WHAT GREAT NEW STUFF DO WE GET FROM THE BLOCK EDITOR?

NOTE: I found a way to twitch the headers and crawl back to the “old” version. It is awkward, but at least it exists. So now I have a separate link for “posts” that has the option to use the classic editor. The automatic option takes me to the new one and I can’t fix that. I’m not enough of a programmer for that, but I did a little bit of code rewriting. How long this will last, I don’t know. We live in hope.

What do we get from the “new” block editor that we didn’t get in the “old” classic editor? In a word, nothing.

If you haven’t gotten slammed with the “block editor and nothing else” yet, you will. It happened to me and it will happen to everybody. It’s a matter of time. If you have not tried to use the block editor, you might as well give it a try. Unless you give up blogging, you aren’t going to have a choice and it’s easier if you have an idea of what you are supposed to do.

For those of you who don’t understand the point of using a block editor, it is so you can cut and past blocks as you work. Except you can’t do that in THIS block editor. You can write it, copy and paste it somewhere else (as long as it’s a standard paragraph — you can’t copy and paste any of the “special” formats), or delete it — but only by backing up to it using the delete key. You can’t use the menu in your mouse. It is also really hard to delete any preformatted text.

This is what the “new” posts page looks like.

Other pages have changed too. That convenient comment page where you could quickly fix typos or awkward sentences is now comments. Just comments. You can’t fix anything — except a comment. 

There’s no fast or simple way to do anything in this format. It’s awkward at best and dysfunctional at worst. Worst is photographs where you actually can’t get the photo to load at all and the few “fancy” formats remaining to us don’t work. 

Among the more annoying things you can’t do with photographs now is move them around in a gallery. You can’t drag a photo to a different position. You have to move one photo at a time with little arrows inside the photograph. You also might not want to caption photographs that will appear in a gallery since the captions show up in the middle of the picture. Who thought that was a good idea?

As for the “media library,” whatever minimal functionality it had before, it’s gone. Before, you could select a size for photographs using points. Now, you have to drag it to whatever shape you want. No more points — and you can’t add an outline (border) anymore. All that functionality is gone.

At first I thought I needed to try harder and it would start to make sense. So I’ve been using it. I hated it for photographs so if the post was mostly photographs, I’d got to the classic editor.

It was okay for text, but not better enough to justify the extra amount work involved in using it.

You can use some of their insets, but these are hard to edit and even harder to delete. You also can’t change their alignment or colors. They are not so much “insets” as “presets.”

Well, you ask, why would I want to edit it anyway? It’s just a blog, right?

For some of us, the quality of our writing and photography matters. I edit my work. I don’t just drop it on the page and publish. I am also the typo queen, something which hasn’t improved as I’ve aged. I often don’t notice the typo until late in the editing process — sometimes after I’ve published it. Do I leave it? No, I go back and fix it. Even when it’s an old piece.

I remember all the fancy gallery designs we were promised in our new “better” editor? Forget them. Most of them have been moved to WordPress’s more expensive business package. They are NOT available in their moderately priced version or at all in the “free” version. Do they still offer something for free? You couldn’t prove it by me.

All the benefits are now part of their business (read “expensive” package. in the business world, we call that “bait and switch.” You promise something, but don’t deliver it, at least not at the promised price.

I don’t need a business package. I’m not a business. I’m not going to be a business. I write and take pictures because I’m a writer and photography has been my hobby for more than 50 years. It’s something creative to do with my time and gives me the opportunity to show off pictures rather than leaving them on hard drives where no one sees them — not even me.

So, now that I’ve been using it, do I feel better about it?

Not really. I can deal with text, though the promised improvements require too much work — and the fancier you get, the harder your editing becomes.

As a simple example, they give you the option of selecting a text size, color and a background color. If you use a custom color, it doesn’t set that color so you can reuse it. You have to rediscover the color EACH time. Nothing can be set in advance. Every single thing you do has to be done each time. You can’t cut a picture and paste it somewhere else. You can’t set a picture size and position. Each photograph has to be set individually.

What a pain in the butt. It’s a big discouragement to using graphics. The more I use it, the more I hate it.

If you use their “classic” format, you can pretend — while you are writing — that it hasn’t changed. But if you need to insert a photograph where you want it, you have to move out of the classic format and get serious about blocks.

I’ve been blogging on WordPress for 8 years and have more than a million hits. it has been my hobby and my way of speaking out about injustice as well as things I find funny, interesting, or curious. I’ve truly enjoyed showing off photographs and sharing the odd bits of my life. It has also given me the opportunity to make friends with people all over the world and you folks really matter to me.

So what am I going to do? I don’t know.

I keep hoping WordPress will at least fix things that are obviously poorly designed or outright broken. But I have not seen any enthusiasm for fixing software by WordPress.

I want my pictures to load. I need tools to adjust pictures and simple ways to edit that don’t turn every post into a battleground. Can I adjust my style so I simply don’t use galleries and plunk down whole pictures — and not many of them? Maybe. I don’t know. I know I’m already writing less, publishing less. I suspect I will continue to write less. I won’t entirely stop, but WordPress has squeezed all the fun out of the blogging experience.

I guess they weren’t making enough money. It’s always about the money, isn’t it?



Categories: Editing, Photography, WordPress, Writing

Tags: , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. What great new stuff do we get from the Boockhead Editor? Megatons of aggravation. That’s all.
    Yes, it is all about the money. WP thinks it is a website builder now, and blogging can take a flying leap as far as they’re concerned. This would almost make sense – if the new version actually worked.

    Like

    • Considering that there have got to be a million software companies who already produce entirely functional word and graphic processing software — not to mention a few thousand out-of-work MIT grads who need the money — why in the world throw together a clumsy, dysfunctional text and graphics package so full of bugs I doubt it will ever work properly. The graphics and text sections were obviously designed by separate software groups — neither of whom are writers or photographers.

      The text package is slow and clumsy, but the photo/graphics section is worse than an early copy of the free photo program Microsoft used to give you with their OS.

      This is the worst mishmash of miscellaneous elements clumsily thrown together to create a non-synchronous package which will suit no one who cares about his or her work. But how do I really feel about it?

      I don’t know who they think they are going to attract as customers, but I feel like I’m being thrown under the bus.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So far (at least as of this morning) I still have the classic editor on my wp-admin site. I also have what I call “classic lite” on the WordPress iOS app. I guess I’ll survive if I lose the classic editor on the admin site because I do 90+% of my blogging on my iPhone. But if they take away the classic option on the iOS app, that’s when I will likely call it quits. Blogging on WordPress will have lost its allure.

    Like

    • It was completely unexpected. It was working the night before. The next morning, gone. WordPress HAS lost its allure — a long time ago, come to think of it. But blogging? I’m not sure I’m ready to give up writing. I love writing. Diaries don’t do it for me. And pictures no one sees don’t do it either. If only there were another option.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I share all your concerns. If I could understand what a block is it would help. . . is it a paragraph, section, Why do I need a block? I just want to write and insert a picture. I attempted to read the latest email and was using very fowl language immediately things jumping around and arrows flashing were of no help.

    Like

    • A block is a section of text. It can be a sentence or a paragraph or a single picture or a gallery of pictures. They don’t have a very good header so it’s difficult to find whatever you need, but if you use the “classic” format, it’s ALMOST like using the old editor. BUT it doesn’t give you any viable options to add pictures. No “add media” in the header. To add a picture after you’ve written text is very difficult no matter how you do it and in classic, it adds them ALL at the bottom of the page, on the left (not centered) and it’s pretty near impossible to find any other photo options, though they exist. I’m told they have some followable directions. I haven’t used them because I’ve worked with so many kinds of word processing formats, I figured this was just another variant,.

      Except it’s more like half a format with a lot of pieces missing. Try the directions. They might help. If you don’t use photographs, just use “classic” and you can pretend nothing happened!

      I probably should mention that the whole concept of using blocks was so you could easily move the blocks around — except you CAN’T move the blocks in this useless format. So the blocks are completely worthless.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn, Thank you. Your comments are helpful and the explanation as to concept speaks to my brain. I have used their help/directions button with little success. I did email WordPress and they responded asking for specific frustrations. With you permission I will some of your thoughts with mine. Claudia

        Like

  4. Agreed on all counts. Somebody over there just seems to change things at WP for no reason I can think of other than to justify their existence. We are hardly ever asked. I came on a couple of days ago and I couldn’t even locate my Posts in Admin. When I found them they weren’t listed in the order I had worked on them. It’s baffling?? Jetpack is weird. You can’t get rid of it – it seems to be embedded. I found with Jetpack that nobody can reBlog my posts. There is no way to do it. Why? What possible reason could they have to disabling this fundamental feature?? I’ve been using the new Editor because I figured it must have something that’s better??? But I will be going back to the old one. It’s just simpler. O Well …
    I can say that I get good Service Support when I talk to them … but …

    Like

  5. I noticed that on my landing page they are now flogging podcasts, join Anchor and turn your blog into a podcast. Not really sure why they think writers and photographers would want to do that.

    Like

    • They get bad advice and really run with it. There are so many good, easy to use word processing systems on the market that do a much better job that this mish-mash they are pushing. They’ve spent years developing something that works poorly when it’s working at all and pushes functionality that most of us have no use for.

      I’m tired of them. I’m “paid up” through June, so I’ll have to give it some serious thought when paying comes around, I don’t feel like I’m getting anything for my money and now, without being able to use the old editor — it’s completely GONE — doing simple things is so much more work than it was. I can get it done — eventually — but it’s such a grind.

      It’s not that I can’t do it. It’s that I’m not sure I really WANT to do it. This was supposed to be a hobby, not a long day’s journey into night.

      Like

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