This time, it’s personal

November 9th, 2008
Blogging News, WordPress

I receive a lot of comments, emails and questions on WordPress and we try to answer them all as succinctly and as quickly as possible. However, there is one question that I receive over and over again that I do did not have a quick and painless answer for. Professional designers and web developers who help small businesses and individuals with their custom WordPress needs have been telling me that some of their clients are worried about the new WordPress 2.7 and the hype surrounding it. The completely new WordPress 2.7 admin interface scares some of their clients to the point that they are worried about switching. They are worried that the backend will continue to change and become unfamliar and different with every new release and their blogging lives will be made more difficult with each future upgrade. I have tried to allay the fears in my replies with examples of how blogging tasks will get easier in 2.7 with screenshots and writeups on various blogs and review sites. What they really needed was a quick, simple and effective way to communicate how much better this new admin interface really is and what has been done to make bloggers’ lives simpler and WordPress easier and more fun to use. What they needed was a WordPress 2.7 trailer.

The Automattic team (thanks Jane!), has posted just that on the blog. This time, it’s personal has a nice and short video to answer those questions and alleviate the FUD. I love the trailer-like commentary on the video. If you are one of those that have received such questions and/or concerns from your clients, I suggest you use the video well and use it often.

I cannot wait for the WordPress 2.7 release! My dad is an avid blogger on WordPress but is not very technically inclined at all. He loved the new 2.7 interface when I showed it to him and it seemed so intuitive to him that he found everything he had used in the past without any fumbling at all.

Are you or one of your clients in this boat? Do you have any other material that can help reduce the fear of upgrading to WordPress 2.7?

[EDIT] For those that are looking for more detailed information on the thinking and design process that went into WordPress 2.7, here are a few links to blog posts, videos and walkthroughs from the past months. If you have other links to share, please leave and comment and we will add them to this list.

Usability Testing Report: 2.5 and CrazyHorse
The New 2.7 Dashboard
The Visual Design of 2.7
WordPress 2.7 wireframes
Comprehensive Codex Article on WordPress 2.7
WordPress Development Updates from Jane Wells
WordPress Usability Testing in New York
WordPress 2.7 UI Configurability from Ryan Boren
Customizable Post Editing Screen from Mark Jaquith
WordPress 2.7 Navigation Survey from Jane Wells
Shortcuts/Favorites Menu from Jane Wells
CrazyHorse Presentation at WordCamp SF
WordPress 2.7 Walkthrough by Matt
WordPress 2.7 and beyond from Matt at WordCamp Utah




  1. GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:

    Considering that WP releases 2.5 and 2.7 this year and both involves major changes to the backend, it is quite bad for the client actually because some of them just refuses to relearn things.

    I got lost when I just tried 2.7 beta, need a day or 2 before I get used to it.

    Hopefully, the next change will be end of 2009 or early 2010 when WordPress 3 hits the door.

  2. Book Maven (3 comments.) says:

    I agree with Lester on this one. Not everyone is the same or learns in the same way and the new interface is a huge deviation from the 2.5/2.6 release. It’s going to take the vast majority some time to adjust and relearn where everything is. I’m glad for the change though because it’s a lot easier to use this new version, and it looks nicer, but not everyone will be gung-ho for it so soon after a major overhaul and no one can blame them.

  3. Louis Kessler (6 comments.) says:

    I’m sorry. I’m in the other boat. I spent a great deal of time integrating WordPress and bbPress together just the way I like. Partway through, I upgraded WordPress from 2.4 to 2.5 and found that I had a month’s worth of work to integrate my changes and find and fix all the things that no longer worked – especially plugins that don’t get upgraded right away or never get upgraded.

    I am fine with the way WordPress looks and works in 2.5.1. As long as there are no major security flaws, my blog and forum are good to go for the next umpteen years.

    • Matt (27 comments.) says:

      Hate to break it to you, but there have been more than a few security fixes since 2.5.1 so if you stay on that version it’s likely you’ll be hacked at some point.

      • Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

        Yeah… I set up a WordPress site for a friend a while back, and he refuses to allow me to upgrade his install. HE’s on a really old version — WP 1.7 or something. He doesn’t believe me about security issues because he hasn’t been hacked.

        Some people simply do not like change.

      • Louis Kessler (6 comments.) says:

        There have been exactly 7 security fixes in 2.6, 2.6.1, 2.6.2 and 2.6.3. It took me about 10 minutes in total to manually make the changes as listed in the WordPress changesets. That’s a lot less time that the month it takes to recustomize everything to a new version and try to get all the plugins working again.

        Two weeks ago, I upgraded my Programming Software from Delphi 4 to Delphi 2009. There were 7 versions in between over the 10 years. It took me only a few days to convert my software that I had been developing under Delphi 4 to work under Delphi 2009 despite several major changes.

        Why should upgrading for one WordPress revision take a month?!

        Change is fine. Change for the sake of change is useless. Change without properly allowing simple upgrade from previous versions without breaking everything is BAD!

        • Matt (27 comments.) says:

          A programming language is pretty different from a consumer application.

          If you have the technical ability to manually backport patches, I can’t imagine what could take that long in WP. (And there was no version 2.4.) Perhaps if you’re making changes to core code and not using SVN to manage them, but you shouldn’t need to over touch core code – you can do everything through plugins. If it’s plugins that are the issue, I’m sure they’ve been updated since 9 months ago when 2.5 came out.

          • Louis Kessler (6 comments.) says:

            Right, that was from 2.3.3 to 2.5. There’s been so many versions, I forgot.

            There are a lot of things about WordPress that don’t work right. The RSS feeds it creates for example. Integration with bbPress was my major task, and that required core code changes. Cookies and everything were different. Add to that the problems with WordPress under PHP on a Windows server.

            The way plugins work is flawed. Every active plugin is loaded on every single page load whether they are needed or not. Some plugins can add three-quarters of a second to every page load.

            The concept of WordPress is wonderful. But its core is flawed and needs to be rewritten. The last two versions 2.6 and 2.7 have not added anything substantial, and instead they should work to make it efficient and customizable.

            There’s a comment later on this post that “WP 2.7 will be WordPress’ own ‘Vista Error’”. By the huge number of comments on this page, there should be a great concern and rethink by the WordPress magicians to ensure that they are on the correct path.

          • Matt (27 comments.) says:

            Well then you should definitely upgrade, because bbPress now uses bbPress and is trivially integrated with WordPress – I know because we do it on and (Ideas, plugin, support, and theme directory on is powered by bbPress.)

            The link you point to as saying core is flawed seems to suggest that a better method is doing plugins as hacks to core files – which would make upgrading near impossible. Including extra files has almost no overhead with any opcode cache like APC installed, which most hosts do because it can give you a 50% performance increase with no downsides. I’m intimately familiar with WP performance because we host some of the largest blogs in the world and serves 5.2 billion requests per week. We’ve dug deep into different approaches.

            If you have a plugin adding 750 milliseconds to every page then there is something really, really wrong with it – which plugin is that? Maybe we could help fix it.

            For an insignificant release, 2.6 has 3.7 million blogs actively using it, so apparently it appealed to some people. Anyway, best of luck with your genealogy ventures and hopefully you give a new version of WP a chance at some point.

          • Louis Kessler (6 comments.) says:

            Thanks, Matt, for taking your personal time to respond to my comments.

            My attempts at constructive criticism include some personal frustrations I had about the time it took me to set WordPress and bbPress up to my liking. Basically back in the 2.3.X days, Plugins couldn’t modify the Admin area. So the only way I could get the register, login and personal profile pages the way I liked, as well as getting bbPress and WordPress to work together was by hacking. I did document much of this (at a non-technical level) in my blog from when I initially started last December 18 to when I wrapped it up on August 4.

            I’m like you in that I am spending my time developing an application and I’m going to want my users to always be using the latest version (hence I offer lifetime free upgrades). That is a win-win because the users get the greatest and latest and you/I only have to maintain fixes on that one latest version.

            But our users (and I’m one of yours) who come to rely on our product get used to it and want something they can rely on for awhile. I’ve now got my blog and forum now customized and working exactly as I want. I am hesitant, even fearful, in upgrading it again until it either stops working or there is some new feature that I can’t live without. I have especially learned not to be one of the first ones on the block to get a new version of anything, be it an Operating System, a Programming tool, or a new version of WordPress. Give them time to get the kinks out. My primary purpose is to develop my software, and WordPress helps me magnificently with the one piece of my business of getting my Blog out and handling my Forum.

            I do recommend you seriously peruse more of _ck_’s writings. He has been amazingly helpful in the bbPress community and has a great insight into the good and to-be-improved of WordPress and bbPress.

            The plugin that I really loved but gave me the problems was WeatherIcon 2.3.2. They’ve discontinued it now and have a v3 in development.

            I’ve never once questioned whether or not WordPress is a great system. It is, and the millions of users and amazing range of styles and designs of blogs attest to that. I chose it and bbPress for myself despite some challenging competition and I’m very happy with the result. But I did feel it necessary to comment on this blog post as to why I was fearful of upgrading to 2.7.

          • Louis Kessler (6 comments.) says:

            … and as I reread my blog entries about my upgrade to 2.5, it did only take me a few days to make the code changes and test it successfully on my own machine.

            It was when I uploaded all that to my webhost that problems happened, not easy to test because it was live on the site, and difficult to track down, as I documented in my blog.

  4. Ajay (209 comments.) says:

    Honestly, inspite of using WordPress since 2003, I’ve always had a problem with the major version jumps that requires a relearning exercise. Non-tech savvy people may be hating the constant necessity to unlearn and relearn a lot of things.

    IMO 2.0 was a real pain and 2.5 definitely made it better. 2.7, will have to wait and see!

  5. PIF (4 comments.) says:

    having tried 27b2 on my local server, I can say unequivocally hate it. It’s a UI that only developers could love.

    From 2.5 to 2.7, WP went from an admin UI arrayed across the top allowing for easy access to a UI arrayed vertically in a single line along the left side, forcing the user move the pointer to the left and then scroll down.

    Keep it.

    Worse still, the Core config will not be compatible with some IPs, forcing the user to move to a new IP, if they wish to continue using the latest and greatest release of WP.

  6. Will says:

    I have directed several people I have helped get started on WordPress to the video. Their comments were all the same and along the lines of: The video is too short, does not provide any real helpful information, and does not alleviate concerns about relearning how to use WordPress.

    Some of these folks, even after using WordPress for some months, still struggle to understand what they need to know to use it effectively. The three biggest complaints I hear about WordPress are that the updates come too fast unless you are a natural early adapter. The learning curve is too steep for non-tech new users. And that WordPress changes too much with each release. I even had one person ask me if “The developers of WordPress are independently wealthy, bored people who make changes just to have something to do”. Unfair and not accurate, I know. And hard to understand for someone like me that thinks WordPress is the best and that (most) of the changes in the past have been well thought out and valuable. But because I hear the same complaints over and over from the less technically experienced users, I begin to think there might be something to their concerns.

  7. xxxevilgrinxxx says:

    Change is always going to be very difficult for some people, and there are some people that will actively resist change, becoming set that they won’t like something purely because it’s different. I’ve tried to follow the changes as they’ve come and I’m a big proponent of getting input into those changes in whatever ways I am allowed. I’ve done the polls and surveys that have come out. Checked out the progress. Viewed the numerous posts on what 2.7 (and previous releases before it) will look like. I guess I’ve just gotten to the point where I’m excited to see it come out. Every time I rate a new feature in the “Ideas” section and find out that it’s under consideration for addition to the next WP version, I get excited about the change.
    I sought those things out, but I didn’t have a hard time looking. The information is there. I suppose making it more accessible so that some people don’t have to look might be the thing. There is already a notification if there is an update available. Maybe that could be expanded on somehow, to contain links where people could see the new version before it’s in play? Perhaps a “What’s upcoming” sort of box where people could have instant access to what’s going on behind the scenes?

  8. Calvin (1 comments.) says:

    couldn’t agree more with Gamerz, every release comes with a new UI and my non tech savvy friends find that annonying, to the extend that some even asked me if there are some other alternatives?

    WordPress needs an evolution, not revolution. It has a good UI, why fix when it is not broken?

  9. Monika (40 comments.) says:

    I agree with Lesters first comment here. And with Will

    The three biggest complaints I hear about WordPress are that the updates come too fast unless you are a natural early adapter. The learning curve is too steep for non-tech new users.

    Most of my costumers are not internet nerds nor pc freaks. They can’t understand why to move over the whole screen to click on the next navi button. WP2.6 was easier for them.

    It’s a UI that only developers could love.

    From 2.5 to 2.7, WP went from an admin UI arrayed across the top allowing for easy access to a UI arrayed vertically in a single line along the left side, forcing the user move the pointer to the left and then scroll down.

    Why? I haven’t seen any reason for this change…

    The video at is like marketing videos at TV.
    Only a freak could understand what this means.

    And–in Austria we have to pay much money for traffic- to see all this videos is sometimes very expensive.

    I understand that wordpress com would like to bring new features for their user. But updates – not security updates- are too often.

    To change the admin userinterface every year isn’t userfriendly.

    This year we have two different ui ..january 2008 and now!

    And we have heard december 2007 the new ui ist usability -experts have done this–now (around) 10 months later we have a new ui -THIS ui is userfriendly and usability-experts have done.

    This is unbelievable – ;)

    I love WP but sometimes I can’t find simple words to explain all the news – because WP 2.7 is not simpler – it is more complex. – threaded comments and so on.

    So I have only 1 wish: do not change this like ui so often. Give us time to learn and to be proud of that what we have learned.

    thanks for this article


  10. Banago (84 comments.) says:

    I have switched to WordPress 2.7 and I find the new adimin interface great and very easy to use.

    • Will says:

      Yes, Banago. And the fact that you do exactly proves what many here are saying. The changes are easy and intuitive for techie early adapters like you. For novices or people who are technically not savvy, the changes are too frequent and confusing. I guess it is time for the WordPress developers to honestly look in the mirror and decide if it is software for the experts, or software for the masses. Maybe the intent is not to have WordPress easily usable for the masses and that is fine. But for an expert like you to argue that it is “great and very easy to use” does a dis-service to many, if not most people trying to use and keep up with WordPress logic and changes.

  11. Andrew (2 comments.) says:

    I personally am not a fan of this new interface.

    I don’t mind new interfaces on a web software such as WordPress, but I really think that things like this should occur between MAJOR updates of WordPress. This change should occur when the 3.x release of WordPress happens rather than in the middle of the 2.x release.

    To me, this is a bit like Microsoft deciding to change the whole Windows interface of WinXP, during the installation of SP3, a major interface change of Windows happened when Vista was released, not when WinXP SP3 was released. What has happened with WordPress, is an interface change during a Service Pack upgrade, and not at a major release.

    • Matt (27 comments.) says:

      For WordPress X.X releases are the equivalent of major releases (like Mac OS 10.1, 10.2 etc). Version 3 will be the next version following 2.9, and then we’ll go to 3.1. “Service packs” are X.X.X, like 2.6.2. We are against version number inflation. :)

  12. Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

    WordPress development should not be concentrated on backend UI. You can’t change UI with every version, you need to improve it yes, but not change everything.

    But the biggest problem is from the plugin development point of view. They can’t just remove a functionality and not replace it with equivalent and not even document the change. I needed to use one specific action (submitcomment_box) in my plugin (GD Star Rating), and to my surprise this action is removed from WP2.7, and nothing available as a replacement. And I couldn’t find no info about that on codex or support forum. I wonder how many other actions or filters are removed like this?

    I hope that they will sort out all this problems with final WP 2.7 build.

    • GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:


      add_action(‘do_meta_boxes’, ‘asd’, ‘comment’);

      • Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

        Thanx, I will try this.

      • Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

        I couldn’t find any useful reference for this action, and nothing I tried on my own works. Problem is that the new ‘edit-comments.php’ file doesn’t call any action to execute.

        • GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:

          You may want to look at “add_meta_box()” and “do_meta_boxes()” in wp-admin/includes/template.php

          • Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

            Thanx Lester! This solved my problem. And once again Codex failed on helping developers.

          • Benedict Eastaugh (17 comments.) says:

            Why don’t you update it, then?

          • Viper007Bond (91 comments.) says:

            I think you just failed at reading. :)


          • Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

            This function is not the same as the action I wanted to use, and this function causes problems with in WP2.7, and adds contents on all edit pages more than once. And that was my point, if the developers change something, they should add reference in the Codex. I was searching for the action, and there was nothing in the codex about it. And even now I am not sure what it does exactly, because some parameters I couldn’t figure out. So, I can’t just create a page in the Codex with incomplete contents.

            I am developer for the last 10 years, and I know that we don’t like documenting our own code, but you can’t expect users to do it. And even plugin developers are users of WordPress. So I stand by my previous posts, WordPress developers should take more time to improve the Codex.

          • Viper007Bond (91 comments.) says:

            The Codex is a wiki — anyone is free to edit it and it’s just a user friendly guide.

            The real documentation is in the files themselves via phpdocs.

  13. Carson (46 comments.) says:

    Don’t count on a one minute video convincing clients to upgrade to 2.7. It basically says that the UI is very different, you can make yours different from everyone else’s, and it’s better than the previous UI. It’s not going to change the minds of apprehensive clients.

    WordPress is becoming a platform for people intimately involved in WordPress — like the developers and those who blog only about WordPress. I suspect that 99% of the remaining WP users care about 10% or less of WP’s capabilities. The only reason I go to the UI is to delete spam, check my stats and read these posts. I use Windows Live Writer for my posting.

    • Matt (27 comments.) says:

      We’ve added APIs for a lot of things including comment moderation in 2.7 so it’s totally possible in the future you’ll be able to do all of that from a desktop client.

  14. Michael Aulia (4 comments.) says:

    I guess that’s just the fact of life. People don’t like to change. They like what they are most comfortable with, even though the new change may bring them to be more productive (or practically better)

  15. Bill aka NO DooDahs! (5 comments.) says:

    Well, Duh. “They are worried that the backend will continue to change and become unfamliar (sic) and different with every new release and their blogging lives will be made more difficult with each future upgrade.”

    That’s exactly what’s BEEN happening! Why should they expect anything to change?!?!?!? They expect y’all to keep doing what y’all’ve BEEN doing!

    It’s a continual complaint I’ve had, that “improvements” usually AREN’T, they’re just “tweaks” that the code geeks love implementing but the end-users predominantly are just annoyed by. We non-code geek end users see every new release of WordPress as a solution looking for a problem!

    WordPress would be much easier on the user community if:

    (1) major releases would be supported for security for an extended period of years

    (2) EVO-lutionary changes could be implemented often

    (3) REVO-lutionary changes should be implemented INFREQUENTLY, making backend changes unnecessary more than once every couple of years, and finally

    (4) REVO-lutionary changes should push the security update schedule for previous versions up for another YEAR, giving plenty of time for plug-in and theme designers to “catch up”

    Basically, the code geeks need to realize that they’re making a product for non-code geeks, and if they expect wide business pickup of the product, they need to make allowances for those with limited code resources or expertise.

    • Will says:

      Good comment, Bill. But your last line is something that has been pointed out to the WordPress developers for a long, long, time. Unfortunately the attitude of many of the WordPress experts seems to have always been that if you find the WordPress interface confusing or difficult, the problem is with you and your limited intelligence, not with the software.

      • Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

        So all of the usability testing that was involved with this release is all for nothing? Did you even read the usability document which explains how this new UI came to be in 2.7? I think the team is well aware of the fact that there are average joes out their who use their software to publish material to the web. Cater that with the fact that they can’t be all things to all people and cater everyone, whats a piece of software to do?

        • Monika (40 comments.) says:

          Hi Jeff I think this is not the point. 12 months ago the WP team told us, the new ui (WP2.3.3) is the best usability. ;) and now a very different ui is the best way..

          but there are still *html* and css bugs in frontend. (style in the middle of the sourcecode after body ) No WP developer has time to repair this, but all have time to creat a new ui. I can’t understand.

          Ask 100 people which ui is the best and you will get 70different answers.;) I now the problem- but every update a new ui is “to try to please everybody”.

          4updates -4versions every year by hook or by crook. Maybe this is fine for the youngsters ;)

          • Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

            Ok, I can sort of take side with your comments but it seems as though many people don’t get it that 2.7 kills two birds with one stone. The 2.7 UI is not a strict guideline. Instead, they have provided many options for end users to customize the UI and rearrange things so that it bets meets the end users workflow. You couldn’t do this in 2.6 and because of this, it is the best of both worlds. They don’t have to please everyone with a static layout as they give the end users the freedom to make the UI the best for them.

          • Matt (27 comments.) says:

            Every release is the best we can do at the time, but we’re always learning, listening, and trying to improve. We know for a fact that 2.7 is faster to use than old versions for savvy and new users alike – it would be a disservice to the community if we didn’t act on that knowledge just for the sake of maintaining the status quo.

  16. Mark McWilliams (3 comments.) says:

    Well it’s true what they say isn’t it?… “You can’t please everyone!”

    The first 2.7 beta came out, I was right in there and I upgraded this blog I play about with. We had ALL this when the WordPress team launched the redesign for 2.5 – I really don’t mind any changes, cause when you think about, everything still is in the same place, but it’s been moved! (That may sound strange to some of you!)

    Put it this way, you’d be worried if the development team weren’t doing anything, and you’d be worried if then kept on releasing something every 2 weeks. Half the time you can win, but be thankful that it’s FREE, and we don’t have to pay for it!

    When 3.0 comes out, I really hope they are going to do something big for it. Along with integrating hundreds of new features, and just improving on what they’ve got! :D

    I can’t believe people complain about new things being added, at least you know it’s going to be updated and all that! I’ve discovered a number of plugins that haven’t been touched for years, plus, I hate to see it when some people have 100’s of plugins installed, which do absolutely nothing.

    Anyone with me, on anything I’ve said? ;)


  17. Todd Bradley (2 comments.) says:

    The last big WordPress upgrade I did (2.6) fucked my site up, even though I followed the upgrade instructions to a T. I was bit by the bug that caused all my posts to lose their categories. Luckily, a fellow WordPress user found a way to fix manually fix them using SQL queries and a bit of trial-and-error. I followed his suggestions and then within 3 or 4 hours of work, I got things back to normal.

    I was incredibly disappointed that (a) nobody had noticed this bug in testing and fixed it before release and (b) the official WordPress people were AWOL when it all went down and the only help came from other slightly-less-in-the-dark users. It left a bad taste in my mouth, especially given the amount of bragging and back patting I read regarding how proud the organization was to release the product ahead of schedule.

    So, if the WordPress team want to reduce my own fear of upgrading to 2.7, here’s what you can do:

    1) test it better than 2.6, especially including real world upgrade scenarios
    2) be on heightened alert the first month after the release to respond to any blocking issues that people find
    3) don’t rush it – nobody will care that you released the software a week early if it doesn’t work

    • Will (4 comments.) says:

      What was the actual bug?

      Also, the only reason you’d take 3-4 hours restoring your site back up is if you don’t have a backup of everything before upgrading.

      I’ve been using 2.7beta2 on my site since beta1 was released. I’ve been testing it’s earlier releases on a test site I setup specifically for that. I had my fears then. But the more I involved myself with the wp-testers mailing list, the more my fear was lessened.

      2.7 is delayed already because, yeah, they already know they’re going to need more time to do some proper testing.

      And they can surely use your help. Because if no one says it’s not fine yet, they’d think it’s ok to release it.

  18. xxxevilgrinxxx says:

    I almost hate to say this, but if you wanted super simple, there’s always, where all of these things will be taken care of for you.

    There’s also options with most hosts to have wordpress upgraded via Fantastico, etc.

    I WAS, and in a lot of ways, continue to be, a noob. I’ve gone both the and the Fantastico routes. Both are simple and removed all work for me, at the time. When I wanted to do it myself, it was a five minute install. An extremely well explained five minute install.

    No, of course not everyone is tech savvy, but I’ve yet to see something in WP that is overly complicated or that hasn’t been well documented.

    If it’s change, as far as appearance goes, these are things that a lot of people seem to have been asking for.

    • Donna Barstow (1 comments.) says:

      That’s grand, evilgrin, that you’ve never gone to codex and found the well dry. Have you ever done any tweaking or major stuff in your theme? Tried to add plugins with poor documentation? Tried to understand how things worked in the underbelly?

      And, um, have you ever gone to and seen how many questions they have, too?

      I guess not.

      • xxxevilgrinxxx says:

        I’m sorry you feel that way, Donna, but I have to say you’re wrong, at least as far as it concerns me :)

        Tweaking? Yeah, I’ve tweaked, usually after going to the codex, or reading about something at another website, finding it was possible, and then trying it out.

        I refuse to add plugins that are poorly documented.

        Tried to understand how things worked in the underbelly? Yes. Am I an expert? No, of course not. Php still looks like chickenscratch to me and the idea of changing things still makes me nervous. It doesn’t stop me though. I back up. If I mess up, I revert. And hell yes, I mess up, sometimes spectacularly. Then I find out how and try not to do it again. We don’t have to be experts but it doesn’t hurt, as someone else mentioned, to know how to change the oil or do a few things on our own. If you don’t want to do these things on your own, WordPress will do all the backend for you. For free. Zip. Nada. and questions. Yes, a huge pet peeve of mine. But we were talking about the Codex, not the user forums. Unless you think the developers should have to answer all the questions on the user forums as well?

  19. Rob (8 comments.) says:

    Beta 2 is working great for me, and I like it. Maybe those afraid should be reminded that it is easier to keep up, than to start over with something new.

  20. Lincoln (6 comments.) says:

    I don’t mind changes to the interface, but I’m concerned about how many of my plugins this upgrade could potentially rip apart. We always seem to have a WP dev who thinks “Oooo let me change this one variable here even though there’s no absolutely no reason whatsoever to do so” and then it effectively kills half my plugins and turns my theme into an image taken out of Dante’s Inferno. I really do get tired of this nonsense after a while.

    • Matt (27 comments.) says:

      Although the interface changed a lot in 2.7 there aren’t as many changes that could impact plugins. You should try out the beta and let us know if there’s any plugins that doesn’t work with it so we can fix them before the release.

      • Lincoln (6 comments.) says:

        I’ll probably wait till 2.7 comes out and then install it on my test platform, then migrate the plugins over to see how they perform. Some of them I expect to be obsolete though, such as sitemap generation, so that’s a good thing.

        I just have to cross my fingers and hope the core hasn’t changed enough that it’ll go all Jack the Ripper on my plugins AND themes. =O

  21. SL says:

    The angst surrounding changing is very, very real. And I worry that many of my clients will stop wanting to use WP if they see so many changes. it’s become a joke among our developers and one client that every 6 months or so they need to spend a few weeks learning “an entirely new system”. Now, we all our techies and we understand the need for change, but there is a darn good reason why the big software vendors who have hundreds of millions of users rarely make GUI changes.

    It’s easy to say “well, we can just let them change and they can learn to live with it” or “they must understand…”, but in reality our clients are the bosses and they really get freaked out by so many changes.

    WP is already our software of choice and we enjoy being part of the community, but if WP truly wants to break out and become huge in so many ways (yes, I know it’s big already), then it needs to stick to some GUI. Yes, after a while it gets boring, but boring is actually good.

  22. SL says:

    Sorry, a quick follow-up.

    @Andrew: I fear that WP 2.7 will be WordPress’ own “Vista Error” ;(

  23. thecancerus (2 comments.) says:

    I am eagerly awaiting 2.7 release, that is when i will update my wordpress, i skipped 2.5 because of the admin interface… but 2.7 admin interface is just perfect, and a very good reason to upgrade.

    • John Gohde says:

      Have fun when everything stops working.

      • Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

        This comment was neither helpful nor useful and sounds tongue-in-cheek at best. Why would everything stop working? Have you run into compatibility issues with plugins? Have you reported them? Have you tested WordPress 2.7 yourself?

        • John Gohde (2 comments.) says:

          Yep! Also, see the user who experienced a category problem above.

          • Kirk M (67 comments.) says:

            I have used 2.7-*** on both of my sites for 4 weeks now and I have never had “everything stop working”. Despite the fact that it’s still in development, 2.7 has been surprisingly stable with no downtime of either site occurring due to problems with the 2.7 builds. Even more surprising is that the error logs for both sites have remained clear with the exception of a few entries that simply stated; “ARRAY” that showed up several builds past.

            And not everyone had the loss of categories problem occur although I do understand the bug was real enough. If I remember correctly the majority of WP users who upgraded at the time didn’t experience the problem. I agree that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place but if proper backups were done before any upgrade then restoration after the fact should have been fairly quick and mostly painless.

  24. George Serradinho (23 comments.) says:

    I’m sure 2.7 will be awesome and the customers will enjoy the new features and will be able to make changes easier.

  25. markku (1 comments.) says:

    This first time I heard about the new 2.7 interface, I was excited about it, but felt different when I finally got to try it. It really takes some getting used to.

    I do agree that once you get the hang of it, it is faster to use and get’s the job done quicker. I’m just not sure how it would appeal to first time users.

  26. Alex (8 comments.) says:

    First of all – as one of the early alpha testers, I love the new interface but I would agree that Dev team need to stop all the changes. For WordPress to go to main stream business clients – we need consistency they can rely on!

    Most businesses deciding to work with WordPress do it for all the benefits the platform provides but not because it’s “cool” and hate the ever changing nature. While the functionality can be changing and enhancing – we need a more singular admin interface clients can rely on learning and then working with for at least a while.

  27. John Gohde says:

    It is the WordPress developers fault, without a doubt. They are acting like they are mentally unstable. We are now being told that the menu belongs on the left. Huh? How lazy / stupid can you be not to be able to get to the menus on top of the page in a blink of the eye?

    Seems that some opinions are better than others? I am getting rather tired of ALL of these totally unnecessary changes that are being made just to stir things up, with obviously very little long range planning from one version to the next.

  28. Donna says:

    The WP developers are HURTING THEIR PRODUCT when they tie much-needed security and bug fixes to constant changes in the GUI. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. And stop treating users’ complaints about this as evidence of their “hatred of change” or “limited mental development.”

    People will simply refuse to upgrade, and WordPress will get a street reputation as being insecure and buggy. Is this really what the Whiz Kids want their product to become?

  29. Lisa says:

    It seems as though every time the WP team does anything more than a security update, there’s an uproar about change. Should we really expect it to just stand still? I have a feeling the very same people would start complaining that WP is old and stale.

    I’m not very tech savvy. I’m an artist, and a struggle to wrap my head around how to do things with WP sometimes, but wherever the WP team goes, I will follow. I’ve tried the alternatives, and I keep coming back.

  30. Jeff Chandler (295 comments.) says:

    Hmm, it seems to me that those who are complaining about change and the new backend look in WordPress 2.7 have no idea of the amount of work that was involved from a usability testing standpoint. They also don’t realize that WordPress 2.5 which featured the redesigned backend had quite a few flaws from a usability standpoint that are only now being addressed in 2.7 thanks to a renewed focused on usability.

    People seem to think that WordPress should just sit still while everyone catches up all the time. So while all of the other pieces of software evolve with time, WordPress just sits around because its userbase can’t handle updating? Wow.

    • Monika (40 comments.) says:

      Jeff a user must nothing realize ;) He use WP and if this WP is to difficult for him or he has everyday “stress” because he has to update a plugin or whatever else. He tries to find another software.

      And to click and update a plugin is for many user stress. You can’t realize this stress, because you are a *technic* man, but most of the users believe windows is broken if the can’t find the button left – although the button is this day on the right side ;) So to click and update is stress for them.

      If a company is big enough they have a “technic man” for their website but most of my clients are *freelancer* and to have a website is a very heavy thing for them. They are proud of their *homepage* and they fear to have no website if the update fails.

      They can’t understand that to make a ui simple is hardest work and much knowledge – because they are no coder or webdesigner. The only thing they know is: it looks different and I can’t find my button…

      I hope you understand my meanings.

      kindly regards

      • Otto (215 comments.) says:

        I do understand your meaning here Monika, but I take a different view on it. Running a website *is* a technical endeavor. If a user is not up to keeping it up to date or what have you, then they should not be doing it at all. I realize that this is not the majority view, but it is still true. Being a webmaster is a technical profession. It is not for the non-technical person.

        If a user is not a coder or a webdesigner, or is not capable of learning those sorts of things even at a very basic level, then they should not be attempting to run their own website at all. They should instead use a service like or Blogger, where they can post their content and let somebody else handle all the backend.

        Look at it this way: You are capable of driving a car. That’s standard operation. Anybody can do it, with minimal effort. But if you want to tinker with the engine, then a deeper knowledge is required. If you’re not capable or willing to gain that knowledge, then you go to a professional, who is. Running a website is no different. If somebody does not want to operate on the guts of their site, then they should job it out to a professional. Or, they can sit down and learn and then perform their own oil changes if they like. It’s up to them.

        Should car manufacturers stop adding new features and building improved engine designs because the hobbiest car enthusiasts can’t keep up?

        • Monika (1 comments.) says:

          I agree and disagree Otto;)

          You can’t have a business website unter a subdomain ;)

          And WP’s marketing: 5 minutes and you are a blogger (and so you have your own website);)

          So WP have learned so many people to feel themselves as a webmaster, because it was (and is ) simple.

          Pandorra’s box–
          than now the same people say: do not change, because we are n0ob of the whole wide world. ;)

          And cars: my first car was a Peugeot and my second car was a Peugeot and my 3.too – the technic under the hood was another, but I know in all of them: here is the place for my water-bottle, here is the place for this and there for that ;)

          I hate to drive cars where I don’t know all this in just a few easy steps. ;) And Peugeot manufacturers now this …


          • Otto (215 comments.) says:

            You can’t have a business website unter a subdomain

            Invalid objection. Both and Blogger have total support for custom domain names. You can register your own domain and hook it up to your account in minutes. You can even register the domain through You don’t have to have a subdomain.

            So WP have learned so many people to feel themselves as a webmaster, because it was (and is ) simple.

            Driving a car is simple too. Until it breaks. Then fixing it, not so simple.

            Again, if you want to run your own site, then you need to be able to fix the occasional breakdown once in a while, or you need to be able to hire a mechanic.

            A “webmaster” is like being the mechanic. If you’re not able to fix a website, then you are not a webmaster, you’re just a car owner. ;)

          • Monika (40 comments.) says:

            A “webmaster” is like being the mechanic. If you’re not able to fix a website, then you are not a webmaster, you’re just a car owner. ;)

            You made my day. But now I have two laughter lines more and you are guilty!

            A member of has this signature: “Call me a webdesigner, because I can link an image with frontpage” :-)

            You and I make difference between coding, html or webdesign and developer or webmaster. Please try to learn the different meanings of this words ~8Mill Austrians (I distand) and you are my hero. ;)
            1. this is english and sounds similiar ;) 2. this is hair-splitting and so on…

            “If someone has a homepage he is webmaster”- since the first day of the www. ;) I try to make difference with the words:admin and webmaster ;)

            the other hand: every update==> I earn more money with support ;)

            At last: not WP 2.7 is bad or WP 2.6.3 or future versions,or the interface or less features – the rapidness from one version to another is bad for so many user and developer and theme authors.

  31. Claude Gelinas (19 comments.) says:

    From what I’ve seen, the new administrative interface in WP 2.7 seems straightforward enough even for beginners.

    Perhaps this whole things is just linked to some kind of ill-founded anxiety.

    • InvestorBlogger (3 comments.) says:

      Perhaps so, but in 2008, we’ve gone from version 2.3.2 to version 2.7 in less than 10 months. For many users, this is a major upgrade cycle, and will likely cause problems… many older plugins are no longer being supported because each upgrade tends to break SOMETHING. … while the software may be innovative, what’s done with the software will become less so, people will become afraid to invest time in developing great sites, themes or plugins, if the upgrade cycle causes too many problems… I suspect many users will just switch to other platforms… or stop blogging altogether.


  32. Shawn Ann (7 comments.) says:

    I can’t wait for the new version! Yeah, there are people who don’t necessarily like change, but you know what, TUFF. The WP team is doing what they feel the users want. I’m sure a lot of the changes that are going to be made have all been recommendations from users, otherwise why would they spend time with all the coding? You aren’t required to get the upgrade, but don’t complain if something happens to your site because you didn’t want the upgrade that included a very important security fix. There will never be a time where everyone will be happy with anything. You get used to the changes and deal with them.

  33. Kirk M (67 comments.) says:

    I’ve always had to look at WordPress from two different perspectives; a technical one and a non-technical one. I can do this but don’t ask me to look at it from a third perspective, it hurts.
    So here’s my two and a half cents worth:
    For all intensive purposes, a WordPress powered site is not (currently, even now) what you might call server friendly even with today’s shared hosting abilities. In this light I’ve always found the pre-2.7 Admin UI to be clunky, inefficient and non-intuitive but it got the job done…at a cost. Simply navigating from one Admin page to another can be costly from the view of a shared server and shared servers make up the majority of hosting situations of your average WP site owner. Current navigation from one Admin page to another only comes with the generation of two or more pages in between before a user actually arrives to their intended destination which is a complete waste of valuable computing power on the host side.
    How many popular plugins have been developed and used to change the WordPress Admin UI into something more usable and efficient? Plugins that turned the top level menus into cascading menus so that navigating to another Admin page was a single click away rather than two or three? Or a single plugin that completely replace the UI altogether? Then there are plugins that give the user the ability to reply to comments from the Comments page itself rather than just the actual post itself. A plugin to auto-upgrade the core, a plugin to upgrade plugins, etc etc, etc.
    These are not obscure plugins but some of the most popular plugins around and are widely used and usually together in one way or another.
    The point is that users of WordPress software both tech and non-tech of have been installing these plugins to pound the WP Admin UI into something more usable since these type of plugins were first available. As a usability tester of many years I can honestly say that the WordPress Admin, with 2.7, has finally come to the point where Admin UI is actually clean, efficient, and easily usable for the new site owner and current non-tech site owners (the latter rapidly becoming the majority). The biggest mistake that the developers could make once 2.7 is released is tampering with the new UI in any sort of major way. With 2.8, 2.9 and even 3.0, the majority of development to the “backend” should be concentrated on the inner workings of the core itself with only minor changes being done to the UI to accommodate a new feature, function and/or to correct a bug.
    I have to agree that frequent major changes to the UI need to come to an end after the release of 2.7. The UI is finally clean, efficient and usable so why mess with it further? The changes to the UI (not core functions, just the UI) that came with past major milestones was just a reshuffling of an already poor user interface (no offense meant).
    And I’ll say congratulations to the WordPress folks for finally getting it right (and please excuse the wordy comment, it’s just the way I am).

  34. Rob Scott (8 comments.) says:

    I actually enjoy it when a new release of WordPress comes out even though it does always have tething troubles (Plugin & script incompatibility). Generally speaking, the changes have improved the GUI for inexperienced users (absolute novices) which helps me a lot: run several WordPress site for people with little or no computer experience, and any improvements here are great!

    The fact is, this is open source software (FREE!) so you have three options 1) Live with it 2) PAY for something better or 3) Help to develop WordPress for your needs.

    For my part, I keep trying to make inroads into the plugin/theme side of things, while accepting that I’ll never quite be good enough to work on core components (save a few pointers here or there).

    If you’ve got huge problems with where WordPress is going, I wouldn’t advise sticking with an outdated version. I’d recommend switching to another platform. I haven’t seen any better for the price :)

  35. Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

    My biggest problem with current WordPress development is very bad documentation concerning developers. There are a lot of actions and filters that are base for plugin development that you can find no reference in the Codex or in the forums.

    If the action is added into WordPress, this action must be described, parameters explained. At this point WordPress developers should focus to improve Codex and allow plugin developers to find the info they need at one place and to create better plugins.

    I am plugin developer and Codex is been almost totally useless for me, I had to digg through forums and other plugins to find help.

    • GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:

      WordPress documentation for plugins has never been useful to me to be honest. I always rely on WP developers blogs as well as looking through the source code.

  36. Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

    “So all of the usability testing that was involved with this release is all for nothing?”

    Well, no. I think the backend is a great improvement in a lot of ways, but I also think that the team is suffering from UI-ADD. In another comment someone said that the 2.5 backend was a big change ans was done wrong — well, okay, but why didn’t anyone see that? Then you do a bunch of testing and make major changes to 2.6. Then you do a bunch of different testing and immediately do _another_ major overhaul in a totally **different** direction, saying “well, this is the right way this time.

    So now users are re-re-learning the interface, and **entirely legitimately** wondering if 2.8 is going to be yet another complete change.

    Many of the changes to the back end are great — replying to comments from Admin, core updating, rearranging the Dashboard — all very cool. But you could have done ALL OF THAT without the massive change to the overall back end GUI.

    Listen — I love WordPress, and I’m a big fan of open source. I criticise because I think the short sightedness of the WordPress team is hurting the future of the product. IS 2.7 good? Yes. But if testing showed that this interface was the best way to do it, then what the heck were we doing in 2.5 and 2.6??? I’ll tell you: we were making an amateurish (and very hacker-ish) mistake of changing things without looking at what else we might want to do down the road. As I said: short sighted.

    It’s difficult for a real hacker to see things from the non-hacker point of view. I understand this. :) But we MUST do so, or we’re going to alienate our audience. For all the good that’s been added to 2.7, the triple-whammy interface change (three in a year and a half?) is going to hurt WordPress’s reputation for a long time to come.

    You can bet that Microsoft took a good, hard look at what they were doing to Office before rolling out Office 2007. They knew the frustration and complaints were going to come, but they sat down and really worked things out, and determined that the new interface was the best way for the software to move forward. They did NOT sit around complaining that their users just don’t appreciate how much work they put into the new version — and they have an understanding that not everyone is going to want to jump up to 2007’s new interface. It’ll happen eventually, but it’s an adjustment, and blaming the users for not being techie enough is not the proper response.

    “Running a website *is* a technical endeavor. If a user is not up to keeping it up to date or what have you, then they should not be doing it at all.”

    As they say at XKCD: “You’re doing it wrong!”

    The software must serve the user, not the other way around.

    • Otto (215 comments.) says:

      You might find this slideshow enlightening. It’s not as good without the sound, but still, it should help to answer some of these objections.

      • Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

        As I said, I like the 2.7 interface (though I eagerly await an update to Ozh’s Admin Menus plugin). That’s not the problem. The problem is the zig to 2.5, zag on 2.6 and… err… zog on 2.7. We need to be more careful with major interface changes so that **next time** we can (more or less) go straight from 2.4 interface to 2.7. We heard all about the great usability testing behind 2.6, and then practically the moment it was out I was hearing about “Crazy Horse”. Better to have held off on the redesign….

        • Otto (215 comments.) says:

          If you’re looking at 2.7, click the little tiny “double left arrow” between the menu sections. This will collapse the menu to just the icons with mouseover sections, much like the drop down menus plugin did, only from the side view. :)

          • Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

            Yes I know. :) I just prefer the top menus — similar to most desktop programs. Personal preference — nothing big.

            To say it again: The WP 2.7 interface is most excellent.

    • Otto (215 comments.) says:

      and they have an understanding that not everyone is going to want to jump up to 2007’s new interface

      Side note on this one: Office 2007’s horrific interface single handedly convinced my current employers to abandon all Microsoft products, period. We’re even moving to Linux desktops. Seriously.

      • Stephen R (24 comments.) says:

        Yeah – between that and Vista, MS really didn’t have a very good year did they? It will be interesting to see what Office 2009/10 looks like. Stick with the interface? Back to the old way? (Getting waaaaay off topic here…) Meanwhile, on the Mac side they dropped VB support and users were not pleased. They’ve since promised that the next version will put it back.

      • GaMerZ (31 comments.) says:

        On a side note, I kinda like Office 007 Ribbon UI, just need a little getting used to

  37. xxxevilgrinxxx says:

    I’ve noticed quite a few mentions about the Codex, but can’t ANYONE edit the Codex? I’d love to see more of course, but I’m greedy. Thing is, it’s not just the job of the developers to do it, I’d think, right?

    • Otto (215 comments.) says:

      The codex is indeed a wiki. Just log in with your username and password and you too can help document WordPress. :)

      • Kirk M (67 comments.) says:

        Yup! As long as you’re willing to learn whatever version of wiki language the Codex uses (there’s more than one, yes?) since to my admittedly limited knowledge, HTML does not work for editing the Codex.

        On that note, I just added a 2.7 section to the “Docs” main page at that has 3 links to the new compatibility lists for plugins, themes and “core update host compatibility” with my extremely limited knowledge of wiki-ease. Not for the faint of heart.

        • Otto (215 comments.) says:

          Limited HTML does work on the codex, much like it does on wikipedia. The codex is running MediaWiki, same as wikipedia:

          • Kirk M (67 comments.) says:

            Ah, thanks, Otto. Just what I was looking for and glad the Codex runs one of the more popular wikis. I’ll be the first to admit I know little about wikis or the language. Man! HTML, PHP, CSS and now wiki language. makes me wish I was 25 again with a nice fresh mind instead of the high mileage, rusty 50 year old one that I have now. :D

          • Monika (40 comments.) says:

            maybe man are rusty if they are 50==>woman are never ever rusty with 50!!:shock: [/OT]


          • Kirk M says:

            That’s why we “old guys” are so fortunate to have you wonderful around when we men get old and creaky and our minds seize up. :D

          • Kirk M says:

            I meant to say “…wonderful women…”. See what I mean? I’m seizing up already!

          • Monika says:

            and I was so shocked ==>woman /women man/men


            but never ever rusty…

  38. teddY (4 comments.) says:

    Reading through all the comment made me think twice about upgrading to WordPress 2.7. It’s not about the adaptability but more of plugin compatibility and spending another month or so hacking the new version of WordPress.

    I believe it must be a little heart wrenching for the WordPress designers and coders behind-the-scenes to go through the comments. I must say that I really, really appreciate all your hardwork and effort you’ve invested in WordPress AS A WHOLE, and for the whole WP blogging community. Seriously, I couldn’t find many Web2.0 development team that are as dedicated and as enthusiastic and you all. *bows*

    I understand the need to bring about changes in the user interface. The latest version streamlines the entire process of publishing and management but I do understand that loving the new interface is an acquired taste – not everyone can adapt to it soon. Perhaps its the WP diehards and enthusiasts (me!) that will welcome this change and embrace it with hands wide open, but there are people out there who loves the things they were the old ways – the familiar UI, placement of buttons and all.

    Regarding the zig zag zog comment about the ever-changing UI from 2.5, 2.6 and then to 2.7, I believe that WP team is constantly improving on their design. Not everyone is perfect at the start and I can understand that designing a user interface is not by the snap of a finger – it takes dedication and time. Plus, they are working on their free time and have other real life commitments to attend to. Shall we give them a round of applause for their dedication instead of heading straight off to bash their zig-zag-zog antiques?

    WP is definitely going a lot of change so I can recommend that the WP team and collate all the changes they’ve made into a major version upgrade or something, unless the upgrades involve urgent security fixes and etc. It is indeed a little hard for others to keep up with the speed of development of WordPress, but then again, thanks for all the hardwork!

    • Otto (215 comments.) says:

      I have been using the 2.7 in production for a while now, and honestly, I have not found many plugins that break. If it worked with 2.6 then the plugin will probably still work fine. Almost all the changes in this area are in the realm of additions to make it easier for plugins to do certain things. Backwards compatibility is really good with this one.

      Try the beta on a test site somewhere. It’s worth a look.

  39. Maya says:

    You know, I’ve used WordPress on a few sites, because it’s a simple to setup package, and I can understand that a lot of thought has been taken to make the UI user friendly.

    The thing is, people get used to doing things a certain way. Changing it with every major release is intrusive into their experience with the product and people don’t like this. I’ve had to explain to a couple people that it’s not broken, it’s just been reorganised.

    My real problem with the constant redesigning is that it comes with no real purpose other than change. This is not an evolution of the product as we find more usable things. This is not addressing concerns raised about the interface (I’ve read plenty, including a fairly scathing report on the Register I oughta dig up). It’s like everytime that someone has some issue with the interface they scrap it and redo it, and it’s getting to the point where I end up writing hacks for clients to make the panel resemble something they can use quick and easily.

    So I’m reminded of something from Microsoft Press’ Code Complete: CONSISTENCY is one of the key points in USABILITY. If a program functions radically different from update to update, you’re making it -less- usable, not moreso.

  40. Viper007Bond (91 comments.) says:

    I find it humorous that most of the people complaining about the new 2.7 interface are those who either A) haven’t used it yet and have only seen screenshots, or B) would hate it even if the new admin interface cooked you breakfast in the morning too (i.e. hate change no matter what).

    I have been using WordPress 2.7 for a new months now and I can tell you that without a doubt going back and using older versions of WordPress is an extremely painful and trying experience. Yes, at first WP 2.7 is a bit weird and confusing, but that’s just because things have moved around and you’re not used it. Give it a few days or a week and you’ll find you don’t know how you ever lived with all that clicking and scrolling.

    And as for the “jeeze, this is just yet another interface designed by coders”, you literally couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Hundreds if not thousands of hours were invested by people who only do UIs (i.e. are not coders) designing this thing. A laser eye tracking group was even hired to make sure that the new interface worked. Hands down, everyone in the study (they ranged from experts to complete novices) chose the new interface over the old one even though the new one at the time was completely ugly and just a mockup.

    You obviously can’t please everyone, especially those who refused to be pleased no matter what, but I personally think that the vast, vast majority of people will love the new interface once they get used to it (i.e. change their habits).

  41. PIF (4 comments.) says:

    Well I for one have used 2.7b2 on my local server. I can say UI is not so hot, as I have said before here. I have major clicking and scrolling problems to get to an from the left bar menus: if some or all of the items are expanded, then one and usually more are scrolled past the bottom of the screen. Usability UI example for WP 2.7b2:

    Default UI
    ACTION all items collapsed: top item collapsed – Dashboard; bottom item Settings.
    ACTION (hypothetical) four items expanded: top items expanded – Posts, Media, Pages, Comments; bottom item Users.

    Desired ACTION target: Settings/Discussion
    ACTION required to navigate to Settings: SCROLL.
    ACTION CLICK on Settings: result – screen JUMPS to top of browser window, item General Settings.
    ACTION required to navigate back to Settings: SCROLL.
    ACTION required to navigate back to select Settings/Discussion: SCROLL.
    ACTION CLICK on Settings/Discussion: result – screen JUMPS to top of browser window, item Discussion.

    Desired ACTION target: Settings/Writing
    ACTION required to navigate to Settings: SCROLL.
    ACTION CLICK on Writing: result – screen JUMPS to top of browser window, item Writing.

    Here I’ve only made two of many possible actions. Already I’ve had to perform three scrolls, three clicks, and suffered through three screen jumps.

    What was I going to achieve in the end? It’s growing hazy. What was I going to say in the post I was writing? Even hazier – and I’m getting dizzy.

    At lesat with the UI prior to 2.7, one only had to remember which item had which sub-menue. Now, instead of moving the pointer to an item and clicking, I have to scroll, click and jump. Then – possibilly – repeat the whole process to return to where I began or want to go.

    Crazyhorse: 1 group of 8-12 people (and of those numbers, how many exactly were beginners?) made the usability decision on UI design? That goes a long way towards explaining this whole mess. Nice big monitors the testers in the slide show are using, wish we all could afford one.

    PS: I had to compose this piece elsewhere, due to the very tiny size of the comment box.

    • Kirk M (67 comments.) says:


      Okay, I duplicated your initial setup as you described. Let’s see what I get (1024×768 display resolution):

      Desired ACTION target: Settings/Discussion
      ACTION required to navigate to Settings: SCROLL.
      ACTION EXPAND Settings menu.
      ACTION CLICK on Settings/Discussion: result – screen JUMPS to top of browser window, item Discussion.


      So why the extra steps?

      Your next example: (I’m assuming you’re navigating from Discussions to Writing).

      Desired ACTION target: Settings/Writing
      ACTION required to navigate to Settings: SCROLL. (assuming I remained at top of the Discussion page)
      ACTION CLICK on Writing: result – screen JUMPS to top of browser window, item Writing.

      Okay, exactly as you stated so let’s see what I have here:

      Two clicks, one expand and two jumps. Considering that everything you wished to do on the Discussions and Writing pages occurred at the very top of the page (hence the scrolling) I still can’t see the problem. And with all due respect, no one suffers through a screen jump. If that was the case then you’ve been suffering through every release of WordPress that you’ve used in the past unless everything you’ve accomplished in the Admin in past versions has been at the top of each page thus keeping the top level horizontal menus in view at all times.

      The one thing I will agree with you on is that this comment box is way too small and I too have had to write up most of my comments here in another editor (C’mon folks, only 5 lines? How about expanding things a bit?)

  42. John Gohde (2 comments.) says:

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    Listening to all the whining about some people not liking change has been very entertaining.

    One wonders, just how anybody every managed to do anything in 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, and 2.6 only a few months ago? Rather than these major GUI changes taking place every few years, they have been happening every few months. Rather than attacking those bright enough to CORRECTLY point out what should have been perfectly obvious to all, I suggest that the developers start taking some notes for a change.

    From my point of view, if the designers actually knew what they were doing. They should have gotten the job right the first or second time aground. With all the praises being heaped upon 2.7, I will be willing to be bet that within a few months of the new release developers will once again will be making some major changes in the GUI.

    This is all so entertaining. The real innovations and choices in WordPress have always come from the plugin developers. The developers the ones playing catch-up with each new release. The plugin developers is what has made WordPress usable for me. Having to learn a new GUI interface is a total waste of my time.

    • Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

      I totally agree with you. Because of something we didn’t need in the first place, a lot (and I mean a lot) of plugin developers need to make changes to all their plugins, spend even more time testing it to make sure thay didn’t broke something, just so we can have new interface.

      The only really useful new thing is threaded comments and nothing else. And new interface looks good only on big monitors with resolutions with 1600 pixels wide or more. And great many people still use resolutins 1024×768 or 1280×1024. New interface leaves very little space for editor, and that is a big problem.

      But, now I guess there is no point of complaining, cat is out of the bag. Hopefuly we are not going to hear in few months that we need new interface because existing one is not good. WordPress developers need to concentrate on fixing bugs and adding new real features. Leave GUI alone.

      • Kirk M (67 comments.) says:

        And how long did you actually use the new UI before writing your comment. No offense meant but it doesn’t seem like you used the UI hardly at all before deciding it wasn’t any good (Only threaded comments is useful? C’mon now. That’s not even a realistic statement).

        My display is a 17″ LCD flat panel set to 1024×768 and the new UI looks and works fine at this resolution, you certainly don’t need 1600 or above. Those who are still at 800×600 will have problems but 800×600 should not have to be accommodated any longer.

        About the editor. Why do you feel it does not allow for enough room? WP 2.7 allows for the editor to occupy as much if not more of the page than any other previous version. A user can move every module around on the editor page and make the actual editing field as wide as they want. Move every module in the sidebar down underneath the write field (Publishing module at the top of the stack for easy access) and the editing field will stretch the width of the page between the vertical menu bar and the right hand side of the screen that the sidebar had occupied. Collapse the vertical menu bar and the field is even wider. if that’s not good enough then go full screen. Then the editing field will occupy your entire display.

        Did you even try doing any of what I described before writing your comment? It would seem not.

        • Milan Petrovic (13 comments.) says:

          I have 4 test blogs on WP2.7 for the last month or so (more or less). My two clients were doing some testing and they both complained about the interface. I use WordPress for the last 2 years and this was the first time I get negative comments about WordPress GUI from the people I work with.

          But anyway,new interface is soon to be released, and we must get used to it so all this is kind a pointless discussion. I just urge developers not to get us into another cycle of complete GUI change for 2.8 version or even 3.0.

  43. Phil Barron (7 comments.) says:

    I remember being less than impressed with the UI changes in 2.5, and vowed that I’d find a third-party admin theme that I liked better.

    Then I forgot all about that…because I was too busy actually using WP – you know, blogging and such – to worry about the interface reorg.

    I installed 2.7 beta on my test blog a couple of days ago, and have had little trouble getting used to the new layout. This morning, I installed the beta on my production blog. Feeling pretty good about it. I use twenty-three plugins and they all work just fine.

    A lot of oft-used options that formerly required drilling down are now available with one click – the theme editor, for example. I’m not in love with the serif fonts in the left menu, and I’ll never use the QuickPress feature, but this is pretty small beer as complaints go.

    One thing: the bulk editor won’t really be a bulk editor until it allows you to change categories in a batch job. But that’ll come, one day.

    On the whole, 2.7 is an improvement. Embrace change, folks. That it came so soon after the changes in 2.5 (which were fairly minor in comparison) is something to cheer, not criticize.


  1. […] I won’t really know until my customers have tried it out! For more information, check out an extended discussion at WebTools […]

  2. […] course some people are complaining. Many people simply refuse to learn a new interface (look at the comments). Or they have a long hard time adjusting to new things. Dealing with the evolution of software […]

  3. […] Weblog Tools Collection has further details and a great list of links to answer more of your questions. You can also check here to see if you host can run WordPress 2.7. […]

  4. […] This time, it’s personal […]

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