WordPress Annoyances

Mad cat. Found at: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/712733I had started this post to submit it to the Pet Peeve week group writing project, but it unfortunately has been called off so you all get to enjoy it.

WordPress 2.5 has been released to the world and it offers a redesigned administration user interface that is a joy to work with. There is no doubt that WordPress has become the leader in blogging software. A quick survey of the top blogs on Technorati and you will find the majority of the top 100 blogs are using WordPress. As great as WordPress is there are somethings that still tick me off about it. Perhaps it is becuase I am not only a blogger but I am a webmaster and I get the thrill and joy of updating not just my blogs, but many other blogs for clients that use WordPress. Despite Rhett’s dislike of lists here are my top eight annoyances about WordPress that still bother me.

  1. Reliance on Plugins – Plugins are great, they add features to a blog so people can make it their own. It never fails that when a new WordPress version is released that I will have some incompatibility with a plugin. Sure there is the Plugins/Plugin Compatibility list, but how long do you wait for a plugin to become compatible. There is always the option to not use plugins I suppose, but then you might as well host your blog on Blogger.
  2. Plugins that should be Features – Since I am on the topic of plugins. Why does WordPress not incorporate features like those offered by plugins such as All in One SEO pack and Robots Meta into WordPress. What about a built in contact form? Those are just a few that I can think of. I am sure others can think of other plugins that they feel are required on WordPress that should just be built in features.
  3. Comments and Trackbacks – This annoyance is aimed at the WordPress theme designers out there (and I am guilty of this one as well). The comment section of blogs are a mess. Themes need to start separating comments from trackbacks. I like trackbacks. I like to visit other blogs and see what they are writing about peoples posts, but they need to be taken out of the comments and placed elsewhere so they don’t interfere with the flow of the conversation in the comments.
  4. Security – Similar to the plugins that should be features annoyance, there are several things that WordPress could do to make it more secure out of the box. It is great that WordPress 2.5 finally changed how the password was stored in the database, but there are still several other security items that could be built into WordPress to stop hackers from getting in. Features that plugins like Login LockDown should be built into WordPress.
  5. Automated Comment Spam – Spammers suck, we all know it. The fact is the majority of spammers spam using automated methods and never actually visit your blog. The majority of comment spam I clean up day, after day, after day on WordPress blogs is automated comment spam posted through the wp-comments-post.php file. There must be some way using Javascript or PHP to help prevent some of this spam from making it through. The WordPress blogs that I have implement my Javascript redirect in most cases reduced automated comment spam entirely. The comment spam that makes it through is from people actually visiting.
  6. Technical Level – WordPress is written by geeks for geeks, whether you like it or not. I have no problem editing PHP code, but the average person that just wants to publish a blog should not have to learn PHP to manage their blog. While I think WordPress offers many advantages over Blogger.com for publishing, for non technical bloggers WordPress can be too much.
  7. Flash Uploader in WordPress 2.5 – I like WordPress 2.5. The new administration interface is nice to work with but I have to question the decision to make the new media uploader a flash based utility. Not only because flash is a closed source product, but also because it does not always work. I know I am a geek, and I use Ubuntu Linux on my desktop. Not only that but I use the 64bit version of Ubuntu. Adobe flash support for Linux is questionable at best, their support of 64bit Linux even less. The result, I can’t upload images from my main desktop to WordPress 2.5. The only way to fix it, you guessed it, a plugin that turns off the flash uploader.
  8. Upgrading – I know there are plugins to help upgrade WordPress, but to be honest I don’t trust them. The new WordPress 2.5 plugin upgrading feature is nice and is one of the best new features in my opinion. Unless of course the plugin is not compatible with WordPress 2.5 then it is a nightmare waiting to happen. Upgrading WordPress has got to be one of the biggest annoyances there is.

This post might seem like a huge rant, and I suppose it is but the reality is WordPress is not the best blogging platform for everyone. I recently had a client ask me why someone would use Blogger.com to host their blog instead of using WordPress. Rhett also recently asked me why I still use Blogger.com to run my Video Rambler blog. My answer to them both is that Blogger.com takes some of the headaches out of running a blog. I don’t have to worry about upgrading, security is taken care of by someone else, plugin compatibility is not an issue and the techincal requirements are lower to manage the blog. I keep my Video Rambler blog as a Blogger.com simply because it is still fun that way. If it was a WordPress blog it might seem like work.

For the record, I really do enjoy using WordPress and I would like to thank everyone that works on WordPress for the great job they do. If things were perfect there would be no room to improve.

What are some of the things that annoy you most about WordPress or your blogging platform?


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4 Responses to WordPress Annoyances

  1. Thanks Lee for the post. It’s unfortunate that PW3 had to be terminated. I’ll try again later this year hopefully.

    #2 – Features built in –
    There are definitely things I’d like to see built in as well. A lot of this has to deal with the plugin author’s willingness to have the feature implemented in the core.

    For example, Mark Jaquith is a core developer, but he also releases plugins that seem to more-or-less test out a concept. After the concept has been proven, then the plugin is implemented.

    Many have called for Ajax Edit Comments to be implemented in the core, but I’ll be the first to admit it’s not ready. I’m about to begin work on a 2.0 version that will be designed to be core implemented if that is a possibility.

    #7 – Image Uploading – I have the same issues, but mine is host dependent and not OS related. I mostly use a desktop publisher (MarsEdit on a Mac) to publish my photos, so I’m growing less and less reliant on the WP backend. I did learn from Matt at WordCamp that there is no plan on an API for comment editing/posting, which is unfortunate. So I can’t get rid of the WP Admin Panels anytime soon.

    #8 – Upgrading – Kind of ties into #2. Should be a core feature. Keith of WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin is trying to get this implemented for WP 2.6. We’ll see. I think it’s ready for prime time.

  2. Unless it’s a security issue, I don’t see why I should upgrade to WP 2.5.

    And oh, WP core program has been solid for me. It’s the user created plugins/themes that gives me more headaches.

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