“On the Fritz” is a pre World War I (circa 1902), originally meaning “in a bad way” or “in bad condition.” Typically, it is the malfunctioning of an appliance, possibly originating from the German name Fritz, or by onomatopoeia as in imitating the sound of electric sparks jumping.

I think you could call this a transformative experience. Last month and until a week ago, we had the highest view numbers I’ve ever seen in a non-commercial blog and this week, we are barely managing to stay afloat.

I’ve watched stat numbers bounce around over the more than five years I’ve been doing this, but this was a drop like nothing I’ve seen before. I shrugged it off. I didn’t actually know something was broken. I figured it was us — and because I don’t use the new editor, I didn’t bump into the complete dysfunctionality of that software, which apparently isn’t working. At all. What I did discover is that we are 75% lower in views with no sign of a bounce back. A 75% drop is a lot. More than a typical bounce.

So I went to the Reader and saw how many people who usually have active blogs now show vastly reduced views … and apparently, the “like” is broken because there were so few of them. All the ones I’d entered were missing, too.

On this site, the “Like” has been erratic for a while. Personally, my likes and comments have been doing a vanishing act. They look normal when I enter them, but if I go and look — lost in the great virtual beyond. This isn’t the first time this has happened. If you’ve been lurking around WordPress for more than a few years, you’ve seen this happen, get fixed, happen, get fixed to the point where you don’t get excited so much as you get a migraine. Eventually they will fix it, but when? Could be very soon, like … today or tomorrow. Or it could be a month or more.

So if you haven’t heard from me, I’m not ignoring you. Something is broken. Again. Others are finding it difficult to get in touch with the engineers. I haven’t tried yet. This is such a major outage and seems to be affecting many people — thus far mostly American — the staff must have noticed. The engineering staff can’t miss this, can they?

If I don’t start to hear that it’s improving somewhere, I’ll dig in and try to get someone’s attention but generally, I ride these WordPress storms out. After a while, it settles down. If my problems persist when the storm dies away, THEN I get in touch with engineering.  Try not to let it get to you. This stuff can make you crazy, especially when you’ve been working hard and your posts come to nothing because they have “fixed” the software.

I do not mind them fixing the software. I mind them failing to test it to make sure it works before dumping it on their customers. And we really ARE their customers. Apparently, they don’t see it the same way we do.

Let me know if anyone sees an improvement — or actually talks to an engineer and has information!


  1. im seeing the like button everytime I come in, and it is getting used. I also know that sometimes what we as site owners/users see can be totally different from what a reader sees. Take comfort, Blogger does the same thing from time to time, hiding our bloglist, or our reader’s responses, ha ha aren’t they cute…but this is one of the reasons I have yet to venture into the grown up pool of WordPress; it’s just too complicated and occasionally buggy, and I begin to seize up like an old car….

    It’ll come back. Really.


  2. Thanks, Marilyn. In addition to what I’ve written before, I i.d. with your “Like” problem. I read the blogs and “Like” them but when I go to reader, I have to “Like” them again. I, too, am way down in views but I thought it was because of difference in what I was posting.. fewer photos, not as many posts per day, perhaps, but even in day when I’ve done 4 or 5 posts, I’ve been down to half of what I was formerly.


    1. I noticed it in reader that many very popular blogs are WAY down. So it’s another one of the WP things. I really wish they’d cut it out. They are so frustrating to work with. Try not to get too crazy. I’ve ridden these out a dozen times through the years and getting aggravated doesn’t help. They fix them. Eventually. I hope this time SOONER rather than LATER.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mainly wrote the blog hoping it was just my blog broken and that someone else would communicate to them for me. If it is a common problem, I’m sure it will be addressed. I’ve always had good luck with the happiness engineers. First time they haven’t been reachable.


  3. I haven’t had any problem (that I know of) and since my blog is not hugely followed or viewed, I guess I wouldn’t know if that was down, too. And, I’m only following a handful of blogs, and yours always shows up. I guess I’m kind of an anti-social user of social media! 😀


    1. I wasn’t having a lot of the editorial issues because I don’t use the “new” editor. I have clung to the old one through thick and thin and it works. However – I noticed when I went back to look at a post on which I’d commented, my comment was gone — and so was the like. Okay, someone could have deleted a comment, but you can’t un-click a like. So I went to the reader and saw it wasn’t just me. It’s erratic. Sometimes stuff goes through fine. Other times, it disappears.

      I think it’s the reader that’s the problem and I almost never use the reader. You probably don’t use it either. Also, a lot of people have discovered their templates aren’t working, but I think they were using the new, improved editor — which apparently is down for the count. So, comments and likes are vanishing, or at least MINE are, so I have to assume I’m not alone.

      They will fix it eventually. It’s only a matter of exactly when.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s why I went in and redid contact with my followers. Sometimes, that fixes the problem, until they break it again. At least one person pointed out that’s the third time in a couple of months I’ve had to break and reestablish the link. WP has had a very busy year!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve noticed you needed to re-follow my blog twice now in the past couple weeks. The gremlins seem to like chewing on your wires for some reason…

    Oddly enough, I had a stat spike yesterday with all the extra hits coming from search engines. It never told me what they were looking for, of course, because heaven forbid I track someone down through search terms… but it looks out of place on my graph, which has been pretty blah lately largely due to my abandoning my comic strip, which was one of my more popular features. It was my first day with over 100 views in at least the last month…


    1. That is EXACTLY what happened here. We got a google spike — but it lasted for six weeks. We were up well over 1000 for weeks … and then, it was gone. So we dropped from 1400 to 400 in a few hours. That was a bit weird. The spike was weird, but we’d be going up regularly for the whole year, though it had been based on posts being read. This was something else — obviously our stuff hitting google and people came to read posts. Not the new stuff. The OLD stuff. Lots of it. Everybody’s stuff. Then it dropped back to before it started to rise. I thought it would drop, but not quite like that. Sort of like having the stuffing pulled out of the old teddy bear!

      But also, my comments are disappearing. The likes aren’t staying put. I put the comments and likes IN, but they vanish in a couple of hours. It’s weird. But it’s not just me.

      That’s spike is cool, isn’t it?


  5. I am a bit lost in this world of statistics. All I know is that my followers are increasing regularly and I am getting my fair share of likes. I never really concentrate very much on my statistics. I have been using the new editor for so long I cannot remember how the other one was and, yes, I like it. I am probably now sleeping with the enemy, but it works well for me. I have not experienced any particular problems lately, although I should keep quiet about it – someone might be watching me. If I have problems with my comments, it is usually because I am too fast for the computer, or my fingers are missing out letters.


    1. This so far seems to be an American problem. Haven’t heard anyone from overseas complain about it, but I’ve been getting a lot of feedback, especially in the past couple of days. They use different servers for you than us, so this may not bother you at all. I hope not. It’s just so annoying. They fix it, eventually, but it takes them awhile. I just reconnected to you, by the way, so you’ll probably see a note from WP about it.


  6. Hi everyone.. and, thank you for your article. I have been experiencing the same problems and wanted to know what blogs outside of WordPress are exceptional? Any ideas of where to go for blogging?


    1. This is pretty much “it.” There’s Blogger, which is a Google product, but they have their own issues which are not all that different from ours. I had to get used to it because there really ISN’T much choice. It’s WordPress or Blogger. That’s it. There were more, but they are gone.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s Blogger — Google. I didn’t like it. No way to converse with followers and other commenters and a very strange version of “like” for the format. I also don’t like the formats they offer. But other people like it better — it’s a choice. Remember, if you change blogs, you are starting from scratch again, so you will be back at zero starting position.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m in the same boat, Marilyn. I went from 100 views a day (which comparatively isn’t a lot I know) but it was for me, touching, to somewhere around 1 – 7. I’ve hit 20 recently, but the immediate disappearance of people able to reach me was daunting. I’ve found that my twitter and FB pages for Covert Novelist were broken. I’ve since fixed this and hope it solves some of the problems. I still can’t get to several people I follow, and it’s a shock when I can find or contact them. Hopefully, WP will fix whatever is broken and soon. I don’t know about you, but I come here to connect with others, writers, poets, people expressing their thoughts. It’s been a loss I hope is rectified soon. I’m sorry this has happened to you too and I know of many others sad to say.


    1. I was getting around 100 for three years. Last year, we bumped up to 200, then at the end of the year, between 300 and 400. In January, we started to hit 400 pretty much every day, with occasional lulls. On October 10th, it shot up to 500 and stayed there, with bumps up to 700 and 800. But the thing was, the posts were doing the same as always. It was a “google” bump. It kept going up until it hit 1400 in the beginning of November — which was crazy because blogs like this don’t GET those numbers, not regularly. And then it dropped back down to the 400-500 range. But simultaneously, my comments and likes started to vanish between when I wrote them, and an hour or two later. I reset all my connections — at least the ones that aren’t vanished like the comments and I think I can see an upswing.

      They will fix this. I’m pretty sure it’s a problem with the Reader again. It’s just the holidays and people are on vacation. Try not to fret.


      1. I am not fretting now, but I was concerned before. Only in as much as I couldn’t speak to anyone and that’s part of the enjoyment and fun of this. You are the only person who was determined to see my posts and went about achieving that goal with a ferocity I can only appreciate with humbleness as I can’t do much from my end unless my son does it for me. He’s worked his petuty off trying to get things fixed and as soon as one thing is handled, another breaks. Anyway, I’m so glad your here, and Garry and Martha. I so enjoy your thoughts and what you post. Sometimes I agree, sometimes not, but in truth, it doesn’t matter. Mostly because you all write beautifully, thoughtfully and from the heart. I enjoy that!


  8. I use the WordPress iPhone app and I have been having “like” issues for about a week. If, from within the reader, I go to view a post, I can’t like it or post a comment without entering my WordPress credentials each time. It’s as if the app doesn’t recognize me. But if I read the post strictly in the reader, without actually “viewing” it (i.e., opening the post), I can like and comment. I’ve reached out to the “happiness engineers,” but they can’t figure out what the problem is. I thought maybe it was specific to the iPhone app and iOS 11.2,. But if others are having similar problems on different platform and operating systems, maybe WordPress is, in fact, on the fritz again.


        1. Well, I’m definitely up by almost 100 views from yesterday — and it’s still early here, just 8PM. I’ll know more at midnight when I can see the whole day. But it’s encouraging. It’s been sinking every day and this is the first uptick I’ve seen. I’ll send you a note after midnight when I can see the whole day.


  9. Yeah, WP has been acting odd. And I have had those times when a lot people i follow just disappear and I have to find them again. I assumed that was why you followed me again today, but now you verified it.

    Why does WP break things whenever they try to make “improvements”?


  10. I gave up understanding wordpress. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. If they (who?) adjust the software, it is annoying, but I didn’t find anybody to tell what doesn’t work. Well, I live is it… And by the way – I am German, but I never heard the expression “by the Fritz”. I think it is quite funny and I will use it with my friend Fritz….


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