I don’t care how many other people want to tell you other wise. Doing things in WordPress is not simple in many cases. Granted I’ve been able to resolve some issues. However each time I get one thing solved another problem comes up. The sad part of WordPress is that you have to find plug-ins to obtain basic features. Or in many cases you have to find plug-ins to unlock hidden functions within WordPress. What is the point of having the functionality if all your going to do is hide it? I’m sure many people would point me to the WordPress forums to get help. This really is a pointless endeavor considering that those that answer questions there are full of the geek attitude I’ve spoken of in the past. Again I would point out that the product should have basic functionality for common processes right out of the box. Technology isn’t supposed to be designed to make peoples lives harder. What technology should do is enable everyone to do things easier and more efficiently. This is a concept that most developers have either forgotten or don’t believe in. Those who develop products for the online community would rather create an elitist mentality. Instead of backing up their words of everyone should be equal online. These people go out of their way to increase the have and have not situation.
Before someone spouts off about how I just haven’t given things enough time or done enough research. I would point out that it is fact these people that haven’t taken the time to look around and buy themselves a clue. I’ve done a good amount of reading. I have in fact done some plug-in research. Since moving to WordPress I have played around with a few different themes and tested out various plug-ins with them. In the end what is currently here is very basic. I’m not needing a really fancy theme. I’d accept the current basic design. However I can’t get the K2 theme to do what I want it do. The list of issues is rather long.
First off the visual editor – which supposedly the pros don’t use has some weird spacing issues. If I expand the posting area to a larger size I will in fact see the flea jumping response I’ve reported previously. This happened when I was using other themes as well. So this isn’t K2 related. As far as I’m aware K2 is still being developed and not a finished product at this point. My thought has been that maybe some of the problems I’m encountering are do to that. Then again most of these things were present with other themes as well. I think that shows that the problems being encountered aren’t K2 theme related. I’d tend to bet many out there would blame this on user error. Arrogant people like this should basically be wiped off the face of the earth for the good of mankind. I’m not against any of the well known blowhards coming and trying to school me. In the end I’d bet you would have a better understanding of my aggravation and might even figure out that I’m nowhere as ignorant as you feel I am.
The whole needing a plug-in to get anything done situation creates several problems. One when WordPress updates many of the plug-ins don’t get updated in real time. Do to the fact that the creators are working on their own free time for no money. So WordPress end users will run into situations where functionality of their sites becomes broken do to this. The other problems arise from having to test and find the right plug-in to get the job your wanting done accomplished. Even with all the suggestions available this can be a time consuming process. From my testing so far I would say that in some cases you might not find what you seek. In my case I found several plug-ins that helped me resolve issues. But these don’t seem to fully work with the K2 theme. They worked with a previous theme though. I’m no longer using that theme do to the fact that K2 seemed to give me the basic look I wanted with less hassle. While the K2 theme is far from perfect it does make doing some task simple if you know where to look. Personally I still feel much of this functionality should be included within WordPress as default and set to be controlled under one of the numerous Dashboard tabs.
The supposed default for excerpts is 120 words for WordPress. However I haven’t been able to get WordPress to post an excerpt on the main page. Even when using any of the available excerpt plug-ins. Again I really don’t feel you should have to have a plug-in to obtain many of these functions. But for me nothing I’ve done or used will allow me to have frontpage excerpts. This has been the case with every theme I’ve used. If I set an excerpt it should in fact post the way I have it set. This should be done for both the frontpage and the RSS feed. It’s sad how the supposedly most advanced blogging platform can’t achieve basics easily. Yet a stuttering platform like Blogware has no problems providing this type of function.
My RSS issue was fixed by switching themes. I’m not sure if this is something I did within the theme that broke the RSS feed. Or if the switch to WordPress version 2.3 created a new RSS URL. All I know is changing themes seemed to bring the feed back. Speaking of RSS feeds. Why is the default setting to choose full or partial feed? How come I can’t have both without finding a plug-in to do this for me? I’d prefer giving readers a choice. It would be nice if WordPress made this easy to do.
Page creation is easy enough but fails miserably all the same. I can’t create a page that has no parent at all. So I create a new category so that I can post the content I want within that category. However there are two problems with this. One the title of the new category wants to take over in the header. Two when I click to post only to the new category within my post. The content is still posted to the main page even though the main page was not selected. I don’t want the content posted on the main page. If I did I wouldn’t be wanting to create a new page or category now would I? Again whoever designs products obviously could give a rats backside about what end users want or how they will use what is being designed. Basic logic is if I want the content on the frontpage I would select that option or gasp oh gasp – not even create a new category or page. Although Blogware also failed in page creation. At least they allowed for the concept of inheriting features from the main page without actually changing the main page look and feel.
I have yet to get time to find a plug-in to handle photos the way I want within WordPress. This is yet another area this product by default fails at miserably. Is it really to much to ask to have the basics covered in an easy to use way? Plug-ins should only be for advanced features. Not basic formatting and functions that most people would expect right from the start with any blogging utility. The list of aggravations for me could go on and on. There are many things that should just work that aren’t. There should be no need to dig into any type of code to get these features to be present. Playing with code should be something reserved for advanced needs only. While there are some positives with WordPress versus Blogware. There are just as many negatives. I always stated that if Blogware would continue to develop and support their product that it in fact could be a major player in the blogging market. However Tucows has done very little in regards to advancing or supporting the Blogware product. Which is what forced me to leave in the first place. It is nice to be able to do some things with WordPress that I couldn’t with Blogware. Yet WordPress is far from covering the basics like Blogware does.
I think WordPress either is in denial or doesn’t care that it’s overall user base has changed. Originally the product was designed for web designers and administrators. However many people have sung the praises of WordPress. To the point where many less technical driven users are trying to put the product to use. I think many of these people have given up this endeavor do to the lack of ease of use. I’m not sure that WordPress is fully listen to the community. My opinion is that the focus is on a very limited minority of users. I’ll ask these straightforward questions. What use is a product that aggravates people when they try to use it? What use is a blogging platform if users can’t easily and effectively write what they want? What use is a blogging product that won’t allow users to post their photos on their website? If the WordPress product is so strongly based in open source. Why is that I would have to use closed sourced services to accomplish what I want with my pictures? The last question is this – Why develop a product that has users having to constantly focus on the technical aspects of the product instead of what they should be doing which is producing content? For me a platform that hinders the creative process is useless to me. I’ve spent more time trying to get all the technical crap worked out that I have no time to write. Which I thought was the whole purpose of the WordPress product. To allow me to create content. I didn’t know I was going to have to spend months learning and testing just to get basics to work so that I could indeed effectively create what I wanted in the way I want it.
This tutorial didn’t help me but may help others.
Display Post Excerpts Only in WordPress « Lorelle on WordPress
How to use Widgets « Automattic
WordPress › WordPress Plugins
Designing a WordPress Theme From Scratch « Lorelle on WordPress
Using Themes « WordPress Codex
Widgetizing Themes « Automattic
Playing With Fonts « WordPress Codex
Weblog Tools Collection » WordPress Visual Editor – Do you Use It