Dear WordPress: Really? REALLY?!?

UPDATE: After a lot of wasted time researching, contacting WordPress, and fiddling about, I do appear to have found another workaround that is allowing me to see the Classic Editor panels again. I have a paid premium account on the WordPress.com platform (WordPress.org is a different beast), so I can’t swear that what I did will work for you if you’re on another version or level of their various products. But by leaving this particular website’s control panel and going to my master WordPress Profile Page for all of my websites, there is a new toggle switch there that says “Show advanced dashboard pages. Enabling this will replace your dashboard pages with more advanced wp-admin equivalents when possible.” I toggled this on, saved, logged out, closed my browser and cleared my caches, re-loaded and re-logged-in, and can now get the functionality I want, though the look and theme are all different, for no good reason. (I still have to specifically find and choose “classic editor” when creating new or editing old posts in this view; the default is to the new Block Editor version). I hate that WordPress now seems to be following the Facebook model of continually changing settings unilaterally, forcing constant maintenance, vigilance, and updates to keep things working securely and looking the way I want them to. Note that I gave up on Facebook in 2012 for precisely that reason. I have little patience for that behavior. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again here. But here’s believing that it will. Grumble. 

Last October, I wrote a post here called Dear WordPress: Your New Editor is Terrible. I noted that I’ve been managing my personal website via various WordPress applications since 1999, mostly happily, but that I was most decidedly not happy about their new Gutenberg “Block Editor,” which was functionally inferior to what I was used to, and seemed clearly to be designed for folks who either write or read their web content on their phones. Fortunately, at the time I noted that there seemed to be some workarounds that would allow me to continue using their “Classic Editor,” and I have been using said workarounds since that time, still mostly happily.

Until this morning, when I logged in to write a new post, and noted that my WP-ADMIN control board looked different. It didn’t take long to realize that this difference seems to hinge on the fact that the “Classic Editor” work-around options no longer exist, and that those of us who are using the WordPress platform (and, in my case, paying to use their platform, as a long-time premium account owner) will no longer be given the option of using the interface that we’ve enjoyed for the past dozen years, or longer.

So I’m writing this post in the new editor, and it’s terrible. TERRIBLE, I say!! It truly sucks. I hate it. I have no idea what it’s going to look like when I publish it, and I have no idea how to do simple things that I’ve been doing for years and years, but now are either hidden or disabled. Not a happy camper today. Not. At. ALL.

So to my fellow WordPress bloggers: are you seeing the same thing? And if so, I have two questions for you. (I would normally bulletize or number them here, but it’s no longer obvious how to do so, dammit). Anyway . . . (1) Are you aware of any remaining workarounds to continue using Classic Editor, and if not, (2) Are you aware of any other hosting platforms where a massive WordPress website like this one can be easily exported and imported without having to undergo massive reformatting, re-linking, and re-loading of images and files?

I’m truly dismayed, disgusted, annoyed and aggrieved at having this change forced down my throat as a long-time paying customer of this platform. This is an utterly awful way to treat platform users, for no obvious discernible benefit to those of us who make the WordPress commercial enterprise possible. Not sure when you’ll be seeing another post from me accordingly. I have to assess whether to migrate, adapt, or give up, after 26 years as an active blogger, going back before the word “blog” (or WordPress) existed to describe what I and other online writers were doing. And what I would like to continue doing, if our hosts wouldn’t keep punching us in the face with unwanted changes that make the act of writing and publishing online painful, not pleasurable.

(Note: I generally make a point of adding an image to every post I make here. But it’s also not obvious how to do that in this shitty, shitty, SHITTY editor, so just imagine a picture of me scowling in a state of deep ire here, in lieu of something that I could have quickly created and loaded 24 hours ago).

(Another Note: I also don’t see anyway to slot this post into the categories that I have used to archive and organize my website over the years. Why? WHY?!?!? WHYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!)

8 thoughts on “Dear WordPress: Really? REALLY?!?

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  4. Despise the Block. I’ve been contributing to the Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library blog, which is in that damn format. So I write in my blog, cut and paste it. Someone else can put in a pic, but I simply cannot.

    Now on my (unpaid) WP composing blog, I can get to Classic Editor, but once I schedule or publish, it’s seemingly stuck in Gutenberg forever.

    The real blog I can start in Classic Editor still, thank Allah – at MyURL/wp-admin/post-new.php?classic-editor. BUT let’s say I want to add a hyperlink to a John Oliver YouTube. If I just put it in the blog, it goes automatically to the rectangle with the video.

    The workaround – this is exhausting – is to go to the composing blog. copy the area around the edit to ANOTHER post, then add the words and URL. (YouTube link) John Oliver, then copy THAT into my REAL blog and make the hyperlink I want.

    And once I’ve published or scheduled a blog, changing the picture is impossible unless I copy to composing blog but sans pic, then post a new post in the real blog, add pic, save that, delete the 1st… this is tiring me out…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t really started thinking about WP in the same ways I thought about Facebook (until I left it), but these sorts of sleight-of-hand, hidden-backdoor approaches to force less tech-savvy users in their desired direction are right in that pocket. While I gave up on Facebook, hating that approach completely, at least I understood their rationales, which were profit-motivated and (I think) designed to keep personal security low so they could skim useful data from their customers. But with WP, I don’t even understand the rationale for their aggressive efforts to force users into the block editing mode. I can’t believe that it’s cost-prohibitive to keep the classic editor up, and I have not (yet) gotten a sense that they’re skimming our blogs for data. In my case, they make their money through the fees I pay for premium account, which removes advertising. For those who don’t pay, they presumably make their dollars on advertisements. So . . . is the issue that the block format makes it easier to place advertisements, or makes it harder for readers to remove them? (I also use AdBlock Plus, so I don’t see adverts even on sites that have them). It just seems like an aggressive ploy to impose an inferior product for no benefit to user or business-owner . . . . which makes it all the more annoying!!!

      Like

  5. Oh dear. I am of course a relative blogging novice compared to you, but I share your loathing for the block editor and the way it’s foisted upon you. As you know, I abandoned WordPress several months ago because of it. Blogger isn’t perfect, but it’s free, easy to use, and I’m yet to come across any issue I couldn’t resolve on my own and straightforwardly.

    Good luck with finding an answer to your woes!

    Like

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