t.

    We will screw it up sometimes, but typically these are short-term setbacks, like when you learn to ride a bike and you fall off. If you don’t get back on and try again, you’ll never learn.

    Some of you are making it very clear that this process created something you don’t like — that’s good feedback. The same process and the same people also created something you do like (the old version), which, when it was new, received an even harsher reception. So please be patient and open-minded. We know that for the vast majority things are better than they were before, but for subsets of use cases or people things might get worse before they get better.

    (Though to repeat: the old wp-admin interface is still there and you can still use it. Most tech companies don’t do that.)

    As to the reader being only available in the new interface, that is true, but it’s also always been true. If you prefer you can receive your subscriptions via email and consume them in the email client of your choice, and not need to visit WordPress.com even to read things. (You can also get them via Jabber, if you’re tech-savvy.)

    Like

    January 29, 2015 at 23:53

    • The problem with the Reader is that one cannot get out of it without going via the new interface. There is used to be a small white drop down menu that took one back to the WP Admin page.

      The overall annoyance is with the unnecessary removal of navigation links.

      I have kindly suggested that you are not fully aware of whats happening. But, if deeds do not match words you are going to lose all credibility.

      I have also suggested, on the forum, that if developers would kindly return the navigation links then I’m sure that many would kindly help with more astute and apposite feedback on the new endeavour. Seems fair to me.

      Like

      January 30, 2015 at 00:02

      • To be in control of navigation you should make bookmarks, we can’t maintain old links forever or everything would become too cluttered. Your personal bookmarks you will control forever.

        Like

        January 30, 2015 at 00:05

        • Two separate strands of development, each with it’s own log-in page and navigation links would be less cluttered and more versatile. This one size must fit all is alienating some of of your oldest customers.

          Like

          January 30, 2015 at 00:10

          • We’re not one size fits all — there are distinct UIs and interactions for different screen sizes, even though they share some consistent visual elements.

            Like

            January 30, 2015 at 00:22

            • The UI’s cannot be distinct when one cannot effectively navigate the desktop friendly version. Please don’t say that we can always use bookmarks. That is itself an unnecessary nuisance.

              Like

              January 30, 2015 at 00:27

    • Matt, the new WP notifications and stats pages actually do less, are less user friendly and have less information though…so thank you for leaving the old wp interface there.
      Diana

      Liked by 1 person

      January 30, 2015 at 16:52

  19. I would like to also remind everyone that we have a service called Guided Transfer where we will help you transfer your blog off WordPress.com and to Bluehost or similar where you can have the old interface, and customize it to your heart’s content with plugins:

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/guided-transfer/

    That’s part of the beauty of WordPress, you can run it with us or you can run it with someone else.

    Like

    January 30, 2015 at 00:07

    • Except it costs $129 for the transfer and you have to pay your new host. Why would you want to lose your customers ?

      Liked by 1 person

      January 30, 2015 at 00:16

      • We don’t consider them lost — we want you to have the best experience on WordPress even if it’s not hosted by Automattic.

        Like

        January 30, 2015 at 00:20

        • “we want you to have the best experience on WordPress even if it’s not hosted by Automattic.”

          What about if it is hosted by WordPress ?

          Liked by 1 person

          January 30, 2015 at 00:23

          • I think you don’t understand the difference between WordPress-the-software and WordPress.com-the-service. Check out this page:

            http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

            Like

            January 30, 2015 at 00:33

            • I think we all understand the principles of customer service, that the nuisance is deliberate and at last know who is responsible.

              Like

              January 30, 2015 at 00:37

              • If you feel like bothering someone will be productive, you are welcome to direct it all at me instead of anyone else at Automattic. I’m happy to take full responsibility for our products and any ways they don’t meet your expectations.

                Like

                January 30, 2015 at 00:40

                • I’m not interesting in bothering anybody. Blogging was intended to be some R&R for me. Therefore I’m doubly annoyed to find myself involved in this matter.

                  But, when I find so many people being treated without regard, conscience requires me to be dogged.

                  Like

                  January 30, 2015 at 00:45

  20. ! To everybody ! that has taken the time to comment here or anywhere else. Thank you so much for your efforts. I’m sure that everybody who is being affected is equally appreciative. Thank you again.

    Like

    January 30, 2015 at 01:00

  21. Just a quick comment here because I’m sure Matt doesn’t want to hear the same criticisms over and over again.
    I am a serious blogger and write book reviews which are often long. I find the infinite scrolling in the desk top editor annoying, and I find it tiresome to have to now take 2-3 steps to get to places I want to be, e.g. to change text in a widget.
    I find the beep boop screen insulting, it’s also a time waster – why not go direct to the text editor?
    And – my one attempt to edit a previous post using the new editor removed all my paragraphing and line spacing and my attempts to fix that have failed.
    The new stats page is beyond useless. I have tried it, provided feedback and I am totally sick of being reminded to try it.
    I am running out of room on my Favourites Bar on my widescreen desktop to put all the direct links that I used to be able to access with one-click… and this is not an option on my laptop. Scrolling through a whole lot of favourites is just as annoying as it is to click through steps that were never there before.
    I won’t repeat what others have said about the new comments except to say that I know I have ‘lost’ comments and I hope I haven’t lost the readers who made them by failing to respond to them.
    BTW I own both iPad and mobile phone and wouldn’t dream of using either to blog with, not for 1000+ word posts.

    Like

    January 30, 2015 at 01:04

    • Thank you for responding and including the extra elements. You are not the only one to have problems with the new editor. There is no autosave to the servers and people have lost work in progress because of a glitch.

      Like

      January 30, 2015 at 01:11

      • Yikes, I didn’t realise that! I’ve always written direct to the WP editor, I may have to abandon that practice *sigh* which was so convenient, and you could compare/retrieve different versions if you mucked things up.

        Like

        January 30, 2015 at 01:28

        • My apologies for any misunderstanding. it is the NEW editor that has problems. The editor that you can retrieve from does save to the servers.
          No need to sigh and to cheer you up please accept a 🐻 and one of these

          Like

          January 30, 2015 at 01:35

    • Hi Lisa

      I’ve developed, what I hope, is simplified approach with fewer favourites required. I hope that this is of help to you.
      https://freedfromtime.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/wp-changes-improved-workarounds/

      Like

      January 31, 2015 at 14:47

  22. It’s well past midnight now in blustery old London so I will bid you all goodnight and see you tomorrow.

    Like

    January 30, 2015 at 01:47

  23. Matt says: ” The same process and the same people also created something you do like (the old version),”

    Matt, that statement does not fit with some of your comments in the June 2014 Forbes interview:
    “Right now we have 10 mobile developers in the company spread across teams. They’re starting to train other developers.So in addition to our aggressive hiring on the mobile side and acquisitions, we’re going to start converting our existing engineers to be mobile first.”

    It sounds like not only new staff have been hired – i.e. not the “same people” – but the new staff are retraining the old staff to have more of a mobile-only focus. Which I don’t believe also means that WP has to have an identical interface across all devices.

    Like

    January 30, 2015 at 01:48

    • Alright a few more minutes. I can’t resist this one.

      Quite so and well spotted. I also find it difficult to believe that the original programers would create something so slow to load as the new editor, requiring Beep, Beep Boop to fill the delay.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 30, 2015 at 01:51

    • My goodness, why “mobile first”??? Why are we being penalized for using our laptops?? This makes no sense to me at all.

      Like

      January 30, 2015 at 19:03

  24. Pingback: New Look for the New Year on Dandelion Salad and Continued Hiatus by Lo | Dandelion Salad

  25. I’m a career writer that’s been using WordPress to host my work, and I make enough to write as my sole source of income, with a few thirty to fifty thousand people checking in every week. A lot of my readers have been inspired to take up the pen after reading/participating in my greater community, and as of late, when people ask what service I’d recommend, I’ve stopped recommending WordPress. The stats change is an example of why, and where I’ve voiced my concerns to changes to the UI in the past, I’m drawing my line in the sand here. Depending on how things progress from this point, I may well finish transitioning from an avid supporter of WordPress to a vocal critic, moving to another host.

    And, I feel compelled to note, if I move, it certainly won’t be to WordPress.org – I don’t see why I should support WordPress as a whole with more of my money. It’s the same logic behind why one shouldn’t give a misbehaving toddler candy to get them to be good.

    See, my concerns are, and these are concerns founded on replies from WordPress staff and even comments from Matt here, that WordPress is trying to create a dynamic where, if you want to be a serious blogger, you’re forced to adopt their .org setup. Failure to do so means a steadily downgraded service and being subjected to untested changes rife with bugs and interface slowdown. The issues with the old editor & infinite scrolling, implementation of infinite scrolling on the pages and bugged ‘like this post’ buttons spring to mind – I had dozens or hundreds of emails when the latter two incidents came up, with readers complaining about the fact that the site and comment sections (respectively) weren’t working.

    Matt encourages the transition to WP.org, above, and a few curious phrasings from staff in the support forums suggest this may be part of a new mission statement or something in that vein. That navigation to the old setup steadily gets harder and harder to manage (the movement of the ‘go to old stats’ to the bottom of the downgraded stats page) supports this notion.

    My lingering suspicion is that they’ll make nice with us while they steadily continue to make the old stats page as hard to access and use as possible, then try to quietly remove it, and weather the storm that follows. I believe WordPress is treating this as a numbers game, betting that the new users they gain and the old users they force over to the .org setup will make up for the ones they lose outright. I also believe they might be right. That they’ve had experts weigh the odds and note the amount of feedback and gauge the potential audience, and from a purely business standpoint, they might get more than they lose.

    Maybe I’m wrong and I’m being paranoid, but I haven’t seen one genuine supporter of the changes, and I’ve seen a lot of complaints. If WordPress.com’s actions point to them going down the road I describe above, they will lose me, and I’ll make it a mission to steer people away from WordPress.

    Like

    January 30, 2015 at 04:02

    • You make good points and I think it is possible we are being steered. Then again this is a process and some way to go yet. I’m feeling optimistic. We know a lo more than we did before. 😀

      Like

      January 30, 2015 at 10:56

  26. Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet's Library and commented:
    Food for thought … and if the CEO is having too much fun to mind the shop??? This and other questions and info on this interesting post .. have a look WordPress desktop users. Oh, for you mobile users too have found that the new format still doesn’t fit you needs … perhaps here migration will begin as neither set of users is happy with the results of coercive and useless changes.

    Like

    January 30, 2015 at 06:22

    • Thank you for the reblog. It’s great encouragement to me and giving us all a better chance. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 30, 2015 at 11:00

  27. Pingback: Friday Pick 139 | talktodiana

  28. Reblogged this on My Other Blog and commented:
    This piece was written for all of us unhappy WordPress campers and includes handy links and a comment from Matt Mullenweg.

    Like

    January 31, 2015 at 01:07

  29. Thank you, Graham for posting this.

    I went on the forum pages to protest the change in the stats page. My main blogging device will not display the new stats page at all. They told me that I should just buy all new hardware, because they don’t feel that this is a problem they need to address. Then, I was called “entitled” for thinking that I should be able to view stats on my current system (which is less than 5 years old, and on which the previous stats page worked fine)! Apparently, they think that people should buy new computer systems yearly, for the purpose of keeping up with THEM.

    They seem to think that since their changes are NEW! they are therefore an “improvement”, even if everyone hates the changes, and even if the changes are completely non-functional for some people. I’m pretty unhappy with this.

    No need to reply; thanks for letting me vent. And thanks again for putting up such a clear statement of the issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 31, 2015 at 01:41

  30. Reblogged this on Yellopig Is Free and commented:
    Greetings!

    WordPress is implementing changes. Feedback concerning these changes is uniformly negative. In fact, the changes make it impossible to for me to tell if you have seen my posts unless you “like” them or comment. So please: I know you have been reading, but in the future I will not be able to tell, so again please, drop a “like” or comment (even if empty), to let me know you came by. Thanks!

    Like

    January 31, 2015 at 01:47

  31. Thank you for the very useful information. I shared it on my Facebook page. (Diana sent me here from her blog.) Yes, I am extremely frustrated with WordPress and find it very difficult to navigate. I continue to search for the pages that I used before and plan to follow your advice to link to them as Favorites.

    Like

    January 31, 2015 at 19:45

  32. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    A friend told me yesterday that my blog ” is no longer available, the authors have deleted this site.” He also said that WordPress has “unfollowed” me on his blog.

    Like

    February 2, 2015 at 15:56

    • I’ve tried
      http://parentrap.org/
      and it’s still there and opens, so it couldn’t have been deleted. It means there has been some false messaging and there have been some temp glitches of late. Suggest that your friend tries again and then checks for viruses.

      However, a heads-up, I did notice that you use more than 15 categories+tags. The WP Reader does reject that many. Although followers will still see your blog, even when using tags, others will not.

      If you here any more please let me know. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      February 2, 2015 at 16:16

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

        My blog had my name prior to about August of last year. My friend should have been able to find it.

        Thank you for the information. 🙂

        Like

        February 2, 2015 at 19:29

        • Yes, I get it now. Sorry I have no answer for you but I am very grateful for the information. I’ll keep an aye out for anything similar. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          February 2, 2015 at 19:34

  33. BTW:

    There is something that comes kind of close to a universal reader already. With a few tweaks, BlogLovin could easily fill that role.

    Like

    February 2, 2015 at 16:40

    • Thank you for the information. It will come in handy. 🙂

      Like

      February 2, 2015 at 17:15

  34. I spent a number of years playing with different blog formats. I always came back to WordPress it was the best and most attractive. Sadly wordpress the loyalty you have garnered from your bloggers is ill founded. I cant tell you how many bloggers I have introduced to WP now Im sorry I did. What you fail to realize is there are others out there that can develop something better than what you are offering.
    And I have to write this on someone’s blog because you close out your comments from us because you don’t want to hear how disgruntled we are over your regression into poor quality.

    Like

    February 3, 2015 at 01:28

  35. Excellent and most helpful Graham. Thank you!

    Like

    February 4, 2015 at 20:23

  36. You might want to go and comment before they shut me down:

    I found another page that annoys me and complained here:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/hate-new-wp-format?replies=1#return

    “Because they will probably shut it down (wow, etsy reruns) this is what I wrote:
    I really hate the way the WP is going and may move all my blogs because that is how much i hate the new format, after years as a WP enthusiast! I don’t think you WANT to hear this, because I notice that when I go to find a forum on this topic you’ve shut down the comments after a WP admin says, “Sorry.” If you left it open you might hear how many others hate it too!

    I think that if you were interested, and sent a letter out to us to find out how much we hate it, you’d be shocked. Then maybe you’d stop screwing with a site that worked so beautifully — really, so many business have backtracked when they made a wrong move. Think the New Coke or when Netflix decided to rename it’s product. . . They began to lose customers and STOPPED THE STUPIDITY.

    I have seven blogs total I will take. . . . Five of which are paying sites.”

    Like

    February 8, 2015 at 23:04

  37. They are still giving me corporate doublespeak: possibly if others post before they close me down: http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/hate-new-wp-format?replies=3#post-2257283

    Like

    February 9, 2015 at 18:49

  38. 🙂

    Like

    February 14, 2015 at 02:37

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