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Personal feedback and frustrations (22 posts)

  1. Jinsan
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I hate WP with a passion now. They pertain to having created something that anyone can use out of the box, this is true. They say you don't need coding experience. Tell that to someone who's spent hours trying to do something only for an error come because he press a space somewhere and ruined the whole thing.Or trying to do an upgrade, or trying a plugin or anything that might break the fragile little system apart.

    It's horrible. At first I thought, yeah, great easy to install (takes about 30 seconds). Then I decided to upgrade, and all hell broke loose. Did I back up everything? Yes. Was it useful to backup? About as useful as having a pneumatic drill hammered into your ear hole. The support forums give offer support and those that do help are absolutely superb at it, but it's a volunteer based support system, but at the end of it, you will run in to more problems than you will have time or patience to explain. Chances of having your problem solved are about 50% the other 50% you get a smart comment about it being a beta release, and you can't complain, you knew the risks, why didn't you stick with the original release etc.

    While the latter is a fair comment, it's also a poor response and completely negative as to the situation. Why is it so poorly designed in upgrading? Why aren't there more stringent controls with regards to plugins?

    I hate messing with databases, I hate PHP code, I am not a coder, I don't want to be one. All I want is a solid system that works for my blogs, that gives me features I want that will allow me to blog, to write repetitious drivel, and write my reviews. I thought WP would be a positive experience, but it's more negative than the last time, which is why I moved to E107. It has more features than a sex droid, and is more stable than most software that I have tried. But it has too many features, and is far too overwhelming.

    So I thought I'll go back to WP, after one bad experience, I thought it must be OK by now, they must have made everything easier, worked out the kinks and probably have a fairly up to date, feature rich blog system in place. This is partly true, the features have increased, but the difficult in problem solving and trouble shooting are still an annoyance. I refer back to the upgrading, which is really diabolical from my personal experience. Upload files, go to your browser and you're done. That is unless your page is full of code you don't understand.

    I'm at my wits end with regards to the patience I have for software that works, but not quite. The reason for sticking with the latest releases is to keep up with the themes and the plugins being designed and adapated for it. Much of 1.5 is easier than 1.2.2, and although nto stable, it's a far superior product to 1.2.2.

    Sorry, I just need to express my frustration and hope someone understands how difficult WP is for someone who has no understanding of code, and how it's quite difficult to really feel you're getting support. Have you thought about a pay-for-support system? It may help people like myself, who find that getting a site up and running the way they want may not be possible through a volunteer forum, where your site is dependent upon the availability of other users to look at your problem, and then view the issue, and decide whether or not they respond to it. By paying you can at least be assured that someone is making money in order to help you, and therefore (in theory) should provide solid support.

    Deep down, I'll be honest, having written this, I've exhausted the hot air - I really, really like WP, it's flexible as hell, but I just wish it wasn't so randomly annoying. When it's good, it is brilliant, but when it screws up it's a pain in the ass that causes severe bleeding.

    I'm looking forward to 1.5, and now I'll go back to trying to fix the botched upgrade, or move to another system till 1.5 is out. I dunno.

    If you read this far, you have too much time on your hands. Go make a tea and read book :)

  2. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I've tried 3 times to write a response, and each time I have read what I wrote, thought it was junk and deleted it.

    Feel free to email me and if I can help at all, I will very happily do so
    tamba2 at gmail dot com

  3. Glo
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I can understand your frustration cause I'm not a programmer either. But I have never upgarded to a bata version either. In my mind that's just asking for trouble. Bata means "not stable" in my book of definitions and I don't have time to mess with something that isn't finished with the testing process. Noooo, I can wait.

    As far as support goes, yes, it's mainly done by volenteers but the whole program is free and open source, meaning that anyone can contribute or take the code and do their own thing with it. You really can't complain when you are getting something for free and I doubt the time you have spent trying to use the program equals to the pure man-hours it has taken to write the code and is still taking to upgrade it.

    Seriously, if it doesn't work for you and you can't get the help you need than maybe WP really isn't for you. The free blogging services might be better for you since they do all the backend work for you. In my mind you are limited with those free programs but at least you don't have to know how to do anything other than which button to click on. :-)

    A side note: I've found these forums and those who contribute to it very helpful and I have spent a great deal of time reading old posts where most of my questions have already been answered. Plus I get information I didn't know I wanted or needed. I also read everything I can find on a plugin I want to implement before I try to install it. That alone has saved me huge amounts of time and frustration. I've just chosen to take responsibility for my lack of programming knowledge and it's what I lack that's the most frustrating.

    P.S. I love WordPress :)

  4. Michael Adams (mdawaffe)
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Haha. :) I'm not laughing at you, it's just that I've been through some similar frustrations before, and enjoyed reading your rant. You seem to be taking it rather well, so let me say a couple things that others might consider worthy of Debian support or someone equally elitist. I hope you, though, will take it as well as you seem to be taking everything else.

    I've often thought the beta forum needs a little troll (aptly named, perhaps) that goes around quoting the various warnings to beta testers (by the way, it's better if people think of themselves as beta testers not beta users), particularly the one found on the download page.

    If you are comfortable with PHP and would like to particpate in the testing portion of our development cycle and report bugs you find, beta or CVS releases might be for you.

    (emphasis mine). People who are self-proclaimed non-coders are warned left and right that the 1.5 beta is probably not appropriate for them, but they continue to use it.

    That said, there's lots of nice, new features in 1.5 that people are itching to try. Also, I suppose you could argue the more people testing the beta, the faster bugs are found. But no one using the beta release should ever expect it to work, and should never put themselves in a postion where they need the software to work.

    I've never had any issue upgrading (except once - I think the options table isn't being updated quite right, but that's about all I know about my problem), so I can't comment on your issue. I say this not to make you to jealous, but only to point out what I'm sure you already know: the beta version is not only sometimes unstable, but also sometimes seems inconsistent (especially when you take into account the fact that there are over a dozen different builds of the beta floating around).

    Again, I'm not trying to get all preachy on you. I think you already know everything I've said. I suppose I'm ranting a bit too. :)

    All in all, podz' post seems a lot more productive. :)

    Oh, and the pay support idea has been bouncing around for some time. NuclearMoose's interview shows the developers have no interest in participating, but support the idea. Sounds like it just needs some entrepreneur to get it started. (I realize that's not useful to you now, I just mean to say that there are others out there who would also enjoy such a service. Doing my part to prod some worthy individual into starting it up.)

  5. Ryan Boren
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Thank you for beta testing 1.5. ;-) If you tell us what problems you experienced, we can attempt to address them. I'm particularly interested in problems with how 1.5 handles upgrading templates into themes.

  6. NuclearMoose
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Jinsan,

    Awesome rant. I'm glad you were able to get things off of your chest and finish off on a positive note. Over a year ago I recall having some real headaches with WordPress, most of which I caused myself. I did not then, nor do I now, know much about PHP, or setting up a database and messing with CSS. I could do some HTML and I understood the concepts around databases, but that was it. I had some keyboard-pounding episodes, as I recall, because of something I was unable to figure out.

    Just as a sidebar comment, I do not run my site with version 1.5. I do have a couple of test sites running it, but I've not had much time to explore it.

    I hope that you take some time for a breather, gather yourself up, and with a represhed perspective, plug away at getting your site going again. For me, the rewards of learning something about PHP, learning CSS and a bit about MySQL has been worth the pain. If you decide to stick with it, I'm sure you will have the pride and satisfaction of knowing that you learned something new.

    As always, if you can think of any specific suggestions or ideas to make any aspect of WordPress better, let us know.

  7. Jinsan
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    My memory, as I get older, is abysmal - I was learning mySQL, CSS and PHP. I fell asleep learning CSS, and was fairly fluent at it - but then it disappeared out of memory. I just need a refresher course I guess. MySQL wasn't that bad to learn, and neither was PHP (the first thing I learnt was creating a login which is amusingly easy). But it's something I enjoy when I'm in the mood for it.

    In any case, I have started from scratch completely and am playing around with Kubrick's theme. I am still having problems, and this is probably down to me not knowing the WP system so well. But this is what I mean when I say this is "sold" as an out of the box solution to blogging - it has the very basic functions of a blogging system, but being realistic most people want to do more than just be able to blog. It's when they want to do the other stuff that problems arise, and the documentation or solutions are not so obvious.

    WP is, in my experience, more suited to coders. I've never used MT but from what I hear, it's a breeze to use and to customise. Now I might be wrong on that comment, but if I am, then the future for blogging tools needs to move away from complex instructions with regards to additional features that users want, to simplifying it. One of the best features, perhaps the feature that makes WP stand out for is it's brilliant installation. 30 seconds or less for myself, after setting up the db. Others offer a similar experience, but nothing as pleasent as WP when it comes to an install.

    There has to be a better way to upgrade though. Backing up your files locally is a sensible idea, at the same time, you have to remember that most users are probably not that aware of how to be safe with their data. Asking them to back up a database (even with instructions), backing up their files etc if things go wrong is no good if you don't tell them what to do in case something does go wrong - if there is documentation on when the dung hits the fan, then it's definitely not clearly marked for the general audience.

    A system where you can backup WP after a few clicks within the admin area would be excellent, and the ability to restore within the admin panel would also be welcome. How practical or functional this would be, is up to the coders, and whether it would work I have no idea. It is correct to state that those who are warned about the beta release have no one to blame but themselves - but that's like dangling a carrot on a stick in front of a rabbit. You're saying here it is, it has all these new fangled features, it will turn your teeth into gold, and turn your horse of a wife into your favourite fantasy - but be warned, that if you don't know what you're doing you're on your own. You tease, you offer, but then you say, "Ah...but....". If you know anything about the human desire, then you know telling someone they're not entitled to something or should try something, they will obviously go ahead and do it - having sold them the full monty seconds ago.

    It's quite unfair to treat beta testers with such anymosity, however it is disguised. This is a support forum after all, and the ethos should be that of support, regardless of the version. Yes I understand the constant nag you feel when Joe Blow asks question #1564156161.41564848 of FAQ #1549546 you get frustrated and offer them a link, but that's part and parcel of EVERY support forum. Beta testers tend to be the users with the most problems, however, because they are the ones likely to run into trouble seeing as they are not using a stable release - it's not supportive to say "we told you so". They know they shouldn't have installed it, but they were curious, and yes it killed the cat, but it also made them happy for a while to have the latest build of their favourite program.

    In any case, I have calmed down to an extent, though some of these problems are really starting to piss me off. Not understand what the heck I'm doing or what I'm editing (just following instructions, but not understand what the instructions actually mean) doesn't help either. At the same time, I don't particularly have the luxury to read an entire manual on PHP or other code as I have other priorities (as everyone does) than WP.

    I tend to work things out in my head and find a solution, and I am coming up with ways to get WP to do what I want, and how I want, but I may still take up podz assistance.

    Thanks for reading. It's 4am-ish and I better get some sleep before I go postal on monitor....

  8. Michael Adams (mdawaffe)
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I quite agree with you on upgrading. I suppose that was unclear. "Not having had an issue" meant "nothing exploded" not "it was easy". FTPing files back and forth is a nightmare for many people, let alone working with the database. Clicking a button to backup or restore or upgrade, is not a nightmare (except possibly for the developers) and would be absolutely wonderful.

    I'm glad you're "fighting the good fight" and still trying stuff out. When I started working with WordPress I knew nothing about PHP or SQL. Now, I am proud to say, I know next to nothing: a marked improvement. And if it weren't for all the things I screwed up while poking about (not to say any of your frustrations were caused by any mucking about), I wouldn't have learned as much. I really hope everything works out for your site.

    I do hope, though, that it was not my comments that caused you to state that beta testers were being treated with animosity. I assure you no hostilities were disguised, intended or even felt by me. I am a beta tester, myself, and I've been bitten a time or two by it. If I misinterpreted the tone of your post, I sincerely apologize. (I also admit the possibility I may have misinterpreted your above comment, in which case you may safely ignore this paragraph :) )

    Your carrot analogy is a good one. It is, in fact, precisely why I started using the unstable versions. Over time, however, I have come to change my ideas on the subject. I think now that no one (no one with any credibility, that is) says "Here it is. The new version has all these features." I think people instead say "Here's an idea. The new version will have all these features. It'd be fantastic if you'd try it and tell us what happens when it breaks." Whether or not people actually say this, I don't know, I'm just giving my naive impression. At any rate, my former perception of the carrot was enough; I got lured in by my own promises, but ended up staying for the ride anyway, though I don't know if I was/am masochistically, aesthetically, or educationally motivated.

    And as long as I'm blithering again, I might as well go a bit off topic and say thanks to allusion, rboren, NuclearMoose, Podz, Kafkaeski, macmanx and everyone else who's helped me and others out with documentation and with advise on the forums. Not to sound trite, but they never get enough thanks. WordPress has been frustrating at times, but the forums and it's contributors have been a blessing (even though the 50-50 rule Jinsan mentioned isn't far off the mark :) ).

  9. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    "People who are self-proclaimed non-coders are warned left and right that the 1.5 beta is probably not appropriate for them, but they continue to use it."
    Usually seen along these lines:
    - "Where is the latest version ?" > "Whats cvs ?" > "Tortoise what ????????" > "My site broke and IT MUST BE DONE BY TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!" > "WP is crap"

    "if there is documentation on when the dung hits the fan, then it's definitely not clearly marked for the general audience."
    I disagree.
    All the docs have been written in response to demand, and there was a demand for this. Had we not written them, we would face two accusations:
    - that wp never goes wrong
    - that we don't care if it does
    Hence you have docs.

    "This is a support forum after all, and the ethos should be that of support, regardless of the version."
    Yes, and No.
    Should we support ? yes.
    Do we support ? yes
    Do we actually offer support for a LOT more than actual WP code (Adsense is but one example) YES.
    Could it be that we are victims of our own success in that people are actually directed here from other places, so clogging our system ? Yes.
    How many forum members are there ? 2842
    How many people actively return and regularly contribute ? 10% ?

    Should we support regardless of version ? Yes, but this needs THREE essentials:
    - that someone else is running that version AND
    - that the same someone has come across your problems AND
    - that the same someone supports these forums

    And this will sound like me having a go at the OP - it is not.
    This has been said again and again and again - WordPress is FREE, the support that YOU choose to give this project is just as important as the support that others do. The regular contributors here have no contract with you or anyone else. We get no money for this, we often get no thanks (or moronic comments that we are "too lazy"). I can name 10 people who if they stopped visiting this forum, the support would almost stop.
    10 people.
    Over 44000 wordpress installs out there, and yet just 10 people are being relied upon.

    Makes me certainly wonder - if you were paid by answers given, just how many people we'd then have. Works both ways.

  10. Jinsan
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    podz you're right it DOES work both ways, without a community WP would not have the strength it does with regards to community - one of the thing is hear shouted about is the community. Now at the same time, you take away those ten people - support will die, probably not immediately, but it will die.

    I think part of the problem I have is this idea that if it's free you shouldn't expect much in terms of support. But then, if the argument is it's free, you should be grateful you get anything at all so stop your whining - then why even bother to release WP in teh first place? Why build a community with links and support? This may as well then be a closed project between ten friends, because that's the closed nature that is sometimes felt.

    Just as users are expected to accept that the support they get is free, and voluntary, as well as "as good as it gets, so either like it or lump it" - the developers need to accept that these very people are the ones that are taking the word that this is one of best blogging tools out there, and is the product to use. All the users here are volunteers in a much bigger project, otherwise as I say, you may as well make the project a group thing between ten of the best.

    Supporters who volunteer their services, like yourself, are aware of the situation, the number of users that need support and the difficulty with which support will be given due to large numbers. You are aware of this, but users who request support are not - they're oblivious to the problems you have, they're oblivious to the volunteer system here - how many do you think actually read any of the comment or text which refer to such issues? I would say less than 5%. Most dive in treating these support forums like any other forum - if you turn around and state that they're on their own, then they'll dump it and move on to something else.

    I am not suggesting for a moment that your support is not appreciated, as I originally stated, the support is first rate when it is provided. Perhaps a rethink or some sort of professional system needs to be implemented on a volunteer basis which would at the very least implement some coherent and consistent support system.

    I'm also sure you're aware that perhaps less than 10% of users probably know anything about coding. yes they want it done tomorrow, yes they want their site working with all the bells and whistles - but is this unfair of them to ask? I think it's actually quite normal - what seems to piss off the volunteer support is that people treat the support forums as a paid forum, that all your questions will be answered immediately, promptly and all your resolutions will be solved. But this isn't the case, is it? It's a case of if a user has time to browse the forum and see the latest threads that require help and can help. It doesn't help that few use the search system, but then we're talking NORMAL users here, not professionals - we're talking about people who have probably never carried out any sort of backup, even on a floppy disk, let alone a database. Your audience complain, because they expect the same free service as they do a paid service - they don't know any better.

    You could have a big sign that states, "We are a volunteer forum - we may not answer all your questions all of the time, but we may answer some of your questions some of the time, if we're around to answer the questions, otherwise we will never answer the questions some of the time, in which case you may as well move to a platform for which you pay beacuse the support you get will probably be better" - To be honest, if you had that on the first page, it wouldn't make a difference, because people will click Support then post their problem. It's the typical users behaviour.

    I certainly agree with mdawaffe's comments that your support is never appreciated enough - but then you have to realise you're dealing with the same people that perhaps treat the Internet like a McDonalds - I want it all in 3 minutes or I'll complain the manager, This is your largest porition of the audience, and you have to accept that these will be the bulk at present. Perhaps things will change in the future, but for now, these are your WP users and they will behave in such a manner and it's something you need to accept. It would be great if could teach everyone here patience and understanding, but unless we can do that in 3 minutes, no one will want to listen.

    I don't even know what I'm ranting about now.

  11. Lobo
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Why we don't make somekind of parnetship with http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=16
    this guys are great and the is a lot of developpers to give a hand with WordPress.

    Few post aboud WordPress:
    http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/search.php?s=&action=showresults&searchid=730385&sortby=lastpost&sortorder=descending

  12. Anonymous
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I'm seeing two separate causes of frustration here:

    1. 1.5 has many features not in 1.2 and many plugin and theme developers are developing exclusively for it, so it's natural that users want in on the action. They see so many other blogs being run on 1.5 and pimping how great it is that they don't take seriously all the warnings about it being beta software, support will be limited, etc. This situation is going to carry on until 1.5 is officially released.
    2. WordPress is growing faster than the existing developers and volunteers can keep pace with, so inevitably questions go unanswered. [Moderated]
  13. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    http://codex.wordpress.org/WP_Link_Dump
    For what it is worth, I made that list available so other may not just look at it but also add to it, and it is also editable on the codex, or you could copy it and make your text available.

    Anon - I appreciate ANY help we get here, and while I know you will disagree because you have "member" under your name, I think it would be better if people could see where you are. As in a website. But I know you will disagree, and snipe because of it.

  14. Anonymous
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I personally feel that my location on the internet is less important than my ability to provide support, and I don't want to be tarred with the same brush as those who post irrelevant stuff for the sole purpose of generating links to their blogs. You can call me what you want, but you can't say I'm a linkwhore.

    It just seems to me you are putting up more and more barriers to stop people contributing. First you make them register. Then you say it's not enough to register, you must register again with a website address. Because of course I can't edit my existing profile to add a URL.

    If I do that, I expect I'll be told to furnish my name, address, and telephone number. Oh, I forgot, you'll already have got that through whois. What, then? Photographs?

  15. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    The forum is all yours.

    I'm off for a while.

    Thanks Anon.

  16. Jinsan
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Anonymous I was trying to be constructive with my criticism, as well let off some hot air with my frustrations. It seems, however, that your decision to hijack this thread has made this whole exercise a waste of time.

    You obviously have some detrimental personal issue with the developers, as your comments are both scathing and atagonistic - as I stated earlier, this is a support forum. I appreciate some of what you say, but you seem bent on picking off issues with little to no constructive thought.

    It would be courteous not to pick a fight in someone else's thread. You can take that to them privately.

    Thank you.

  17. carthik
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    It would help a lot if people contributing to the Forums, or adding comments, thought for a second before they post to threads like this one.

    1) Do you bring something original to the conversation?
    2) Are you hurting someone's sensibilities? (reason enough to not post)
    3) Do you really think you have enough expertise over the subject in question, and enough experience managing the particular problem, or other such problems in general to offer an opinion on the best solution?
    4) Will your comment be seen as sarcastic or uncivil?

    Really, guys, let us be civil around here. Sanity is precious. One guy let some steam off, and we all can learn some from that. Being sarcastic and hypothesizing impossible situations helps no one.

    Anonymous -- we had to require users to register before posting to avoid trolls and to control the previously uncontrolled flood of senseless, inflammatory comments and posts that helped no one, and agitated lots. Please desist from questioning what has been done without first asking why, or understanding why something was required. That said - your point has been noted. If you wish to contribute, you should have no problem in doing so right now, as user "Anonymous" and really, if someone wishes for anonymity, one could register with some fictitious details for their personal information, so let us stop at that.

    With one, two or three persons moderating the forums, it is just a waste of time to allow anonymous posts, and to take care of flames and other annoyances as they happen. I am trying to explain and justify why things are the way they are here - just so that this post of mine does not degenerate into yet another useless, obtuse post.

    Above all, please respect others' feelings, and realize that not everyone here is anonymous, and these are real people, who can be identified, that you are referring to in your posts.

    If you wish to, you can contact me at carthik at gmail dot com, to continue this conversation, or to have your questions addressed, with respect to things I have mentioned here. I do not wish to protract this thread any more that it is neccesary.

  18. Anonymous
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I apologise to Jinsan for 'hijacking' this thread. [Moderated]

  19. somefool
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Anon, I would like to see your site purely on the basis that I like to see what other people have done with WP (plugins, design etc) not some sort of 'link whoring'. I mean, really!

    Anyway, we all, im sure, get frustrated from time to time with WP and Im proud to say I have also gone from knowing no php to next to nothing, so youre not alone Jinsan (oh and that applies to CSS also. I STILL know nothing about mysql).

    My 'method' of coding for WP is effectively trial and error (lots of error and plenty of trial). I suspect Im not alone in using this system. If I had one recommendation for those playing with WP it would be to do a localhost (on your computer) install of WP and your blog and use that to try tweaks and upgrades BEFORE making it live on the net.

  20. somefool
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Yes true, but atleast it allows you to iron out alot of problems quicker and easier than ftping.

  21. dawg
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I realize this has been a heated at sometimes topic and after reading though it there are many valid points. I can say for one that I would like to try out 1.5. I will keep 1.2 in place and just play around with 1.5. One thing that I find is that when I view even my own profile let alone if I try to view someone elses, I can not, nor is there a way to update my profile. If there is it is way too hidden because I have not seen it. It would be nice to see Jinsan site to make an evaluation of his problems and frustrations firsthand. I understand Anon if he/she wants to remain Anon that is ok.

  22. Jinsan
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I was thinking about making a "blog" of the blog as it were. Perhaps a little write up of how it to set up install etc. Though I'll have to go from recollection and the troubles I've had. I think about as inept as you can get, so perhaps my frustrations may prove...er...useful?

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