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Blogging Chat: What Would You Change About WordPress?

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I think most of us like to bitch and complain about WordPress sometimes, because hey, why not? There seems to be a regular lineup of things to complain about. So for this week’s blogging chat, I’m curious what’s the one thing you would most like to change about WordPress if you could. I’ve probably asked this before and have just forgotten, but that’s okay.

My top pick would be dealing with the glitchiness of the WordPress Reader. Granted, that’s more than one thing, but the most prominent Reader glitch changes over time. Lately, it’s been people’s posts not showing up in my feed. Before that, it was randomly unfollowing blogs. I do the vast majority of my blog reading in the Reader, and while I quite like the Reader when it works, it gets pretty annoying when it doesn’t. When glitches are apparent, I can deal with that, but when they aren’t (like posts not showing up), that’s much more obnoxious.

I’m actually quite satisfied with how WP works when it’s actually working. There are some minor things I think they could do better, but for the most part, it’s the bugginess that annoys me rather than the basic functionality.

Renard recently pointed out that WP seems to have signed some kind of deal with Outbrain, which is an advertising platform. You may have noticed recently that blogs on the free plan now have that ugly block of 9 trashy-looking sponsored articles at the end of each post—that’s from Outbrain. It doesn’t affect me personally, but damn, those ads are ugly, and having that kind of garbage cheapens the whole platform.

Now it’s over to you. What would you most like to see WP change?

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35 thoughts on “Blogging Chat: What Would You Change About WordPress?”

  1. I mostly read via the app, so I don’t see ads, but when I do read from a browser they’re horrible. Ugly toenail fungus. Gut health. Eesh. But you can pay to remove them, which I do, so at least readers aren’t seeing them on mine.

    Glitches, definitely. Make the damn thing work right every time, whether in the app or reader. So inconsistent. The skipped posts are particularly annoying.

    I would love it if we could correct our own comment typos too!

    1. I haven’t seen the toenail fungus and gut health ads for a while now, but I remember they used to be all over the place.

      Yeah, being able to fix mistakes in comments would be nice.

  2. I hadn’t heard about WP partnering with Outbrain. I wonder how much WP is worth? Just curious.
    I’m with you on having glitchiness being the main bugbear, both in the reader and dashboard. I wish they’d just leave well enough alone sometimes because instead of make improvements, they often make things less functional and less user-friendly. I’d like for all blogs to show up when searching by tags, not just those paying for WP through WP itself or paying for Jetpack (ie. to have all third-party hosted blogs searchable through tags on the WP reader). That’d be a win-win for those wanting to discover new content or wanting to get new readership. x

    1. Yeah, it would be nice if it was easier to fin third-party hosted blogs.

      I found a Bluehost article with the title “September 2021 WordPress News: Automattic Is Valued at $7.5 Billion.” That’s a whole lotta money.

  3. I think I would request the old plans and what they have to offer. I am fortune to be one with a legacy plan but who knows for how long. They can change their mind at any time.

    1. It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t keep the legacy plans around for very long. I’m one of the lucky ones in that I’m saving $100/year by switching from the business plan to the pro plan.

  4. 🤨 For starters, I would like WordPress to provide users with better-looking templates (The new ones are horrible-looking).

    I would also like WordPress to come up with fair and affordable packages.

    In regards to comments, I would like WordPress to modernize its commenting system; for example, allowing WordPress.com users to edit the comments that they made on other people’s blogs.

    Those Outbrain-sponsored advertisements on the blogs of those on the Free WordPress plan are of poor taste (I truly wished that they were not there).

    1. I haven’t looked at which templates are available under the free plan, but I recall you mentioning before that they’re ugly.

      Several people have mentioned editing comments. I can see why some people might not want to allow that on their blogs, but it would be nice to have the option.

      The Outbrain ads make WordPress look trashy. I’m sure WP is making a fair bit more money off of them, but it reflects poorly on the quality of the platform.

      1. The premium themes aren’t much better (IMO). I can’t seem to find one that I like. The theme used to be my reason for paying to use WordPress and now that mine is retired I don’t know what I’ll do come March of 2023.

  5. Good post Ashley,

    Having recently had issues with the difference in privacy modes as in Private Site Mode Privacy and Coming Soon Privacy Mode – l think WordPress should work on these two modes of supposed privacy and understand that if people are constructing blogs, they can still be social without needing to be visible. This is something they need to address.

  6. What would I change? Better asked What wouldN’T I change? 😃 Actually I don’t mind WordPress most of the time, but there are two HUGE annoyances and one little one that aggravate me daily. One is just what you touched on – those disgusting (and really badly designed) ads. I have an Ad Blocker program and although it doesn’t last long on an individual site, for a while I can read and comment ad free. I think the materialism implied in this push for more and more advertising must be sheer greed on WPs part, as they have raised their fees and already are trying to rob us blind. IMO. The second Big annoyance is the endless (and apparently permanent) removing bloggers from my follow list. They seem to target a couple of people especially. The small one is that %$&#@!!! 🤬 pop-up thing that shows up on every single new post I write. It asks me to take a virtual tour and “learn more about how to use our fabulous blogging tools” or some such horseshit. 😡 I’ve been blogging for over seven years. I think I KNOW how to navigate most of the dumb*uckery those WP people hoist on us, usually without any warning. I’d like to stuff that pop-up in a proper place in someone important at WP’s ass.

    1. That’s so weird that it shows you that every time. The only time I see that it when I’ve cleared my cookies.

      I haven’t noticed the de-following thing recently, although it’s quite possible that it’s still happening to me and I’m just not on the ball enough to catch it.

      I get that ads are the price to be paid for “free” things on the internet, but the fact that the bar is set so low in terms of quality is pretty yucky.

  7. Actually, I would like to change Blogger so that I can comment on Blogger blogs using my WP name and not have it try to make me comment under my real name gmail account. (Once upon a time, I had a short-lived, ill-advised on Blogger linked to my real name Gmail and this appears to be the greatest mistake of my internet life because it makes following and commenting on Blogger blogs impossible (I am sure there is some easy way to fix this but I haven’t been able to so far). Then in return, I would fix WP so that the two platforms would play nicely and commenting would be easier.

    1. One solution might be to create a new JWP gmail address, then any time you’re commenting on a Blogger post, do it from an incognito window or a different browser so it wouldn’t recognize you as being signed in to your regular gmail account, and you could sign in to the JWP account instead.

  8. I agree the ads can be a pain, especially since most of them are gross content. Also, WordPress can be extremely glitchy at times, but for the most part, I am happy with it.

  9. The random unfollowing blogs thing is weird. Every now and then I notice a blogger who used to post regularly is not appearing in my Reader and go searching for them. But I do worry that I may not notice the mysterious disappearance of others.

      1. I had somebody else tell me that mine wasn’t connected and I had to do a call with your research on it figure out how to fix it which really pissed me off LOL

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