AN AWFUL TERRIBLE HORRIBLE DAY AT WORDPRESS – Marilyn Armstrong

I went to take a look at the brand spanking new format for WordPress.


WARNING: If you do that, you will NOT be able to go back to your old format. I think what they have done is eliminate all the old versions of the editor we used, so you can use the new one, or hope they don’t delete the old ones entirely and leave you with this mess.

Which is what I think is really going to happen. 


Now, there are things about the “new new new new editor” that may — eventually, when they get the bugs fixed — be useful. But right now? You can’t even get a set of standard editing functions across the top of your page. 

They also (apparently, unless it’s a bug) have a limited number of categories — AND they no longer offer you the option of picking up an old post so you can rewrite it.

I’ve got nearly 8,000 posts, so yes, I go back and rewrite material. After you’ve been doing this for a long time, why not?

In this new format, I opened categories and it dies after the letter “C.” What happened to “D” through “Z”? You can’t even find the missing pieces by typing the category name in the search list. Nothing comes up. This will effectively lose thousands of posts and pictures.

I went through and deleted all the one I used very rarely. That got me all the way to “D.” When I eventually found my way back to the “classic editor,” all the deletes were not made.


NOTHING IN THAT SOFTWARE IS WORKING. NO ONE BETA TESTED IT. NO ONE.


I don’t object to change. I object to untested changes and buggy software. I pay to use WordPress.  I object to being forced to do stuff the way they decree. If this is such a great interface (it might be POTENTIALLY, but it definitely isn’t there yet), then people will use it. You don’t have to club us over the head.

Also, they are no longer offering help to anyone but business users … so they’ve forced me to use this very buggy interface and there’s no one to talk to. Maybe this will finally push me over the edge.

You know that whole thing about this being a free country? Well … this kind reminds me that anyone who doesn’t follow orders is not free. What is wrong with having more than one interface? How does it hurt anyone?


A thing that happens as we age is we lose contact with pop culture. We retire. We don’t feel impelled to learn to do it differently unless there’s a really good reason to do it. Unless you’re paying me to do it your way, try not to get too bent out of shape if I prefer to do it my way. It may be different, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

We are happy with the way we do things. They are comfortable and trust me, retirement and comfortable go together like guitar and bass. It starts early, as early as ones 30s when you realize you don’t like the music. By your 40s, you don’t care who knows it and by fifty, you drop any pretense of caring any of “the latest things.”

It doesn’t mean that nothing new makes the cut, but I’ve been a writer my whole life and any product that requires me to access multiple pages to accomplish the same task that previously could be done on a single page is NOT an improvement. This is poorly designed software.

That’s right: it’s BAD SOFTWARE. 
That’s not how the pros do it, kids. 
was one of them.


I’ve been reading about this upcoming new interface for a while. I really had my fingers crossed that just this once, WordPress would have the grace to fully test it and make sure it worked. It is not an UPGRADE if it’s harder to use than the old one — especially if the task is identical.

Drop down lists for everything? Dumping most of my categories? Completely changing how media is handled without so much as an introduction? Discovering that we no longer have access to help?


So, they did it again, but this is the worst yet. I’m wondering if it’s worth it. WordPress doesn’t want writers and photographers. They want business accounts.

I’m not a business. I am not selling anything. I’m trying to just enjoy life. 

This isn’t going to be fun. It’s going to be a major league headache. They’ve been cutting down on what they offer “premium” users for years and at this point, nothing seems to be what they are offering. Platform, templates, and good luck. What they are clearly saying is simple.


WORDPRESS DOES NOT CARE ABOUT USERS. 


You know how Sears is going out of business? Well … guess what? I’m pretty sure driving away all the people who do creative stuff which brings in new people is not going to help WordPress get richer (they are already making plenty of money) than they already are. But not to worry.

There’s always bankruptcy. 

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

72 thoughts on “AN AWFUL TERRIBLE HORRIBLE DAY AT WORDPRESS – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. It’s horrendous. I just don’t like the new editor at all. Somehow, when I edited an old post, the ‘classic editor’ was enabled, but I can’t find the darn thing again. I guess over time, we’ll get used to the new way of doing things. Grr.

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    1. It’s actually broken. Yes, you can find the classic editor in Posts. It’s right next to Quick Edit. They will keep nagging you to go to the new one, but this one is really not ready for use. The delete function doesn’t work, there’s no way to add color to a word and half the important editing tools are lost in drop down menus. They have REPLACED the old editor with the same software but which points to a different place.

      I’m not against change and I’d hoped at some point they’d do some work on their text editing format, but this is awful. There is a reason why text editors all have similar designs. It’s because the people who USE THEM want it that way. It makes writing easier. This is very very bad.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hadn’t realised you can’t change the colour of text. I was looking to indent a phrase yesterday and couldn’t find the tool. It’s been badly thought out. I guess I can use html in the blocks, but that’s not going to help those that believe it’s an alien language. WordPress have definitely jumped too soon with this.

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    1. They ought to test their software before releasing it and oh yeah, maybe check with real live users and find out what we need. Then, take a look at every other word processing technology on the market — all of which works similarly — and figure out why it’s done that way. You know. Like professionals.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. But that’s not where it ends. To top this… users on a free plan do now have to bear with the fact that wordpress is exploiting their email list or subscriber list to show ads to their readers. In fact three ads per mail. Every single post I write gives my readers a notification email with three ads in it. Not only does this annoy my readers, it also annoys me because the fact that I spend energy on my site, and now it might very well be that people get my notification but rather click on a click-bait title or any of those ads within my notifications… it’s just a slap in the face. It seems they trying hard to get people on a plan with the no-ads feature. I was never against their ads on my site, but they changed the terms and now exploit the email subscriptions of free plan users… it’s absolute greed. I wrote about the whole issue on my blog, and many free plan didn’t notice the change since they’re probably not a lunatic like I am, who follows his own blog lol.

    No matter what they touch, the result is horrible. Not sure where they want to head to. It’s just nuts… what they touch, will get worse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I meant…

      “many free plan users probably didn’t notice the change since they’re probably not a lunatic like I am, following the own blog”

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    2. And the override no longer works because the new commands are identical to the old ones, so effectively, they have overwritten the old ones. this is a REALLY bad piece of software. I actually don’t know what I can do if they force me to use it. I am not sure I can continue.

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    3. HI Dennis, I have the free plan again and do not have the ads. I have noticed those emails now, which are annoying! Do you have WordAds enabled? I did and a good blogger friend of mine mentioned her dislike so I disabled the feature. I don’t miss the $2.00 I made for 6 months. Not sure if they are related…

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      1. If you are on a free plan again, you can’t opt out of the email ads no matter if you disable WordAds or not. Subscribe to your own site and check it out when you publish a post. You notifications will most likely contain 3 ads as well unless your previous plan is still active for some time, which would mean your no-ads feature would be still active.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Interesting…my emails have no ads in them. I see some others that do, though, and some that do not. I’m actually on the personal plan, down from the previous premium plan. Alas, WordPress is becoming a business machine as Marilyn suggests 😦

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            1. That’s is right. The no-ads feature is more about our own blogs… it means, there won’t be any ads on our blog or in our outgoing notifications. The ads she sees are from blogs that either are still on a free plan, or they are WordAds users who activated the ads by themselves. There are only these two cases.

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          1. Ok, understand. Your personal plan is not a free plan. And with the personal plan you get the no-ads feature, which is why your outgoing notifications don’t have ads in them. In other words, your readers won’t be plagued by ads in your emails.

            The reason why you sometimes see other bloggers with ads in emails and sometimes not is the following… ads are only shown in the notifications of bloggers that are on a free plan. All others without ads are on any of the plans with the no-ads feature.

            The no-ads feature doesn’t mean that you won’t see ads. It just means that your site or your email doesn’t contain ads.

            Still, the wordpress change is very dramatic, because it was never the case that they were spamming people with email ads, but now it is.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I got them to shift me back to classic. There IS a “classic editor” plug in, but now they won’t let you USE IT unless you are on a business plan. BUSINESS PLAN? I don’t have a business or plan to have one … and we’re retirees. Business Plan is $25/month. No way! They are, however, planning on keeping the classic editor functional indefinitely, which is I suppose good news. You would not believe the number of bug complaints in their forum.

              But this business of not letting non-business plan users manage plugins is cruel and stupid. It will drive a lot of people away from WordPress. Greed is good, eh?

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              1. Marilyn… the GreaseMonkey script works still perfectly fine for me. I can still use the classic editor and I am on a free plan. I just have the classic editor script installed, like back then when we were upset about the beep beep boop editor.

                Is it not working for you anymore?

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    4. I agree. Seeing th here ads pop up on an email post is irritating. I am a free user. The ads at the bottom of my posts I considered a given, but the email ones are distracting and yes, another money grabber. I feel because I have a free blog I can’t complain. I am constantly told to upgrade. Last time I did that it was a disaster so I’m ignoring it now. From what I’ve read here, I’ll still stick to the version I have.

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      1. I needed the upgrade mainly because I needed the space for photographs. There weren’t many ads at that point, but it also gave me some minor control over fonts and eventually, any template, free, so it was necessary. The ads are relatively recent. When they pulled all the prompts, that was also when they started talking about “business plans.” The guy who started the company is gone and someone else is in charge. It’s a brand new day at WordPress.

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      1. I won’t. Thanks for the warning. It keeps on popping up on my screen, practically screaming at me to try it. But I am forewarned and hence forearmed!

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    1. It’s ugly. And rather weird. There’s a reason why all word processing software is set up similarly. It’s because everyone LIKES it that way. If this gets bad enough, there’s always writing in another text editor and importing it. It’s a pain, but this design might have been a good idea for someone designing a manual, but it’s not a good thing for blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I bookmarked the link to the classic editor way back in late 2014 when they first made the new editor the default. I’ve used that bookmark all this time without issue and was blissfully unaware anything was going on. Every once in a while I’ll see something that was tinkered with that shows up in the old editor, but nothing I haven’t been able to overcome. I just used it this morning without incident. This was why I recommended bookmarking the link through Wp-Admin rather than whatever that fancy override was people were doing at the time. While the link through the dashboard could always go away at anytime, at least it is still there and anyone should be able to use it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The new editor overrides the old one and uses the same command name but points to the new one. They are overwriting the old editors. So that’ll work for now, but not for long. Since yesterday they inserted a “classic editor” thingie under Posts, but how long will that last? They are determined that we should do it their way. But this time, they have overwritten the previous command lines. Ugly.

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  4. 😡 Reblogged. People across this site need to hear about this!! Arrrggghhh. The option Evil Squirrel uses is the same one I do. And ‘they’ best not screw with it, or they will lose this customer. I pay too. I’m considering not re-upping. Hundreds, if not thousands of other blog sites out there (some free still). It means re-inventing the wheel, but is the aggravation of ‘familiar’ worth it? I’m beginning to think not. Sorry for your travails, but hey! Someone had to go ‘there’.

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    1. It’s truly awful and I don’t say that lightly. Effectively unusable. I suppose if it gets bad enough, I can write in another word processor and import it, but they’ve screwed up the graphics and categories too.

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  5. I had no problems with the categories either time I’ve used the new editor. The new version allows (?) you to format each section (block?) individually. I, personally, think I was doing that already without all this help, but there it is. I have also edited three or four old posts today for someone who’s interested in my experience in China back in the day. I had no problems. I don’t think this new editor is necessary, but it’s here. For real time travel, through WP Admin you can use the editor we used back in 2014 🙂 I don’t know what the point is, but that’s a common thing in my life…

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            1. I have two computers and mostly, I write on my PC anyway, so I won’t write on the Mac. I’m not going to worry about it, but the whole concept behind this design is so beyond what any blogger needs. How many block designs do you need for a 500-word piece with a single picture? They could have just taken what they had and added a few touches and it would have been fine.

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              1. Honestly I don’t see what everyone is going apeshit about. I’ve gone back and forth between editors today with no problems.

                Maybe some of the has to do with the theme people are working with. I suspect that is the case because WP has posted the caveat that going back and forth could cause you to lose formatting or change the appearance of a post. It has not happened to me.

                I’m sure it doesn’t matter what platform you’re using (I use a Mac). One trick I found was using command/return (Mac) instead of return if I didn’t want to have a whole new block. And, the new editor allows you to format each paragraph/block/section individually, but you don’t have to. No, I don’t think this “update” was necessary, but I am SO not in charge (of anything).

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                  1. I use that all the time on both the Mac and the PC. But that’s not the problem. In the new format, all my categories are missing and when looked up, do not appear. I can’t create a gallery of pictures. I can’t even get a sensible bar of typically used tools — y’know — bold, ital, text center, right, left? That sort of stuff? Or for that matter, changing the color of a word.

                    Also, not being able to call up an old post for rewriting. You don’t have the amount of material I have and it makes a difference. I have 8,400 posts and I do reuse them and rewrite them. I can’t locate graphics older than a year ago and remember, I’m PAYING to store them. And finally, when I try to delete stuff, it locks up.

                    They inform me that my categories really ARE there, but refuse to show up. They are “working on it.” Except I have no way to use them in the meantime. Moreover, this is a complicated format. I know for a fact that Garry will never figure it out. A lot of not so tech-savvy users will throw in the towel.

                    This is a crazy ass format for blogging. Over the top. If they want to create this bizarrely complex format fine, but what’s wrong with letting us have a choice of formats? Is there something wrong with us not all walking in lockstep?

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    1. You know, if they fix it, it’s a great concept for book editing and reminds me of Adobe Frame which I used to design manuals when I was working. Except — this is a blog. I’m not designing a book. I don’t need to design block by block. For a 500 word blog, I don’t need a block designer. Assuming they can get it to actually work, it’s overkill. Very few posts exceed 1000 words and most are under 700 words. A block editor? Really?

      There’s no point in this kind of application for short pieces and for business apps, even LESS so. They are so out of touch.

      I’m pretty sure they will now proceed to try and make it work, but even if it does, it’s simply going to take something that was simple and make it more complicated. Assuming it works, I STILL don’t need it. Probably no blogger needs it and most people won’t understand it. It is enormously over-complicated.

      And finally, people who are already not very computer literate can barely manage the current format. They will never figure out Gutenberg.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It really reminds me of Adobe Frame. But that was designed to create a book. With appendixes. Footnotes. Indices. The whole point of blogging was a kind of simplicity, so assuming they can fix the bugs — and there are a lot of bugs — no one needs anything this complicated for any kind of blogging, personally or professionally.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hah! I just spent two hours trying to do something that should have taking 15 minutes. My pictures wouldn’t upload, there was a weird tool bar etc. I thought I’d lost my mind. Finally it began to sink in that it wasn’t just my own technical ineptitude, but something had changed on WordpPress.
    So O.K. I say, I’m game, where’s the training video or the link that tells me how to use this new and wonderful software. No such Luck!. Thankfully I was able to figure how to get it back to classic editing. Ahhh, all is well. Hopefully it stays that way for awhile. Thanks for bringing this up so I don’t feel like I’m the only one who couldn’t figure it out.

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  7. They must be rolling it out progressively. It has not appeared on our blogs yet but I had read about it some time back and was concerned because I did not like the looks of it. I still use the classic editor not the last “new” editor from a couple of years ago. I won’t change until they make me.

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  8. They’ve been pushing their ‘wonderful’ new editors for quite a while. Back a bit I finally relented that tried it. It definitely WASN’T an improvement. The old version works just fine Thank You. But they keep trying to get you to use it? WHY?? Does somebody really like that thing? or don’t they care about feedback?
    Maybe they’re like the government. They got all these people sitting around that figure they better do something or we’ll realize we don’t need them?? So they just change stuff.
    I’m all for improvements … but this ain’t it.

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  9. Hi Spike, I don’t know if WP have fixed the new editor since you tried it or if my free version is a major improvement than the one folks who pay for it have – or if it’s simply a matter of getting used to where things are and how they really work but…

    I have found it very easy to switch back to the old editor (and then back again to publish) – there are 3 vertical dots near the top right corner of the new editor and change editor is at the bottom of that drop down window.

    Also you can easily change text colour and even background colour of text by putting the cursor over the text area in question ( you have to have written something in the post besides just a title) then with the ‘settings’ drop down window open, the ‘colour settings’ are 3/4’s of the way down – click on it and voila! 🙂

    I have had problems trying to get a link to lock in and save on the new editor ( it kept leaving just a text line when i tried to ‘apply’ the link) but i fixed it easily in the old editor then switched back and all was fine.

    It’s definitely not the same, but you can use both visual and html editing as before. I think it’s just a matter of learning the system, which i admit is a problem with the limited ‘help’ they have written in.

    Good luck and please stay with it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I originally started reading your blog because you posted a way to avoid the horrid new “beep boop” editor in 2014. I’ve been using the classic editor ever since and resolutely resisting every change they’ve tried to force on me. This is awful. Fortunately I was already planning to migrate my site to a WordPress dot org site on a paid server…not sure if I’ll be able to avoid their fulsome tinkering there, but I hope so. Thanks for sounding the alarm yet again.

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    1. The rules are very different on their .org site. It’s more work to run it, but you can use any format you want, including some that don’t come from WordPress. They did send me back to “classic”, but I had to beg them to do it. Apparently now, you can’t use the plugin unless you have a business plan. I don’t have a business and don’t plan on one. AND we live on social security, so $100 a year for premium, I manage … but $25/month? I can’t do that.

      But they fixed me. So if you stay with the Classic Editor, they plan to keep it around as the alternative editor since apparently big blogs like this one don’t take kindly to massive format shifts. And it’s FULL of bugs, most of which affect people who have been blogging for a long time. The baby bloggers will be fine, but me, maybe you and all the other “old time bloggers” are going to be crushed.

      I believe they are now planning to give everyone a choice of Gutenberg or Classic. Meanwhile, their list of forum complaints is HUGE.

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  11. wow,t hat sounds bad. I don’t think I’ll “upgrade” to the new editor. But then I don’t tend to be a forerunner. I like using something a year after it comes out — gives them time to work out the bugs. (which is why it bugs me that they’ve made my computer do automatic updates — why? if soemthing works, I don’t wnat to change it until it stops working)

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  12. This may sound off the wall and will definitely expose me as technologically under-educated, but can you tell me how to save or back-up all my posts. I’m such a novice writer and photographer that all my attempts are really important to me still.

    If you can tell me and it would be better for an email, let me know.

    Thanks. I’m glad I could even figure out HOW to do the silly “upgrade”.

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    1. On your Dashboard page, on the left, find “Tools.” Find Export and click the top (Export) selection. If you have a normal size site, you’ll get a download of the contents of your site. If you are huge, as I am, you’ll have to contact WordPress and they will manage it for you.

      I just did it and it worked — for the first time in years — perfectly. I then took the download and put it in my downloads file. Next thing, I’m going to put it on an external hard drive. If something nasty happens to this site, I have my contents saved. It’s just ONE click and they send the contents to your email.

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  13. Many thanks for the warning of NOT to look at the new editor. I actually use a free app to write all my posts off line – Open Live Writer. It was originally a Microsoft app. Anyway it allows you to download your theme’s architecture and then you can work off line, but on a page that looks pretty much like the finished product. You can publish directly, or send a draft to your blog. I think you can schedule from there too, though I haven’t tried it. I usually send a draft to my blog, and tweak using the old original editor which I seem to get to from the WP Admin button.

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      1. 🙂 I don’t take on things that involve learning curves, so I think it’s pretty self-explanatory in its functions. eg You change font and font size, alter photo size and add copyright, save drafts, add tags and categories. If you change your theme it’s easy to update. The only bit that I’ve found slippery is if want to make a feature of an indented quotation. I’ve found that can make the whole thing freeze, so I usually only do that bit in WP editor. Oh yes and cropping photos can make them go a bit weird dimensionally speaking, so I do all that first in my photo editor.

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