I’m starting to really dislike all these updates (as of today the latest one is 2.8.3). The problem is that with every update my theme files get over-written and I have to re-edit them by adding adsense, analytics code, etc, as well as other edits to get the pages to display the way I want. I suppose I could just copy and paste the theme files (such as footer.php, single.php etc) from the old version into the new, but my concern is that the latest theme files will have changes so I can’t just do that. And in fact I have noticed a few small changes in the theme files as the latest versions have come out.
Now, I can do the edits fairly quickly, and I know there’s plugins to handle some of that, but that means having to stay on top of them and keeping them updated as well (not to mention dealing with bug fixes, compatibility with latest versions, etc.).
So no matter what, it seems that to keep my wordpress blog “alive” and running well I have to always be prepared for the next update and do the housekeeping/fixing that follows; which is not so much of a problem except that it’s so OFTEN. It’s annoying, even though I can do the edits to the theme files fairly quickly. It’s like having to re-tune your car engine every few weeks because the manufacturer keeps finding things he would like to add, or things that went wrong and didn’t take the time the FIRST TIME to get all the issues sorted out BEFOREHAND.
Funny thing is, with all these supposed great new features on WordPress I find that I only have use for a few of them, and what works great now might be compromised on a later version, so I might have to tweak one of the php files to get it working right (such as pictures in posts being horizontally compressed too much – so I have to tweak part of the code to fix that).
The way I see it, the problem is this. Even though people vote democratically on what changes they would like to see in WordPress, it’s ONLY the power users which suggest changes; the guys who live and breathe this stuff and don’t mind devoting a significant chunk of their lives to maintaining their systems. But the vast majority of us only want the thing to work and look nice (myself included), but we are FORCED to play catch up when new releases come out, simply because of those power users who have the time, inclination, motivation, desire, technical know-how etc to recommend changes and basically steer the direction of WordPress. It’s unavoidable that a system like this skews in the favor of these users, even though technically speaking it is democratic and anyone can influence change just by participating – but the problem is that, to participate I need to know a lot more about how the thing works and devote time to it, which I don’t care to do – unavoidably this means I play catch up. So I end up getting frustrated when I have to go in yet again and make changes and check stuff because a new version is out a few weeks later because the developers missed something, and/or they wanted to add something cool (which I don’t need). Every few months is okay but lately it’s been every few weeks.
I have a blog on blogger and I can tell you that it does almost everything I want and the few things it doesn’t have that WordPress does, is made up by the fact that I NEVER have to do any work to maintain it. That’s a big plus for me, and for anyone that has other stuff they’d rather be doing.
I fear that WordPress is becoming more and more geared towards the power users, and average users (the majority) are being pushed off to the side due to the constant re-engineering and “improvement” that goes on. But it doesn’t have to be that way if the developers just take the time to make the new releases INFREQUENT, and DOUBLE CHECK that you don’t miss stuff which would require another new release to fix it, and have rules on how often new releases come out (no matter how much the power users might want it asap). I have a saying, the more you add in the way of complexity, the more you have to add in the way of complexity. Please try to keep it simple. There’s no reason why you can’t. But lately it seems that the quality checks have been sub-par and it’s getting bloated just to keep the power users happy.
I appreciate what the developers have done and WordPress has come a long way, but it’s important to not forget about the average user as you’re making WordPress as good as it can be. We are the majority after all. Thanks
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