WordPress users might be wondering whether they should upgrade to the new WP 2.5 release candidate. There are lots of assessments so far, and most seem to be either neutral or negative. I used it early this week at one client’s site, who immediately did an upgrade. First impression: dislike the admin panel. Then just to test, I installed WP 2.5 on one of my own sites this afternoon. I’ve spent the past few hours tonight, screaming with disappointment, scaring my cat. Here’s why:
These are some specific WP 2.5 issues that I’ve encountered tonight, while testing an installation.
- Admin panel. I really dislike the new admin panel. They took a familiar layout, changed it, and even changed the names of some of the most important links. Why? There’s absolutely no reason for this. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- Manage panel. The Manage panel is now missing important post information, which is now all hidden. So if I want to publish a whole whack of posts in sequence, it’s a right pain in the behind. Actually, it’s worse – read on.
- Write panel. I despise the new Write panel. Not only has it been completely rearranged when it didn’t need to be ( and not very well), some of the features don’t work properly. It’s bad enough that the timestamp feature has been buried, but I also can’t seem to manually change the time stamp. I change and save the timestamp, but the Manage panel has buried timestamp info. When I mouse over the “x minutes ago” nonsense, I see the wrong timestamp. It gives me the real timestamp when I made the last edit. Again, they fixed something they shouldn’t have and made it worse.
- Write/ Save. If you publish a post then edit later, when you “Save”, the session does not close. They’ve removed the “Save and continue editing” button and changed the functionality of the “Save” button. Another huge mistake. If the functionality I want/need is still there, its not very evident. I figure that as an experienced WP user, it should be easier, not harder, for me to upgrade to a new version.
- Custom fields. I’ve wasted two hours on one project, thanks to the absolutely unreliable behavior of “create custom fields”. It’s taken me hours to enter fourteen posts, each of which has 6-20 custom fields. But every time I “Publish” a post after creating and entering all the custom field information, every single field expect the last one I created disappears into the ether. I can’t express how pissed off I am about this. I have another 200 posts to add, and now I have to uninstall WP 2.5, manually upload an older version, set it up, then start this project all over again.
- Drafts. Every time I create a new post, there are a multiple draft versions created, whose existence seem to have no relation to any activity on my part. What’s more, there are two types of drafts. I get one single draft that has the post title correct, but it’s in addition to my published post. Then there are anywhere from 3-5 drafts whose title is created from a timestamp. If this is happening automatically, there is hopefully a way to turn off this irritating behavior. I just haven’t found it yet. I just can’t fathom any reason for this useless feature. This is not the right way to do versioning. Now, I have to waste my time deleting multiple drafts for every single post I create.
These are general points about WP 2.5.
- Automattic fixed things (features, links) that really didn’t need fixing.
- An experienced user like myself has some expectation that the interface of the software I use daily doesn’t get chewed up and spit out in a completely unintuitive manner – and actually functions properly.
- Most of the other new user features don’t interest me, with the exception of multi-image upload and auto-update of plugins (provided that my hosts support the latter).
- I was excited about some of the developer features – such as shortcodes – but give the monstrous figurative headache WP 2.5 has given me, I have no intention of wasting my time. If I can’t expect simple features to work properly, why should I waste my time with advanced features?
Automattic, you seriously dropped the ball on this. WordPress 2.5 is an enormous disappointment in the simplest of features. As an experienced (but retired) programmer, I can say with confidence that you don’t release significant interface changes in mid-version software. People that are expecting minor fixes might be shocked. V2.5 should have been renumbered to V3.0. If it had, more people might think twice before making a “big jump” from 2.x to 3.0. I’m so glad that I didn’t install WP 2.5 on a production site, but I do have to use it on several client sites – something I don’t relish.
You’ve now lost one of your most active WordPress evangelists (see 28 Ways to Use WordPress Custom Fields and 48 Unique Ways to Use WordPress). (I’ll still continue to write about WP in general.) I’m a freelancer and time is money. There’s only so much time I have available to waste on new software that violates general development principles. It seems, then, that my several dozen sites will not be upgraded for a long, long time.
For those of you that have taken the plunge and upgraded to WP 2.5, what has been your experience so far?
I agree with you. The new admin panel totally sucks. I really wish they went with the http://www.brokenkode.com/shuttle/ approach or something like the mydashboard (iGoogle) type effect.
I want to be able to move things and resize them to meet my needs without having to go in and hack the code.
How DO you go about downgrading back to 2.3.3 from 2.5.1? is it a straight upload and overwrite of files or does the DB need to be “fixed” also?
Better yet, Is there any kind of plugin or whatever that will make 2.5.x look, feel, and function the same as 2.3.3?
WP is supposed to be customizeable so, How do I customize the dashboard to look and work like 2.3.3?
My experience on Custom Fields is more frusting because I got 10,500+ posts of Garfield comics on http://www.fedmich.com/garfield/
and everytime I write posts, the custom fields for some strange reason, duplicates the row to upto that many and mt browser becomes unresponsive because of it. I’m still trying to figure out a solution for this, if you have any solution or know how to disable the custom fields, pls help.
Thanks in advance
I see most people say they agree or don’t agree. I think we should all work to make WordPress better. The real frustration is not WordPress, but Drupal. I spent two years on it for nothing, because they are unable to fix their security holes.
I have only one problem with WordPress, it is that the page sequence in the header is completely random. You give it an order by trial and error and when you upload the web via xml file, all the order is thrown in the gutter. And to put up the order other then by renaming the pages is illusory as well, as that page weight order function doesn’t work at all. It’s a complete crap.
If you have a fix for me, or you can give me a link to a site for download a java top navigation that is consistent, please let me know. Thanks.
Hi Byrne: I have used Movable Type since early 2006 and do like it quite a lot. I’ve also used Typepad a great deal, both on my own sites and that of others. Though the last time I used either platform regularly, there was no true “future dating” feature for the time stamp. That’s not as much of an issue for me now, however, I do still like WordPress – most of my sites are on it. What I’m not happy about are the advanced features that used to work pre V2.5x and do not work as of 2.5.
Regardless, I’m of the mindset “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.” Meaning that I have no plans to upgrade 30+ sites to anything new. I’ve invested a lot of time learning WP dev; however, if MT has a similar kind of plugin and theme dev system, it might be worth it for me to learn it as well.
If WordPress is not for you, then what in your mind are the other contenders? I ask honestly…
Have you had a chance to look at the recent release of Movable Type 4.2?
We work hard at Six Apart to make Movable Type one of the most innovative platforms around. We focus on quality, security, a focused and intent roadmap, solid features and most of all good, well architected, well written software.
As the Product Manager, I will be the first to admit that MT is not perfect. Then again, nothing is perfect. But we listen to our users, and we do our best to implement what they want and what they need.
If you have a moment, try it out and let me know what you think. We would love to have you join our community!
wallestad: Thanks for the tip and the link.
If you’re looking for category and page IDs in WP 2.5, simply install “Reveal IDs for WP 2.5 Admin” Plugin. It restores much needed info and makes 2.5 far easier to use.
Stu: I’m not sure how a downgrade would function. This is not confirmed, but I thought I’d read somewhere that the database schema has changed in WP 2.5. It also depends on which theme and plugins are in use. A number of WP functions have changed slightly in name, so a new theme will not work without tweaking. Export from 2.5 should be ok if the output structure hasn’t changed.
how difficult would it be to simply downgrade to 2.3? It surely can’t be any harder than persevering with 2.5? My main beef, apart from the write panel (getting RSI from the continual scrolling!) is the custom fields problem i.e. requiring to save your post before adding any.
Oh, and has anyone else noticed how SLOW 2.5 is? Maybe it’s just my setup, but either way, saving before adding the CFs isn’t really an option as the save time is up to a minute for a simple post.
I just spent about 1 hour dealing with widgets, the design for the widget options panel is so mind numbingly stupid, it is almost beyond comprehension.
Before: simple drag and drop system, mixing and matching with the different sidebar lists.
Now you have to remove, then save, then select the other sidebar, add, then save.
It gets worse with RSS and TXT widgets. Before: drag and drop, your widgets do not disappear.
Now: if you remove your TXT widget during the stupid mind numbing process under 2.5, you lose it, poof, disappeared! You have to create an entire new one, adding in the cut and paste lameness to an already stupid redesign of the widget page.
It was better the way it was, it SUCKS now.
DDCast: Thanks for the tip and link. Good idea – something I should have done already.
I respect your opinion.. It seems that you’ve found some bugs/inconsistencies in WP 2.5. In an open source community one would inform the software author of such issues to support the very foundation of open source — community development. Here’s a link to wp’s forum topic on the new release http://wordpress.org/support/forum/12
I’m sure they’d love to hear about your experience.
FDCox: As I said in another post, I still love WP. What I recommend is that you use WP 2.3.3, before this huge change. It might mean setting up manually, but if you picked WP for its specific feature set, then stick with it.
I am new to blogging and decided to use WordPress 2.5.1 due to WordPress’s great customization, theme selection, professional appearance and ease of use. Did I make a mistake. Initially everything was a honeymoon, then several days ago, WordPress decided it wanted a divorce and arbitrarily refused to upload images. I’m going to migrate to another blog client as soon as possible.
Danny: That’s the bug that actually prompted me to write this post. I threw away so much time on re-creating the custom fields. Here’s a suggestion: When you create a new post, add only one custom field. Publish the post, then come back and edit it. Now add all the remaining custom posts, and this time they’ll be properly saved. It’s a kluge but it works.
My first experience of WP was with 2.5, so I can’t comment on the upgrade problems.
But I have the same problem adding multiple custom fields (it throws away all except the last one) and ending up with lots of post drafts for no reason.
I made the mistake of “upgrading” one of my main blogs to WP 2.5 and am I regretting that now!
I keep getting constant “Your attempt to edit this post: “xxxx” has failed.” errors. I can´t even post to my blog!
The whole admin area but especially the write interface totally sucks!
I am not upgrading the rest of my blogs, but I´m worried about security issues.
I´m looking for alternatives right now. I´ll be giving Movable Type a test, but I´ll miss some of my plugins and themes…
I agree with the post. I’ve encountered numerous problems with importing, strange error messages, changes that made it hard to figure out how to customise… The end result was that i downgraded back to 2.3.
I totally agree, also read this: WordPress 2.5 widgets: NOT an upgrade.
Raj Dash, I totally agree with you. Most of the changes weren’t needed, like you said, they fixed something that didn;t need fixing. Does anybody know how to insert widget codes in the sidebar, such as counters and slideshows and stuff like that? That “button” is now missing from “Presentation”, now I can only add things through blogroll and it’s not enough. Thanks
Drupal For Life!
The Write Panel is possibly the biggest blunder that I’ve ever seen, the fact that you can’t frame up your browser to see your entire post written out and the post options at the same time is ridiculous. Now the entire right side is completely useless, and the fact that you can’t reorder post options is terrible.
add to this the custom permalink problem that basically does not recognize when it calls a POST or a PAGE – still waiting for 2.5.1 to fix the PAGE permalink issue
well – i can’t use pages any more. I’ve moved to 2.5 on some of my blogs. However, two things
1) I’m not going to move on from 2.5 for a long time.
2) I’m not moving to 2.5 on the websites that are on 2.3 unless i can figure out how to make pages work.
Also, its remarkable how there is a complete and utter lack of information on the whole ‘my pages don’t work in 2.5’, ‘pretty permalinks don’t work in 2.5’, etc. issues.
I love wordpress and I don’t want to and won’t use something else. However I’ve begun to think about using just pure html or coding my own makeshift CMS instead.
And it’s 2.5. The biggest gripe i have is if they had such a big design/UI make over why didn’t they remove the 2 level menus with some navigation method that doesn’t require to clicks to get to any given page.
also category selection is below the fold now – super bad user interface design.
@JBSD … read: http://www.pclaunches.com/software/olympic_committee_chooses_xp_over_vista.php
While I was completely stoked at first with the upgrade and all the RCs and hype behind it, I can wholeheartedly say that I don’t think that this is an “upgrade” per se. New color color pallette, yes. Awesome mult-pic upload/one-button upgrade plug-in feature, yes. But — and this is a big BUT — the widget panel is completely useless and the new write page is way too long (although I do love the recent categories feature). I also agree that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality probably doesn’t do WP 2.5 any justice, because it DOES have some cool added features. I’d say, if you’re running a blog with multiple authors and a power developer behind it, stick with 2.3.3 until all the plug-in have been updated to run on 2.5, as well. If you’re a single author on a simple blog and don’t care too much about backing up sql data and whatnot, WP 2.5 is probably for you. For those who like 2.3.3 but like the “look” of 2.5, the WP Digg Dashboard theme a really good option =)
I personaly agree with you Raj
i myself had been testing the new wp 2.5 and so far it cause more problems in my end than
the late wp 2.3
first point will be the custom field part, most developer/power user used this features and the new system just sometime wack you in the face when you finished writing a post with all required custom field input and in the end the custom field are not properly save…
second point will be the triple draft or empty draft…i seems to got this bug with 3-4 of my wp installation till….everytime i post a new post and publish it, 2-3 draft of the same post are save..that’s really annoying sometime….is this a wp bug or the server bug?..still not sure..since some of my site works great without this double draft problems…
so far the new 2.5 still far from polished/perfection…so will be sticking to 2.3.3 for now.
and yeap the write panel and widget are kind of confusing…if you’re already involve in wp dev/work for years now..you will get the feeling that the old one are better…well at least i do..
Blogger, or do what I do. Blogger ftp’d to my own domain. Fast and I don’t worry about sql injection and php issues.
WordPress is swiss cheese.
Matthew: Excellent assessment; thanks for the links. There’s good with the bad, but I just can’t get over the horrible Write interface, which is so NOT productive compared to 2.3x. Especially, like you said, categories.
Sounds like it’s the power users who aren’t happy. Unless I missed it above, I haven’t come across a power user that likes WP 2.5
I found after upgrading an ‘in production’ site to 2.5 that It perhaps wasn’t the best idea. This was a shame, because there are some very nice new features in WP 2.5, but unfortunately it’s difficult to see them clearly due to some of the other more fundamental negative changes.
The biggest part of WordPress, the Write screen, is functionally worse than its forebear. If that screen doesn’t work well, it casts the rest of the upgrade in a poor light.
My particular concern is that the Write screen has actually slowed down a previously quick and streamlined workflow. It’s now easy to forget to set categories because they are below the fold, so you end up editing posts far more.
Other elements were moved to below the Write screen from the sidebar, which has created wasted space and means we have to scroll up and down more.
The drafts summary is now missing from the top.
The permalinks editing initially looks nice, but is flawed. Seems reasonably robust on posts, but for pages it’s broken. It’s created automatically on the first auto save from your title — and if it’s not what I want I have to edit it — why should I need to edit something I was going to write from scratch? Additionally, if you edit it before publishing, the edit isn’t “real” UNTIL you publish.
There are serious bugs with custom fields.
I could go on, but there’s little point, many others have discussed it ad infinitum, and unless you can contribute code samples for improvements, WP don’t seem interested that these changes have made life harder for many bloggers. I’m very disappointed with the upgrade and won’t upgrading any of my other blogs.
I’ve been using WP for not quite a year and loved it’s ease of use and extensibility. It’s still a great piece of software, but something went seriously wrong with this update. Too many cooks maybe? I can’t pretend to know a huge amount of what goes into open source development on such a scale, but if the comments from developers on WP Trac are anything to go by, nobody can ever seem to agree on anything! Not a good way to build a market leading product, free or not.
This upgrade has left me eyeing up Expression Engine and Symphony.
Markus: I’ll have to admit that I like Textpattern in general. I spent enough time exploring it a while back. The issue is that my thyroid problem limits my short-term memory and thus both my writing and learning capacity. So for me, specifically, the effort is large. And it has been my habit in life to do too many things at once. Which is part of the reason why I’d focused on WP. Though I’m now weighing the consequences of trying to learn Textpattern.
> would take me way too many months of relearning
No Raj. Definitely not. As I commented below the linked article:
Reading and following your WP evangelist articles sometimes leaves me speechless (as you know); well knowing that you prefer writing for big wide focus group.
Kate: You said succinctly in one paragraph what I tried to say in 1000+ words.
Markus: Thanks for the link. While I don’t 100% agree with that OpenSwitch article, I don’t completely disagree. I’m starting to rethink my platform choices. I know you like TextPattern and Expression Engine, and if I had more time in my life, I’d explore them too. (I tried about 2 yrs ago, but simply didn’t have time. I also didn’t like the default themes. I’m enamored with magazine themes, and to build my own in anything other than WP would take me way too many months of relearning.)
The thing is, WP is more widely used, and has a larger community, more themes, more plugins, more overall support. And this is exactly why WP is a better choice for the average blogger ( (beyond those who are happy with Blogger), and also the reason why I started developing solutions for WP. I’ve long entertained the idea of writing up my own blogging platform, but that would just be foolish.
Read this rant:
WordPress’s fly is open
I hate the “upgrade”. I’ve yet to see anything come from it that’s an actual improvement — it seems like the only real change was messing around with a perfectly workable admin panel. If there’s more going on behind the scenes, then great, but that didn’t require adopting a hideous new color scheme, an unintuitive layout and a dashboard that donates more space to the “Planet News” than the links required to run MY site.
If you want to see a nice WP admin panel, check out http://www.brokenkode.com/shuttle/, which Elliot Back mentioned above. That is one slick panel. Except it hasn’t been implemented into WP yet. I wonder if it will ever be.
I am not using WP 2.5 for a production site so I do not have the same stress others of you are experiencing. I also have not experienced the multiple drafts being saved. It seems this may be some type of bug?
I do love the new admin panel. Yes, it took me a few minutes to get used to it but it seems to load faster and visually is much less cluttered and ugly. So, I say ‘cheers’ on the admin panel. I also really liked the new built-in gallery feature.
Beyond the visual, and even though I have not experienced the bugs others have (I have not tried custom fields, etc), I do understand your frustration about bugs and unready software. As a former programmer/web designer now trying to make a living as a writer I appreciate quality design and performance. One of my long-standing frustrations with CMS systems is the frequent, not-quite-ready release cycle. I would much rather see software providers (CMS or OS, open source or commercial) release less often but with thoroughly tested quality. I used Windows 98 until about 2005 and I still use Windows XP with no plans of upgrading to Vista anytime soon (ok, I am also thinking about converting to Linux…). In any event, Microsoft is certainly the poster child for premature, untested releases.
Hopefully WP will have these issues addressed. WP has certainly become the standard for blog software.
Regarding: “your arguments sound exactly like the ones being used by people who hate Windows Vista.”
You sound almost as if you can’t recognize anything wrong w/ releasing a new OS when what people needed were some security patches and updated hardware drivers.
Agree with all your points. I’ve just upgraded to 2.5 and just made 2 posting with 70 automatic unwanted drafts!
also, whenever i want to delete those drafts it fails all the time.
Automattic, we dont need an automatic drafts and errors.
I’ve been grinding my teeth and sticking with my 2.5 installation, but I keep finding other bugs, which I’ll have to report. The primary ones are listed above, but others I’ve found include the behavior of the “Publish” button when I write a new post. Sometimes it pops up a new fresh edit session like in the past, and sometimes it goes off and displays the page just published, leaving the edit session. I do nothing different in my process.
I am finding a few bugs in the new one. But still Im happy with the update. Not so much hateful as you are. I know its a matter of time while these errors get corrected. Ive a lot of time to wait.
Although I was proficient with the old wordpress dashboard and have also struggled to do things with this new one that I did not have to think about before, I think it just takes a bit of time to get used to.
I am worried about software and paid for pluginf not working with the new version, but I am still finding my way around so checking on those that are not needed by me or my clients right now will have to wait.
I agree it should have been version 3.0 as it is a major change.
I do however though think that it is better for the new users, although someone needs to make some help videos now, maybe I will get on and do that
… sucks. What’s worse, it’s like they decided they wanted to pay their web-design-guru buddies a bundle of cash to redesign the admin interface, just because. It’s uglier, has a bland pastel colour scheme (who changes their BRANDED COLOR overnight?), is sloppily organized, and harder to use! The shuttle effort, http://www.brokenkode.com/shuttle/, a community approach to this, looked better.
I whole heartedly agree that WP 2.5 “fixed” a lot of things that didn’t need fixing.
I was pleased that this upgrade didn’t trash every single plug in I was using… unlike the upgrade to 2.3.x but the change to the interface is disturbingly different.
I have over 50 blogs to “update” and as such, I’m REALLY not happy with is the “beg” notice at the top of the blog. I’ve spent a lot of time saying, “Wait… do you want to be a beta tester? I thought not.”
However, with that said… what I dread the most is the reaction of a small crowd who just got used to the old interface.
I’m reading this thread with interest as I’m about to launch a new site using Word Press (my previous weapon on choice was Textpattern). I’m excited by the prospect of using WP but already I can see some problems.
Having had some previous (failed) experiences of getting WP to do what I want, the new interface on the face of it looks miles better BUT the in-built tagging UI is shockingly bad, considering the pedigree that the folks at Happy Cog have brought to the party.
Why can’t the tagging interface work in a similar fashion to del.icio.us ?
I don’t like the interface on the write screen at all. Personally, I’d like to see the categorisation
take place in the sidebar instead of the ‘related’ quick links.
Sam: Kind of a loaded question, don’t you think? Change is bad when you go from “it works great” to “what the ****!!!*#(*. Gee, I used one of the links/buttons they provided and it didn’t work. I wonder why the released this”. So yeah, for me, it’s very bad. I’m not saying don’t upgrade; I’m just saying decide if you’re a power user or not, and whether changing will affect you.
Change is always met with some frustration. Does that make change bad?
I haven’t upgraded my sites yet. In fact, most of my WP sites use the 2.0 branch still. (I tend to adopt new versions slowly unless there are security issues.) I have experienced the 2.5 interface over at WordPress.com though, and I’m getting used to it.
I do think change is best implemented gradually and that pulling the rug out from under users is not usually a very good idea. Personally, the verdict is still out on 2.5. I have 20+ sites to upgrade, and I have my clients to think of in terms of them getting used to the new interface.
Lindsey: It sounds like you know what you’re doing, but if you need a few tips, I wrote a safe upgrade guide for WordPress (or any platform) recently.
Undecided bloggers: I’ll repeat that I absolutely love WordPress, but pre WP 2.3x. (I don’t like 2.3x much, but at least it functions the way I’d expect.) So don’t abandon WordPress entirely on the basis of my findings. Keep in mind that this post is entitled “Why I Hate WordPress 2.5,” not “Why WordPress 2.5 Sucks.”
I’ll have to do some research and find out why some WP 2.5 installs work and some don’t. But for those of you who are new to WordPress and are worried about using WP 2.5, you can always get older versions from WordPress.org. If your hosting company doesn’t allow you to manually install the version you want, you’ll have to change hosting companies.
I’m a WP power user – I hack, and take the “natural” way WP works and twist it for my own purposes. I’m redesigning my site right now, currently powered by 2.3.3 and I was going to upgraded to 2.5 with the new design. Now I’m hesitant to upgrade since a lot of the things you have mentioned in your post are things that I use often (custom fields, certain plugins not being compatible, etc). I think before I do anything I am going to have to create a duplicate of my site and install WP 2.5 in a testing zone before launching. I hate to have to do double the work (test on 2.5 and if I can’t get the desired results re-work it for the prior release), but I want to use 2.5 (multi-image uploads would make my life so much easier)… I don’t know all these mixed feelings and the whole debacle has made me seriously consider giving MT another go – which I’ve abandoned over 2.5 years ago!
Ron: Good points, but disappointing that I have to back off upgrading.
Anil: Thanks for the tip. That’s an interesting development. I used to use MT regularly for one client, and use Typepad for 8 of my sites. (I haven’t checked lately, but the one feature I really wanted was true future-dating in the timestamps.) Maybe since you’re one of the founders, you’ll make note of this
… and I love the new interface. I may have an advantage because I was using the trunk and beta versions of 2.5 long before it was released, but even still, 2.5 did an amazing job of revamping the interface to be more logical (thanks to HappyCog)
1. Yes the interface is hard to get used to for us long time users. But the decision to change the interface, in order to have a more logically grouped interface, was a good one for the long term future of the software. If I had to choose between familiarity for my current users, and usability for future users, I choose the latter. Users like you and me can adapt. Seriously, give it 2 weeks of use and you’ll never want to go back.
2. Reading on …
3. I’d consider that streamlining. Information overload is a bad thing. And yes, plugins will be coming that bring back deprecated features, I’m sure.
4. “Save and Continue editing” has become just “Save”, and there is no “Save and Exit” button. Again, this is a usability feature. No program I ever use has the option to save and exit. You save, then you exit. And again, plugin opportunities abound.
5. Sounds like a bug, not a feature. All my custom fields have been saved just fine.
6. Again, sounds like a bug. Never experienced that on my end.
To be honest, I despise the “if it ain’t broke” argument. It implies that if it isn’t broken, we can’t make it better. The WP guys haven’t claimed to “fix” anything, just make certain things better.
And I believe that they’ve made WordPress much better, with few exceptions (widgets), much MUCH better.
If only because of our shared last name *and* because it has to do with Dash(board)s, I should point out that you can actually use the WordPress 2.3-style dashboard with Movable Type 4.1. It’s a free plugin that puts all of MT’s features into a look that’s familiar to pre-2.5 WP users.
The Automattic team have created a version of WordPress for WordPress.com users first. It makes sense; its their main thing.
The rest of us who self-host our installations of WordPress do not have to install the new version; but keep the most recent upgrades up to 2.5, and continue to work with plugins and security updates.
You have to remember, Since the advent of Automattic; The original key players, such as; Matt Mullenweg; have been building a community network of WordPress users. WordPress for the populace – not the power users. If we are, in fact, power users who are capable; then we can continue to evolve the versions we have and keep them secure and functional.
As the next few months pass; we will see available plug-ins and mod admin packages and the like to give our installs of WordPress those particular functions or visual characteristics which some may like with v2.5 and above. It is OpenSource after all.
I should point out that all those extra drafts can be removed relatively quickly. However, that’s an extra step I have to perform each time. And unless I can determine why they’re being created, they’re not much use (to me).
So far, based on the comments, one thing is clear:
(1) Relatively new users seem to like WP 2.5.
(2) Power users like me seem to dislike WP 2.5, particularly because important features don’t work.
Any power users out there that actually like WP 2.5?
Here are my points, which I didn’t make explicit:
(1) If I am using my install as a production system and the features that have worked up to WP 2.3x suddenly do not function properly, causing me to have duplicate my efforts and waste hours, how is that a good thing? For those of you who aren’t doing what I am, you won’t know how frustrated I am.
(2) Why do some installations work and some don’t? I have only one plugin installed and activated, and that’s one of the most basic: EXEC-PHP, which allows for chunks of PHP code to be placed and executed within posts. And I’m using the default theme. So it can’t be because of bad theme or plugin choice.
Sure WP is free, but were we paying for WP 2.5, there might be a revolt amongst existing users (or maybe power users). It’s the same nonsense with Windows Vista. If you release software that doesn’t work for existing users, how is that a good thing? You’re slapping the faces of those who have stuck with you.
You can extol all the virtues of Vista, but if the operating system doesn’t work with all the software I have to run on a daily basis, why exactly would I want to upgrade and pay for the privilege of a non-functioning computer. I know, it’s not as extreme with WP 2.5, but my point is that I tried to set up a production system and found it wanting.
Maybe there is a double-blind test. If so, that’s even more disappointing that Automattic would do that.
I don’t agree with a lot of your points. Every time there is a change of interface and functionality of any software there will be people complaining. They HATE change. But if I get an non-experienced WordPress user and tell them, “here you go, use this.” They will think it is a good administrator interface and does the job just fine. People really dislike change. Maybe they should get over it and accept it!
I disagree completely with you. So far 2.5 functions flawlessly for me and after the first initial shock, the dashboard makes perfect sense to me.
I will admit I rarely use custom fields though so I can’t speak to any of that but I have experienced none of the other issues you mention. Time stamp works fine, I don’t get 2 or 3 drafts none of it.
I like it overall.
I have to disagree, I think it’s great that it’s become more simplified and easier to use for the general public. I don’t want to sit around messing around with codes and such, I want to be blogging, as often and as quickly as I can.
It’s great they have simplified it, it becomes more attractive to a larger audience than “experienced” users and programmers, which in my opinion are the minority. I have come across countless people who don’t want to install WordPress because they are not Tech Savvy enough or do not have the time to be messing around with code, plugins and such. They want it to be installed and used ASAP.
So catering for the masses is the way forward. I applaud the WordPress team.
I’ve found the two WP2.5 installs I use are inconsistent with each other
Install 1: It works, the new comment management thing is a bit naff, but acceptable. It’s slowly growing on me, and I’m working around finding the new locations for content.
Install 2: Tells me the most recent comment is from 2007, and won’t/cant sort or filter comments effectively leaving me to figure out where the newest comments are hidden.
Same package, virtually the same plugins, and two utterly diverse user experiences. If I was stuck on Install2 only, I’d be migrating to HTML pages in preference, so I am absolutely with you. Yet at the same time, I’ve found writing on Install1 to be painless and relatively seamless. It’s like two different platforms (maybe it is two different platforms? Some giant double blind usability test?)
The “Your post has been saved” message for when a post is published is annoying, particularly with the parallel habit of WP not closing saved posts – and then proceeding to tell me I’m navigating away from a saved page “with unsaved changes” because the autosave ran after I’d hit the manual save.
There’s a serious patch job needed for this package sooner rather than 3.0 later.
I think you have some very valid points, but I actually like the admin panel better now. I never really spent much time on the admin panel at all as it was because I do the majority of my posts from ScribeFire.
I also like the automated plugin upgrades and the new picture gallery maker.
I think the power users will be quite pissed because of how they made things a certain way, but the mass populous will get a major boost with this upgrade, and I am sure they will work to improve it too.
I hate to do so, but I disagree. With all due respect, your arguments sound exactly like the ones being used by people who hate Windows Vista. To them it doesn’t matter if Vista is better, because they honestly can’t recognize that fact. They’re too caught up in the few things it doesn’t do well, and they’re upset that they have to relearn how to use the operating system, whereas in Windows XP they could do everything they wanted without thinking.
Nevermind that Windows XP had bad security and wasn’t very easy for newbies to learn. Now WordPress is facing something very similar.
I feel that WordPress 2.5 is a huge improvement in terms of administration, especially for those who aren’t as tech savvy or experienced with WP. I actually prefer the new admin interface in WP 2.5 already. It just makes more sense… there’s more of a flow to it.
Sure, I understand that they changed the interface, so our muscle memory is gone. We have to think once again where certain features are located, and how to do things under the new system. However that will pass, and before long, we’ll all be working with it like we always have.
Also yes, there are flaws. However which version of WP didn’t have bugs in it? I guess I can’t think of one that didn’t either have bugs or security vulnerabilites, etc.
My 2 cents anyway…