Experimenting with the New Editor


Readers, you can totally ignore this post if you like. I am just experimenting with the brand new editor — and as a result of my experiment, I am venting profusely. As usual, over the last 6 years, WordPress will not leave well enough alone. They do not understand the meaning of the advice: “If it isn’t broken, DON’T FIX IT!”

What don’t I like?  Well, to begin with, I asked where in the heck are the tools to make text bold, to underline, to insert special characters? Not only are they not visible, but WP does not even give me a note in this editor to tell me where I can find them.  I will stop here and say that as I wrote this paragraph, I searched in the block search window for a “bold text” button. The editor told me there was none.  But then all of a sudden I got a row of tools with a bold button showing up along the top of my post. Now, where did that come from? I have no clue how I got it, or how I will get it again if I need it?

And I still can’t find an “underline” symbol or a button to click to let me insert special characters. I did finally find a section called “Keyboard shortcuts.”  That will let me use my keyboard to get something underlined or switched to italics. Then, after about half and hour, I finally saw a button that let me add the “classic editor tools,” but they come in on the bottom of the post instead of the top, and you have to tell it to “hide the block settings” before the tools will work in the text. But all of these features are twice the work that the old editor required to accomplish those jobs. Why on earth would any writer want that??? 

And I still can’t find a way to insert special characters — like the copyright symbol — which we all need from time to time. What is it that makes WordPress believe that we will appreciate having to learn how to do almost everything from scratch again? And what’s with the paragraph symbol all over the place?  It pops up right and left when there should be no need for it. Previously, all we had to do was space down an extra line, and we had an automatic new paragraph. Not anymore. Also, I tried to right click and choose “select all” so I could copy the text, but the editor will not select all. It selects only the paragraph that I’m close to when I right click. I finally hunted around for an option that said “copy all content,” but when I did and pasted it into a document, it pasted all the HTML codes into the text as well.

I went to my admin page to see what I had available for help there, and there’s a link that says I can “try a live demo which will highlight some of the key features of the new editor.”  But when I clicked on that link, it took me to a page with 4 black boxes with a label for each feature, but did absolutely nothing to show me what they actually are or how they work. Supposedly, this new editor is great for what they call “media-rich” posts and for people who worry about whether their content looks good on all sizes and kinds of devices. WordPress has claimed for years that they have themes that can be relied on for those features. If there are a some bloggers out there who really need a new kind of editor, then WP needs to develop a couple separate themes that will allow those bloggers the extra technology. But for those of us who are actually writers — who want to use our sites to “say” something in a simple, easy, quickly-posted manner — they need to just leave us alone, for pity’s sake, and let us get on with blogging.

This whole editor looks like a lot of mumbo-jumbo junk to me. I have to laugh when I see that they are naming the new editor ‘Gutenberg.’ Holy cow, the man would roll over in his grave if he had to deal with an editing program like this one!  But then why should WordPress care what I think? I’m just the creator and administrator of 5 blogs/websites on WP (all under different names and e-mail accounts to avoid confusion.) And since I  have only 5 sites, why should my concerns make any difference, right?

Not only does the problem affect me personally, but since I teach blogging classes —  and, by the way, have been responsible for getting several new bloggers to do business with WordPress over the past 4 years — this change drastically affects my students as well. I can tell already that this new concept editor is going to be much more difficult for brand new bloggers to get a handle on, and, frankly, I’m concerned that they will give up and just quit — which would be a shame for them, for me, and for WordPress.

Anyway, they are not going to allow us to stick with the old editor window — which is actually the new editor window from just about 3  years ago — and which caused a lot of confusion for multiple bloggers, particularly those new to the blogging world. Now that everyone is finally pretty comfortable using that editor, Word Press feels they MUST get rid of it and force something else new on us.

Oh well, they are still a better platform than Blogger — barely —  so I guess I’ll stick with them for a while yet and see how things go. Since I have 5 blogs to deal with, that would be a whole lot of work if I decided to change them to another platform. Staying put sounds like the easier choice, but I’m not sure how long that will be true. Maybe — just maybe — I’ll be able to make friends with this new editor at some point — if I don’t give up first. After an hour of frustration, I finally switched back to the old editor to get my post to look normal before I hit “publish,” but how long will I be able to make that choice???????




12 thoughts on “Experimenting with the New Editor

    1. Yes, I’ve been through needing to contact Support in the past, and it generally takes a long time for anyone to get back to me — and then they don’t always reply to the specific problem I’ve presented. And my main problem with the whole situation is not something that the support team can help. The real problem is that they are forcing all bloggers to have to learn a whole new concept in editing. We had a program that worked very well 4 or 5 years ago, and then they got rid of it and forced us to learn a whole new system. Now, 3 or 4 years later — when everyone is finally comfortable enough to use that program — they are getting rid of it and forcing us to learn another system, which is very much less user-friendly. I’m pretty fed up. When someone of my intelligence and experience on the Internet spends almost 2 hours trying to use an editor program and can never even find the very basic of basics that I need, there’s a problem. But WordPress is not going to change their minds, regardless of what I say. They make their decisions from the basis of people who are used to using the most sophisticated and most technologically advanced systems all the time — and not from the perspective of simple people who know only the basics about all this stuff. I’m thinking as much of new bloggers as I am those of us who have been on here for years. If it’s a terrible chore for us — and requires much more time and effort to do simple things — just think how discouraging it is for beginners. I deal with beginners all the time, and this new system is going to cause a number of them to get so discouraged they will quit before they even get started. It’s really a shame.

      1. It is a shame. I am still using the old system which I access through my dashboard and posts. It is so much more user friendly. I love the support of WordPress bloggers and the supportive community. I have been thinkinking of migrating to wordpress.org which has the same founder but is more independent. It costs $40.00 a year and you have to have supplement programs for spam and such. You have autonomy over what you do. I speak blessings to you Sandra as you seek answers from wordpress. Remember that we speak life and death from our mouth. I speak the favor of God over you, quick response time and a listening ear that will hear and act on your behalf. Angels on assignment go ahead and prepare the way for favor for Sandra a king of God who decrees and it is done!

        1. Yes, I still use the older version of the editor as well. I was just checking out the new one so that I could get used to it and be able to help some of the new bloggers that I work with who are really challenged by the technology. But before long, we won’t be allowed to use the old editor anymore, because it will be gone. The change isn’t something that WordPress is thinking about and trying out to see if we like it. The decision has already been made.

          I’m not familiar with wordpress.org, but if you have more autonomy on that platform, it might be worth having to get your own programs to protect against spam. Of course, if those programs are pretty costly, then that would add another factor into the picture. But I’m sure the Lord will lead you to make the right decision. If you change and the followers from wordpress.com don’t get changed over with you, let me know, so I can follow you on the other platform.

          1. I will. The WordPress.org was founded by the same person as WordPress.com The difference is you own your site and have more autonomy. I am not jumping ship yet, but am investigating it. There is a blog that compares the two and it said it is cheaper to go with WordPress.org. There is a higher responsibility that goes with it. I really love the WordPress community and am not sure if that would transfer since it is WordPress.com. The Lord will make it clear. Abundant blessings!

  1. I tried it out and gave up and went back to WP/admin. It is nuts. Like you, I wrote a blogging course for ICR and now will have to modify it for this nutty “Gutenberg” editor. Might be easier to withdraw the course or teach them a different platform besides WordPress.
    I couldn’t even add a YouTube to a post. Close to considering ending my blog, they may push me over that line.
    10 years is a long time to have a blog.
    Can you tell, I also am frustrated?

    1. I finally sent a complaint in to the WP help line. They give you someone who is supposedly a “WordPress Expert,” — another WP user who’s supposed to know stuff. Anyway, I wrote that if WP was going to force us to switch to a new editor, the least they could do is give us a video tutorial. She answered me and sent me a link to the tutorial that they have. I thanked her but told her that WP still owed it to us to put the link to the tutorial on the same window that pops up every time we go to our current editor. It keeps saying the editor is changing and then they have a “Learn More” button, but it doesn’t take you to any tutorial. I asked her to pass on my complaint to the administration. Don’t know if she will, but at least I did my part. Just in case you want to venture into the situation again in the future, I’ll give you the link to that tutorial here. It isn’t a video — all text — but that’s better than nothing. I’m seriously considering going back to Blogger. They don’t have much of a community spirit over there, but I can still connect with other people on here if I wanted to. But I won’t be doing anymore blogging classes. Here’s the link:

  2. There is a plug-in you can install that allows you to keep using the old editor. It was the first thing I installed after upgrading to 5. I’ll get the name and post it.

    1. Thank you. When they changed editors the last time, I still went to the admin page and used the what was then the “old” one for a long time, but eventually switched to the one we have had the past two years. But this time, when I went to the admin page, even that page has the announcement that the new editor will soon be taking over. So if there’s a plug in that will allow me to use either one of the older editors, I’d like to have it. Frankly, if we are forced to switch to the new one, I’ll probably take all my sites off WordPress and switch to Blogger.

  3. I absolutely loathe the new editor. WordPress has taken something formerly easy to use & functional & made it an absolute nightmare. Whatever “designer” came up with this idea should be promptly fired & banished from doing design ever again. I hope they are listening to the tsunami of negative feedback & change it back to the old style. I don’t know what they were thinking…smh.

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