[closed] Why is WordPress still the most frustrating software to use? (40 posts)

  1. Ian
    Posted 4 years ago #

    So what a "wonderful" experience being on WordPress has been (site still not ready) - I have dreamweaver skills and have built websites but when it comes to WordPress, this software is in a class of it's own for sheer user unfriendlyness and inconsistencies when it comes to designing a platform that "regular folk" can use....

    Deemed "state of the art" it seems it's intentions is not to reach the average blogger but rather to allow itself to be presented in a structure that only serious coders will understand. It's reach I believe could be ten times as much and more if it was prepared to make changes to it's set up and dashboard. We are not all coders.

    It amazes me even after 2 years (when I first attempted to blog here and gave up) that NOTHING has changed regarding the platforms overly complex approach to the most simple and rudimentary tasks that other s/ware companies have resolved for their users.

    It is still as user unfriendly and non intuitive as it was 2 years ago when I first encountered it and went to Blogger. I don't think I've seen as much frustration and negative comments both on the forums and from google searches associated with regard to configuring WordPress than I have for any other companies product. Period. It seems no one at WordPress listens.

    Tasks that should be SIMPLE like creating a page become tedious - time wasted not on writing but trying to find out why: e.g. all the other pages one has created added a link in the menu bar and yet a new page then suddenly doesn't automatically create the link.... All of this time and energy fixing problems that just shouldn't exist. It becomes more like an exercise in mind crushing tedium, unanswered forums posts and google searches to fix than the joy of writing.

    Please sort it out. We're not coders, WE ARE WRITERS!

    Thank you for listening.

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    There's a rather old but true saying: "You can't please all of the people all of the time." I think that very much applies in this case.

    As to your comments about WP being difficult to use, that really depends upon the user. I have a number of clients who are by no means coders or even especially technically minded. and they love WordPress and have learnt to use it very effectively. One is just starting her second ecommerce after launching her first ever site late last year. So I think it would be fair to say that the WordPress experience is always going to be highly subjective.

    I don't think I've seen as much frustration and negative comments

    WordPress 3.3 has been downloaded over 21 million times. I can assure you that there are nowhere near 21 million users on these forums. So those that do have problems are in the minority.

    Tasks that should be SIMPLE like creating a page become tedious - time wasted not on writing but trying to find out why: e.g. all the other pages one has created added a link in the menu bar and yet a new page then suddenly doesn't automatically create the link.

    Every time I have helped in these situations, the problem has been that the user hasn't actually tried to learn how to use WordPress or even (heaven forbid) read any of the documentation that people have spent so many hours creating. Some users even set up custom menus, forget that they've set them up and then blame WP for not adding Pages to their menu automatically when they specifically configured WP not to do this. In other words, user errors.

    If you don't like WordPress, then don't use it. It's not for everyone and perhaps it's not for you. But it does have a huge community of very loyal users who seem to be quite happy with it.

  3. Ian
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Hi Esmi

    Thanks very much for the feedback,

    I haven't set up hidden menus. Just creating a page like I've done before recently. Obviously something is now "configured" differently and now no link appears in the menu when this page is created. I also have a category that doesn't appear in the menu (M.C.S. - multiple-chemical-sensitivites) - it also has no tick box when you look at in in the dashboard so I cant even delete it and start again and add it to the other normally functioning categories that do work/do appear in the menu and do have tick boxes.

    The question is - all things being equal - i.e. I haven't changed anything that I can think of - what would cause no link to appear on such a "simple" instruction as - create a new page. (which I have done before without any hiccups)?

    I also have "embed code" across all the pages of this site and can't find anything on this?

    I also downloaded a Page order and Category order plugin because WordPress didn't think that people might not actually want alphabetical lists of pages and categories...

    This just highlights exactly what is a very valid point I have made. The time I should be spending on writing I am having to look up resources, read plug in reviews and write to web plug in developers to find out things like: why the category order pluging has deemed the page I created called blog is in fact a category and the term blog has appeared along with all the other categories in the dashboard/posts menu section.

    These are such basic things I am just surprised that WP doesn't just fit it as standard. What possible benefit could there be in not adding the basics like page and category? Why not just fit it? Why create all the extra work?

    I don't have a problem reading tech manuals. I just have a problem reading a tech manuaL when the task I want to do is so fundamental and basic I can't believe I am havin to waste time on working it out! I think a search on google about why wordpress is difficult to set up and the results would suggest otherwise.

    I'm using WordPress because my web marketing guru - swears by WP - cos it's so google friendly. (S.E.O). If there was another root esmi I would take it!

    Any help will be gratefully appreciated!

  4. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I haven't set up hidden menus.

    I didn't say anything about hidden menus. But when I looked at your site, you have set up a custom menu. Please look under Appearances -> Menus.

  5. guitarjosh
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Dang bro.. if you think WP is hard, maybe the world wide web just simply isn't your thing. It just doesn't get much easier and any more basic than this CMS. It's as user friendly as an online tool could ever be. My 3rd grader uses it and does quite well with it. She even creates custom menus!

    Your experiences are simply not typical of most users.

  6. Ian
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Having had installation problems that even my web host encountered and then a lot of other issues/inconsistencies and embed code warnings I have sought out help here....

    Sorry I didn't realise we were doing condescending... I thought I was just doing frustration. With your tech head I wonder if the art of playing guitar and making music might not be your thing either.

  7. Princess_Giggles
    Posted 4 years ago #

    That's interesting that you needed plugins to change category and page order because that's built in to WordPress and I do it all the time without a plugin.

    It might be a "waste" upfront to read the manual, but it saves a lot of time later on.

  8. Okay, folks, let's not make this about personal attacks. That's not cool. :)

  9. Shapeshifter 3
    Posted 4 years ago #


    I've been playing with WordPress now for about 1 year, and I started out as an ABSOLUTE BEGINNER. I would consider myself no more than a mediocre participant now, who continues to learn something new each and every day. Sometimes I get frustrated, but the main reason is that I know there are many people here who are smarter than I am......AND most of them are doing it FOR FREE.

    IF, WordPress.org was a commercial enterprise, then you would have a legitimate reason to demand absolute simplicity and ease of use, AFTER you paid for it's services. That's not the case here.

    As human beings (excluding me) that live in a modern civilization with many amenities, comforts, and easily attainable necessities of life; we sometimes confuse the thin line between commercial ventures that provide services for a FEE, and FREE entertainment, information, and services that other humans (and shapeshifting canines) sometimes provide to us out of the goodness of their heart or a hobby that they love to pursue.

    Smart dogs and puppies have an old saying:

    "Don't bite the hand that attempts to entertain, or feed you"

  10. Rev. Voodoo
    Posted 4 years ago #

    So the big thing here, which can often be frustrating, comes with the open nature of WordPress.

    WordPress is simply a tool, provided for free. BUt it is made openly. As such, individuals can make plugins that enhance WordPress, individuals can make themes that enhance WordPress.

    WordPress, theme devs, and plugins devs, cannot possibly account for every iteration of or combination of plugin and theme. We can then add on top of that the many hosting providers out there, each who may configure their servers slightly differently. That in turn can affect WordPress, themes, and plugins.

    So we have all these layers of variables which each other variable can do their best to accomodate - but which honestly cannot be accounted for.

    ANd finally we come to the documentation. I got frustrated with it at first. I have no training at all... I learned by doing, breaking, redoing. It took a long time to get where I am now - and I still stumble through all kinds of crap. I just know where to look and what to ask now. But the docs are written by volunteers - which may often be someone who knows a great deal about a particular topic (or it may not be). And it also is written in a manner that makes sense to the person who wrote it. Not everyone is an author, ya know.

    Then we get here, the support forum. Again, just a group of volunteers. Sometimes you get great help, sometimes not -but we really do try!

    Decisions about WordPress are not made in a silo. A lot of community thought and discussion goes into everything. BUt what makes something easier for me, might make it harder for you. Sure there is a learning curve, but I have hopped around many different software platforms and I find WP the best and simlest, for what it is.

    Remember that WP is not simply a blogging tool, and cannot be oversimplified as such anymore. WP is (and has been) growing out to full CMS for some time now. Complication is the nature of the beast - I think WP makes the tools as simple to use as possible, but each additional feature/function may complicate things to some users.

    Do you now specifically how to make it better? I'm not asking in a condescending way.... I mean that, the community is open to suggestion. Remember again, that something that may seem painfully obvious to you may not even cross other folks minds. As was stated earlier, WP can't be all things to all people, and decisions must be made. But improvement is always the goal, and ease of use is always at the forefront of folks minds when trying to implement.

  11. Ian
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Hi everyone - thanks for the all the feedback.

    For a new user who has some limited experience (building sites using Adobe CS5) I expected this WP process to be fairly quick, months later I am still slogging it out, scratch that I mean years later (as I tried before and gave up).

    Using or rather learning WP is not straight forward and whilst I appreciate that people do this for free and aren't instruction manual professional writers, there are some things that are just presented in such a complicated manner from a start point that assumes too much knowledge that it makes you end up googling and seeking help elsewhere.

    A case in point today was reading all the WP stuff about backing up a site... after an hour of reading I stoppped no clearer. However on a brighter note, I had an idea and called my web host and it took just a one minute call and the clicking of one button and the site was backed up and emailed to me.

    Now I am reading about child themes and I did point out to a mod that the if the creation of a child theme was so critical to avoiding issues of loosing work with updates and security issues, why it wasn't explained in the dashboard - let's get started - section.

    After spending literally three hours trying to make a child theme from all the resources (on WP and google) that I have seen I have got as far as this dogs dinner taht can be found here:

    I was interested in working on the child theme from now on to avoid losing changes in updates etc to the parent and added this css file below with a few basic changes into the child folder in the content/themes directory just to make sure I could see the difference between parent and child. Judging from the result I don't think there was any danger of that.

    It should look like the unfinished parent site here:

    Here's the css file
    Theme Name: Twenty Eleven Child
    Theme URI: http://www.fatigue-symptoms.com/
    Description: Child Theme for Twenty Eleven
    Author: Ian
    Author URI: http://www.fatigue-symptoms.com/contact
    Template: twentyeleven
    Version: 0.1
    @import url("../twentyeleven/style.css");

    body {
    color: #3f3f3f;

    #site-title a {
    color: #009900;

    I have no idea why the child theme site has ended up looking the way it does not least considering I have read lots of the WP instruction guides...

    What went wrong?

    Thanks in advance for any help,

  12. fonglh
    Posted 4 years ago #

    To get the most effective help on this forum, start a new topic in the most suitable forum for each problem you have.

    If you haven't done so already, do read the forum welcome.

  13. Ian
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Thanks yes I did that already and haven't had any feedback, as it quite common. Whilst I do appreciate that people give their time here free for and I am grateful this means that the progression of the site develops at a snails pace. Maybe it'll get finished in the next year. But actually I've just realised I can pay for someone to explain why my child theme looks worse than my first efforts to build sites in Dreamweaver!

  14. Your post - http://wordpress.org/support/topic/child-theme-now-looks-like-a-dogs-dinner?replies=2

    Keep it there.

    As for backups, you're thinking about it the wrong way :) How do you backup MS Word Docs? Not via MS word, no, you save the files somewhere else. Same with WP.

  15. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Ive been on wordpress now for four months and I find its the easiest web app to initiate a mantality of total frustration and depression. I started at the beginning of June and now at the end of September I know as much as I did when I first started on it. Designing a website with wordpress is the same as using dancing to describe architecture. Its just that easy and intuitive.

  16. RichardDavey
    Posted 3 years ago #

    I have also found wordpress very easy to use......just like anything in life it takes a little time to catch on to the wordpress tools.

  17. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Ive found that using WP to try and make a website is like using dancing to describe architecture, or using pointers´╗┐ graphs and pictures to convey philosophical concepts. It is that clear and logical, or better still telling someone thats born color blind to keep practicing on the colors they cant differentiate, theyll eventually "get it" it just takes time. The illogic of WPs dashboard to get a web page from it are two processes so foreign to each other it would drive a Vulcan mad.
    For me "a little time" would be less than 4 months to finally get to the point that you can get the app to do something....anything at all that you can say...ohh....it works!!!!! So far after four months of WordPress for dummies and countless WP utoob tutorials I can boot up WP in instant WP and click here and there and waste from 2 -9 hours a day every day for 4 months which I have done since the beginning of June. It is "easy" to use wordpress to waste time getting nowhere. It amazingly easy. I salute all those that have managed to disconnect and shut down the part of their brain that controls the logic functions in order to use WP. Someday I hope to be able to dance in a way that if I do a fox trot....the foundation for a skyscraper will magically appear, like if I click something on the dashboard of WP the foundation of a website will magically present itself, and I can go "wow, now I can finally start building something".

  18. Michael
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 3 years ago #

    using WP to try and make a website

    that is a common misconception;
    WordPress does not make making websites easy or easier.

    the reality is:
    - learn to make websites first;
    - then use WordPress to make websites that can be more easily managed by the user.

    Ive been on wordpress now for four months

    what web programming methods did you use before that? how many months did you sepnd to learn html, css, and php?

  19. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Im a noobie to web design. Everybody says WP is easy. I found it is easy to spend hours days weeks and now 4 months to constantly get stuck on the dashboard clicking here and there to get nothing usefull. Learning WP is a steep and deep process. Theres gotta be something easier. Sadly Ive got to get my head around it, as the concept is great but to learn how to impliment that is a nightmare.

  20. Michael
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 3 years ago #

    WP is easy

    it is, just like riding a motorbike is (relatively) easy when you have mastered your ordinary bike.
    it is the same kind of performance boost.

    I can imagine that jumping into WordPress as the primary exposure to web programming is indeed a harsh experience.

  21. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Exactly so. You need a lot of pre knowledge before you can say WP is easy. WP is a harsh time sucking nightmare for a beginner. Its taken me 4 months to realize how easy it is to spend 4 months on WP to get nowhere quick.

  22. s_ha_dum
    Posted 3 years ago #

    @Ian, I think you are confusing "using WordPress" with "programming a theme or plugin". Creating a theme or a plugin is programming. There is no way around that.

    WordPress is not a site creation tool like Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is a kind of code editor geared toward web sites. Its purpose is the creation of a site from top to bottom. Some people think it is a good tool for such things.

    WordPress is not that. WordPress is a web application that manages dynamic content. You don't build a site with WordPress. You build a site that uses WordPress. You build a WordPress site with some other tool and run that site 'on' WordPress. When you build the site (the theme mostly) you provide slots where WordPress can shove in dynamic content from the database. That is a pretty big difference.

    It isn't a perfect analogy, but think about this. You don't build a video game on the xBox. You build a game that runs on the xBox. The people creating the game are writing code on computers and installing that code on the xBox. Once the game is working users can create characters and move around and do whatever the game creators allowed when they wrote the code.

    WordPress is like that. Once the site is created the users can write posts and manipulate other things to the degree that the programmer has allowed or anticipated. WordPress is the xBox. The game is the theme. If you have a theme and want to play the game it is easy. If you want to create the game or hack the game, it gets harder (but the WordPress Codex is very very useful) and you have to learn PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS, Javascript, and the WordPress programming framework-- hooks, functions, etc.-- just as a programmer has to learn whatever frameworks are required for a project (GTK, for example, or the Unreal Engine).

    I hope that helps. If you are used to creating HTML sites, WordPress, or any other dynamic framework, is going to be a huge leap. If you are interested in a comparison, look into creating themes for Drupal or Joomla.

  23. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Nope no confusion at all. Im trying to use a template to make a website. Thats it. I have instant wordpress and a template that I want to put in a different header picture and some content. 4 months so far and i can move my mouse around the dashboard and preview but theres always some snag.

  24. s_ha_dum
    Posted 3 years ago #

    @alexmcginness, my comment was addressed to the person who started this thread not to you. If you are having trouble doing those couple of things, start a topic. It shouldn't be that hard unless something is badly wrong with your theme.

  25. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Sorry bout that.

  26. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Im just using the supplied themes.

  27. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 3 years ago #

  28. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    ? The topic of this thread is " Why is WordPress still the most frustrating software to use? " As a noob on WP I saw the topic title and posted my thoughts on the subject matter. After spending yet another 15 hours over the last two days on WP I finally after 4 months less 2 days got to the point where I went WOW ...finally, I can now ":START" to do something usefull with this app. Now the wordpress 24 hour trainer book and the wordpress for dummies book can start me on the road to using WP. Now the dashboard, that to someone thats been using DP apsp since the mid 80s like Calimus on the Atari and Publisher on the PC, is useable even though its still like dancing a foxtrot to build a 747. No new topic is required to post "Why is WordPress still the most frustrating software to use? " This is "the" thread and, my last post on this on because now after 4 months of trying to get my head around the deep black hole that is the learning curve to get up and running, to even start using WP Im finally on my way. Is WP frustrating? You bet your life it is.

  29. s_ha_dum
    Posted 3 years ago #

    WordPress is software. As with all software there are things you have to learn. Anybody can download LibreOffice (Office Suite similar to MS Office) or GiMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) and open or create files, but to do anything interesting you have to learn stuff. It boggles my mind that so many people think they can install WordPress and use it effectively without learning anything. In what other arena is that true?

  30. alexmcginness
    Posted 3 years ago #

    Not so. I just didnt think Id have to invest 4 months to get to the point of starting to begin with it. The title of the thread is "Why is WordPress still the most frustrating software to use? From the perspective of someone just starting on WP, I posted from my own experience how frustrating and time consuming WP is to even start to use it. Its been a four month black hole for me. I remember back in 1985 when I bought my first Atari and a music program called Notator. It took me a solid week of starting at 8 in the morning until 2am for 7 straight days to get that app up and running and using it to edit midi and make backing tracks, on top of learning the computer itself. Four months on this wonderfully "easy" app called WP has gotten me to the same point. I can now start using WP.

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