The Current State of WordPress is Confusion

I’ll start by saying I’ve been using WordPress as a major foundation for my websites since January 2008. I have made themes, plugins, and built several sites using the software.

I am not sure who WordPress is for anymore.

I’ve been helping my father with a WordPress site. He wants to set up a blog for some travel he’s got planned and wanted some help. Now my dad has used WordPress before, circa 2014, and went into this thinking it would be just some refresher tips.

It was not.

In fact, thanks to the new editor feature, it turned into me learning on the spot how to do things in the new set up.

Things that were at once simple, like setting up a menu or changing the widgets are now completely unintuitive, involving extra clicks, hidden menus, and figuring out which blue box is highlighted.

I pulled up my self hosted version (Dad is on WordPress.com), and most of those features are as I Ieft them, leading me to think the back end is 1. different on .com and 2. linked to the capabilities of the theme being used.

(There is an extra menu layer on the .com site that is nothing but frustration.)

It doesn’t change the fact that Dad just wants a blog to post updates and pictures, something WordPress was designed to do, and it is not a straightforward thing to set up anymore.

One thing we would always ask as we were designing websites is “is it clear what you want the user to do?” A question on my mind as I was explain my father how to simply write a post.

Even the app has nothing but clutter. Why isn’t “post a blog” the most prominent thing on the first screen? (Blue button in the corner)

What is the current focus of WordPress? Who are they looking for as users? I know they are going after places like Squarespace for the website/webstore builders, but who are they leaving behind?

I know in the year 2021 someone making a blog isn’t as common of a thing. And the sites that WordPress hosts are rapidly becoming either webstores or content for clicks sites and adds, but still.

Still.

Somewhere in the rush to add in unlimited options the most important part was forgotten: the user.

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