Dear WordPress

I just sent this screed below to the “too bad, so sad” response I got from the Happiness Engineers at WordPress. I know it won’t do any good, and that I’m shouting into deaf ears, but I had to get it off my chest. If you’re a fan of the block editor, if you don’t use or don’t care about the hassle that the block editor is causing for those of us who blog using our smartphones, or if you are just sick and tired of  bloggers like me whining about being forced to use it, feel free to skip this post. I won’t be offended.

Dear WordPress,

I’m having trouble wrapping my head around WordPress’ strategy. You say that the classic editor available on the plugin in the Business Plan is the same one that is available at the wp-admin site. And you say that it was “built with the assistance from members of [your] own team and made available to all WordPress sites at no extra charge.” My question is why, then, did you dump the classic editor that was on the wordpress.com site (the regular one, not the wp-admin site) but keep the one at the wp-admin site?

I blog on an iPhone. It gives me a tremendous amount of flexibility as to where and when I blog. The block editor that you have tried to shove down our throats is virtually unusable on a small smartphone screen. And, the classic editor in the wp-admin site, while better than the block editor on the iPhone, is certainly not optimized for use on a mobile device. Conversely, the classic editor version on wordpress.com that was available (until you dumped it) on an iPhone via the Safari or Chrome browsers, was very easy to use on a small screen. So why not continue to support that version of the classic editor for those of us who prefer to use WordPress from our smartphones?

I know you’ve recommended to those of us who user iPhones for blogging, that we use the editors in the WordPress iOS app. I’ve tried using both the classic editor and the block editor on the iOS app and they are both what I’d call “lite” versions of the comparable editors you see on a laptop. These “lite” versions are missing some functionality that I would like to have, and often used, on the standard classic editor version that was available at wordpress.com. So even when I start using the classic editor in the iOS app, I often have to then go to wp-admin and finish my post using that version of the classic editor in order to get to be publishable.

Since you’ve stopped making the classic editor version on wordpress.com available to us, blogging, for me, anyway, has become more of a burden than a pleasure. I feel like I have to jump through hoops to create and publish my posts. It’s more onerous than enjoyable to use and it requires many more steps and takes much longer to publish my posts. There are a lot of bloggers who have gone mobile and are using their smartphones for their blogs, and most of us are not happy with the block editor. Based upon what I’m hearing from other bloggers I follow, a lot of them are also unhappy (even angry) at losing the classic editor — even those who use their laptops or desktops as their devices of choice.

So in the interest of keeping us on WordPress, which I believe is the best blog hosting site available, please bring back the classic editor version that you no longer make available on wordpress.com. Give us back the choice of using that or of embracing the block editor. Otherwise, I’m going to have to leave WordPress and I know of a lot of other long-time WordPress bloggers who are considering doing the same.

Reinstate the classic editor that you no longer offer. Please give us, your end-users, a choice of editing options, especially editing options that are mobile device friendly. Otherwise, as much as I will miss blogging here and all of the relationships I’ve established with other WordPress bloggers, I’m going to have to say sayonara to WordPress.

86 thoughts on “Dear WordPress

  1. lssattitudeofgratitude September 7, 2020 / 1:09 pm

    I am right there with you. I use my laptop but find the new crap less than “user friendly.” Some of us novices chose WordPress for the ease. Sadly, ease is no longer present.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. newepicauthor September 7, 2020 / 1:10 pm

    Is there any way that you can use Microsoft Word to write your posts on your phone and then when you are done, you just copy and paste them into WordPress? That is how I write all of my posts although I have never used my phone for any of this. You should give it a try, as when I write on Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie every other Friday and they are now using the Block editor, this seems to work for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. RuthScribbles September 7, 2020 / 1:15 pm

    I hear you. I tried the block editor on my phone and couldn’t see anything. I hate it on the computer too. Classic is much much better!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. oneletterup September 7, 2020 / 1:18 pm

    I totally agree with you and wish you luck. I just started using the block editor – being forced into it a few days ago. I don’t even try with my smart phone, but even on the laptop it’s a pain and aggravating and who needs anymore of that these days?? Doing anything besides really basic stuff is not intuitive at all. And it’s too time consuming.
    They should give you a refund if you leave. Well, they won’t but they should.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Liz September 7, 2020 / 1:40 pm

      Those that paid for their blogs and are not happy with it, should certainly be refunded, if they chose to leave.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Liz September 7, 2020 / 1:29 pm

    I agree with you as you know. WP are on deaf ears. They don’t give a toss.

    I wanted to re-share this post, but due to how shit WP is, I can’t. We should all share this post, if you can.
    As I say. I am not able. Like a lot of things with WP now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • imagineambition September 7, 2020 / 7:19 pm

      I can’t figure out how to share or pingback from my phone since block editor came. Didn’t realize there was another option when I got this phone… But it seems like there isn’t anymore

      Liked by 2 people

      • Liz September 7, 2020 / 8:41 pm

        I just used the reblog button from original post. But it was waiting for the editor page to load for it, that I was having the issue with. Just very slow and sometimes doesn’t seem to load. Totally crap and not useable since the change.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 10:01 pm

        The WordPress app (at least for the iPhone), under “Settings,” gives you the option to set your editor at block editor. If you don’t engage that option, you can still use a version of the classic editor on your iPhone.

        Like

  6. John September 7, 2020 / 1:42 pm

    This is very well written, gets right down to business with these morons. May I reblog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 3:05 pm

      Please, John, feel free to reblog it. Thanks.

      Like

  7. rugby843 September 7, 2020 / 2:02 pm

    I have a free site and so far I haven’t had many changes to either iPad or Android phone. I notice editing photos is harder but it’s been a couple of years that started.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mason Bushell September 7, 2020 / 2:07 pm

    I’m with you. There was no reason to dump the classic editor especially as its still available in forms on other types of WP. They should reinstate is and leave well alone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 3:08 pm

      You’re one of the lucky ones. I got moved over around three awful weeks ago.

      Like

  9. Hetty Eliot September 7, 2020 / 3:35 pm

    I’m so late to the WordPress party that I don’t know anything else. But I’m a laptop/Word person anyway. Can’t fathom how people type posts on a phone. This comment is taking five minutes alone 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    • trishsplace September 7, 2020 / 3:45 pm

      I also couldn’t imagine posting from my phone. Comments are enough. Go Fandango!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 4:09 pm

      Back in the day of the classic editor I could whip out posts pretty quickly. I got used to typing with my thumbs many years ago, first with pagers, then with the BlackBerry, and, for the past decade, with an iPhone. Piece of cake. And then along came the block editor.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. blindzanygirl September 7, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    It’s bloody awful Fandango. They don’t care about us ordinary folk for whom blogging is an essential part of them. I don’t understand why they won’t listen when so many are leaving and when so many are complaining to them. Deaf ears is right.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 4:51 pm

      On my iPhone, if I click on my small icon in the upper right hand corner, it takes me to a page where I can link to “Help and Support,” and once I go there, I can open up a help ticket that goes to the Happiness Engineers. They usually respond within 24 to 48 hours, but maybe they’ll just ignore this one.

      Like

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 4:52 pm

      Here’s the page on my iPhone I mentioned.

      Like

  11. Marilyn Armstrong September 7, 2020 / 4:51 pm

    Just in case you are wondering, they are not willing to give us ANY help at all. So it’s either starting over somewhere else … or giving up. Not thrilled with either, but I’ll be damned if I’ll pay them three times the money so they can mess with what they offer like they did before. They are NOT trustworthy. Oh, and they say that the classic editor plug in is destined to disappear too, so there’s really no help for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sadje September 7, 2020 / 6:15 pm

    Very eloquently written. You’ve said it so well.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. msjadeli September 7, 2020 / 6:48 pm

    You know, Fandango, it makes NO sense to alienate the bloggers who use their phones for blogging, as more and more people are going over to just phones for their online activity. Why not tailor an editor just for the phone and have it link/merge with PC-based bloggers? As if it wasn’t already a hassle to blog with a small screen, it sounds like the block editor is making it nigh impossible 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 9:49 pm

      You’re right that the block editor is not a good user experience on the relatively small screens of a smartphone. And you’re right that a lot of us are using our smartphones for most of our online activity. But the folks at WordPress just aren’t listening.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. annieasksyou September 7, 2020 / 8:01 pm

    This is all so sad.

    I use my computer to compose, then cut and paste into my blog, clicking on classic block. I barely use any of the features, so I’m not finding it too onerous at this point. But I can’t imagine composing on my phone.

    I understand that the folks at blogspot are also having all sorts of unpleasant changes forced upon them.

    I would really miss you, Fandango, so I hope you find a resolution that enables you to blog with pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 10:08 pm

      I hope so, too, Annie. I truly love this community of bloggers here on WordPress and I will be very sorry if I end up leaving because blogging on WordPress has become a chore.

      Like

      • Liz September 7, 2020 / 11:25 pm

        Just do like me, don’t completely leave. Just come back and comment at the blogs you like to follow and choose to blog elsewhere, if you would like to carry on blogging. That’s what I am doing.
        My new blog when I started it, is already added to my WP profile.
        At the moment, I carry on using my current blog link when leaving comments at other blogs, but I will one day be using new blog link. Until then, my new blog link has been announced on my blog for a while now and posts I had already scheduled, some have reminders at the end that the current blog is coming to an end and where the new one is.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Marilyn Armstrong September 7, 2020 / 8:52 pm

    Wix will let you transfer data. It’s a little complex and you have to have a paid plan, but they have a 13 (or maybe it’s up to 14 now) plan that would work for me. Yes, it’s more, but I can’t do this. I hate this editor. It’s like working for a really bad boss as a professional writing. Been there. Done that. But at least I got PAID to do that. This time, I’m paying them, but I feel battered. I need to wait out the year which i’ve already paid for and I think the so-called classic editor will be around at least that long. But after that, I’m going to move. I need to contact them and talk about the transfer because I don’t really want to transfer my entire blog. It’s huge and if I could lose the first three or four years, I’d be happy with that.

    This format makes creativity pretty much impossible for you and for me and for others. And to keep paying them for the privilege of getting nothing in return? No, I don’t think so. i’d rather give it up entirely than stay with WordPress. i feel the words “HOW DARE THEY” welling up in my throat which is a really bad sign from me. When I get to the “how dare they or you” stage, I’m blindly, ragingly angry. The only reason really i’m not dealing with this now is because my life is very complicated right now and I simply can’t take on another complicated thing. I also might change my current blog and leave it as “free” and hook it by name to a new one. I’m looking to make this simple for me. I want access to what I’ve got, but I don’t necessarily need every blog I ever wrote. What do you think?

    Like

    • Fandango September 7, 2020 / 10:19 pm

      I hate that veteran bloggers like you are so fed up with WordPress that you’re seriously thinking of leaving. But I’m right there with you. I wonder if WordPress.org, where you have to purchase your own domain, might be more flexible with respect to features and functionality than the hosted wordpress.com. I am going to look into Wix and I’m also going to investigate Medium. I do think you should keep the free plan on WordPress if you leave. I’d do the same. I have just over 5,000 posts and a lot fewer photos than you do on my blog, so I would have a lot less that would need to be migrated if I move to another blog host.

      Like

      • Marilyn Armstrong September 8, 2020 / 1:24 pm

        Apparently not. You’d think it would be, but a number of people have asked about it and the answer is no, you can only use the editor they offer. I suppose you could write in a seperate app — like Word? — and transfer the post, but talk about a ton of extra work. I won’t do that NOW because it’s too much effort.

        And they won’t let you insert graphics between written paragraphs. You would have to change to the “classic” editor to insert pictures! So you have to work without their very tight structure or not work at all. I don’t put pictures in until I’ve written text and often, several days after I’ve written the text. Sometimes, I haven’t even taken the pictures when I write the original text, but the block editor doesn’t allow for anything as creative as adding pictures after text. Can you believe that? It’s not only a clunky editor, but it’s rigid too.

        As I said, my life is very complicated right now and I have to let it settle down before I get involved in another activity. I suspect the simplest way is to “hook” the old blog to the new one, drop the old one down to “free” so you don’t have to keep paying for it and let users bounce back & forth.

        But i don’t know right now. As I said, life is very complicated and I can’t make any more decisions. I feel like I’ve been banged over the head already.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Stuart Danker September 8, 2020 / 2:54 am

    I can still fire up my Classic editor by clicking on the three dots icon (when writing a new post), and choosing the Classic option. Is it not available for you? I totally don’t know how things are on the phone though, as I can’t imagine blogging from there. Wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 8, 2020 / 1:58 pm

      Nope, not on the iPhone in my Browser.

      Like

        • SueW September 28, 2020 / 1:08 am

          To Marilyn and Fandango.
          I also clicked on the three dots and the option was not there, either online or via the desktop App.

          So I tried both the iPhone App and the iPad App. Click on new post and then the three dots.
          The option is there, but what you get is the very basic that we’ve always had with the Apps. Not the full Classic editor. I took a screen shot.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fandango September 28, 2020 / 7:07 am

            Yes, the classic editor on the iPhone app is what I call “classic lite.”

            Liked by 1 person

            • SueW September 28, 2020 / 7:16 am

              Since I was moved to blocks, my iOS App automatically opened in blocks. I didn’t want to use blocks, so never went back to the App. It never occurred to me to check the three dots! Useful for a quick unedited draft I suppose.
              What a pity the PC desktop App doesn’t offer the same facility.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango September 28, 2020 / 1:55 pm

              You can also go to the Settings on the iOS app for the iPhone and set the “Use Block Editor” to off.

              Liked by 1 person

            • SueW September 28, 2020 / 1:57 pm

              Thank you, that never occurred to me either.

              Liked by 1 person

            • SueW September 28, 2020 / 2:34 pm

              I set the block editor to off but my new post still opened in a block albeit a basic one so I clicked the three dots and clicked classic editor and was returned to the basic classic one. I’m unlikely to use the phone to write but I like to be aware of all options.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 8, 2020 / 2:01 pm

      Are you talking about the classic block in the block editor or about the actual classic editor?

      Like

      • Stuart Danker September 8, 2020 / 4:54 pm

        The actual classic editor. Whenever I write a new post and click the three dots on the top-right corner, it gives me an option to click on Classic editor, and all my following posts will default to the Classic editor. I’m quite curious that others don’t seem to have it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango September 8, 2020 / 10:45 pm

          I blog from my iPhone and I don’t see that option offered when I tap on those three dots. ☹️

          Like

  17. Puzzles of the Soul September 8, 2020 / 12:46 pm

    I agree with you Liz I could not use the app on a phone I use a laptop.

    As you said and I agreed below response to my questions

    I think it would be great if there was a button to block people who follow our site.

    The Repeat Visitor block enables the author to control the visibility of its nested block(s) depending on how many times a visitor has previously visited the page. To know more, click here.

    I would also like to be able to block a country from accessing my website.

    We cannot block or delete subscribers from public blogs. Anyone and everyone can access public blogs. You can either update your Post & Page Visibility or manage the Privacy Settings of your site.

    For trolls, you can “blacklist” them at My Site > Manage > Settings > Discussion toward the bottom of that page. Enter their email address, their username, and if they included it, their website URL. That will automatically send them to moderation so that their comments do not appear on the blog. Do note though that if they are determined, they can use a different email address or username to get around that.

    I won’t recommend blocking by IP addresses. IP addresses are no longer unique, and you might end up blocking legitimate visitors.

    I would like to be able to see the name of the person who has viewed my website there are too many anonymous users.

    It may not provide you the names of the person who viewed your site but the stats page includes a bunch of nifty graphs, charts, and lists that show you how many visits your site gets, what posts, and pages are the most popular ones, and much more. You can access your stats by selecting My Sites → Stats.

    I’d also like to encourage you to send your feature requests on our Ideas Forum as we continuously aim to provide the best platform, all suggestions and ideas are very welcome and appreciated.

    If you have any questions or need further assistance, please let me know. Happy to help.

    Happy not to help I would say.

    Take care Liz

    Liked by 1 person

  18. leigha66 September 13, 2020 / 9:15 pm

    I completely understand your anger and frustrations. I would really hate to see you and your wit and wisdom leave WordPress but it would be more devastating if you were to stop writing all together. I have always enjoyed your posts – the rants on Trump, the flash fiction stories, the too few poems, and of course, the prompts. In my opinion you do a lot to add to this overall blogging community. I hope WP opens up their eyes and sees what their update might cause them to lose!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2020 / 11:04 pm

      Thank you, Leigha, that means a lot to me. Unfortunately, I don’t think WP cares all that much about us little bloggers who do this for the fun of it and for the love of blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 27, 2020 / 8:03 am

      I looked into getting that plugin. The problem with the classic editor plugin is that you must subscribe to the Business Plan in order to use plugins on WordPress. I’m not sure, at $25/mo ($300/year), it’s worth it.

      Like

      • Gagan's Web Blog September 27, 2020 / 10:50 am

        I agree, there’s no need to upgrade the entire plan just to make 1 plugin work. However, there is another option. You could try transferring your website to a WordPress.org type of website and export all the data, including posts (with comments etc.) and then simply use the free Plugin. It is a bit of work, but, once its setup properly, you can continue your blog as before without having to pay for any plans from WordPress.com. Plus the .org WordPress allows more customization for free.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango September 27, 2020 / 10:21 pm

          I don’t know. Sounds like a lot of work for a hobby blogger like me. Plus I’d have to have my own domain, right?

          Like

          • Gagan's Web Blog September 28, 2020 / 12:59 am

            It is a bit of work. But once its all set in place, it will be like normal again. Yes you would need to purchase the domain and hosting from somewhere else and upload your current website there (all the website files including database files). Up to you to decide, if and whenever you want to.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Marilyn Armstrong September 28, 2020 / 6:15 pm

              Most of the people I know who have switched have been very unhappy with the result.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Gagan's Web Blog September 29, 2020 / 3:08 am

              Sorry to hear that. Well, if the transfer is done properly everything is the same. But it needs to be done carefully, in order to restore the settings properly.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Marilyn Armstrong September 29, 2020 / 10:45 am

              That’s not the problem. People do NOT follow. The .org sites are harder to get to, don’t have a “like” or a “reblog” and are, over all, much harder to access. You can set them up fine but getting an audience is a bitch.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Gagan's Web Blog September 30, 2020 / 5:36 am

              Yes, the process does take some time and a little effort. The like button can be sorted out with the Jetpack plugin. No reblog option, so that is difficult. This links helps to get the same audience on your new self hosted WordPress site – https://jetpack.com/support/subscription-migration-tool/

              Liked by 1 person

  19. gc September 27, 2020 / 9:36 pm

    Reblogged this on THE MAIN AISLE (c) 2020 and commented:
    Word Press is definitely “pissing off” a number of their faithful users by forcing this new Block Editor down their throats. The block heads at this site hope that by turning a deaf ear to its users the gripers will just quit. Now for WP that is a blockheaded mistake to me. – gc

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 27, 2020 / 10:53 pm

      Thanks for the reblog. They continue to turn a deaf ear.

      Like

  20. SueW September 27, 2020 / 11:34 pm

    I was moved over to blocks soon after the official changeover in early August. Like you, I miss the Classic Editor. I’ve finally settled with the classic that is available with WP Admin.

    I can understand why you are frustrated and angry. The WP Admin editor was the original Classic, it’s old and was NOT created with smartphones in mind, and given that WP released two further versions of the classic I wonder if it has ever been updated to include mobile computing.

    I rarely use my iPhone for writing. And I found the iOS App on the iPad to be pretty useless. My background is computing so my first choice is usually my computer.

    I gave all the three available WP editors a good workout. The problem with Blocks is that it’s a web text editor and NOT a Word Processor and for me that’s where the problems lie, not to mention the often unresponsive image editor.

    Writers of any description need the flexibility of a word processor with which to write. The blocks default text editor hinders the flow of the text and interrupts the thought process.

    Similarily the Classic Block has little text and image flexibility, though slightly more than the block editor itself.

    I wish I could offer you a better workable solution, but the only thing I can come up with is to download a smartphone-friendly word processor, there are free ones out there including a free version of Word and use copy and paste.

    As for those bloggers who still reluctantly awaiting the changeover to blocks, I sympathise because the WP support instructions are not comprehensive enough which is why I created the guides on our Weekly Prompts How-To page.

    Liked by 1 person

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