IT’S NOT A BLOCK EDITOR – PART II

HUH?

For reasons that are way beyond my knowledge, I can’t GET the block editor to work at all on my Mac. It simply will not come up. I have to fight to avoid it on my PC, but I can’t use it on my Mac. Too many bizarre glitches and this one’s a doozy.

Seriously, no kidding, their engineers need to fix the glitches. Then they need to make the GUI intuitive so that regular people can use the format without it becoming a major barrier to writing and photography. They need to put some intelligent planning into the graphics section in particular.

WordPress needs to overhaul the GUI so it can be managed by normal users who just want to write something, add a few photographs, and be done. It’s not supposed to be a marathon or unusable without a month of practice.

I can use it and sometimes choose it intentionally — but I still can’t figure out where to find categories and tags more than half the time and it’s so sensitive that hitting the wrong key — which I do a LOT because typos are us — will publish it when you’re not even finished with your first draft. They also need to unlock the graphics section so it’s functional — at least to the degree that the previous one was — which wasn’t great either. The photo section is a nightmare.

Function and sections of functions are buried under other functions. There’s NO reason to make it that complicated. Put a bar up top with functions clearly listed so users can and open the section they need. Every other word processing format does that and so should WordPress.

I have several folks who write on this site who can’t figure it out. They aren’t regulars and it’s too much work for a once-in-a-while user. It’s hard to blame them. The format is non-intuitive (maybe anti-intuitive). For occasional users, it’s not worth the effort.

By now, a lot more of your have been “hit” with “the new format” and discovered what a pain in the butt it is to use, especially for photography.


For those of you wondering why the “new format” in WordPress is called a block editor, it’s because each chunk of graphics or text is considered a “block” — whether it’s a picture, a collection of pictures, a paragraph, or a quote. The point of a block editor is it lets you move blocks around the page or the book — or even between multiple books — until you have exactly what you want. It’s a wonderful kind of function to have when you’re writing a book, or have finished a draft and are rearranging text and graphics for your next draft.

For a blog, a block editor is overkill. Few blog posts exceed 1000 words. More typically, posts run closer to 500 or 600 words. For a small piece like that, cut and paste is more than enough firepower. A block editor — if this were indeed a block editor — would rarely be warranted.

If you work on WordPress, there is no need for you to worry your head about dealing with a block editor because no matter what they call it, it is not a block editor. Calling items blocks doesn’t make them blocks. They remain what they always were: paragraphs, photographs, galleries, or some other preset design function. You get to have the complexity of a block editor without its benefits. More work for the same result.

To make this format function, you need to know what you’re going to do with your piece before you write it. If we could all do that in a first draft, it would make us highly efficient authors. Sadly, I have never been quite that efficient.

The point of a block editor is being able to move blocks without using cut and paste. It lets you write or design sections without having to reformat when you move them. That’s why block editors are wonderful when you are authoring.

It’s overkill for a blog but as I said earlier, this is not really a block editor. It’s just called that.

What’s the point of all this change if the end result looks pretty much the same as it did in the old editor, but now requires users to do twice as much work? And know in advance what to do before even beginning? I can’t write that way. I’ve been a professional writer my entire adult life. At 74, I don’t think I could — even if I wanted to — change my writing style to suit the great minds of WordPress.

While I’m writing this, I’m testing out graphics. I can’t use a picture unless it has been downloaded and titled. The captions STILL show up in the middle of the picture. Please raise your hand if you think this is a good idea!

I can load existing pictures, but not new ones. New pictures from folders won’t load at all. I can’t move photos once they have been inserted. I can’t work in any block without my mouse because you have to click IN the block. Merely moving your cursor there doesn’t do it. This must really irk people who are trying to work on an iPad.

Half the time I can’t find the categories or tags. Everything takes more effort than it used to. I can make it work, but I have to ask: why should I have to try this hard to do things that used to be simple?

So. Let’s say today I want to do some magic tricks in my blog. I’m going to use some presets and colors and fancy gallery patterns. Tomorrow, though I just want to write something, post it, and move on. Let’s say sometimes, I want the fancy stuff — a callout, a quote, a design. For that piece, I use the slow editor and have to do a lot of prep work before I even start to write. Most of the time, I have other things to do. I may not want to spend an hour writing a piece that used to take ten minutes. Unless WordPress is paying ME rather than me paying them.

I do not understand why WordPress feels aggrieved that some of us don’t want to use this format at all — and many of us don’t want it all the time. Would it ruin them to let us not use it?

Why drive users away? This is a bizarre business model. Normally, the primary goal of a for-profit company is to attract users, not convince them to give up on their product. Nonetheless, that is what they are doing and I really don’t get it. It makes no sense. They don’t even need to invent it because it already exists.

Add that to my ever-growing list of things that I don’t understand – like why people are willing to risk death rather than get vaccinated or make up ridiculously complicated reasons for why stuff happens when the truth is so much simpler and has the advantage of actually being true.

The list of incomprehensible stuff gets longer every day.



Categories: Author, Editing, Gallery, Graphics and Design, WordPress, Writing, You can't make this stuff up

Tags: , , , , , , ,

36 replies

  1. I am wondering if it would be easier to write the post in Word, then paste the whole thing into WP. For my simple posts, that might become a solution ~ ~ ~

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  2. I was not happy Sunday when I could not find my way to the classic editor. The new editor lets you switch to sort of a classic version, but it is still not as smooth as the original. I don’t write in blocks. When I sit down to write, I usually know where I am going and want to get there rather quickly. I target 800 to 1000 words as a general rule and sometimes I am a little over or under that. Very little of what I have done would have benefitted by a block editor. I will have more on this and other websites on Sunday.

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    • That’s really the problem. It’s overkill for a blog format. Yeah, it’ll work, but in classic format, you can’t insert photos between paragraphs, so you have to know where you are going to put them before you put them there and if it’s finished and you want to go back and put them in, good luck. This morning I discovered my Mac can’t even FIND the block editor at all. Whatever you think you are doing you are getting the old classic editor. I will send you a link today to get the old one back — for now. I’ve been fighting with an ugly reaction to the second of the two Moderna vaccines, so I’ve been too sick to do much of anything. Last night, I finally went in and deleted a few hundred emails, but I haven’t been doing much except fighting one hell of a fever — it went up to 104.5 (answer: ice and aspirin!). That was scary. I’m better. I would think I was sick, but I’m so much better than I was, I feel GREAT.

      Liked by 2 people

      • What’s the deal with WordPress? Do they want to make things difficult for their clients/customers/users? I don’t understand.

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      • Most of the time I select photos after the fact. Sometimes I am building around them, but not often.
        I’m glad you got the 2nd shot and feel better now. With the vaccine and masks we run less chance of infection compared to the millions who would rather risk severe illness and death than to get a poke in the arm.

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  3. I use a free open source blog writing programme off-line, based on a program that originally came with the standard microsoft package – Open Live Writer. Your blog’s format linked so when you work off-line the page, without header, otherwise looks much like your live post page.

    You can add photos from your files, move them about, add copyright tags, but you can’t make a gallery off-line.

    The program allows you to publish direct OR to publish in draft form. I usually do the latter, though it is now a bit more fiddly than before. Click on ‘My Site’, then ‘posts’ in the left menu, then on ‘drafts’ on the top of page strap menu. The draft title comes to the top of the list. Click on the right hand toggle 3dot thingy and it will bring you to the editing page where there is still a ‘classic’ tab option in the top left corner of the page.

    If I were making a gallery of photos, this is when I would do it, but have not attempted it under the new dictator regime in case the whole thing falls apart, and I can’t be faffed to sort it out. So for now I’m leaving my photos full sized interspersed with text, which to my mind constitutes ‘a blog’ as most of us are not trying to create ‘magazine look’ as that would not be a blog but a magazine!

    Gad, but these techno-dictators, in all spheres of life now, are driving me bonkers. Despite their techie aptitude they seem possessed only of tunnel vision and thus have a very limited grasp of reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to save this as a document. You should publish it. I know most people won’t understand it, but some will. I’m still at a loss for WHY they are forcing users to do it their way. There’s no loss to them if they just leave the old editor in place. They don’t have to invent anything new. It already exists. Why does anyone CARE how we write our pieces? From my point of view, it’s none of their business in the first place.

      I’m not sure that my admin page has things in the same places as you are talking about. I’ve mangaged to re-engage the old one that had actual information on it rather than “enlightenment.” ENLIGHTENMENT? Give me a break!

      Anyway I was too sick yesterday to do anything but stay in bed and watch my temperature go up to 104.5 (40.2) which was the highest it has been in about 50+ years. Ice brought it down. I really really didn’t want to go to the ER, but I knew that was about as high as it could go without frying my brain. The ice brought it down very fast. Sometimes I forget that heat and ice are very productive tools in dealing with physical issues. Still, it’s a day I do NOT want to repeat.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Goodness, Marilyn. Hope you feel better tomorrow. Attempted brain frying is much to be avoided. As to admin page difference, mine has changed recently. It comes up when I click on ‘My Site’ (top left corner). The side bar has a solid black background, your blog name at top of the list, then underneath ‘Posts’ is four lines down. When you click on that it brings up a white page: ‘Posts’. This has a list of all your posts, most recent at the top.
        The menu bar across the top of this page: ‘Published’, ‘Drafts’, ‘Scheduled’, ‘Trash.’ If you’ve used Open Live Writer to publish a draft, click on ‘drafts’ and it should bring it to the top of the list. Head to the far right of your draft title to the toggle dots and select edit, which should get you to the editor page! At the top of the page to edit there should be a tab that lets you choose ‘Classic’. I thought I’d repeat this for everyone’s benefit, including mine. Good luck and all best wishes for feeling better.

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        • I swear we each have a different version of the dashboard. I’ve got two (or maybe three) different ones on my PC and yet one more on my Mac — AND the block editor won’t even appear on my Mac. No matter what I select, it comes up as the old editor. Go figure.

          WordPress needs to do some serious GUI work on it. They need a menu that gets you where you need to go — EVERY TIME YOU USE IT! — and an interface that an occasional user can use to write a simple post without a lot of special stuff.

          There are so many brilliant software designers around who need work, why can’t they HIRE a few? They’ve got CalTech out there and all those MIT grads would happily move to wherever there’s work. It’s not like they can’t afford good help.

          There’s no reason for it to be this complicated. Anyone should be able to write a simple piece without a long learning curve.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s so weird – different dashboards.
            Anyway, you could still try using Open Live Writer – post a draft and see what happens. It might be handy just to send a bunch of new photos to your WP photo gallery.

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            • I have to see if Open Live Writer exists on this machine. I haven’t owned Word or any other Microsoft product — other than Windows — for a long time.

              Liked by 1 person

              • It’s free to download otherwise. I used to use the microsoft version ‘Live Writer’ I think. It came with my PC package and I found it by accident when looking for picture editing facilities. Then they stopped supporting it. Open Live Writer can sometimes be a bit slippery/non responsive, and it’s always wise to keep saving the in-put, which I too often forget to do if I’m writing a long post. Here’s the link for anyone else who wants to look into it: https://openlivewriter.com/

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            • Downloaded it. NOW I have to see if it will load. I keep coming up with a “blocked” error. I deleted other add-ons. Maybe that will make it work. I have to say that this is getting much too much like work to be much fun. These days I just want to run away and not deal with it. That is say after all these years of work.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Blogging is supposed to be a pleasure after all, not a chore. Why do WP make it so difficult? It’s not as if a lot of us aren’t paying them some dosh. They seem obsessed with everyone monetizing their blogs or turning them into commercial enterprises with podcasts etc.

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  4. I am using the new “block” editor for some time. I just do not have the time to dabble with pros and cons. It is there and I use it until the next one comes and I will use that too. At the age of almost 75 I just adapt to them all. Not only WordPress but other organisations are always “improving” their sites.

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    • I can deal with the text in the block editor, although when for reasons I cannot fathom, they set it to “classic,” it won’t even let me insert a graphic between paragraphs. I think that’s when I’m working over an older post, it automatically sets itself to “classic.”

      But the photographs are an issue for me. They need to do some repair work on that part of the editor. I know you use a different method to bring graphics on board and I would like to know how exactly you do it. Because this system requires a three part process just to get the photo to show up in the post and leaves you no way to adjust it. Not that they had much in the way of adjustments before, but this is pretty bad. Mostly, it takes me an awfully long time to get anything done. I get tired just thinking about it. So unless I’m going to never do anything more complicated than single photographs — which is not out of the question — I have to completely rethink how I use photographs and if I’m a photographer or not.

      I had a really bad reaction to the second COVID shot yesterday with my temperature skyrocketing to 104.5 (40.2). I knew it would go away by itself — it always does — so I really didn’t want to go to the hospital and then I remembered ice. That brought it down fast. In the interim, it got a bit scary.

      Like

    • This morning, because I’m still in bed, I went to look at my posts. I have a Mac in here. Guess what? NO block editor. They list it but it won’t run on my AirMac. I get the classic editor ONLY no matter what I want. I just wanted to edit and wanted to use the same format, but it doesn’t work on this machine. Which I totally do NOT understand. Maybe this machine needs an update. I shut it down when I’m not using it. It’s the PC that gets most of the day to day work.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with every word of this

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  6. I’m used to it now as I changed over a while ago but yes, it was frustrating at the start. Everything seemed to take longer to do. Now I manage, I can drag photos from the folder on my computer straight into a post but I still have to add captions. Galleries are a pain. I can reorder the photos but I spend longer than I would like to get them into an attractive format.
    It seems as if WordPress is more interested in attracting new business than looking after those customers they already have. I don’t know why. Surely all customers should be equally important but they seem to feel that once they have us we should like what they tell us to like.

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    • It’s a foolish way to run a business and in the end, it will cost them customers. If they were paying ME, I could understand their forcing everyone to use the same design format, but when we are paying THEM, it doesn’t make sense. I can deal with the text, although if that is the way they want to use it, they need to fix it so it works better. A lot of people don’t use a mouse anymore, especially Mac users.

      But for me, it’s the graphics that are a serious issue. Being unable to move pictures around in a mosaic or collage or gallery means that if you don’t like it, you might as well start over because moving pictures is too slow. If this is what you are going to force people to use, at least fix it so it works properly. They also need to make it possible to resize, rename, title and enter new pictures from folders. The whole graphics section is badly designed. It look pretty when you are done, but it’s a lot more work to achieve essentially the same thing you got before with far less work.

      If you are going to have a block format, then make the software easy to use and intuitive. Remember that more than half your customers are more involved with graphics than text and give them tools for grownups. Make editing a lot easier. Do NOT require everyone to know what they will do before they do it because most of us don’t work that way.

      If they are going to do it, at least do it RIGHT.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was reluctant to try the new editor, and now that I have kinda mastered it, I don’t like it or see the point.
    Life is getting far too complicated for me, and would sell my soul for a system that lets me be in charge.
    I have been asking myself if there is such a thing out there, that has the same results as WP?

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    • Yes, there are, but for a blog, you really don’t need them. Framemaker (Adobe, same people who make Photoshop) does absolutely EVERYTHING you might need to write a book or for that matter, an encyclopedia. But for a blog? You do not need anything that complicated. It’s unnecessary for most people and not enough for the rest of us. If you use a few pictures sometimes, you don’t need anything fancy, just the ability to set up a simple gallery or put a picture in place. Like the old format. Give users the ability to create standard settings, let them drag photos to the right positions in a gallery and make it easy to resize anything. The loss of the simple frame for pictures if huge for me. I used it when the picture I was using was light and I needed an edge to stand out. Now, I can’t do that in WP, but I don’t like doing it when I process the picture because I don’t know when or how I’ll use the picture and if that border will work in multiple settings.

      Pretty much any text handling format — including Google docs and many free applications — will do what WP is apparently trying to do and it will be a lot easier than what they done. I don’t know why they didn’t just buy an existing package from some other company. Truly, they are reinventing the wheel.

      Like

  8. I’ve avoided using this new editor till now. I am hoping my WP app will let me use the classic editor for a long time.

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  9. Not sure why, but I am able to access the Old Editor and use it. I did find their new system to be cumbersome and unnecessary. The simplicity of the Old Editor makes it an obvious choice for me. I am not against anything NEW as long as it’s an improvement. This has not proven to be so.

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    • I wouldn’t mind being able to use this format if I have something fancy i want to do, but it is a lot more work for a result that looks very much like it looked before. The differences are minor and I’m not convinced that taking an hour to do something used to take ten minutes is worth it unless I’m getting paid. Since I’m paying THEM…

      You can still get to the old classic if you do a little futzing with the link text. They ARE intending to eliminate it and I don’t know WHY. Why drive users away? What is the point?

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      • I suspect Aliens or a covert Government Operation. There are few plausible explanations for eliminating the Old Editor. It can’t be money can it? Even THAT doesn’t make sense.

        Maybe its’ a secret pact with Jetpack?

        I’ll consult Pogo and see if I can come up with answer.

        But since I don’t have 10,000 followers, another Blogging outfit might be the answer? Who says you can’t have a Blog site with 2 or 3 different Blog outfits anyway?

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        • If you can find another blogging platform, let me know. There used to be a lot of them, but now there are very few and most of them are some variation on a close of whatever WP is doing.

          No, it can’t be money because they are literally driving paying customers away. It really doesn’t make ANY sense at all.

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  10. So far, at least as of earlier today (Sunday), I still have the classic editor in the wp/admin site on my laptop and a limited, but somewhat functional, version of the classic editor in the WordPress iOS app. But if both of those classic editors disappear, I’m bidding adieu to WordPress.

    Like

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