How I stopped worrying about WordPress being a jerk

A few days ago, WordPress disabled my blog without any warning. It was gone and replaced with a tactless update about how I may have breached the terms and conditions. I cussed under my breath and wrote about five emails to WordPress Support. I had no idea why it happened. I thought perhaps they had frowned on the fact that some of my posts appear on Medium – a competitor in the free publishing platform industry.

After exporting the backup file to save my content, I went to the terrace to calm myself down and wait for an update. As the bluing skies hijacked my gaze, two things occurred to me. One is that I am jealous of my neighbour’s mango tree given the Rose-Ringed Parakeets it seems to attract. The other is that WordPress – as a free publishing platform – sucks.


Chestnut Munias

Chestnut Munias

I have been sporadically blogging through WordPress for a decade. Over the past few months, it has helped me fine-tune my writing, create an audience and even become more social. But I just can’t recommend it anymore.

There have always been reasons to throw brickbats at the user interface design in the free version. The widgets are only eye candies for the partially-blind. The mobile app crashes with the frenzy of a rabid wolverine in a buffet. The tags and categories work when they feel like it. It is impossible to align captions for photographs because those are preposterous demands.

In 2013, WordPress gave us a holistic reason to feel annoyed by goofing up the new dashboard. This one had a brain on its own; one that scoffed at our simple content template decisions. No matter how I would upload a new post, it always looked different from what I wanted it to be.

Scaly-Breasted Munia

Scaly-Breasted Munia

I still only use the older version of the dashboard, which despite its own faults, doesn’t greet me in a condescending robot voice. The Beep Beep Boop message just drives me up the wall. It sounds annoying and self-defeatist especially when uttered aloud. Try it out if you aren’t handling heavy machinery or supervising children / pets.

So after a few hours, my WordPress blog came back to life just as randomly as it had disappeared. By that time I had worked out an exit (or termination) strategy. I had seen a new home in Medium if I ever had to quit on WordPress or vice-versa.

Medium is a blog-publishing platform which has become a popular channel for generating and re-sharing content. I have been posting content that appears on this blog for about a month. There is a regular traffic to content – if accepted by publications. Stand-alone posts tend to do lower numbers unless you have a decent number of followers.

White-Rumped Munia

White-Rumped Munia

What had me convinced was the user interface. They clearly took the minimalist route. Every post on Medium looks clean, beautiful and palatial. Writing a new post is a seamless and simplistic process. Importing content from other platforms is a breeze too. Social media shares also appear non-intrusively without cluttering the page or messing up user engagement.

I am still figuring out this platform as I go along. For now I don’t have plans to leave WordPress. I even intend to upgrade the account soon. This will hopefully make this blog a lot more stable. Medium can be a worthy successor but only if I find a way to take all you lovely people with me.

For now… Hi, I am Jack’s secondary blogging platform.

https://medium.com/@verseherder

The birds featured in this post are different types of Munias – adorable members of the greater estrildid finch family. I have photographed a few of them in and around Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradhesh and Kerala.

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40 comments

  1. D’awww. Love the munias. So far I’ve only seen the scaly-breasted but we were recently blessed with a nest of theirs in our garden! Unfortunately, they appear to have abandoned it now; I am compensated with the Little Grebe chicks on the reservoir nearby. 😛 (This is in India, not Singapore.) I can understand your comments about WordPress but frankly, with my previous blog being on Blogger, it’s pretty decent for what it is. Room for improvement? Definitely – but what site doesn’t?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In your garden! With grebe chicks. Ahhh I will Talented Mr Ripley-fy you one of these days I swear.

      Yeah wordpress over blogger any day for me but I really don’t see why they are delaying the obvious bugs that are putting a serious dent on user experience for grumpy old men.

      But yes point, always room for improvement.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently it happens here too. I am alright with it as long as decisions aren’t cloaked in such secrecy! Just let us know and tell us it will be okay as long we didn’t violate the conditions. Off with the darn beep beep boop too!

      Like I said, dear friend, I doubt if I d leave. Even if the premium version blows, I d still think twice. Unless I can magic carpet the whole bunch hehe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I”d heard of this happening to another blogger I liked. That’s why I transfer my poetry to Word docs as often as I can make myself do the drudge work…and then to an external back-up hard drive. Not that it’s
    deathless stuff, but it’s my best, and Papabear loves it!

    Gorgeous birds today. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for that and what I found is you can export to an XML file that can be imported into another WordPress blog. Are there other better, hidden options.. ideas??? Glad your blog bounced back… software works in mysterious ways!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Importing the XML file into another blog is the best way to go about it. I think this file is compatible in a few other platforms too.

        Software and sauces in salads, TP, If I had a rupee for every time I went back to tomato ketchup, groveling on my knees to put some taste on cabbage, I’d have a lot of rupees.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful pictures of the Munias! Like Tanvi, I’ve only seen the Scaly-breasted one. That species seems to love sandy areas, I have a picture very similar to yours in the same environment.I understand your struggles with wordpress.. so far I haven’t faced any big issues but my site seems to have a lot of ads and additional pop-ups. Maybe it has to do with my settings but it only comes when I’m using wordpress or on wordpress blogs! Things definitely need to improve so hopefully they take what you wrote to them into consideration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They even do a bit of moonwalking that just sets my hair on fire in the nicest way!

      I think this qualifies as a rant. I’ve been told that my phone really sucks and so does my laptop too…errr maybe it isn’t so bad for people who take smart tech decisions.

      Alright listen I never told anyone that aging is graceful ok?

      But do take a back-up for a very rainy day, buddy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. Sorry to read you’re having problems with WP, bro. Digital anything is not conducive to my current lifestyle of outdoor dirt mom. But I really enjoy WP’s flexibility with content strategy (for my blog anyway).

    Perhaps another theme for some of your issues? I’ve gone through four theme formats. My friends are good to tell me when things don’t load right (or worse, when a post crashes as it loads), and I’ve not had any of that since the switch to Edin.

    Glad you’re here to stay! I don’t know what I’d do without a VerseHerder post in my WP Reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. D’aww this ❤ you say such nice things! I have since decided to upgrade my account and dot com it. I like wordpress, he’s just a silly boy sometimes. I am one to talk though.
      Glad to be around you, the dirt, the red cardinals and the rest!

      Like

      1. I’m prone to Sanskritisation myself. But I’m allowed to. I don’t speak Sanskrit so it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less. (No I am not an egg).

        Liked by 1 person

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