BLOCK EDITOR OR WHAT?

I started blogging on WordPress in 2012 and quickly started to pay to customize my site. I have been paying for almost the entire time I’ve been blogging. Me and my friends have written 11,000 posts over the years and I have no idea how many photographs.

Two of the things I pay for is getting rid of advertisements — and the ability to use a wide variety of templates. At this point, more than half of those templates don’t work. That’s before the block editor is fully in place. No one has bothered to check the templates to see if they work with the already-existing changes to the software. WordPress does not care.

It’s not like I don’t know how block editors work because I’ve worked with Pagemaker, which is the ultimate block software. I didn’t use Pagemaker for personal writing. It was never meant for that. It’s intent was and is to design books, typically non-fiction technical books. Theses. Scientific documents. The block editor is a waste of time and energy for most people who are in it for the fun and not the money. I don’t care whether or not if I have the best-looking blog in town. I don’t think people read your posts because of how classy your site looks.


People read you because they love your writing, photographs, and art. If all you have is a single page of text without so much as a picture, if you write well they will read you. If your pictures are beautiful, they won’t care how fancy your site is. They aren’t looking at your site but at your photographs and your words.


All of the changes WordPress has implemented have nothing to do with helping you produce better work. They long ago deleted all the prompts and challenges intended to inspire writers and artists. It’s entirely about improving how pretty your site will look to potential business owners.

I don’t have a business. I’m retired. I have no intention of starting a business and if I did, i would NEVER work with WordPress. They have treated me — a paying customer — as worthless. They don’t want me. They don’t care about me. And if they keep pushing me, they also won’t have me. Because I have limits and am about to reach them. I will be very sorry to quit, but if they push me any harder, I will have to. I am not going to ever be a business customer. I will never pay them $25/month so I can publish pretty pictures of birds, rivers and write about things that inspire or worry me. Not only do I not have the money, but it isn’t worth it. WordPress is not worth it. 

So I guess if what you want is the best-looking site, go with block, though for a single page post, it’s an awful lot of work for a zero dollar return. Remember: WordPress doesn’t want writers and artists. They want business. Nonetheless, it’s the writers and artists who made WordPress what it is. We powered them to the top.


When we are gone, they will be a giant commercial site.
They should be careful what they ask for because they might get it.


Just before I went to bed last night, I got my notice from WordPress. Since I’m already using the “classic editor” through my dashboard, it isn’t going to make any difference, at least until they decide to make that impossible. Hey, WordPress? Hold off until after the election, okay? At least let us get there using technology with which we are comfortable before you find a way to make us miserable.

Since I only recently found a template I really like which makes it very easy for me to show not only what I am creating, but what I have done in the near and long since past, it now looks like a magazine. This format is antithetical to the block format concept. It gives me a great deal of latitude to shift pieces around and reuse earlier posting and recent posting with a minimum of reworking.

These days, news isn’t ever new. Whatever is happening today happened before and not once. The news doesn’t get old; it merely recycles. All you have to do is change the numbers (location of shooting, how many people killed, name of killer (if known)) … or name the next Black person shot for no reason except being Black in the wrong (maybe his/her own) neighborhood. Or name which creep in the administration is being indicted (name the crime, name the jurisdiction) for something (this morning it’s Steve Bannon — remember him?) so it would be a pity to waste those well-written stories, rants, whines, and research pieces which I put hours of work into producing.

Isn’t it great that we’ve (at least some of us, anyway) have been paying for the privilege of using all the templates we want only to discover that almost none of them will work with the new format? Don’t you think they should have done something about that? With each passing day, the money I pay to them gives me less and less for the price. This particular one is very much like stripping paying customers of the biggest benefit and replacing it with nothing at all. But never you mind. As long as I can ignore their glitzy changes, the happier I’ll be.



Categories: Blogging, journalism, Media, Photography, social media, Software, Technology, WordPress

Tags: , , , ,

46 replies

  1. doing all the fancy-schmancy crap is gonna go bite ’em in the rear eventually. I barely go to sites that have all this stuff on the sides and all over the page. I am prone to ocular migraines if I look at screens too much and try to read with all this stuff all over the place. It’s part of the reason I don’t use full-screen most of the time when I read blog posts (unless the formatting makes me because the words get cut-off otherwise). It’s just too much coming at me at once while I’m trying to read.

    With all this reading on screens stuff, I have a feeling a lot of folks are eventually gonna avoid sites like I do that have too much going on on the page you’re looking at because of eye strain (or the stupid ad windows that pop up in the corners that take forever to go away–I’m trying to read here, man, and you’re blocking me–or you accidentally click on it when you’re trying to close it and it takes you to another site that takes forever to download).

    I haven’t changed a thing on my site in some time because I’m afraid of this editor. The only thing I change once in a while is the header colors and wallpaper, maybe every few months. That’s it. Otherwise, I’m fine with what I’ve got.

    Hope they take into account what their CURRENT PAYING CUSTOMERS want, because otherwise they’re gonna be in the crapper. Heck, they already have a multi-tier system. If people want those business-type of changes they wanna make, they can go to the Business tier (or make it another business package) and they can pay for that. Leave the rest of us alone, WordPress!

    Like

    • I am sorry to say that they have demonstrated loudly and clearly that they do not even consider us important enough to count as “paying customers.” In a world where supposedly the customer is “always” right, we are NEVER right.

      I think you are correct. I genuinely dislike the glitzy bright Crayola look the block editor gives. It goes against EVERYTHING I understand about what makes a good web page. Maybe it’s useful in advertising, but I’m not even sure that’s true. It certainly doesn’t improve my photographs or writing. It distracts from the pictures and just annoys readers. AND it slows everything down to a crawl. I get tossed off the site 20 times a day, usually just for a couple of minutes, but it can’t show my photographs, or won’t change from the site to the dashboard, or won’t update information. They should have spent the money on fixing their servers and hiring some knowledgeable help!

      Happiness engineers indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m using the Classic editor that is available in the /wp-admin version. It’s a little more cumbersome (in my opinion) than the Classic editor that WordPress jus my retired, but it’s a whole lot better than that damn Block editor.

    Like

  3. Today I gave it a try and only wrote with the block. I am finding my way around. I think I can do it, even found my html headings.

    Like

    • I don’t know any “creative” bloggers who like this format. It’s unnecessarily complicated and glitzy in an unattractive way … and in a way that is contradictory to the way I like to present my work. There are so many ways they could have worked their site to make it comfortable for both businesses and creative bloggers, but apparently they were unwilling to spend a few bucks to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not ready to leave, but I’m also not ready to dedicate even MORE time to just getting a post published. I know I could do it. I’ve done it. I’m just tired of being bossed around.

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  5. I so understand you and I fully agree – but it would be TERRIBLE for all your faithful friends reading every word you offer us…. and for you too, since you LOVE writing and sharing your world and photos and birds, and, and, and.
    I’m more and more convinced to have taken the right decision not to have a blog but only be a steady and faithful reader/commentator (is that a word?). But the decision is yours to take and maybe those comments higher up will give you a way out of the block system – go see Loisa!

    Like

    • I wouldn’t like it much either, but they are making it increasingly difficult to do what I want to do without jumping endless hurdles. As long as they let me do my own thing and not have to do it “their way, ” I’m good. But we all have limits. Let’s see if they stop pushing mine!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m still a freebee. So glad I am.
    Leslie

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  7. Have you tried using the old Classic editor that’s available via My Sites, WP-Admin .
    That one will remain without using blocks, It’s simple and straight forward but unless I’ve missed something I can’t add tags. No big loss though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you click on ‘Post’ on the top right side of the page, you will get a column that allows both categories and tags, Sue.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lois, thank you so much. I thought I had tried everything I will have a look when I get home. 🙂

        Like

      • Lois, I’m home again and back at the computer. I didn’t scroll down the page far enough duh!
        It’s on the left side on the Classic editor that accessed via WP-Admin. What a great little editor this is.

        I think we should issue names to the two Classic editors that remain and then we’ll know which ones we are talking about!
        How about the Admin Classic and the Block Classic. Or Classic A and Classic B! Thank you, Lois 🙂
        Thank you, Lois 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I’m doing — as long as they let me. It’s not that I do not understand block editing. I understand it very well. It was a big part of the work I did for 40 years. But it was never designed for casual writing and certainly not for magazine style writing. So as long as they let me do my thing, I’m good. But they have pushed me as far as I can be pushed.

      Like

      • I totally agree with you. I understand it well too, and have used similar blocks on a school website, I’ve even written guides on it, but I don’t have to like it. It’s not stable and there are still issues not yet fixed.

        It’s ironic that we pay for a site so that we don’t see the Ads and then we end up having to see them on all the free sites!

        I’ll probably just use the simple one on WP-Admin.
        Thanks, Marilyn.

        Like

      • I’m sticking with the Block Classic, Marilyn. It’s as close as what we were used to, and it serves my purposes, at least. But the directions WP provided stink! I found out all I need to know talking with other bloggers. And we pay WP for this! Ridiculous.

        Like

        • The problem is really that if you don’t pay, not only do you get really repulsive advertisements, but you run out of room for photographs FAST. We used to get headings we could control via pixels. Now we have a choice of really tiny, whatever someone thinks is standard for this template (which may have nothing to do with me), Annoyingly large, and HUGE. And you have NO control over sub-headings, so if you make you main header smaller, then you sub headings are invisible.

          Like

  8. I just wish they would provide an easy method of justifying text.

    Like

    • I wish they would make spacing less dodgy. Their spacing has never worked properly. And you have very little control over the size of headings, now they they dumped choosing via pixel size. They keep replacing things without fixing the broken parts.

      Like

  9. Yeah, it’s a decision between a hard place and a rock. None of the choices are good

    Like

  10. I run a number of blogs now, all paid for…and, like you, I’ve been blogging a long time. The only saving grace with WP these days, since the introduction of the ‘new and improved’ editor is the bloggers…who mostly don’t want ‘new and improved’, just functional

    Liked by 2 people

    • The thing that annoys me the most is that none of these changes are intended to improve our work or inspire us. They are just glitz. I don’t think glitzy is where I want to go now — or ever. That’s what I did for a living. This is not supposed to be WORK. It’s supposed to be relaxing and fun.

      Like

      • As far as I am concerned, I just want simple… and the choice to have text justified. It bugs me, for some reason, that the option has been removed.

        Like

        • There are some serious spacing issues that pop up on WordPress regularly and always have, at least for the past six years. Extra spaces, the empty spaces that the system reads as “in use”, the tiny column syndrome, the nearly worthless indents … and of course these days, even though i pay for the space, I can’t find even a quarter of my photographs. Apparently we aren’t entitled to see our work, even though we pay to have it. I used a block system to write all the books I wrote when I worked. I was a special skill. Unlike WordPress’s system, it worked. It wasn’t made for casual writing. it was designed for professionals, usually in the non-fiction or academic areas. I still have an old copy of Pagemaker, but I haven’t used it since I retired. A new copy cost a thousand dollars and if you are in the business, it’s probably worth it.

          This isn’t worth it.

          Like

  11. Lots of passion around this subject. I understand. I have now been forced to go with Block Editor. I am blind. Can you imagine trying to deal with it as a blind person? It is horrendous. Yet I can’t leave. It is all I have left in my life, being wheelchair bound too. I get in a mess with it. But within me I HAVE to keep going. Idon’t pay but those adverts are damned annoying. I would feel like you do Marilyn, if Iwas paying and if I had been here for so many years. But Iwonder where else we could go?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thankyou Marilyn. I find this new system a waste of time and I don’t like wasting time but I have decided to go with it. After more than 20 years as a paying customer with WordPress I am not ready to leave yet

    Liked by 2 people

    • Block editing was never intended for the kind of writing we do. It’s designed for design. Book or document design. For just writing a post, it’s a huge waste of energy and takes something that normally used half an hour and makes it a big deal. It will certainly cut down on the amount of output they will get. It’s all because they want business. We are in it for the joy of it, but they want BUSINESSES which we will never be.

      Liked by 1 person

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