WordPress User Interfaces and Revolutionary Reactions

I teach WordPress, using wordpress.com. Unfortunately, that option may be coming to an end. If you’re a wordpress.com user, you’ve probably noticed the ongoing succession of user interfaces (beep, beep, boop, anyone?). I’ve had to rip up and re-write class documentation almost every time I’ve conducted a class, which is usually twice a year. This time my students and I were confronted with a dashboard on top of another dashboard, an “improved posting experience” (which is anything but) and a lot of bloat overall. What’s worse, WordPress.com doesn’t seem to be listening. They’ve dumbed-down the posts and pages editors to make them more amenable to mobile devices. Too bad if you preferred what they had before. You can get to the classic editor, but not without jumping through multiple hoops.

I may have to call it quits on the teaching, at least using this platform. It’s too klugey and too confusing for me and for my students. I work with folks who want to create websites and/or blogs, then get on with life with a minimum of fuss. I can’t offer that anymore.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m seriously thinking about moving most of my websites and blogs over to a self-hosted version of wordpress. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the class. I have a multi-site installation set up for something else (You can set up wordpress so that it will host its own sites. That’s how WordPress.com is set up). I may simply move there and continue teaching if the school will have me under those conditions. Basically, at this point I have my own web hosting and website network. Yikes! Take me home, mommy!

So, anyway, are you guys as frustrated as I am? At this point I feel like taking an example from my country’s revolutionary beginnings and take some pot-shots at the redcoat wordpress.com army:

Is this the end, WordPress.com? Are we really splitting apart?

Oh, yeah, Patriot’s Day was last weekend. We spent a fun afternoon watching Revolutionary War re-enactors battle it out.

7 thoughts on “WordPress User Interfaces and Revolutionary Reactions

  1. I am keeping the classic dashboard and begin post links bookmarked, Margy, but fear the day they won’t work for me. Today began the new experience of having the beep beep boop new template appear instead of the classic version I’d written it on when I clicked edit on any of my published stories. And I’ve noticed the beep beep boop new template does not have a “Get Shortlink” click for those who’d like to use social media to promote our posts. Unless I just am too green to find it. So, short answer, yes, I’m frustrated with the new, improved version that is their prefered choice for us when the classic version is prefered because it’s a better publishing template tool.

  2. I try to remain “classic”. It all seems to be changes for the sake of changes. Today when I try to click LIKE, I get the word “Nah”. Is that WP for “no you can’t”? After VOX I keep waiting for them to sell out and them make us pay or close us down…

  3. They’ve dumbed-down the posts and pages editors to make them more amenable to mobile devices.

    Maybe you’ve noticed this is what’s happening at Flickr, too. The new user interfaces are definitely geared to mobile devices, but it has really frustrated the serious hobbyists and professional photographers who are using desktops and laptops.

    Moreover, this trend (both at WordPress and Flickr) seems to be squeezing out the users in the middle– those who want to share more than just casually, but don’t have a business or profession built around it. That’s long how self-hosted WordPress.org has been– to build sites with blogs or blog-like sharing, without having to code everything from scratch.
    I was discussing with Jack Yan that much of what is happening with blogs and social networking seems to be like how webpages in general used to be– everyone was in on building webpages with Lycos, GeoCities, etc., and then it shifted to blogs. Blogs may become like web sites are now.

    1. So, Flickr too, eh? Too bad. I can understanding making the experience easier for mobile users. I also acknowledge I do a lot of browsing and work on my smartphone. But I don’t design and format websites/posts/pages using a mobile device. What’s frustrating is that WordPress.com is not giving you an easy choice between one format and another.

      1. If you can find the WP-Admin page, Margy, most of the classic interfaces are accessible that way.

        You’ve probably noticed Microsoft is trying to do this mobile and desktop united GUI, too, with the abomination (IMHO) that is Windows 8. Tech companies want to bridge the gap between desktop workstations and mobile, but the solutions so far are far from elegant or intuitive.

      2. Yes, I do know about the wp-admin interface but it’s another hoop I have to jump through to do the same thing. I hear you on the Windows 8 thing.

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