Is WordPress going down the drain?

It is some time since I wrote a rant but the last couple of weeks the shenanigans perpetrated by WordPress have slowly built up enough to trigger one. So her we go…

For years I have been happy using WordPress for my two blogs. You didn’t really have to spend much effort to create a quite nice looking blog. I did subscribe to the custom CSS option though, I am a computer engineer after all, in order to tweak my themes a bit but that was pretty much it.

There was a multitude of good themes to choose from and I had a wee peek at the themes showcase rather regularly to see of there was something new. They even used to announce the availability of new themes regularly. Something I was rather looking forward to actually.

Then, not too long ago, someone at WordPress started to get silly ideas and now WordPress has, in my opinion of course, become more and more detached from the average amateur blogger.

Yes I do consider myself a amateur blogger even though I am a computer engineer and work with computer software including web design and web based solutions on a daily basis. Blogging is a bit of a hobby and I do not want to do the same work when enjoying my hobby as I do when working.

The first snake in the garden of WordPress came with this bloody block based editor, also called Gutenberg, which was more or less forced upon us. Gutenberg sucks plain and simple. It is far away from the WYSIWYG editor that I, as a casual blogger, wants.

Also, depending on the theme it is more or less buggy. For instance with the theme I currently use it is simply impossible to place and format image blocks so I get the result I want and which I could easily achieve with the old editor. It also seems to be fairly random if the images align correctly at all with the surrounding text.

Yes, they claim you can still use the old one but only as a block using the block editor. What a joke!

Then they released an even bigger snake. Full site editing. Sound good right? Well, not so fast. To use full site editing you need to use a theme that supports it. Okay, that sound reasonable.

BUT when they introduced full site editing they added a set of new themes, which all are more or less just permutations of the same theme and, well, mostly sucks unless you do some substantial editing. Still, fairly reasonable though but now comes the sucker punch.

They decided to retire a large number of the old classic themes. Most of them actually. Including the ones that you had paid for. What the f…? I had quite a few themes for which I paid what they claimed was a one off fee and which I could supposedly use for as long as I wanted. Now they are all gone and I discovered this only when I switched away from one of my paid themes to test another one and then tried to switch back. When trying to switch back the original paid theme was just gone. Double what the f…? To me this is borderline fraud. Especially when the replacement really is no good as in doesn’t work. We’ll get to that…

So obviously I had to try full site editing and one of the new themes. As a computer geek I would probably have done that anyway but now I was really forced into it which, quite frankly, pisses me off.

However, after some initial computer geek enthusiasm I have given up. The theme I’m using now will stay until they fix their shit or I change blog service provider which now has become an actual option.

This full site editor was simply shoved out the door prematurely. It is not production ready, period. That would have been fine if they had just released it together with new themes WITHOUT screwing the old users over by removing the existing themes. Sorry WordPress but you really pooped in your own bed with this.

Overall it is simply buggy and it is really difficult to get the hang of how things work together and, with the risk of repeating myself, I am a computer engineer after all. Sometimes blocks behave weirdly for no good reason. I found that sometimes I had to put a group block inside of a empty group block and then add the blocks I wanted in order to get things to lay out properly for instance.

The real show stopper however came when I discovered that ALL of the new full site editor themes actually screwed up the content of my old posts.

To the right is a partial screenshot of one of my existing posts. Notice the thumbnail image on the top left side.

To the left is a partial screenshot of the same post in pretty much any of the new templates. Yup, that huge image above the first line of text is the image that was supposed to be the right aligned thumbnail in the previous image.

The image in this post is too small to see it but the blown up image is also really grainy as if the original has actually been reduced to the thumbnail size it should have and then blown up again.

I have found no way whatsoever to fix this using the site editor and worse, if I try to edit the actual post it goes completely haywire and replaces the original image with some random image. Not that editing hundreds and hundreds of posts to fix WordPress’ screw-up would have been an option anyway of course.

I actually had a chat with WordPress support which did indeed try their best to find a solution but these people are not developers and this is obviously a bug so…

The supporter did however file a bug report for the attention of the developers, or so this person claimed at least, so maybe I will see this fixed but I fear this is just the top if iceberg, or should I write bugberg?

So not surprisingly, as a WordPress user for many years, I am somewhat pissed of by WordPress right now. I feel they, or at least the person or persons that have taken these poor decisions, are downright pissing on their existing customer base. At least on the casual or amateur bloggers.

Their decision to squash everything into a single, rather expensive, paid option instead of allowing people to chose what they actually need doesn’t help of course.

One thought on “Is WordPress going down the drain?

  1. I’ve assiduously avoided changing my theme because I wanted nothing to do with FSE. I’ve seen so many complaints on the forums about it that I knew it was poorly released. Much like everything else WP has done recently.

    Once next march hits I won’t be renewing my plan and will be looking elsewhere. If I could figure out a good way to keep track of comments on blogger I would, but so far that doesn’t seem feasible.

    And I’m sorry to hear you got scammed by having paid themes disappear. I’d go on the forums and let them know, publicly, how cheated you feel. Other people need to know this could happen to them if they buy themes 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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