For Those Who Blog Using an iPhone

As most of you who follow my blog know, I use my iPhone for blogging. Not a laptop computer, not a desktop computer. An iPhone 8 Plus with a 5.5 inch screen. You may also know that I’m not a fan of the WordPress block editor, which is clearly not designed to use on the relatively small screen of a smartphone.

This post is about using an iPhone for blogging and about my disdain for the block editor. So if you are not interested in reading my thoughts on either of those topics, I give you permission to move on.

The good news is that, even though WordPress has retired its classic editor as it is forcing all of us to embrace its clunky block editor, there is a setting on the WordPress iOS app that allows us iPhone bloggers to default to the classic editor (or a version of the classic editor that I call “classic lite) when composing or editing a post using the iOS app.I’ve been worried that, as it did with the classic editor on wordpress.com, the decision makers at WordPress would eventually remove the option to use the classic editor in the iOS app. So, in a resent exchange I had with one of the WordPress “happiness engineers,” I wrote:

I don’t use, or want to use, the block editor or the classic block within the block editor on my iPhone. Please tell me that WordPress is going to continue to support the classic editor in the iOS app.

I suppose, in my naivety, I expected a response like, “Not to worry, Fandango, we’ve got your back.” But instead, this is the response I got:

There are no plans to continue to support the classic editor in the app or even in a web browser. It’s an editor that is being depreciated. Our hope is that the Classic block bridges the gap of the old editor to the new, while you learn to use the new editor!

So much for having my back, WordPress.

29 thoughts on “For Those Who Blog Using an iPhone

  1. newepicauthor October 15, 2020 / 8:22 am

    They have your back, but unfortunately they are holding a knife in their hands at the time.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Lisa M. Boyd October 15, 2020 / 8:43 am

    I have the same IPhone you do (exact same) I do all my blogging on it as well, so this is informative and unfortunate. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 15, 2020 / 9:03 am

      It’s disheartening. WordPress has turned a deaf ear on those of us who do not like or need the block editor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lisa M. Boyd October 15, 2020 / 9:45 am

        It is really too bad, I don’t get why they aren’t hearing the majority. At least from what I see all feel this way. Too bad! Sucks for us!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn Armstrong October 15, 2020 / 9:51 am

    My problem is not that different. I don’t use a phone, but the block editor is no less clunky and awkward on my 15.6 inch laptop than on my 13 inch Mac OR my iPhone (which is brand new, just purchased last May).

    Your problems you feel are linked to working on a phone, but they aren’t. They are linked to the poorly thought out design of the block editor, its difficulty in managing images in combination with text, and a general failure to understand what writers and photographers need to produce professional quality work without having to spend a lot of time thinking about the software.

    I had always hoped they would fix the editor to make it more responsive as a word processor, to provide a better integration of fonts and images. Instead, they did exactly the opposite. I don’t think I would want to use this format for any purpose. It is as clunky as Framemaker without its power or elegance while simultaneously lacking even the fundamentals that old version of MSWord had 15 years ago.

    It’s poorly designed. It’s awkward, works ONLY as some dimwit decided it should work. It cuts off the freedom to design a post as you please without worrying about managing graphics. All the elementary school crayon colors are annoying. They don’t add to the quality of our work. Yes, some of the layout designs for graphics look pretty, but you can only make them work when you are writing a first draft. Maybe some people ONLY write a first draft, but I’m an EDITOR as well as a writer, so their “get it all done in one draft” concept makes it extremely hard to conceptualize anything but an 800 word text with one graphic, probably near the top so you don’t have to keep changing blocks constantly.

    A good writing application leaves you alone. If it requires set up, you can do that once and after that, you write your story and add pictures where you feel you need or want them. How else can you write and come out with an intelligent piece?

    Writing on a device like a phone is not something I would want to do because it’s too small for me to see enough of it to edit the way I edit — especially since I make many more mistakes now than I used to and I have ALWAYS been a miserable proofreader. I’m just worse now. So I need some real estate to work with, though I really think an iPad might possibly be that middle ground for many of us that give us the portability of a phone while allowing us enough room to see how the whole page looks. If I every finish paying for the boiler and the gutters and the other housey things on my agenda, that might well be the first thing I spend money on. They can also be set up to work as telephones and even now, are not bad cameras for simple snapshot photography.

    Meanwhile, though, I’ve spent a buttload of money on building this blog and I deeply resent having them strip away most of what I paid for. I’m not thrilled with any of the alternatives which are all even MORE expensive, though they do give you more for your money … but having spent eight years powering through this blog, I hate just letting it all go. A lot of my life is bound up in this blog.

    I will never like this block editor. They would have to do a lot more work on it to make it a genuinely viable format for creative writers and photographers. As it stands now, I can use it, but I spend far too much time trying to figure out how to make it work to suit MY style and when I’m done, the results are not better than they were before and are, in fact, less creative. Especially graphically. I’m not sure who wants grade-school enclosures for their photographs or paintings or drawings. No one I know!

    Now I’m going to copy this and paste in down because like you, I’m incredibly frustrated with WordPress — and angry too. Eight years, and all but six months of that as a paying customer with just under a million views … and this is their response? I would never recommend them to anybody … and it’s recommendation that got them where they are today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen October 15, 2020 / 11:01 am

      Mm. I’m not sure intelligence an creativity are goals in this present time. That’s one response I have. Another is that perhaps it could be a class-action suit? Yin and yang.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn Armstrong October 15, 2020 / 1:36 pm

        No, I think they are just looking to try and get big commercial accounts. They really DON’T want us and as it stands now, in the not too distant future, we’ll be gone. One at a time or in a bunch, but I’m not going to keep paying them for this crap.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn Armstrong October 15, 2020 / 7:07 pm

        If someone is a lawyer … but I can’t afford a lawyer personally. I’m battling to keep from going deep underground on mortgage payments. Lawsuits are for people who can afford to wait for the money.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 15, 2020 / 11:35 am

      Well said, Marilyn. I feel the same way you do, but I just assumed that the block editor offers a better user experience on a laptop than on a smartphone. Apparently that is not the case. It’s such a shame that WordPress felt compelled to foist this block editor upon us, but it’s 2020, and given what this year has been like, it’s not a surprise.

      Like

      • Marilyn Armstrong October 15, 2020 / 1:33 pm

        It isn’t better on a bigger machine. It’s poorly designed software that was not thought out by people who actually USE it. I think it may be even MORE confusing on a bigger screen with layers and layers you have to go through to get to whatever you are looking for — with no online help, either. I used to WRITE this stuff. I really do know the difference as does everyone who ever actually worked in a high tech environment. it’s just infuriating. But you know, nothing lasts forever. How many platforms have gone down on us before? It’s just I put so much effort and money into this one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen October 15, 2020 / 7:37 pm

          I really do know the difference as does everyone who ever actually worked in a high tech environment.

          Yep. You speak of experience!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Melanie B Cee October 15, 2020 / 4:04 pm

    WordPress has idiots at the controls. I suppose they’ll be shocked IF they pull Classic altogether, at the crickets chirping on their unused site…. My sympathies! Keep on keepin’ on as long as they let you though. I got another work around link today (too bad our platforms are so vastly different or I’d share that). and I’ll keep finding ways AROUND that stupid block b.s.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the Crappiness Engineers get to our age and realize just how autocratic they were being….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen October 16, 2020 / 4:31 pm

      That’s sharp. Crappiness Engineers. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Taswegian1957 October 15, 2020 / 11:42 pm

    WordPress will be inhabited by “Influencers” and “Content Makers” not writers, artists and photographers. I find it bizarre that while they add a link on the dashboard page to write a draft post if you don’t finish it there is no way to get back to it except by going into WP Admin. They must really think that we all complete a post in one draft . I certainly don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 16, 2020 / 6:36 am

      No, I certainly don’t, either.

      Like

      • Marilyn Armstrong October 16, 2020 / 12:36 pm

        Since the original CEO of the company stepped down a few years ago, the entire direction of WP has changed from encouraging creators to encouraging money makers. It wasn’t like they weren’t making money, mind you. They were making great gobs of money — but in the corporate world, there’s no such thing as “enough.” That’s why they don’t care what we want. We are not important anymore. We don’t count.

        Do we count? I suspect we count more than they think because we are the people who drew people int to WordPress’s web. Now, it will be a big commercial site and if they don’t get the right kind of commerce, they will sink because there are plenty of commercial sites. WordPress was unique. Now it won’t be.

        Liked by 1 person

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