Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.
How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.
If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 21st) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.
I’m breaking the rules a bit. This was originally posted on my old blog on August 15, 2014, not on August 21, but given the recent WordPress switch to the Block editor, I thought this old post was timely. By the way, when I wrote this post, I was still using a laptop for my blog. Now I’m using my iPhone, which makes the Block editor worthless. And when I did try to use the Classic block within the Block editor on my iPhone, I got this error message and lost everything I had written up to that point:
Here’s An Idea WordPress: Beta Testing
Anyone who has worked with software is familiar with the term “beta testing.” Essentially, beta testing is a form of external user acceptance testing. Versions of the software, known as beta versions, are released to a limited audience outside of the programming team. The software is released to groups of people so that further testing can ensure the product has few faults or bugs before what is known as the “GA release,” where GA stands for general availability.
Beta testing is a tried and true process, and while it doesn’t guarantee that each and every bug or issue will be uncovered during the beta testing cycle, it does minimize the number of such bugs and also ensures that usability of the software hasn’t taken a hit.
There’s another software concept called release notes. These release notes document the changes that have been made, why they were made, and how to use them. My experience has been that release notes often accompany the GA release, so that end-users understand the changes and can adjust to them.
My 13 months of experience on WordPress indicates to me that neither beta testing nor release notes are part of the process. I admit, I don’t know this to be a fact. WordPress may have a whole cadre of beta testers behind the curtain and we just don’t see them. But if there are a bunch of beta testers, they’re not very good at their jobs.
Every so often I wake up in the morning and things are different on WordPress. Maybe it’s the way you add media to a post, or the way you resize your images. Maybe it’s the way you copy and paste text from a Word doc into your editor that has changed. I actually posted about both of these “unannounced” changes back in March.
WordPress has made some recent changes to both the user interface and the processes for writing posts. I call this the “Beep beep boop” user interface. Sadly, I don’t think it’s either funny or user-friendly. And it’s a lot slower!
Apparently, this change generated a maelstrom of criticism and protest, and, as result, WordPress offered a means to use the “classic” UI from the Dashboard to add or edit posts. But I’m concerned that this “classic” method will go the way of “Coca-Cola Classic” after the Coca-Cola Company introduced its disastrous “New Coke.”As long as I can still use the “classic” mode for adding posts via the Dashboard, I guess I won’t complain too loudly. But if you take that away, WordPress, you’d be making a big mistake…unless your goal is to reduce the number of people who use WordPress.com for their blogs. If that’s your goal, then you’re making all the right moves.
I will end this by reiterating what I wrote in my post back in March:
So here’s some free advice to you, WordPress. When you are thinking about making improvements to the blogging experience, consider soliciting bloggers who are interested in beta-testing your alleged improvements. And provide enough time to that beta testing to ensure that you get the bugs addressed before releasing these “new and improved” features to those of us who rely on you for our blogs.
Better yet, think about that old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”