WordPress remains one of the most popular platforms for websites, but after today I have to say that it’s in spite of itself.
First, I need to point out that I am not a newbie (my first WP install was shortly after it was started in the first place), but I am also not an expert. I can’t write my own code snippets to fix things, but I can comprehend how to implement changes suggested by others. Also, I have been away from working with WP for some time, so I’m playing catch-up on the recent evolution.
That said, I have to say I am not impressed with the latest version. Since I’m working on a brand new site, I downloaded the current version zip file, followed the five-minute-installation, and went from there. After getting the basics I normally install on sites – plugins for stat service, ads, spam control, and maintenance mode – I got to work.
Once I got over the minor hurdles presented by my selected theme, I dug into starting to build content. That lead to installing the classic editor in plugin form because I have no interest in figuring out the new modular editor. Sorry, but the new toys are probably great for folks who are looking at creating media heavy sites. I’m not, at least not right now. I’m also not at all interested in taking more time than I need to in order to get a new site running. Fiddling with WP is at the bottom of the list including opening new social media accounts, connecting the site to those accounts, writing initial content, and promoting the new venture. Bluntly, WP is supposed to save time, not steal it.
Then I discovered that there is a new problem with Photoshop images – at least I presume this is the hang-up based on comments from other users with the same problem. The end result is that I now have to make use of the “add from server” plugin to get many images to be recognized by the media library in WP (including the one here, so this issue affects more than just the latest version.) Yes, it was suggested that there might be a problem with plugins in general, but I got over my plugin addiction some time ago. I’ve already cut mine down to what I actually need, and I’m unwilling to give up any of them. Shutting them down to find the culprit simply isn’t in the cards. It’s just depressing that I need to add two plugins to make WP do what it did flawlessly a year ago.
And that is the bottom line folks. Yes, WP is offering newbies a WYSIWYG, click and drop experience that looks nice. But, for those of us who have been around forever with them, this isn’t an improvement. WP never was highly difficult to learn, at least not from the perspective of simply entering and publishing content. Now, we’re to the point where we’re losing simplicity in basic functions for the sake of bells and whistles. I’m still using WP, and assume I will continue to do so as long as I can keep the level of functionality I’ve grown to expect – albeit with the help of plugins rolling back changes for now. Hopefully those roll backs will happen in future versions, if there’s enough push back on the developers. Yes, the new WP offers a change, but no it is not an improvement.