Woo hoo! It’s the weekend: WordpPress.com 2.5 upgrade

My blog interface just changed to 2.5 without any prior announcement. I imagine it’s going to be an interesting weekend on the wordpress.com support forums for two reasons.

(1) Most wordpress.com bloggers that I know haven’t bothered to test drive the new interface on the demo site that I posted about previously.

(2) Those who haven’t done the test driving will be unaware of the functionality changes when it comes to widgets.

Mark has now placed a sticky post at the head of the forum containing instructions. But based on my history of answering over 7,000 questions there, I’m betting that most bloggers probably will not read it.

Related posts:
WordPress 2.5 Upgrade Changes for WordPress.com bloggers
WordPress 2.5: An Easy Upgrade Guide

Here’s the official announcement.

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37 thoughts on “Woo hoo! It’s the weekend: WordpPress.com 2.5 upgrade

  1. Pingback: TeckLine

  2. @rain
    Matt hired happy cog to do the original design work and they are numero uno. It’s too bad he felt he had to muck with their design but not surprising. It’s Shuttle all over again.

    With the number of outstanding tickets pertaining to 2.5 functionality issues that arose with self-hosting bloggers from wordpress.org after upgrading, one would think that the way to go was “‘fixing” the bugs that were reported by the self-hosting bloggers before doing the wordpress.com upgrade. It seems there are about 888 outstanding tickets pertaining to functionality (according to disfunctional’s forum post) but the program was “full steam ahead” so I’m not surprised by the fall-out.

    “I haven’t tried much, so I haven’t experienced breakage.”

    As far as you answering forum questions to solve technical problems I’m convinced that without Richard providing the testing and the answers on 2.5 first for forum volunteers, that you would have no 2.5 answers to give but do correct me if I’m wrong. It’s a good thing that staff worked on this throughout the weekend because they are the only ones with backend access. And when volunteers muck about instead of sending bloggers to staff on technical things, they merely frustrate the process and delay the bloggers from getting the technical assistance that they need, thereby heightening emotions.

    Change always upsets people. I had repeatedly tested 2.5 on the demo site previous to its sudden announced arrival at wordpress.com so, setting aside the functionality issues, I did not find it disturbing. I even posted on this blog encouraging wp.com bloggers to try out the demo site but then I watched wordpress.com bloggers go on about their merry way rather than doing so.

    When the change was made the wp.com users, who had no prior notice, reacted by becoming emotional. Who can fault them for that? After all what we experienced once again was management by stealth. Of course the chorus of the fanboys who laud and applaud every change made can also be heard. Heck they have even been posting into forum threads acting as wordpress apologists when they have no answers to give to the questions posed by the bloggers who posted them.

  3. I have to say, I’m finding the new dashboard to be a radical improvement on the old, for reasons I have difficulty articulating. It’s like going from a c prompt system to an iMac. It’s just far more intuitive for me, and I adore having the stats on the main Dashboard page. I find the navigation much easier and the layout less “business blue” and stark.

    That said, I haven’t tried much, so I haven’t experienced breakage. I posted a YouTube, edited a comment, and posted an image, all without any issues whatsoever. Usually my system is the first to show problems, because it’s so old.

    PS: the ID number is available from the Edit->Preview or from mouseover on the Manage Posts page. I certainly hope they make a column on that page for it, though. Seems a strange omission.

    And I do wish people would keep their emotions out of the forum. Really, I’m sure every volunteer there is kinder than me but it must be said I don’t go there to help people work through the stages of grief; I go there to solve technical problems.

  4. Those of you who are still experiencing problems can use the “support” button on the top right hand corner of any admin side blog page to report the specific details to staff. Please remember to include your blog’s complete url starting with http:// your operating system, your browser and the version of it that you are using as well as, a very clear statement of the problem. Also note that are there are 888 support tickets at this time that it may be quite some time until staff can get to yours.

    If you’re experiencing problems uploading images, please make sure you’re running the current version of Flash. Confirm that here: http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_15507 It probably won’t solve all issues but is a necessary first step.

    If you’re wondering how to use the new uploader to add an image to your post, please see Matt’s short screencast here: http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/07/16/how-do-i-upload-pictures/

    For additional suggestions consult Richard’s post.

    If you are no longer able to find the ID number of a Page so you can exclude certain Pages from your Pages widget then you are not alone. There are also reports that the Author’s widget no longer functions.

  5. You folks are making me wonder if I made a mistake just now installing WP on my site. After the install, there was a link that said “update available” or something like that and I followed it. I just sent support at my hosting company a note asking about updating.

    In the past, I’ve used MoveableType over at my blog at http://www.unspun.us (which lately is mostly on blogatus). I’m wondering if I should have stuck with that.

    Well, what’s done is done (for now). I’m going to give things a whirl.

    On the other hand, my new Probable Cause (www.rhedefense.com/blog) got installed with some older version of WP.

  6. A change if it is meant to be in adding more functions, additional features and making a blogger’s life an easy one [especially if that particular blogger is not a tech geek] is welcomed.

    After two years with wordpress.com I decided to move to wordpress.org and now my new blogs are of course 2.5 version. I was used to wordpress.com dashboard, but wasn’t a big deal for me, though I am not a geek, to get around the new, updated 2.5 dashboard. OK, there are a few details which need attention, from both ends, that is from the blogger’s side as well as from the guys at wordpress. For example the Media Library is not functional as it should be.

    However, I was not discouraged to use the new update, in fact I can say its a positive change. And as far as wordpress becoming a social network, well, do not be afraid, its not gonna be another facebook or my space. Social is not only that kind of online activity. There are many forms of it and be sure that [if you read and follow the wordpress announcements] it will shake many other future-wanna-be-social-networks websites. Let’s see the future coming!

  7. Not a great start for some Mac users who can’t load images into their posts after successfully uploading them into the gallery. It just doesn’t work. Also, significant slowdown and frequent screen freezes everywhere on WordPress. Running Firefox (clean cache) on a Macbook Pro. Never had any issues with 2.3. :(

    And it’s ugly too.

  8. @Root
    It’s certainly not the kind of fun that most folks want to have on a weekend. I have a couple of social events to attend myself and then I’m going to enjoy a relaxing Sunday. ;-)

  9. On text widgets not being editable, if you are using IE, several have reported this issue and switching to Firefox took care of the problem. Until staff sorts it out, my suggestion is to download and use Firefox. Once the bug is exterminated, you can uninstall Firefox if you wish and go back to IE.

  10. @Brian,
    I appreciate the feedback and I’m sure others will too as the “edit” function is not longer intuitive and the placement is unexpected.

    Writing a post is the same, it’s just the tabs are in different places. The old ‘Post Slug’ is now ‘Edit’ directly to the right of the permalink below your title. You can edit the old ‘Time Stamp’ by clicking the ‘Publish’ tab and the drop down time opens.

  11. @Dave,
    Thanks so much for sharing your widget solution with us.

    I ’ve done some more editing and moving around of widgets on my self-hosted blog, and one thing I’ve found that keeps them from losing their contents (following a tip from someone on the .org forums) is to make sure all the text widgets are open whenever I hit the “save” button, even if the changes are in a non-text widget.

  12. @Collin
    I test drove the new interface on the demo site several times before they surprised us and upgraded wp.com to 2.5 yesterday — woo hoo! it’s weekend. I changed the interface to ‘classic” to get rid of the bright red band that seemed to be screaming Right Now! at me and telling me to write a post or a page. No, I have not made a decision yet. I have to do some more test driving before I start my feedback. ;-)

  13. @Richard,
    I want to thank you for providing answers where you could. As you know I cannot see very well right now and I’m troubled with migraine headaches so I really appreciate your contribution to my blog and your support for me as your friend. :-)

  14. @vegeyum

    For multiple file uploads, when you click on the “choose files to upload” button and the window pops up for you to choose, just select multiple file names. To select several in a row, click on the first name and then shift-click on the last. To select multiple files that are in different locations in the list, select the first on, then use ctrl-click (windows) or cmd-click (mac) to select the files and then click “open” and it will upload them all.

  15. Boo!

    I love it. Not sure about the big orange bar, but otherwise everything works peachy for me.

    Glad to hear your glasses are coming – welcome to the overpriced eyewear club!

    Did you make a decision yet? ;)

  16. @robertstevenson
    When the blank screen is up, right click on it and choose reload or refresh or reload frame, or whatever your browser calls it and that will get the popup window up and running for you. Do that with any page or popup that comes up blank. WordPress is taking advantage of some very sophisticated and fast server side caching which is going to make our dashboards and blog load far quicker than with the previous version.

  17. I generally like the changes but am not liking the image handling. Before I could copy and paste html code for image+link-to-page in one move. Now, it looks like I have to write the html myself every time I want such a link in a page other than the one that I uploaded the image in.

    I am also not sure about uploading multiple images at once. Can’t see how to do that.

    Hope this is fixed. I like a lot of the other changes.

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  19. I didn’t like the changes as well last night, but after sleeping on it, I think the new dashboard will work out fine. It has some bugs, but what doesn’t? They fixed the image insertion last night so that pictures go into the post rather than a separate link. I also changed the color though, can’t stand the weird colors they chose. If you click on your name at the top right, you have a choice to return to the ‘Classic Blue’ color.

    Writing a post is the same, it’s just the tabs are in different places. The old ‘Post Slug’ is now ‘Edit’ directly to the right of the permalink below your title. You can edit the old ‘Time Stamp’ by clicking the ‘Publish’ tab and the drop down time opens.

  20. TimeThief I know they are not going to change it back which IMO is a huge mistake. Not having options for loyal users is aggravating. And I am not holding my breath I am just taking my blog else where. I need ad support anyway and wordpress.com is the wrong place for it. And with the new changes wordpress.org is out.

    With too many people that like it I am shit out of luck. I will be moving my blog else where. I am not in to wordpress becoming a social network. I am not in to any of the changes. The bottom line is they lost a blogger and I am sure it means nothing to them. Their hard work is fucking awful to me. I didn’t ask for the changes and I am not about to give praise to them for screwing it up. The dashboard is a major eye sore and blogging is terrible now. I blog 5 to 15 posts per day and this new system IMO is so bad it makes it impossible for me to want to blog.

    Again sorry for dumping on you but I feel pissed off about not having a choice and it puts my back up against the wall. Accept these new awful changes or else. Well I choose or else.

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  22. Your title made me chuckle, because that was my reaction, too, thinking of course of WordPress Wank’s endless cynicism about such things. Keeping staff on the job throughout the weekend makes up for that, i guess – but it has to suck for the staff people.

    Re: text widgets, I’ve done some more editing and moving around of widgets on my self-hosted blog, and one thing I’ve found that keeps them from losing their contents (following a tip from someone on the .org forums) is to make sure all the text widgets are open whenever I hit the “save” button, even if the changes are in a non-text widget. Since I started doing that two days ago, I haven’t lost anything further.

  23. I am soooooooooooooo glad you wrote about this. I thought I was going crazy. I was about to change themes thinking my recent purchase and later experimenting with Custom CSS caused the change.

    I am having trouble uploading images. My screen goes blank after I choose import and upload. Instead I copy the pic url and paste it on a separate uplink.

  24. @Teck
    My report will be forthcoming. But rather than addressing the changes as Richard will do I will keep my attention focused on management and staff’s responsiveness to the user feedback. ;-)

  25. Happy Birthday Skykid!
    I’m glad you like some changes. I like some of them too. However, there are other very worrisome ones that will have to be dealt with. Here at wordpress.com we do not have plugins and many bloggers rely on text widgets. They are about to find out that the old functionality that preserved the data in text widgets when moving them around is gone —. So unless they have backed up the data in their text widgets they are in for a very rough ride.

  26. @scandalouscandice
    I assume this took you totally by surprise and that you did not test drive the new admin interface in the demo site.

    IMO holding out for a change back to the old dashboard interface is an exercise in futility. Matt hired new “support” staff called “happiness engineers”. Hanni, Mydevirus and echo1123 were hired months ago now. They have not been seen on the support fourms frequently because they have been hard at work preparing for this. And there’s much more to come such as, preparing for a re-write of the FAQs, preparing for gravatar integration and integration with buddypress. Yes, wordpress.com is about to become a huge social network.

    As far as your unfamiliarity with the new interface goes and your dislike of it — this is a historic occasion, apparently wp.com support will be open all weekend. Yes I do mean that staff are apparently working the forums this weekend, rather than volunteers.

    IMO you ought to make a list of the things that you find unworkable and unacceptable about the new interface and submit it to staff. Surely that’s a more sensible way to proceed than breaking every link in your blog, losing your page rank and setting up from scratch at Blogger.

  27. update we have a “Gallery” feature now. That mark, has been using for awhile now and it looks like we can add “MP3″ Files :)

  28. Hello TimeThief , thank you for directing me to the demo site & yes I did test drive the new dashboard at the demo site many times before the upgrade came over to wp.com I really like it better than the old version.

    How about you TimeThief, do you like the new “dashboard”changes

    Teck :)

  29. So far I think that the new changes are pretty neat . It surprised me as well – but it happened today on my birthday – what a nice gift ( :

  30. Sorry. I hate all of the changes. There is no beta version for 2.5. and its forcing me to leave wordpress.I want to go back to the old version and it looks like thats not happening. All of the new changes are bothersome and irritating. I despise changes this drastic that make no offer for a beta version first. I don’t want to learn to use this new version, I don’t want to have to relearn the system that I was already comfortable with. Thats why wordpress was so great because people are are not technical, or new to blogging had an easy time learning the tricks of the trade. And this new system is ugly, (huge eye sore with the red bar), it’s jumbled (all of the important stats I need to see are not where I need them to be and no option to move it around), and the font is so ridiculously small I can barely read the dashboard page. I realize I can change it manually, but it pisses me off that I have to do that. I realize I am venting here by dumping all of this on you, but I feel backed in to a corner with the new changes.

  31. I hate the new changes. And I despise that there is no option to have the older version. I hate when people think that everyone wants a change so they make these drastic changes. I am going to probably pull my blog off of wordpress. I can’t deal with the changes.

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