From my diary – The “upgrade” that destroys your website

WordPress has pretty much conquered the world, as far as blog engines are concerned.  Who uses anything else now?  Fortunately, to the best of my knowledge, WordPress has not adopted the evil practices of other ‘net monopolies and started to censor content for political reasons.  But the monopoly cannot be good for any of us.

I noticed a few days ago that my blog menu no longer works on my Android  smartphone.  My theme – underskeleton – did once!  But somewhere along the WordPress update schedule, the developers broke it.  Nor is this the first time.  I had to move away from my original theme “unnamed” for the same reason.  “Underskeleton” has not been updated in a year, so plainly it is time to move.  But to what?

Most WordPress themes these days seem to be aimed at websites, not blogs.  The WordPress standard themes are no better.

I have just spent an hour experimenting with themes until my patience was exhausted.  What I want is simple enough – two columns, my pages not treated as navigation, the side panel accessible on mobile, a header image, and reasonable typography.  But I was unable to find anything I liked.

During the week someone mentioned to me how complicated it is becoming to create web content.  There are a million options, and even those of us who are IT professionals are drowning in the flow of information.  Yet at the same time simple things become impossible.

It’s very like how Microsoft have destroyed Visual Basic.  You just can’t get simple stuff done these days.

Likewise the Contact Form 7 is broken.  I’ve used it for years.  But the last update played havoc, and sent me loads of spam.  Why???!  I fell back on my old Tertullian.org feedback form.  This too has had its vicissitudes – the endless upgrades to perl on the server keep removing support for bits of code that I used when I wrote it.  But mostly I can fix it easily.  WordPress on the other hand is a monster.

I sat down here over an hour ago to write a post on Cotelerius.  Instead I’ve been messing with techno-rubbish.

Thank you, WordPress.

2 thoughts on “From my diary – The “upgrade” that destroys your website

  1. Another downside is WP’s latest update, which gives the editing interface a “blocks” look and has removed certain functions. In that crappy update we cannot change a page name outside of the name you give the page at the top of the blog post (and even page post) name — sometimes that is necessary!

    The details on the right side are entirely different and I don’t want to have to re-learn how to do everything I’ve already learned how to do. I am angry angry angry angry, as I will have to back up the 2 main sites I’ve allowed to automatically upgrade, and re-up through FTP the previous version (which is thankfully still downloadable). The new version, I will admit, is better for first timers, but for someone who has done tons of work with the system, it just causes immense headaches.

    Roger, for a new theme, there are tons available online with a Gsearch. Write me if you want me to send a list of reliable sources. Usually the only caveat is a tiny link to their site at the bottom, but since we can edit code, it’s about 40 seconds to remove it. Try not to be discouraged, knowing there are curious persons looking forward to your time-consuming work.

  2. (Sorry – your comment went to spam). I’ve heard bad things about WordPress 5 as well – I’ve not upgraded.

    I really appreciate your insight on what the new version feels like. Unable to rename posts??? What madness is this? I know that anger very well, by the way. It was bad enough downgrading Contact Form 7 to a version that used Recaptcha 2. I felt angry all the way through that process. Whatever is the matter with these people?

    I’d be grateful for a list of reliable theme sources. This one, I find, doesn’t work properly from my phone. I always have 2 column, no menu (because my page titles are far too long for that).

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