Thinking Out Loud

October 5, 2020

The Dumbing Down of WordPress

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 1:38 pm
I can think of various reasons why I expected this blog to someday reach its conclusion, but not being able to compose articles the way I have done so here for 12½ years was never one of them.  
I’m typing this in HTML for the first time partly so I can enlarge the font as I’ve been doing for more than a decade. The theme for this blog, which has never changed, was chosen because it allowed an extra wide margin at a time when skinny column formats — no doubt influenced by the number of Blogspot blogs which existed at the time — were more dominant. I wanted something that made the text of the articles front and center. However it came with a very small default font.
I’ve often thought about upgrading the theme but I’ve kinda wanted to hang on to the old-school blogroll and other widgets in the right-hand margin (or at the bottom for those reading on mobile) for as long as I could. Having those links at my disposal when we were on road trips was especially convenient when using my wife’s tablet or laptop.  
But last week WordPress forced the new “block” formatting on me and with only a few hours to post the day’s devotional at Christianity 201, it was like learning a whole new language.   There are things I want to be able to do that I simply can’t.
While their system generously allows me to compose in the “classic” format, I can’t seem to then read what I’ve written in HTML to do things like quote poetry, add pictures, or add superscripts for footnotes such as1 that one! See this: H20. I know how to format that. And now I am being punished for having that ability because I can’t do it and use the visual editor at the same time.  
Poetry? So many times on WordPress blogs you see people quoting song lyrics like this:  

This is a verse  

Of a poem in my mind  

But has all these spaces  

Between all the lines

When in fact poetry should look like:  
This is how
A poem should read.
To eliminate the spaces
I often have need.
[Update: At first the example didn’t work. It forced double spacing not showing on my screen.] [Update to the update: Fixed it using evil ‘div’ tags, not the way it worked previously.]  Up until today I could do that at will.
So now we have WordPress for dummies. If I’m complaining it should mean I’m smart enough to learn the new language, right? Theoretically? But am I motivated? Not really; right now I’m more angry that this “block” nonsense was foisted on everyone.  
There are simply too many programmers out there who are being paid to reinvent things that simply never needed fixing.


  1. I just started using WordPress in July, and am continually frustrated by the block text.

    Like you, I can work in html, but a plain and simple text editor with features like good old WordPerfect would be ideal, imho.

    Comment by Rocky — October 5, 2020 @ 9:33 pm

  2. Isn’t the classic editor option available from the WP admin page?

    Comment by suesconsideredtrifles — October 6, 2020 @ 3:26 am

    • OK. I have prepared a post. I copied the text from a Word document into the block editor. Couldn’t find anything useful like categories or tags. Saved it. Went to WP admin. Edited it using classic editor. Then found that it kept trying to push me back to the block editor after every preview. But I could work the way I like to.

      Comment by suesconsideredtrifles — October 6, 2020 @ 6:18 am

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