Is WordPress Meeting Your Needs?

WordPress on Apple devices
The WordPress dashboard displayed on a MacBook Air and an iPhone along with a notepad, a pen and a cup of coffee (Photo credit: Pixabay)

My friend, Obinna P. Anyaibe, provided me with some food for thought when he posted, How Can WordPress Be Improved?.

Well, to be most honest, the Happiness Engineers at WordPress have been implementing changes to WordPress slowly (Those changes are not always the kind that WordPress users are fond of).

Anyway, WordPress can be improved (And, that goes for both the WordPress-hosted version (WordPress.com) and the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org); but for the sake of WordPress users, those changes should not be drastic ones).

Presently, WordPress is meeting the needs of lots of bloggers.

But, in my case, I would like some extra things from WordPress (And, I would not doubt for one moment, that there are other bloggers on WordPress who feel the same way too).

Comments
Comments (Photo credit: Pixabay)

A Person Can Only Do So Much With WordPress’s Default Comments

At the moment, WordPress bloggers (those people who are on the WordPress-hosted version) can only edit the comments on their own blog and they are unable to edit the comments that they made on other people’s blogs.

Have you ever made a typographical error in the comments section of a fellow WordPress blogger?

There is a high probability of you saying, “Yes!”

Do not worry, you are not alone because I also made a few typographical errors in the comments section of a few of my fellow WordPress bloggers’ blogs.

Most of us have tried to rectify the situation by adding another comment — one that mentioned to the owner of the blog that we made a typo along with what we really meant to say.

Come on WordPress, I want to be able to edit the comments that I made on someone else’s blog.

On the self-hosted version of WordPress and on other blogging platforms, bloggers can edit their comments on:

  • Google Plus Comments (I would like to remind everyone, that Google Plus is shutting down on Tuesday the 2nd of April, 2019 and the commenting aspect of this social media network is going to vanish into thin air).
  • Facebook comments.
  • Disqus comments.

Those of us who utilize the WordPress-hosted version will have to be extra vigilant where commenting is concerned.

By the way, I highlighted the importance of proofreading our comments on my blog post, 10 Helpful Tips For Newbie Bloggers (That is worthy of being checked out).

If the Happiness Engineers at WordPress have no intentions of granting us the ability to edit the comments that we made on the blogs of our fellow WordPress bloggers, we can save ourselves a whole lot of embarrassment by proofreading our comments before we publish them.

Fonts
Fonts

I Want More Control Over My Fonts

It is no big secret, that those of us that use the WordPress-hosted version, have very limited control in the area of customizing our fonts.

The lucky ones over at the self-hosted version of WordPress are free to use any type of font that they desire and they can also manipulate their fonts using precise measurements (For example, if they want to set the Liberation fonts (whether it be Liberation Serif, Liberation Sans or Liberation Mono) at 16.2 pixels, they can make the necessary adjustments in order to have it on their theme).

When I was on Blogger, I was able to:

  • Use any type of fonts.
  • Adjust the fonts to any size that I wanted.
  • Manipulate the colour of the fonts (I had the ability to adjust the colours along with the various shades with ease).

On the WordPress-hosted version, we are only allowed to use the fonts that are given to us and they only come with the following presets:

  • Tiny
  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
  • Huge

Bloggers on the WordPress-hosted version can forget about using the Georgia font family at 17.5 pixels on their theme.

Themes
WordPress Themes

I Would Like The Freedom To Fully Customize My Theme

Unfortunately, bloggers on the WordPress-hosted version are unable to customize their theme fully without upgrading (And, that requires paying an extra sum of money).

The truth is that I am never 100% pleased with the free and the paid themes that WordPress offer (I would need to alter them via CSS codes in order to be truly satisfied with them).

I can picture in my mind’s eye, a handful of those bloggers that publish their content on the self-hosted version of WordPress saying, “The WordPress-hosted version is rubbish. You would be much better off using the self-hosted version of WordPress!”

For the record, the sky is the limit where the self-hosted version of WordPress is concerned.

However, in spite of the limitations of the WordPress-hosted version, I would not refer to it as, “Rubbish,” because it has its place in the blogosphere and many people are quite happy with it.

In my case, I am hard to please.

I might come across a beautiful-looking theme and think to myself, “Those fonts are way too small and they are not the type of fonts that I would use on a theme.”

And, I am not always pleased with the colour of the links that come with some of the themes (I prefer blue-coloured links).

Back in the days when I was on Blogger, I would change the colour of the links to a light shade of blue on any of the themes that contained some other colour of links by default.

I will admit, that I do step outside of my comfort zone occasionally by utilizing the following colour of links:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Brown

As a general rule, I never use links that are of the same colour as the fonts in the body of my posts.

Why?

Because the reader should be able to know at a glance that links were added to my blog posts.

And, changing the colour of the links falls into the category of customizing one’s themes.

Also, back in the days when I was on Blogger, I was in the habit of uploading themes to Blogger — the kinds of themes that were way better looking than Blogger’s selection of default themes.

Anyway, most bloggers would have that inner desire to customize their chosen theme to their heart’s content (Which of course, is a wonderful way of making their blog look unique).

Oh well, so much for the limitations of the WordPress-hosted version.

Mix
Mix Logo (Photo credit: Mix)

I Would Like WordPress To Add Mix To The List Of Default Share Buttons

At the moment, Mix is not among the selection of WordPress’s default buttons.

The good news is that anyone can add them to their WordPress blog (G. Jefferies’s blog post, Stumble Upon Replaced By Mix.com. Time To Add The New Share Button To Your WordPress Blog teaches us how to go about making that possible).

I would like the Happiness Engineers to add the Mix share button to the default set of share buttons because there is a large percentage of WordPress users who are not tech savvy.

Would you like to see Mix among WordPress’s selection of default share buttons?

I know that I do and those people who have an account with Mix would not mind having the Mix share button among WordPress’s selection of default share buttons.

Johannes Gutenberg
Johannes Gutenberg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Hope That WordPress Improves Gutenberg

Gutenberg is the latest editor that WordPress released (It was named after Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg — the inventor of the Gutenberg printing press).

I will admit, that my first experience with the Gutenberg editor was a disastrous one; back then, it was not intuitive and I was unable to find my way around it (The biggest irony of all was: I volunteered to use the Gutenberg editor when it was in beta).

With the help of YouTube videos and online documentation, I eventually learned how to use the Gutenberg editor in a proficient manner.

And, I have learned to appreciate the Gutenberg editor (And, I have also made the conscientious decision to continue using the Gutenberg editor).

Currently, there are lots of people who love the Gutenberg editor and there are lots of people who hate it too.

Those who hate the Gutenberg editor can stick with the TinyMCE editor for the time being (It will be officially supported by WordPress until December 31st, 2021).

In my mind’s eye, I have tried to imagine what it would be like for a WordPress newcomer to encounter the Gutenberg editor; they would probably think, “My goodness! What the hell is this thing? How am I going to be able to get anything posted?” Or, “Wow! This is fantastic! This is what I have been looking for all along!”

For the record, I am not 100% pleased with the Gutenberg editor and here is the reason why:

I compose all of my draft copies for my blog posts via LibreOffice Writer and when my blog posts have been completed, I copy them from LibreOffice Writer and paste them into the Gutenberg editor; which results in the loss of formatting (That also takes place with Microsoft Word).

Luckily for me, I found a fix for this; which involves:

Copying and pasting one paragraph at a time (because Gutenberg treats each paragraph as a block) and I handle the various formatting aspects individually via the block-based editor.

I produce long-form content; therefore copying a single paragraph from LibreOffice Writer and pasting it into the Gutenberg editor is a timely process.

Now, I could save myself from this craziness (and, a lot of time too) by composing the draft copies for my blog posts directly into the Gutenberg editor.

What I loved about the TinyMCE editor is that it always maintained the formatting from the text document from a word processor program; such as LibreOffice or Microsoft Word.

Hopefully, in the near future, Gutenberg will be able to retain the formatting from the text documents that were created via LibreOffice and Microsoft Word.

Ladtbugs
Ladybugs (Photo credit: Pixabay)

The WordPress Mobile Application Is Somewhat Buggy

A lot of my fellow bloggers on WordPress utilize the WordPress mobile app (Especially those who blog solely on their smartphone).

The WordPress mobile app is great for:

  • Publishing blog posts on the go.
  • Checking out the WordPress Reader on the go.
  • Visiting the blogs of your fellow bloggers and leaving them valuable comments while you are on the go.
  • Replying to the comments that were made in the comments section of your WordPress blog when you are away from your laptop computer or your desktop computer.

However, the WordPress mobile app would occasionally freeze when a blogger is in the middle of composing their blog post.

Luckily for us bloggers, this problem can be rectified by:

  • Rebooting our smartphone.
  • Updating the WordPress mobile app.
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the WordPress mobile app.

If I ever have the cause to compose a blog post on my smartphone, I would access WordPress via my smartphone’s browser.

Unfortunately, the WordPress mobile app has its shortcomings.

On a positive note, the WordPress mobile app does meet the needs of most WordPress bloggers who blog via their mobile devices.

Security
Security (Photo credit: Pixabay)

WordPress Needs To Be More Secure

Do you know that WordPress is susceptible to malware and hacking?

Those of you who blog on the self-hosted version of WordPress can gather the knowledge of keeping your website secure by reading, The Ultimate WordPress Security Guide — Step by Step (2019).

And, those people who chose the WordPress-hosted version do not have those sorts of things to worry about because the Happiness Engineers handle all of the WordPress security issues from their end.

Those of us who use the WordPress-hosted version for blogging purposes can do our part to keep our accounts secure by:

  • Enabling two-factor authentication.
  • Logging out of our WordPress account on a computer that is not ours; such as in the case of using a computer at a computer cafe to publish content on our blog.
  • Changing the password for our WordPress account ever so often.

The last thing that any blogger wants is someone gaining unauthorized access to their account; which is the reason why every blogger must do their part in keeping their account secure.

WordPress is mostly targeted by hackers and by those who simply want to inject WordPress sites with malware because it is one of the most used content management systems on the world wide web.

Final Thoughts

As you have learned, WordPress can be improved.

And, in regards to WordPress meeting my needs, I will have to say, “My basic needs are met and I would not mind having all of my blogging needs met.”

It is also noticeable by everyone, that the WordPress-hosted version is limited in comparison to the self-hosted version of WordPress (It is up to the blogger to know which of the two is most suitable for their blogging needs).

If you want to do business in an unhampered way, setting up a business-related blog on the self-hosted version of WordPress is the way to go.

And, if you simply want a blog to share your personal thoughts with others, the WordPress-hosted version will do just fine.

By the way, I would love to know if WordPress has met your needs and if you think that it is in dire need of improvement.

Viewing audiences from around the world can show a bit of love for this blog post by sharing it on their favourite social media.

Your support is greatly appreciated!

And, thank you for reading!

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58 thoughts on “Is WordPress Meeting Your Needs?

  1. Great post and packed with suggested improvements to empower bloggers with more capabilities. Really appreciate the shout out concerning the Mix button too. Most social buttons can be added including things like FlipBoard if their sharing code is known. The WordPress dashboard has more capability than most bloggers realise, including a way to share any web page directly. It’s on my list of to do things demonstrating how you can do that easily too.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. No problem and to be honest working out which code took the post to Mix had me tearing my hair out. I figured nobody needs to reinvent that wheel! Same with anything I unearth really!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post, Renard. I’m very happy you raised the issue of how buggy the WP mobile application is. I’ve been fuming for two days now. I’m VERY angry!

    I opened my WP app two days ago only to discover that it had gone cray cray. My reader no longer shows the time that blog posts and comments were published. Instead of showing “3 hrs”, “yesterday”, “two days”or whenever that post or comment was published, it keeps showing “now” like it really was published just now. I’ve logged out and logged in again. I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled. I’ve rebooted my phone. Still no change. You can understand how angry I am now.

    *Sigh*
    I hope it reverts to how it was very soon.

    I like that I’m not the only one concerned about how insecure my blog is. Enabling a two-factor authentication is a brilliant idea. I hope one of WordPress developers stumbles upon your article.

    Thank you for the mention, Renard!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Yes, great post, Renard!

    I am using the Gutenberg editor exclusively now. I agree that it is not intuitive. (It took me way too long to figure out how to right-align an image, for instance, when it seemed my only options were to insert a block before or after an existing block.) Also, there seems to be things I can now do only by editing the HTML (non-English characters, for instance), which were included in the previous editor, and that seems like a big step backwards.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. As always Renard you have raised some good points. I think WordPress is great when you are starting out but once we get experienced at blogging we want to do more, and we can’t do that for free! I do like the new editor though. The problem I have is that most of my blogging is done on my phone and there are glitches if you try to edit a post on the mobile app and on the desktop.

    Have a great day!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so glad you mentioned the WordPress app – it’s so buggy and I don’t know why they upgraded from the previous version which seemed to work fine (and was easier to read in my opinion). Many thanks for this post, Renard.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nice post, I would like also being able to fully customize my theme or even upload my own custom theme (feature available in self-hosted WordPress). Still, I am quite happy with WordPress since it allows hobbyist like myself to set up quickly a functional blog.

    One thing I would like thought, would be improvements in the reader section: I would like, for example, to improve the discover feature so I can more easily find and follow blogs that meet my interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree with you Renard about having more control over fonts. For example, I want the font size of the post title to be smaller, but I want my site name to be in large font. There’s absolutely no way of doing that. I hope WordPress’ happiness engineers provide us more flexibility in this matter.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. H Renard,

    Your points are clear but I would say that self-hosted WordPress has been good to me, if not for the recent upgrades and stuff. I started blogging on Google’s Blogger, then moved to WordPress dot Org. Next, I crossed over to Medium, and finally self-hosted WordPress. It has helped me in many ways, even though it has its cons. But I would say I’m where I need to be. The only problem I have with WordPress right now is the new editor. I’m still learning to navigate and use it properly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 In most instances, you cannot go wrong with the self-hosted version of WordPress due to the fact that you can customize it to your heart’s content.

      Don’t worry, Moss. You will eventually learn how to find your way around the Gutenburg editor.

      Thank you for your valuable input!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve only ever used WordPress, so I don’t know about other blogging platforms. Over the five years I have been blogging, I’ve seen great improvements from WordPress. They always seem to upset a lot of bloggers when making changes, but I put that down to bloggers not willing to try the new changes. For example, I’ve read lots of posts about how bloggers hate using Gutenberg yet, many of those who say this, haven’t given the new editor enough time. Like anything else, we need to give anything new some of our time before condemning it and saying things like ‘I don’t like it.’

    I agree about being able to alter mistakes in our comments on other blogs, although I often make amendments on behalf of a blogger by editing a comment before approving it.

    I noticed too that somebody mentioned being able to leave images in comments. It can be done, but it’s something WordPress doesn’t seem to advertise.

    As for Mix.Com, I have the sharing button but am not seeing any traffic to my blog from it. It may be that the social media platform is still in its early days, but I think the reason why it’s not a default sharing button could be something to do with money.

    A great post. Renard, full of some excellent advise.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 Wow! You have only used WordPress? For the record, that is not a bad thing because there are a lot of bloggers who have only used WordPress.

      Hugh, you are right about people hating the changes that WordPress make.

      Many years ago (during the time when my first WordPress blog was around) many people complained about WordPress changing the look of the dashboard’s user interface.

      Today, a lot of WordPress bloggers are making a huge fuss about the Gutenberg editor. Some people are willing to learn how to use it, while there are those who want nothing to do with it.

      By the way, I found this great comment of yours in my spam section. Did you get on the wrong side of WordPress lately?

      Anyway, I clicked on “Not spam,” to let Akismet know that your comment was not spam.

      I would like you to investigate this because your innocent and very thoughtful comments could be heading in your fellow bloggers’ spam area.

      Do have yourself a fantastic week, my friend!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the heads up about my comment ending up in your Spam folder, Renard. I’ve left a few other comments today, and they’ve all appeared, so hopefully it was just a one off. Sometimes, the simplest of words can trigger WordPress to mark something as spam. I get innocent, genuine comments landing in my WordPress spam folder almost on a daily basis.

        Yes, I remember those changes to the dashboard and how many bloggers did not like them. Now, you hear nothing about it. I guess they moved on to something else.

        I still find WordPress a fantastic tool for blogging. It’s why I have never looked anywhere else. They’ve also always been very helpful when I’ve reported bugs to them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. 🙂 Huge, it could be a case of false-positives — innocent comments that are sent to the spam area for some strange reason.

        I am relieved to know that your comments have all appeared elsewhere.

        And, I humbly agree, that WordPress is a fantastic tool for blogging.

        Luckily for us, the Happiness Engineers are appreciative of bug reports.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. 🤔 To be honest, it all depends on your reason for switching.

        Do you want to switch because you want to do business?

        Do you want to switch because you want access to a vast number of themes, widgets and plugins?

        Do you want to switch because you want to have full control over the design of your blog?

        Now, it is certainly possible to export the contents of your WordPress-hosted blog to your self-hosted WordPress blog.

        I know of a handful of people who exported their WordPress-hosted blog to the self-hosted version of WordPress and hated it.

        Then there are those bloggers who did the same thing and they have never regretted their decision.

        Also, what a lot of people have failed to realize is that even though the self-hosted version of WordPress is powerful, they can only reap the positive benefits by signing up with a reliable hosting company (Choosing the wrong one will lead to numerous problems).

        Anyone who is interested in going the self-hosted way better had do their homework; since there is no room for errors.

        Thank you for your question.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Basically yes! But it seems crash a lot in my case; the autocorrect is insane and has a mind of it’s own; and it seems to drain my phone dry in no time flat.

    As I was typing this it changed ‘in’ to ‘IMO’ … go figure! Damn and ‘go figure’ to ‘no figure!’ LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pleasure my friend – l could say no more than l have. WP is the first platform l have used to run and maintain a blog, so l have limited views. I have lots of questions or rather l had lots of questions and this post has addressed some of them – so l am now wiser – my only annoyance with WP is the cursed limited function for deleting more in the bulk edit fucntion. Merely only being able to destroy twenty comments at a time is frustrating. I receive almost 1500 spam posts a day that thankfully end up in the filter, but at the deletion of twenty a time l almost lose the will to live trying to delete them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I have run a self-hosted blog and a wordpress hosted blog and much as the sky is the limit for a self-hosted blog its not all rosey as people tend to paint it as, but for the habitual blogger who just wants somewhere to write in peace WordPress.com is decent without haing to immerse yourself too deeply into the world of SEO management, plugins and updates and a lot of those you would need to do hands that WordPress does for you leaving you to do just the one thing , post your content ha!
    That said if you seriously want the freedom self-hosted gives you plus the WordPress advantages bumping up you WordPress plan might be a good start I dont know if you ever done any posts looking into the different WordPress plans.
    I recently upgraded to the personal plan and now I can drop my site name alongside those self-hosted folk without having to answer questions on why I dont self host my blog just that made it worth it.

    You mentioned comments, sometimes I edit typos in my comments because I know they cant I know I hate it when I make typos and cant edit or atleast delete and take it again, so when i spot a typo on someone’s comment I fix it or if they drop a second comment correcting their typo I delete the initial one…. (especially if its someone who comments on regular tip and I can almost count them as a friend)
    Also I think comments should support images and grapics like Gifs especially in this day and age where people can respond with memes, sometimes you could simply explain a coment better with a picture like someone want to know what your hair looks like after a certain process…..

    I have been using Gutenberg for awhile now and yeah it still has some issues that need solving I noticed the formatting problems when you copy paste since I too type up my post elsewhere then paste it into wordpress editor when I am done, and end up have to do double editing and formatting… coping paragraph by paragraph is bit tedious but it works!!!!

    Have you noticed on the Gutenberg editor that you can not change the colour of individual words like you want red to be red blue blue, green green, etc, in a single block all words are the same colour, unless you use the classic block, also I have seen that sometimes later when you come back to edit a post already published and live the text in the classic editor block may disappear?

    Great break down of WordPress
    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 🙂 I was unaware that one was unable to change the colour of individual words in the Gutenberg editor because I never tried it.

    And, I agree that it would be nice to add pictures and GIFs in the comments section.

    The reason why I did not do any posts on the various WordPress plans is because that information can be acquired via the “Pan” section of my WordPress dashboard (Therefore, the same information is readily available to those people who blog on WordPress.com).

    Also, it is nice to know that you have had the experience of running the self-hosted version of WordPress and the version that is hosted by WordPress.

    Thank you for sharing your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Personally I think Gutenberg sucks.
    A little about me.
    I “cut my teeth” on Main Frames, dealt with Midi-computers before Desktops were around. Owned and used a PC when they went to hard drives. Programs were written in lean/mean Assembly language. Not the “Bloatware” we have today. I still seek out programs and programmers who use assembly language.
    I had a 10 MB hard drive that I operated a business, Massive inventory system, accounting system, personal stuff, etc. I only used about 1/5th of the H.D.
    But being the type of nerd I was, when it came out I bought the huge 40 MB Hard Drive. The salesman assured me it’d last my lifetime.
    Had a source re: Internet going civilian before it happened. I was on it since almost the beginning.
    More recently, I learned how to use a “dumb” smartphone to access the ‘net. It’s a “Love-Hate” situation.
    I do like the work completion programs.
    This little phone has more processing power than a room full of main frames!
    🙂 Amazing!
    Keep up the good work!
    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

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