Why I don’t like the new WordPress interface

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I don’t like change. There, I’ve said it. Once I’ve got a tool working efficiently, I don’t appreciate being forced to learn how to use a different one, just because someone, somewhere, thought it might be a good idea.

You see, the thing I care about is not the tool itself, it’s what I can do with that tool. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, please. Every time you do, you’re wasting my precious time. And whatever you do, please don’t make my blogging life harder!

Sadly the latest iteration of the WordPress interface does not give me anything worthwhile, but it does make what I do a little bit harder.

Before I start complaining about the failings of this new tool, I have to concede that the WordPress designers did not develop this new interface for me. In fact they did not develop it for any of us old users. Almost without fail, every innovation has been aimed squarely at new users, or to be more precise, to attract new users. This can be seen most clearly in the login screen :

wordpress interface new 1

The whole, visual thrust of this screen is to make it easy for a new user to sign up. Unfortunately, if I were a new user, I’d look at that screen and scratch my head because :

1. I would not know the format of the wordpress URLs, and hence I would not know what to type in that nice, convenient box,

2. There is nothing on this screen to help me decipher what’s expected of me.

In a word, this is poor design compounded by the fact that as an old user, I now have to add an extra click to my sign-in procedure. If I stayed in WordPress all day, that extra click might not bother me. But I’m in and out a number of times per day, and each time I have to :

a) Wait for the screen to load

b) Click the Log In button

c) Position the cursor at the new input dialogue box, and only then actually type in my log in details.

Quite frankly, this is unnecessary and more than a little annoying. Sadly, it’s just the beginning.

Once I am inside WordPress, the interface does look greatly simplified, and ‘clean’. By default, the interface opens with the Reader screen, allowing me to dive straight into other peoples’ blogs, if I so wish. Well, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. First thing of a morning, I’m more likely to want to see my stats, or reply to comments. However, if I’ve just had a great idea for a new post, I’d rather get straight into writing.

Now, to be fair, there is a ‘New Post’ icon at the top right of my screen :

wordpress interface new post1but when I mouse-over it in the Opera browser, I get no tooltip telling me that this is what I should click in order to create a new post. Again, to be fair, Opera is very unforgiving of html or CSS errors, so perhaps the lack of a mouse-over is just a problem with my browser.

However, I find it hard to believe my browser is also to blame for the fact that the ‘New Post’ icon never seems to work properly for me. I can certainly type a new post, however as soon as I try to save my draft, or preview it, the waiting animation just goes berserk and won’t stop. In order to save my work, I have to :

- select all

- copy

- cancel post

- select My Sites

- select Posts

- select New Post

- and paste what I typed into a screen that can be saved.

As you can imagine, this is just a wee bit …annoying.

My biggest gripe, however, has to do with how important features have now been hidden behind acres of simplified screens. For example, in the new, streamlined interface, the only way I can find one particular post I have written is by scrolling through every single post I’ve ever written, in date order! That is the prospect I faced this morning when I went looking for my original post on ‘frozen shoulder/hydro dilation.

I eventually found the search function under My Sites/Dashboard/Posts/All Posts. Now, I have always been able to find the search function on the Dashboard, but I distinctly remember also being able to access the search function from the My Sites/Posts option as well. That is no longer available to me, and I’m forced to do everything the hard way.

[Note: if you have not already found the search function in WordPress, there is a quick how-to at the end of this post].

Again, this lack of functionality is only likely to annoy the $hit out of people like me who have 500 plus posts to wade through. But what happens when those new users become old users and discover that all the best, most efficient features have been hidden from them?

-grumble- I suppose they’ll have other interface ‘innovations’ to gripe about by then…

In the final analysis, I have no objection to WordPress making the lives of new users easier, but so far many of the innovations seem more counter intuitive than anything else. New users need hand holding. They need to be told what everything is, because when everything is new, nothing is obvious.

As for us oldies? How about some innovations that allow us to hotkey our favourite functions so we can customize our working spaces as we see fit? Now that would be a change I’d welcome.

cheers

Meeks

How to find the search function in WordPress [July 2014 version]

1. Click ‘My Sites‘ at the top left of your screen :

wordpress interface new 2

You should now see this :

wordpress interface new 3

2. Click ‘Dashboard’ as shown above.

You should now be looking at the slightly revamped Dashboard screen. This was the heart of WordPress when I began blogging almost 3 years ago.

wordpress interface dashboard 13. Click on Posts in the black, navigation panel to the left of the screen :

4. Now click on All Posts as shown below :

wordpress interface dashboard 2

You should now be looking at a table listing every single post you have ever written.

5. Click in the Search Box [at the top right of the list as shown] and type in a keyword. Then click the ‘Search Posts’ button next to it.

wordpress interface search 1

 

In the example shown above, I typed ‘Nanowrimo’ into the search box and was presented with every single post I had ever written that contained the word nanowrimo in it. This cut my ‘check it and see’ search area down to just a handful of posts.

Once you have found the post you are looking for, you can click on the ‘Edit’ option to open it up. Clicking on ‘Edit’ allows you to..tah dah…edit, but it also allows you to get a ‘Shortlink” for the post. Shortlinks are invaluable when you want to link to an old post from within a new post. Or link to any post from within a Tweet, etc.

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

16 responses to “Why I don’t like the new WordPress interface

  • davidprosser

    I’m so glad I’m not faced with any of these problems otherwise I can assure you it would be goodbye blog.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • acflory

      Complaining is all I can do. My blog has now become the one place where everyone knows to find me. -shrug-

      • Lilo Huhle-Poelzl

        Oh, my, Meeks! If you are having problems, what would I, a complete computer-idiot do?

        Thanks for the warning. With lots of real-life problems (like wildfire danger), the publishing of my books has stalled. I had wanted to sign up for WordPress as soon as my books will go to market, but now I’ll reconsider. I don’t want to end up in the loony bin.

        • acflory

          Ugh… I know what fear of bushfires is like. I hope they’re not too close to your house. :(
          With publishing however, they say you should start marketing long before you actually publish. I didn’t, of course, but …wisdom in hindsight, etc. :D
          Re blogging. I know you already have a lot of connections via Goodreads so perhaps you don’t even need blogging. However if you do, everything is relative. When I started blogging I found WordPress to be easier than Blogger. These days there may be other blogging clients around that would suit you better than these two big ones.
          Anyway – good luck!

  • Candy Korman

    As a complete NON-Techie I’m always moaning — or crying — when there’s a change. I’m oddly happy that a confident, competent tech person also feels perplexed when programs change. To be completely honest, I tend to take the role of an ignorant peasant and when the King or the Gods send a wind of change I try to go with the flow. Even if it means begging my tech friends to straighten me out.

    • acflory

      lmao – For shame. :p Unfortunately when I began, I didn’t have any tech people to turn to so it was a case of learn or do without. It’s a great motivator. :D

  • Jennifer

    Totally agree. Dislike the new page that comes up.

  • geooorge

    Hm. I see some similarities with Blogger now. :P
    Bit ironic. Of course they are different under the hood…

    • acflory

      lol – I actually tried Blogger first and found it too cumbersome. Back then, WordPress was a better fit for me. Pity they can’t optimize design and function at the same time.

  • anne54

    Go Meeks!! I have grumbles about the new look too, starting with the way that the reader starts off with Freshly Pressed, rather than the blogs I actually follow. And I don’t like the quick way of adding a new post. I can’t seem to do everything that I want to do. I like to go through the All Posts section that you showed. However, I go like the WordPress app. My iPad likes it so much better than the actual site.

    • acflory

      lol – You’re reminding me of how much of a luddite I’ve become. I have just one app on my phone and I don’t have a tablet of any sort so I didn’t even know there was a WP app!

      I wonder if all these changes are supposed to bring the pc version in line with the mobile app?

  • anne54

    I also meant to say that I hadn’t thought through the log in page, but your comments are spot on, especially for new bloggers.

  • EllaDee

    I’m not sure why but I haven’t encountered any of these issues… maybe I’m not posting or paying enough attention to my site. Someone who is at the end of their rope when they Google for assistance will be ever so grateful for your tags and the information.

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