• Fighting with WordPress admin / editor – a bleat rather than a solution (wp-admin)

For work we have a paid-for work-related WordPress dot com website (not self-hosted WordPress dot org which is a completely different thing). I thought I’d keep a tally of some of the (reasonably recent) changes to the layout that really annoy me about it. Seemingly aesthetics has one out over functionality and it is extremely poor and unintuitive to make changes on the site.

A solution of sorts
The first thing to commit to memory is the suffix /wp-admin (stick it at the end of your homepage address) which will always take you to the main ‘old’ admin bit of your site, from which you should be able to find all the things you want to do.

Editing a sequence of pages, finding the right address
My site has information about a 10-week course. There’s a start page with an overview of the course and 10 sub-pages for each week, to which I add material every week. I’m fairly sure I used to be able to ‘URL hack’ the address to bring up the next page that I wanted to edit.

If you can guess what the link for Week 8 might be you’ve already grasped URL hacking.

https://teachinglondoncomputing.org/gcse-week-5/ https://teachinglondoncomputing.org/gcse-week-6/ https://teachinglondoncomputing.org/gcse-week-7/
what could go here... :)

Things aren’t that simple once you’re stuck in their awful new editing system, the address I’m actually stuck with is


[hopefully this won’t actually work if you click on it as you’re not logged in to my site]

This means I have to prune everything up to teaching… and after .org and re-add /wp-admin to start a new editing instance. It is seemingly impossible to navigate to other pages from within the editing pane. You may be lucky, if you’ve recently been on the /wp-admin page you can use the back button, but invariably this won’t take you to where you want to be.

I can’t understand why the WordPress-using community (particularly those of us who’ve paid for an ad-free service) isn’t up in arms about how poor this interface is. Hear me bleat.

They have improved things a little bit though
One thing they have fixed though is being able to access a new page or post you’ve just created or edited, see the ‘escape’ / page launch button to the right of the updated page, below. For a long time using the View Page (once the page was published) would only give you a sort of pop-up overlay but with no way of getting the actual address to copy. If you click on the new button below you’ll be taken to a copy of the page from which you can collect the URL.


Poor situational awareness for comments
Another difference between the two admin interfaces is shown in the pictures below. In the /wp-admin one (on the left) you can see that there’s a comment waiting for attention, in the newer Admin page (right) that notification is absent.

Hopeless wrangling of pages
Oh my goodness, this is comically bad. In the newer version (lower image) it’s not obvious how you select an author or order by date. It looks like you can’t do a quick edit (change the URL, add a password, edit the categories and tags) either. Awful.

The top images shows all pages that I’ve written, in reverse date order and at the bottom displays an example of a ‘quick edit’.

Screenshot 2017-07-27 13.43.33

Screenshot 2017-07-27 13.44.13

More bleats to come as I remember things about this new interface that annoy me…

3 thoughts on “• Fighting with WordPress admin / editor – a bleat rather than a solution (wp-admin)

  1. “I can’t understand why the WordPress-using community (particularly those of us who’ve paid for an ad-free service) isn’t up in arms about how poor this interface is. ”

    I complained about the changes last year. Poor readability, clunky and slow interface, missing functions.
    The reply was, in essence: “Sod off, this is how it is now”.

    So I reckon I’ll be moving out of there again, sooner or later.


    • Well that’s spectacularly unhelpful of them. I must say that my dealings with their ‘Happiness Engineers’ or whatever they call themselves has been very pleasant, though it’s been about annoyances unrelated to the complaints in this post. This particular blog is a free one so I have low expectations, but for the work-related one I may have to get a bit feisty. However, for the time being at least (and long may it last) the problem is instantly resolved by using the wp-admin option, but I just wanted to gather together some evidence highlighting why the new interface is poorer.


      • Oh, I don’t blame the poor unfortunate stuck on the helldesk and told to reply “no deal” to complaints like mine. I do blame the managers that decided to push the interface through without any thought for customers.

        Perhaps the idea is to have only neophyte or occasional bloggers on the platform, while anyone wanting to do anything semi-serious will need to go self-hosted? Foolish.The domain name service is an easy $13 just for setting a flag on an account.


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