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The WordPress Interface And Stats Issue And The Thread Closing Again

There have been many wrong design decisions here at wordpress.com recently and I wrote about it a few times. First they brought us the horrible new editor that we can fortunately still bypass. Next they did negatively change the top bar to the point until it was unusable. I also mentioned more critique here and ranted about the changes quite often. I usually dislike to rant but if something does impact my workflow negatively, I surely won’t mince words.

When the new editor came up, there was a thread in the forums full of user concerns and we were fortunately able to convince the team behind WordPress that they shouldn’t remove the old editor and it worked out well. However, after that they just closed the very popular thread where users were complaining. Now they did it again and closed an even more popular thread. The thread was filled with complains about the new user interface and the new stats page. I was active in the related thread too. But yet again, they just closed it after 400 pages.

However, one older thread about the same issue is still open. There are also new threads opened by other users, for example here, here and here and I guess there will be more soon.

You know, that’s what I love about the internet. You simply can’t censor opinions, especially not if the mass dislikes your decisions, in this case design decisions. They can close threads (as said, happened) and they could maybe even ban users (not happened so far I guess), but there will be always new threads about the issue simply due to the fact that many dislike the latest changes.

Closing threads with over 400 pages of community concerns, that is by the way evidence of incapacity. But to be honest, I feel schadenfreude if I see that there are new ones opened after they just closed the other one. Yes, I like that pretty much because that is what arrogant companies deserve. I know, arrogant sounds harsh but that’s what I take from the staff answers and the fact that they close popular community threads. They deserve it if more and more people clearly tell them what they think about the changes.

Many of us pay here for upgrades and it’s just bad if things change to the worse. Every individual here has a right to write the opinion in the forum and if they close a thread, it’s nothing else than offending their own community and users. They simply should face it, what they came up with is truly a big mistake. They are the cause and absolutely need to hear critique. People hopefully won’t stop telling them so that they wake up to realize that you can’t force mobile hipster designs on desktop users.

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21 Comments »

  1. I agree with you, I have been away from WP for a few months and find all these changes that are complicated and burdensome. I have loved WP, but creeping into my mind is the unfortunate urge to abandon the site.

    • I can understand that. But you should really think twice about that because depending on how established your blog is, you might regret it later on. If at all, I would at least export and secure your content and safely transfer the domain to another host. That’s what I was thinking about for a while now but I didn’t make a decision yet due to the fact that moving the content and the domain would really be some kind of work. But it is something I think about too already because it gets worse here.

  2. [ Smiles ] Dennis, the reality is, that WordPress would continue to make changes that would drive us up a wall.

    I don’t complain much about it, because I have realized that I am using a free service. If I would like to escape all of that mess, the best option would be to go self-hosted (And, that takes some technical skills and patience).

    The irony is, that I do not have that sort of problem with my blog over at Blogger!

    • I was running self-hosted installations in the past before I came here and while you are more flexible with your own installation, there are other tradeoffs. The biggest problem is bandwidth… if you host on a cheap shared host, you can get into trouble if your blog eats too much bandwidth and it doesn’t even need a viral posts to get to this point and the problem is that most of them have agreements that you basically signed so that they can kick you out of the contract immiedietly if you eat the bandwidth of the other blogs that are running on the same system like you blog. Then there would be dedicated hosting, cloud hosting and hosting with scaling but that will of course cost much more and there lies the problem. I had these problems with a German tech website 8 years ago or so but up to day the same problems are there with shared hosts.

      When I was so stupid to brake up with my old website instead of moving it anywhere else (I was unexperienced back then), I got to the point again that I wanted a private blog and started this one here where I share all kind of stuff and thoughts. I tested wordpress.com before and realized it offers at least the core that you would have with a self-hosted installation as well minus the other flexibility. But I asked myself “Do I really need so much flexibility?” and answered it with “Nope, I just need some basic tools to blog” and was happy to find out that you could even add domains here as well. But even with upgraded the costs are ok here plus you can’t be kicked out of the contract, you can enjoy full cloud hosting no matter how much traffic your blog gets.

      So, basically I came here and became a paying customer later on. I came here for the exact same core that I had with my self-hosted installation back then, a very nice UI, nice editor and some basic blogging widgets and tools that are way enough for me. Well, but then it happened, they changed the core, the tools we use, I mean the editor, stats page, UI and so. That is my complain. I can get along with some changed and know how important they are but then I demand that it is done right. They didn’t do it right here. They messed with the usability that it is in my opinion quite hard to work in the backend now.

      That is my biggest problem. While I already sometimes start to think to find a decent host to move my blog, I didn’t make this decisions exactly because of the problems I mentioned. Moving a domain and the content, that is also not without work. I guess I am six years here and dislike the changes pretty much, which is why I engage into the debate in the forums as I hope that they collect the feedback to do it better in the future. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I don’t think you’re being harsh at all. Apart from being inconsiderate, somebody in WP is simply refusing to accept they made a mistake. Whereas restoring the Notifications happened very quickly. The later is a hopeful sign, so it may be worthwhile holding on.

    • This is sadly the problem today everywhere. I get the impression that some people or companies can’t take criticism and if they try to do, they don’t know how to work with it. My experience is that if I take criticism, I can work up on it and improve for whatever I got criticized. If I would run this company I would say “Look how they engage, they think our product is important, let’s do something with the ideas” but here it seems more like “Yea, look, we listened and might use your ideas but other than that, please shut up, we close this thread”.

      However, I am optimistic too, otherwise I would give up to engage into the debate. I see it as you mentioned it, it might be worth to holding on. I always say you can’t complain if you don’t go vote (for example with politics) and that is my idea here too. I must engage, otherwise I shouldn’t complain. Lets see if we did or can move something.

      If they add the exact same amount of data to the new stats page we had in the old one, and if they change the layout to two columns, a lot would be already achieved and I would complain less. But the confusing UI issues must be fixed too. I hope we can move them in the right direction ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I assumed this but she is working for them and she is basically the target placed in front of us. I think this is one of the reasons why I wouldn’t want to work in the customer support. But I agree, she truly knows how to avoid to answer questions and at times I get the impression that she has no idea about the product. I also dislike the strategy to let us explain their changes while they already know what we mean… they are aware what went wrong and if not, then I doubt that they use their own products and if at all, then probably with a mobile device. Some issues are so apparent that they can’t overlook them.

  4. I haven’t visited the forums in a while but my question to WordPress is why have a forum if you have no intention of using the feedback from it to improve the product? Closing threads sounds a bit like saying “If I ignore them they might stop complaining.” They may but might but they might also up and leave as you and others have suggested Dennis. When I was doing a communications module in a course I was studying I was taught that when a customer makes a complaint the first thing you do is apologise to them for being inconvenienced, then find out exactly what the problem is and then fix it. Not much of that going on here.

    • They do at least pretend to use our feedback but so far I did only see minor changes and most of the feedback is not included in the changes. But we won’t give up to tell them what we want ๐Ÿ˜€

      I agree and that’s how I did understand it. Closing threads is basically like “Now shut up!”.
      The “happyness engineer” how they call the supporters here did apologise but many of noticed that they constantly go over some questions and don’t answer all of them and that leaves a lot open. I do think too that it’s not correctly done here.

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