Ok. So I was pretty negative about the 2.5 series of WordPress. I was hoping that 2.6 might solve all the massive problems involved with 2.5, might actually work properly rather than break things, and might be worth looking forward to.
2.6 has now been released a month early. And what a surprise to find out that they should have used that extra time to actually solve problems with the software. I’m not talking about small, insignificant problems. I’m talking about major substantial problems. Oh, like upgrading only to find none of your permalinks work anymore.
Many people have reported permalinks not working after upgrading to 2.6. In all cases, these people have permalink structures that contain “index.php”. This is a bug, detailed here.
Sorry Matt, but this is not what I would call “a solid release“. Not unless you’re taking some serious hallucinogenic drugs. This is more like catastrophic explosion after a very drunken night out on the town and a dodgy 3am kebab that goes straight through you and leaves you in great need of bleach and the toilet brush. Fun for everyone – NOT!.
I mean, that is a pretty big deal. If you have this problem, not only does it mean links to your blog don’t work but it is surely going to affect the search engines and SEO etc. How many people have installed it and not realised they have this problem? Not everyone goes about checking all their links once they upgrade. Not everyone checks the support forums to see what the problems are.
Surely someone could have spotted this problem during testing of the beta, before it was released to the entire universe. And now that they have spotted it, how about stopping people from being able to download it until you have fixed it? Because they’ll download it, install it, find out it is broken, turn up on the support forums to ask for help (not noticing there is a sticky about it at the top) and then post things like this. And this. And this.
What I am about to say may come as a surprise to WordPress, who clearly think we the users have all signed up to be a part of their major mind-f**kery of constant updates and tweaking combined with the occasional complete overhaul. But maybe they’ll hear us if I say it out loud.
WE JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO BLOG.
We don’t want to upgrade to find things broken. We don’t want to be told that we need to upgrade because of security issues. We just want basic, simple blogging software that works. So how about you quit this insane “software development by torture” that you seem to love inflicting on your users, go away into a room, shut the door, create something that BLOODY WELL WORKS and then come back and release it once you have tested it A LOT.
And hello, how about you start listening to your users. Because there are a lot of them on the support forums who are trying to tell you how annoyed, frustrated and in some cases upset they are about your treatment of them. This post is a good example – but who knows how long it will stay there.
Here’s another good idea – organise your forums better. Why not have a forum for each version of WP that you release, so people can go in there and post their 2.5 questions in a 2.5 area, and people can put their 2.6 questions in a 2.6 area, rather than the absolute clusterf**k that currently exists.
Going in there and reading those forums, with the arrogant pissy bitchy “helpers” and on occasion moderators (other than Otto42, who seems to be a saint directly sent from Heaven, though I have seen that he still loses his cool from time to time and understandably so – I hope they’re paying you some serious money Otto and if not get the heck out of there fast!) gives me a major migraine. No wonder the helpers are bitchy – I don’t even know how they can stand to hang out there.
Even so – can’t these so called helpers try being nice to people? Can’t they understand that peoples blogging worlds are falling apart because WordPress released another broken version of their software? They don’t want something broken – they want something that works, and they’ve likely been scared into upgrading rather than sticking with what they already have that does work, and then they come to the support forums for help, and they are treated like they are the ones with issues. They’re not the ones with issues – other than the fact that they have installed software that sucks. Why don’t we look at the creators of the software that sucks to see who really has issues?
The fact that I now have to start testing yet another broken version of WordPress because people will likely want me to install it for them (and heads up guys, no freaking way am I doing that anytime soon) makes me want to shoot myself in the head. Good thing I don’t have a gun, huh people?
So yeah, looks like I’m in a bit of a bad mood today. It is just really frustrating to watch. :( And I only visit the support forums occasionally – in this case to get an idea of what the problems with 2.6 are before trying to test it myself, but when I do visit I leave with a splitting headache and a desire to start up my own wordpress wank blog.
14 thoughts on “WTF, WordPress?”
First off, I enjoyed reading the above article. You really mean business :) Keep up the good work
I can see why some people see some of those moderators as condescending and on their “high horse.”
I don’t really think sarcasm is to be used in a situation where people are already frustrated through no fault of their own. It certainly isn’t going to endear people to your product or service which is why they are complaining in the first place.
Yes, more people could search and use a codex or learn more about the product. It must be frustrating to get the same questions over and over. But not everyone who uses the internet is a blogger and not every blogger is a programmer. Some are just fantastic writers or the elderly keeping in touch with their friends and family. They shouldn’t have to know how to modify a plugin to be on the internet. Just because you have more information about something or are more knowledgeable in a certain area does not give you the right to decide who uses the internet.
Again, I understand it must be frustrating at times – all positions where you deal with the public are frustrating at times. But having more knowledge about something does not make you a god(dess) and the general populace a bunch of dolts who deserve to be maligned or looked down on. Try having a little more class and tact along with that knowledge in your responses to people. As for the frustrations, it is the nature of that position. People are going to ask the same questions over and over. People are not going to want to look through all the previous questions to see if their question has already been asked. You know this already and have done it yourself at one time or another. And it can be frustrating, especially if you are not paid for it. But you are doing it whether you are getting paid or not so there must be a reason for it and if it gets to you, then take a day off from the moderating and come back fresh rather than being nasty or sarcastic. Because whether you are getting paid or not, your responses affect your users and you have MANY users. Try to keep them because that is where your real power is. Don’t even risk joking in a manner that might insult them or turn them away.
Am I right?
When 2.5 was released, I installed it on one of my smaller sites.
And I HATED it. Each version that gets released seems to have more issues than the last. Unfortunately, I had to “upgrade” one of my other blogs to 2.5…if you can call it an upgrade.
My main blog will stay at 2.3.3 until the end of time.
The people on the support forums seem to forget that they used to be blogging no0bs at one point, too.
@Teeni: I’m truly sorry, but no, you’re not right.
The notion that “I’m a user of your software and so I’m entitled to being treated well” is flawed to begin with. If you were paying for your support, then you’re entitled. But I see a lot of people basically saying “I use your free software, I think it sucks, so by extension you suck, and you should treat me well even though I’m a complete jerkoff”.. That’s the way I read that sort of thing now. ;)
Here’s the thing: I have no problem telling people to stop using WordPress if it does not fit their needs. Because the fact of the matter is that the users did NOT make WordPress what it is. The developers did. The people who write the code did. WordPress would exist even without little-old-users using it because the users aren’t the ones creating it.
Running a copy of WordPress on your own hosting is not “blogging”. It is “running a website” or “being a webmaster”. Until people realize this fact and accept it, then there’s simply always going to be friction. Running a website is more than just writing posts. Sorry, fact of life. “Webmaster” is an *actual job* at most companies. People get paid for it. And you think it’s supposed to be easy?
If somebody wants to “blog” instead of run their own site, then I highly recommend alternative solutions. Use WordPress.com sites instead. You can still get your own domain name going, even get it directly through them at good prices ($10 or so, they work through GoDaddy I think). All the fun of blogging, none of the hassles of running a website. Costs are probably lower too, considering normal hosting fees. Or heck, switch to blogger.com or one of the other myriad services. WordPress may not be right for everybody and it’s certainly not right for every web application. Yes, I like it, but you are not me and might have different needs. People are different.
Now, understand that I’m not trying to be rude or insulting here. I very rarely try to do that on the support forums as well. But such is the nature of text, what I see as a frank matter-of-fact statement can come across as rude. I have been on the ‘nets a long, long time, and am well aware of this fact, so anything I read like that, I take with a grain of salt. A lot of people don’t quite get that yet. Especially newbie bloggers who can’t even figure out how to search google for a solution to their problem (grumble).
@Snoskred: The people who help the most on the support forums don’t get paid. Me included. :)
Funny. I was thinking about sending you an email asking if there was any further news about whether it was safe to upgrade yet. (I’ve been having issues with uploading photos when I do it at home. At work it’s fine. Annoying….)
You’ve just answered my question!
Thanks for the mention. :) To follow up on the comment from teeni and draw a comparison, my blog is specifically aimed at people who don’t already know what I’m talking about, so I write in plain English and avoid jargon as much as possible. I carry the same philosophy over to Injader, both when coding it and supporting it.
In my view, coders are not there to make people feel like they need to be technically minded too, we are here to make life easier for everyone – whether you’re technical or not. For instance, instead of saying “go edit your config file”, I aim to provide settings that can be accessed within your browser.
I’m always looking for ways to improve Injader – comments are certainly welcome if you decide to give it a try. :)
Thanks for your comments all, I appreciate them. I’d like to comment on a couple of points. First, about being a webmaster.
People who install wordpress are told before they click the download button on the wordpress.org site – “WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
More simply, WordPress is what you use when you want to work with your blogging software, not fight it.
New to blogging? Learn more about WordPress, then follow the three easy steps below to start blogging in minutes. Or, for the ultimate in ease of use, get a free blog on WordPress.com.”
I don’t think this is true anymore. Since 2.5, a lot of people have been fighting it. It doesn’t say there that you need to be a webmaster or have any special skills in order to blog. It is selling simplicity, ease of use, and you can start blogging quickly. Nowhere there does it say “you will have to constantly upgrade this software, so if you’re not technical WordPress is not for you”.
So until WordPress can be honest with people about what it really is, the support forums are going to have users who think they can install wordpress and then blog easily and simply. And those users are going to turn up looking for help when it turns out that it isn’t easy and simple. And when those users turn up looking for help, they’re not going to be real thrilled to find sarcasm and even in some cases outright abuse.
Secondly, I think the relationship between people and their blogging software is a lot more important than people admit. After all in some cases blogging is how people are earning their money. People have placed trust in WordPress when they clicked that download button – trust that it will work for them, trust that they will be able to do what they need to do, trust that when they need support they will be able to find it in the support forums – WordPress is not doing the right thing with that trust.
Otto, you are doing an amazing job, especially when you say you’re not being paid. I cannot believe how unfair that is, though. My understanding is that WordPress are earning quite a bit of cash. They should be giving some of it to people like you. Without you, most of those support threads would have no intelligent answer.
@Otto – I appreciate that you were able to say all of that without sounding condescending and I think that was the real issue I had with what I was seeing, in particular a comment saying that people who don’t know how to code shouldn’t be on the internet – that to me was just was uncalled for because the internet should be available to all. But again, I understand the frustration behind the comment. I do however, stand by my thinking that there is no reason to be rude to users of the product whether they are paying for it or not. I really have been loving WordPress. I am learning there is a lot more to WordPress than I thought and my thinking of it as just a blogging application and not a website was flawed. I see that now, thank you. However, I actually DO have my own domain name and someone else to deal with the running of the site, but I’d like to learn more. I’m just not so readily inclined to want to ask valid questions or seek help when I think I see people being treated that way. In other news, I am sorry that the support people are not paid because I think most of them deserve compensation, even the ones who get snippy sometimes because I know they aren’t always that way. Hopefully this whole situation improves.
In my opinion what you said makes sense. It seems blogging platforms are nowadays eager to “compete”. For wordpress this means doing a new release every three months and pushing the new versions: you are forced to upgrade because of some security issues or because they will nag you anyway everytime you use the dashboard “upgrade to the new version”.
In my opinion this is not the right way to “compete” for wordpress, a new version every 3 months with no automatic/easy upgrade feature is already a pain in the ass, as it is. Then if the release is also broken …
As every reputable software they should just deploy a “stable” version, where they release just security patches for, and keep it going at least 12-18 months, and a “cutting-edge” version for people who like to have the latest feature.
WP 2.5 with all the problems in the composing windows, 2.6 with permalinks problem, and the like are NOT stable and mature by any means, indeed.
What OTTO said make sense anyway, you have to understand wordpress is OPEN SOURCE … so the wordpress.org forums are filled with volounteers. If wordpress coders makes money they make it trough auttomatic (wordpress.com), they of course don’t make money from the software you freely download and install on your own server, so you can’t complain about that “free support” or the money they make. If you want real support on an opensource project you just hire someone and pay for it.
Also OPEN SOURCE means that if someone is willing to create and mantain a project called LEGACYPRESS starting from a 2.3 version where he does just security fixes and minor improvements, I guess he’s free to do so and plan his schedule so, ie, makes a new major legacypress release every 18months, i don’t know.
I also don’t agree with OTTO on some other stuff: for example wordpress.com is not an option for many people, unless you like your site to be STUFFED of google adsense commercials run by automatic, that logged-in people won’t see EVEN IF YOU PAY MONEY.
To verify my claim try install a clean web browser like Opera (or just clean your cookies in your current browser and logout from wordpress.com), open a search engine and search some page you know is on wordpress.com, click the link from the search engine and you will see your blog completely different.
That’s how real people see your blog, horribly stuffed with advertising! Maybe from firms you hate. Example: you have a green blog here you advocate against coal power, i don’t know, and you see an advertising where some energy company claims coal is clean. You have a wine blog, and you see advertising about canned synthetic wine&soda, that sort of thing. WordPress.com is orrible in the way that you haven’t even got the option to remove this ads if you pay.
So at the end of the day if you wan’t to blog, but you don’t want the hassle of running a software, i agree with Otto except for the wordpress.com part … I suggest blogger.com if you want it for free, or typepad.com if you wanna pay a fee and get real support. Both allows to migrate your wordpress blog and run your own domain name (on blogger.com for free).
Gianluca: What are you talking about? WordPress.com has NO ads of any sort. Period. They don’t even allow bloggers to put in their OWN advertising.
Regarding the rest: On the whole, WordPress is very simple to use. The complex parts come when you want to customize it. Upgrading works totally brilliantly smoothly for 95% of cases. The other 5% are 4.9% people having theme or plugin related issues, and 0.1% who experience an actual bug or something similar.
So yes, you do need to be a webmaster when you have to solve problems with a website. You also need to be a webmaster if you’re going to use plugins, customize a theme, or generally fool around with it above and beyond the most basic install+use scenario. That’s sort of my point there.