From February 2015, this is a Flashback Friday post proving that nothing has changed. We are still complaining about WordPress. They still do whatever they want whether or not it has anything to do with people trying to manage their blogs.

Today, ignoring everything going on in the world, WordPress’s daily prompt was counter-inspirational involving the usual desert island and only five foods to eat forever. Ho hum. If you were previously enthusiastic and inspired, their prompt would deflate you. So, instead, I’m going to tell you a true story. The names have been not been changed because they are all guilty.

Just before Christmas this past year, I treated myself to a long-deferred gift: a premium theme. It is/was not WordPress’s most expensive theme. At $49, it was on the low-end, but it was the first one I liked enough to consider buying.

It wasn’t cutesy. Blogly was tidy, squared off. Black on white text, with a choice of background colors. Flexible layout. Many post styles — none of which, as it turned out, worked. A sidebar for widgets. 

The more I looked at it, the better I liked it. I gave it several test runs. Finally, I bought it. I figured, hey, I’m a blogger. I can have a nice theme. It’s a one-time purchase and I can use it forever.

It turned out that forever was extremely brief. In January, WordPress decided including an “Edit” link in the “My Sites” drop-down menu would ruin their design. This made no sense. Regardless of any other consideration, the ability to conveniently edit your blog is critical to everyone who writes, even if it’s just captions for photographs.

It was particularly important to me, because Blogly, unlike most themes, had no built-in “edit” link. Without its own link — and after removing the Edit function of the drop-down menu — making even correcting a typo nearly impossible. I was not the only one who got upset. A lot of incensed bloggers later, WordPress restored the edit function to the “My Sites” menu.

But — they weren’t through messing with me. They decided to “fix” Blogly because, they explained, it should have its own internal edit link. All themes should have an edit link. So the talented development Happiness Team (they keep telling me how great they are) put an edit link in Blogly. Not where it belongs, in individual posts, but only when you are looking at posts in “home” and scrolling. So if you had an individual post open to read it, there was still no edit link. I consoled myself that at least they’d restored the link on the drop-down.

Then they did something else to Blogly. I don’t know what they did, or any idea why, but suddenly, when you clicked a comment, you got sent to the comment and the rest of the post as well as the rest of the site became inaccessible. You could not scroll up past the start of comments. Getting home was daunting. Complaints from readers poured in. I checked the function in Safari and Chrome. I checked on my laptop, desktop, Kindle and iPad. I had the same problems across all platforms and browsers.

Blogly was dead. I could not resize graphics. Text was weird. I was never sure what margins I would get — or what size titles would be. So many issues. A couple of nights ago, when all my text got pushed to the far right into an ugly narrow column with pictures glued together in a solid lump, I gave up.

I was pissed. The next time the annoying “How can we help you” box popped up, I asked for my money back. Barring that, I suggested they let me select a different theme that actually worked.

They said it was too late to get my money back — you only have 30 days to change your mind.

I pointed out that I hadn’t changed my mind. They had trashed my theme. They broke it and they owed me. They called in the infamous “Happiness engineering” development team. They were sure it would be a simple fix. Not.

The good news? They did the right thing. Somewhere, somehow, someone in WordPress stopped spouting the party line and acted like a professional. The bad news? How could this mess happen? And why were they still offering the theme for sale when it was so completely broken?

It was not always like this. Those of us who have been blogging on WordPress for years remember when it was a happy place with support, encouragement, and occasionally, inspiration.

They’ve taken all the good stuff away and left us with warmed over prompts and what has got to be the most incompetent crew of developers and customer disservice people anywhere. They are worse than my cable company and I don’t say that lightly.

It doesn’t have to be this way. They have taken a good thing and are destroying it, piece by piece. Bad choices, a determination to create a platform for a market that doesn’t exist. Despite their firm belief that the future of blogging is on small devices, it’s not true. People may view blogs on small devices and a few people even write on them, but there are many things — graphics, for example — that you just can’t do on something that small. 

The success of WordPress depends on having bloggers who attract readers. That means content creators. Writers, photographers, artists. Chefs, craftspeople. All if whom need effective tools to do their thing. 

We are their customers. We generate revenue for WordPress in exchange for a platform. At which WordPress keeps chipping, making it harder and harder to do what we do.

Making it easier to view blogs on cell phones while taking away critical tools bloggers need to produce content is short-sighted. 

So I say, send them all to their favorite desert island. Give them just five foods to eat forever. Most important, don’t let them near a computer.

Categories: #Blogging, #FlashbackFriday, #Photography, Customer Service, Daily Prompt, WordPress

Tags: , , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. I’ve never bought a paid theme although I have looked at them a few times. I too find that they are getting more and more complicated. I just need something simple. I’m actually afraid to change away from the ones I have in case I can’t get them back if I don’t like the new ones.
    Recently when I was doing the new Daily prompt, I commented that there was no way to read other bloggers posts because the link they supplied wasn’t working and nobody would know how to find them without it.
    I was extremely surprised when, a few days later, I got a comment from a “Happiness Engineer” saying that I was correct in pointing that out and that they would fix it. a couple of weeks later I saw that they had done so. I don’t know which i was more surprised about, the comment or that they actually followed up. I got the impression that this new prompt was still being tested. They have certainly never made a big announcement about it. It just turned up one day. I still think they should have made sure that it worked properly before releasing it or they should have made it clear that it was still in test mode and that they were looking for feedback.


    • I KNOW if I change templates, I won’t get this one back. They no longer have it available. So far, it still works. I’m counting on it staying functional because I really have NO idea how the new ones work — and I use the “new” format, so I should understand it. But, I don’t.

      A lot of pingbacks are not working. I noticed that Fandango’s were broken last week and Cee’s were broken this week. So far, mine are still working, but who knows for how long. They have done some very strange stuff with the graphics too, so now none of their fancy galleries work — just the basic one which worked before they made all these changes — and the pictures show up on your edit screen as tiny, though they look normal when published. It’s all gotten very weird.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I always leave a link in comments as well as a pingback now. I had been having the tiny pictures on my edit screen and it bothers me even though they look fine in normal view. The media search is very odd too. It’s much harder to search for photos I know I have on there. My subscriptions are due in March and May but it is 56% cheaper to buy it for a year as to pay monthly. So I will have to find $120 dollars in our money by the end of next month.


  2. They keep tweaking. It is frustrating to say the least. I have to keep my responses brief, because with some of the recent tweaks, the air around me turns a strange shade of deep blue.


    • It would be nice if they did at least a little bit of beta testing before they dumped changes into the format. They took away the ability to effectively use any of their galleries except the basic one or the single picture. So for all their twiddling, they’ve made actually getting what you thought you were paying for kind of useless. I’m just tired. I don’t want to FIGHT with the format. I just want it to WORK.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When l was creating this blog last year, l enjoyed making advance posts, and l had chosen various gallery options. After a few months, suddenly everything changed, and everything l had created was useless, and l had to start all over.

        That did annoy me immensely.

        They keep making tweaks that are frustrating. I have one recently added that instead of being able to work continuously with images in the gallery, l have to keep treating each one as a single frame – why?

        Why make everything more complicated? Where’s the damn logic in that?

        Beta testing is logic – nerfing everything is not! [To nerf, gamer’s term – fix things that are not broken]


  3. I understand your frustration, Marilyn. I experience lots of issues with WP too and I also pay for my platform so I can have more data storage.


    • I have been paying for mine for at least 10 years — for the extra storage and because I get a little more freedom to design. They give you stuff and then they take it away. Now, a lot of things I used to be able to do with the “Premium” format you can only do if you pay for the business platform. Since I don’t have a business and don’t plan on starting one, I’m not going to pay such a high price to get what I used to get before they made them inaccessible.

      Worse, WordPress doesn’t test to see if format changes actually work. I’ve given up complaining. It’s pointless. They will do what they do. If it wrecks your ability to use pieces parts of your template, that’s your problem.

      They don’t treat us as customers. They treat us as annoyances. Considering how much money I’ve poured into this blog, it’s infuriating. They don’t want hobbyists, just businesses. They make this pretty obvious.

      Lack of competition ruins business relationships.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t get it. Why are they deliberately antagonizing their users? It makes no sense! I get that they wanted more “business” users, but this constant breakage will annoy THEM even more than hobbyists. I’ve had the same free theme forever, and it’s the one thing that works, so I’m sure it’s on their list to ruin soon…


    • My format is effectively “obsolete.” I’ve looked to see if there is another template I can use, but their “new” ones are so complicated, I don’t know HOW to use them.

      They are so obviously trying to get rid of us, their “hobby” bloggers, I think they don’t understand we are the people that bring new users onto their platform. I’m sure it isn’t their business platforms.

      They don’t treat us as customers. We are annoyances. Pests. One of these days, they will make using their service impossible. And you’re right: businesses are even less tolerant of intrusive software because all the pointless changes mean constant “repairing” of their online presence and NO business wants to do that. I would never use WP for a business. When I had a business online, I searched far and wide to get one that did what I wanted rather than what someone else thought I should want.


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