Nice blog. Pity if anything, you know, ‘happened’ to it…

WordPress did something horrible to my blog on Monday.

Essential writing fuel!
Essential writing fuel!

My header and background suddenly vanished and nothing I did could restore it. I did some checking and discovered I wasn’t alone – most of the WordPress community had been hit by it. Apparently it was a botched attempt by WordPress to adjust the menu system.

Eventually the header came back OK, but the background wasn’t editable any more unless I paid for an upgrade. All of which spurred me to organise a complete redesign with another theme. And I wonder about porting my blog to my own setup. I haven’t yet, but I’ll let you know if I do. It won’t fix WordPress’s relentless tinkering with their UI, but does mean I won’t be blind-sided by any future decisions.

I have a 27-inch monitor, so it’s difficult for me to check out whether the new look works well on smaller screens. Can you read it OK on your device?

And what do you think in general?

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015


32 thoughts on “Nice blog. Pity if anything, you know, ‘happened’ to it…

  1. You don’t need an upgrade to change your site background, but they’ve been fiddling with how it works to get the background active. You can see if the instructions in this forum thread works, and if not, post in that thread as staff is actively monitoring it and helping people with this issue: https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/missing-customizations-such-as-header-image-background-menus?replies=46

    But I’m with you on all the changes lately. WordPress.com is becoming very unpredictable. I like the new theme, though. I also have a wide screen, but this theme is very new so it should work wonderfully on small and mobile screens as well. I’ve been considering a complete design makeover as well, but oh, all the work to get new graphics. My wife just can’t draw them fast enough😉

    1. Thanks. I’d missed that option! I’d been wondering about updating the theme for a while though. This little incident on Monday spurred me into action.

  2. It’s a clean look with lots of whitespace, which is popular these days. It’s also a bit more impersonal. I don’t have strong feelings either way. It works.🙂

    1. Thanks. That’s important too – mobile optimisation is vital these days! I think wp have been switching to a mobile optimised interface for some time, which explains some of the changes. I hope they don’t drop desktop support though.

  3. Looks clean and easy to read, Matthew. I have my blog on my website (which is a WordPress site) and link it to all my author pages wherever they may be: Facebook, Linked In, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

  4. i don’t use the WordPress platform, although I use their software, for that very reason. My theme is one adapted from the Elegant Themes stable, and I pay the small amount to have my own domain name.

    1. WordPress has been generally good, but they habitually deploy updates that change the UI, often quite radically. This is frustrating. And of late their adjustments have been less to do with functionality as with optimising WordPress for mobile users at the expense of desktop. As a blogging platform it’s good. I am not so sure it is suited to a website, however.

  5. I checked my two sites, and website – which uses WordPress and they are all fine. Took a deep breath and typed your address into my new challenge, the phone. This site displays fine and is even easy for me to see on the phone screen.
    Whatever happened is either fixed, or your new theme is ‘exempt’ from whatever they did.
    Susan

    1. Thanks – much appreciated. WordPress fixed their glitch fairly quickly but that didn’t restore the functionality lost from my earlier blog theme. Plus side of it is that I found a more modern theme which, so far, seems to be working well. There are so many moving parts in the way modern computers and their software operate that even such a small change is not one I do lightly.

    1. Thanks. It’s from a photo I took of Wellington at dawn in winter, a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be adding others – the theme supports revolving header pictures.

    1. That’s what the header cloud picture is…🙂 It’s a pic I took of Wellington harbour at dawn, cropped to show the sky. I’m going to rotate it with a few others when I get the theme properly set up.

    1. It’s possible your theme wasn’t affected. Certainly the new theme I went to seemed OK. ‘Squiffy’ – now that’s a good word! I think I first heard it on Blackadder II!

  6. New theme looks good (15.6″ laptop.) Sometimes it takes an ‘issue’ to prompt change, so WP may have done you a favour, but the behind the scenes tinkering does get tiresome. I still refuse to use the new post editor page; I like having the dashboard where it is. Familiarity.

    I notice the reader changed a few days ago too. The pop-up post viewer was more convenient than having the post open in a new page. I think the tech nerds have a different rule to the rest of us: if it isn’t broke, break it.

    1. Thanks. Yes, I’d been thinking of changing the theme but it was one of those things I never got around to. I agree – some of this tech stuff involves changing things for the sake of it. No net gain, but a lot of frustration for users.

    1. Apparently they fixed the problem fairly quickly, but it was time for me to change themes anyway – the one I was using was a few years old and didn’t do some of the modern things.

    1. I agree. Same for me, though I use the new UI to finalise posts after drafting. I suspect they did it to make posting from mobile devices easier, but that convenience is lots on a desktop.

  7. Hi Mathew, thought I’d let you know I find the font on this new theme difficult to read. It’s smaller and fainter than the old version. Other than that, I like the look of it. Very smart and it loads quickly on my iPhone.

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