WP Update & Pet Peeve No. 2

This is the second Monday in a row where I’ve wanted to explore an idea, but I’ve run out of time. Monday posts are always hard to pull together, especially after a busy week and/or a weekend of must-see football. I usually start writing Monday’s post on Saturday, but Pitt and WVU (University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University) played and won back-to-back football games on Saturday.

I’ve thought about moving my Monday post to Tuesday, but I’m not sure I want to post three days in a row. I used to post on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. When I started participating in One-Liner Wednesday, I moved the Tuesday post to Monday to avoid the three-day sprint. So, it’s Linda’s fault. If she didn’t have such a compelling prompt…nah, I can’t blame her.

Part of me says, “just publish a post when you’re ready” but then I remember that there are people looking for a post on Monday. Actually, they’re looking for a notification email, and when they don’t get one, they poke around my blog looking for one. I deeply appreciate the fact that people come looking for a post. I wish I could tell you that the Happiness Engineers have fixed that problem, but two things tell me they haven’t:

1) Some of my readers complain that they aren’t getting notifications.

2) The updates I get from the technical support thread I follow include notes like: “User *** wishes to be updated on the issue once resolved” and “User *** is still experiencing the issue after 5 months” and a most disturbing one, “Internal report of subscriber popularity breakdown, to scope how big this issue could be ***.” Because let’s not take Dan’s word for it, let’s analyze an internal report that indicates subscriber popularity might be dropping.

Other comments on the technical thread indicate that the problem might be bigger than they think, and that user complaints that have been categorized under other issues, may be part of a larger problem that includes the subscriber-dropping problem. That brings me to the pet peeve part of the title – categories.

Several weeks ago, I mentioned changing your site identity so that your Twitter handle gets listed when people share your post on Twitter. A good message, but largely ignored – the story of my career, at least when I conducted training.

Today, I’m going to mention my other pet peeve. When I see a post and I look at the category and see that it is “uncategorized.”

For me, categories are essential. My topics span from travel to do-it-yourself to Blogging (where this post is categorized) to Thursday Doors, SoCS, One-liner Wednesday, etc. Suppose you only like my DIY posts. Do you want to sift through all the other stuff to find more like the one you just read? If not, click on the category.

OK, that’s it.  Happy Monday and I hope you have a good week.

Rivergirl will like today’s gallery. I raided The Editor’s camera because she has the only evidence of Baby Smoke. Yes, we have a baby black squirrel running around the yard. I do mean running. He (or she) is so fast, we haven’t been able to get a good picture. Anyway, while looking for Baby Smoke, I stumbled on several pictures of bunnies. They are from earlier in the year, but they are new to me. I hope you enjoy seeing them. I am trying a Block gallery. Apparently, if you want to see the captions you have to click – I’ll move back to the Classic gallery on Wednesday.

73 comments

  1. Ah, WordPress, a topic that is relevant to a lot of us. The newby I’ve notice is that when I want to ‘preview’ I have to choose how I want to do it. Geez, folks, all I want to do is check for errors not answer a multiple choice test. If you have time, could you tell me how you do a Classic gallery. Great photo of Maddie, and your local zoo has nothing on you and the Editor. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • When creating a post in the Block editor, insert a Classic Block. If you don’t see it, start typing “C L..” in the Block search bar above the blocks that are presented. It will appear as a choice. One inserted, click into it and the old Classic menu will appear at the top of the block. Click on th icon that looks like a camera and a musical note. That will bring you to the familiar Classic Media page. Click “Gallery” on the left hand side and follow the prompts.

      In fact, you can create your entire post in a single Classic block, if you are having trouble with the other block elements.

      The preview option is annoying, especially when the “in new tab” option is non-responsive.

      I hope you have a nice, albeit wet week, Judy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Firstly, is the extra bunny in the same photo as Maddie? I can’t find it. It’s a lovely photo. Secondly, I did receive the email notification about your post but it was in the third section of Gmail called Promotions where only your blog’s notifications are directed, for some reason. Maybe that’s why your followers don’t see them. Thirdly, I was astonished last week when I chose the block Gallery (which you may call Classic gallery) after some time and realised that not only it allows nice big photos but they also get captions without a need to click on them! The gallery doesn’t include my beloved colourful background, but I prefer big photos with captions visible without clicking (or two photos side by side as in my yesterday’s post). Anyway, I wish all your WP trouble is resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I know the gallery you’re talking about. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, my – often longer – captions cover too much of the photo. I keep trying. I’m sure I’ll find one I like that is easy to read. The extra bunny just refers to the fact that there are four bunny photos today. Don’t get me started on Gmail. I get notifications in every imaginable tab. I always have to check all three, even after I set up rules (filters) to control where they are supposed to go. I hope you have a good week, Manja.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve noticed a drop in my stats over the last few months as well. I was chalking it up to Covid, but have had followers dropped as well.
    But more importantly… bunnies! A veritable plethora of bunnydom!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In my years with WordPress, I have tried to follow quite a few blogs but the Follow usually doesn’t “take.” I rarely try to follow any blog any more. As for your photos, I needn’t say that I skimmed quickly over the dreaded rabbits, but I loved the photo of what looks like a blue jay in silhouette and that playground — how inviting! I’d regret it, but I’d climb. All the park photos are wonderful and Maddie certainly shows to perfection in autumn (I think she knows it).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sorry to blast you with so many bunny pictures, Maureen. Hopefully you appreciate knowing that these guys weren’t involved in the destruction in your garden. Maddie does seem to know just how pretty she is. I hope you have a nice week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Dan – those are long legged bunnies – almost like hares?! Baby Smoke … while his parents are black as coal aren’t they. Love the photos and matching Maddie with the Autumnal colours. I have to say it suits me to post when I get there … usually four times a month, but occasionally more and just sometimes less! Cheers – have a good week – we’ve just had your storm rock through: short and terse with a few hailstones! Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope we don’t have any hail, Hilary. We have a ot of black squirrels this year, but we had never seen a baby before. He’s very elusive, and he runs fast. I try to keep a schedule, but I think it’s more my OCD than anything else driving that choice. I hope you have a nice week.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, I’m bummed by the “uncatorgorized” new trend on WordPress. Always before we had the option and I haven’t been able to find it with the “new, improved” version. it’s harder to do tags, as well. As one of my favorite engineers once said, “the more you monkey with the system, the easier it is to throw in a monkey wrench.” It would help if these guys knew what writers wanted and left it easy for us. Not impressed with the new improved version of WordPress, but living with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you hit the nail on the head, CJ. Maybe it would help if they asked what people want. I don’t think they did that, or if they did, they didn’t ask bloggers. Maybe companies like the new features. When I ran our company website, we bought a plugin that worked very much like the Block Editor. That was so we could enforce a style on the contributions of a bunch of people. I don’t need that.

      Like

  7. Oh, thank you for the autumn foliage! We haven’t had a really colorful fall in several years now, so I really appreciate your generosity in sharing. That “color in the park” one looks like a Maxfield Parrish painting. Makes me happy! :) –oh, I’ve been getting my email notifications this past week! Shhh! Don’t tell the HEs; they’ll “fix” it and I won’t get them anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ok, I will admit to being partially guilty here. When I started bogging my categories and tags were a mess. I have cleaned up some but it is a lot of work. I am chipping away at it. I do build some of my menus by categories which does help keep me in line. I quit putting captions on most of my photos but I always enjoy reading yours. I have not lost followers, it I do think readership has slowed down. I just chalked it up to COVID fatigue. I still get notifications from your blog via email. Have a great week, Dan. We are heading back up to the parkway either today or tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maggie. Wanting people to use categories and tags is selfish on my part. I might remember that someone wrote about a certain subject, but I’ll never remember when. I like being able to search people’s blogs.

      I look forward to more pictures from the parkway :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. LOVE the picture of the red tree where the clouds behind it look like a display of fireworks! You know I love Maddie in the vibrant sunshine turning her feathers to gold. And Baby Smoke……buy more peanuts Dan, you have quite a collection of permanent tenants.

    Bunnies galore. And the bird on the branch is quietly beautiful.

    Enjoy the rain that’s coming. I’m sure you have plenty of inside chores to keep you out of trouble!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. It’s time to make room in the garage for two cars. A nice rainy day(s) project.

      Baby Smoke is the cutest little thing ever. He’s so fast, and so skittish, that we haven’t been able to get a clear photo. These guys are foraging up a storm out there, but we still have peanuts when they ask.

      No walk for Maddie today – “dry my HEAD!” but no walk.

      Like

  10. WP is a world unto its own. Frustrating for sure. As always, I love your photos, Dan. When I walk in the morning, I often see a beautiful cottontail rabbit but I’ve yet to see a squirrel. Maybe today… 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve been back to blogging for less than a week and WP is already annoying me again. I don’t get email notifications from anyone. I use Feedly to follow people and it is reliable. I mention Feedly often, but like you and your message about Twitter, I’m ignored.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I may start using something like that. Fortunately, I haven’t had too many problems getting notifications, but having people be notified of my posts has been a mess since March. I want this to be as simple as it should be. I should be able to decide if I want to follow someone (in the Reader) and / or get email notifications and that should be it. That should work. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing you can click by mistake to unfollow a blog. You can do it, but it’s a conscious effort. This is a bug, and I’m not even sure all of WordPress believes that yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I must be in my own little world here but I don’t have any problems checking the boxes for categories and tags. ‘Course now I just jinxed myself! ‘Internal report of subscriber popularity breakdown’–seriously, WP? Well, there’s the problem–they can’t even keep it simple! Ridiculous. Maddie looks so pretty in sunlight and your autumn colors are so pretty. I’m looking out the window now–nope. Not a fall-colored leaf in sight. Happy Monday, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Monday Lois. You can live with the lack of color. Three months from now, you’ll be able to look out the window and say, “nope, no snow in sight. I hope Dan has that snow blower working.”

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Monday to you too, Dan. Thanks to the Editor for the bunny pictures. I loved seeing the 2 black squirrels together. The Squirrels and chipmunks are about the only things I miss from my DC neighborhood. There weren’t any black ones on my block but they had scattered territories around the area. That orange-red tree at your crossing spot is spectacular. Great composition. I’m glad you enjoyed the football games. Hugs to you, the Editor, and all the furry crew.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan. I’m glad you liked these pictures. They may have to hold you for a while, it doesn’t look good for walking anytime soon around here. Maddie will be depressed. The squirrels have stepped their gathering into high gear. They take whatever we give them, but they’re gathering everything else as well.

      I hope you have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Maddie looked beautiful in that light, and so many bunnies! The Editor had a lot of good ones in there.

    Fall is gorgeous there. That orange tree with the blue sky is glorious.
    I haven’t been able to get out and get some images here because of a head cold, and now that I’m feeling better we’ve had rain for 3 days. It’s so nice having rain! We have had over 2 inches already and we might get up to 4 inches today. We may have half our rainfall for the year by mid week.

    I hope one day the WP issues are resolved and no new bugs are added!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you guys are getting some much needed rain, Deborah. It would be good if the west gets a normal amount of precipitation going forward. The water situation is getting scary. I hope you feel well enough to get out when you can.

      We have three of four days of rain coming. I think that might close the door on autumn leaves, except for the oak trees that like to fall two weeks after the leaf dump closes for the year.

      One day, WP will get this mess fixed. It can’t come soon enough for me. I hope you have a great week.

      Like

  15. I despair of the Horrible Eunuchs ever doing anything to benefit their subscribers. They spend far too much time in dark windowless rooms fingering their computers. Oh, I am evil! Wonderful pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dan at moments like this it is always important to remember that the internet is a camel that was invented and subsequently patched way too many times by reusable code that was used in a manner for which it never was intended. When you take into consideration no one was expecting this to happen during a rash of sunspots it all starts to make a little sense. And we have not even factored in that it is Monday. I always enjoy when I observe comments veering off towards the Bermuda Triangle. The entire comment being highlighted for moments before it is sucked into the vortex. Whether or not the comment eventually appears being randomly determined by the speed and direction of the vortex. Happy Monday ! And nice pics today !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. I love that I can always rely on you to put crazy things into a proper perspective. The overuse, misuse and illegal use of what-should-never-have-been-considered-reusable code, is something I totally understand. But we all know, it’s easier that way, and we aren’t in business to serve customers, we’re here to make money.

      Happy Monday. Steer clear of the vortex.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I like your explanation of your schedule and how you have a day for everything and everything on its day, except when it changes. There was a sketch on a TV show once where they started announcing changes like that, and they got so complicated that the guy said “forget it! Check TV Guide!”

    Like

  18. Your pet peeves are my pet peeves too. I’m loving the color on your walks. Looks like things are beginning to happen fall-wise. Since I’m on a six-day schedule I can appreciate how things get disrupted if the schedule isn’t kept. I always try to write the post before the game and use game time for e-mails.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Almost all of them have resubscribed and been dropped over and over. The WordPress engineers analyzed one and found that she was unsubscribed even when she hadn’t yet resubscribed. It’s like something is targeting these users over and over. I’m glad this hasn’t affected you, Janis. Let’s hope it stays that way. The engineers tell me that have escalated this to a high level, but so far, it hasn’t yielded any results.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is all so weird. Some people continue to get notifications while others are repeatedly dropped. Some people can easily set categories and some can’t. It’s like WordPress has a mind of its own. I wish we could all just get back to blogging.

      We have rabbits ranging from big boys to itty bits. We’ve seen more this year than any before.

      i hope you have a nice week.

      Like

  19. If you only knew the number of posts I’ve written in my head… I have a thriving blog that only I can read. 😏

    Not having been around much lately, you don’t happen to know why currently WP is putting a space after every apostrophe in the post text??

    Love the autumn colours. Glorious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – I wish we had access to the posts in your head.

      I don’t see the spacing issue, but it might be something with my theme. I had to change themes abruptly last month. I didn’t have much time to test it

      It looks like our autumn colors are going to wash away this week. We are expecting a lot of rain. I hope your week is a good one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s actually not just you. It’s every blog post I open including my own. But it only seems to be happening on the app not the website so I guess it’s an app issue. Unfortunately there’s no update pending so I guess I’ll have to tolerate it until they fix it.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Ahh, WordPress. I’ve been having that problem again of highlighting an entire phrase to italicize/link/whatever and then having only a bit of it work. It took me six tries the other day to italicize a quote. NOT a way to make a blogger happy. Sigh.

    I enjoyed the bunnies, especially as they’re not eating anything in my yard and here I don’t know what they’d be eating anyway. I’m pretty sure they can’t pole vault over the wall in the back yard or unlatch the gate so I think we’re good. Love the Baby Smoke shot. It makes him appear to be vanishing like, well, smoke. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just started having the highlight problem. I had a little luck triple-clicking on the text to highlight all of the text before trying to bold of italicize it.

      The bunnies are enjoying the yard. We haven’t had a hard frost yet so there’s still plenty for them to eat.

      Baby Smoke is the first baby black squirrel we’ve ever seen. He’s skittish and fast. I hope we can get some better photos of him later this week – if it ever stops raining.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Not categorising blog posts is like going to the library to find a specific book on gardening and finding that none of the books in the library has been categorised. It’s like throwing all your blog posts onto a big pile, pointing out the pile to visitors and telling them to find that post they’re looking for.

    It may be that some bloggers don’t know how to categorise their posts, but there is lots of information on WordPress on how to do it. If I can’t find what I’m looking for on a blog, Dan, I unfollow it. My time is precious, and I don’t have the time to look for information when it should be easily accessible on a blog. Your post acts as a great reminder to us all. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hugh. I’m not sure people realize that others might want to search through their blog for information or entertainment. I noticed that a few people commented that WordPrss isn’t letting them set a category. That’s discouraging. I think it might be that the categories and tags are not visible when the focus is on any one block. Those features apply to the post. I know I often have to switch back to the Post options. I do think the Editor interface could be more intuitive, or at least remind people of where they are. More contrast, subtitles, maybe even a warning – “you haven’t added any tags.”

      I find it frustrating when I’m writing a post and I remember that someone else wrote about a similar topic. I want to reference their post, but I can’t find it. I’ve pointed to an instructional post you wrote early this year, in comments to others. When posts are easy to find, works!

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I draft a new post, if I don’t see the category and tags options, I always click the ‘settings’ button in the top right corner of the drafts page. It acts as a reminder to give the post a category and to add tags, Dan. However, I’ve been blogging for a long time, so I automatically realise that I need to add both. I’ve not heard of the problem of not being able to set categories. That’s something users should report to WordPress when it happens because they need to be aware of it. I also have ‘uncategorised’ set as my default option for all posts. It helps me identify any posts that I did forget to categorise.

        Your idea of WordPress alerting users who forget to add categories and tags is a great idea. I’m sure it would help many.

        Likewise, when they don’t categorise posts, and there’s so search bar option either, I won’t waste my time looking for their post. I’ll only pingback to the posts of bloggers who make it easy for their readers and me to find previous blog posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Life is what it is, Dan. Without the challenges, can you imagine how boring each day would be? Still, WP has got some annoying issues. So far, I haven’t had any problems with notification, at least any that my audience are telling me about. Is it an issue with just the accounts above the ‘free’ ones? If so, is it something that perhaps you’re doing and aren’t realizing it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • As far as the engineers can tell, Glynis, there’s no common element. There are people who have not been affected by this, and there’s a woman who has resubscribed well over a dozen times and keeps getting dropped.

      I generally like challenges, but a boring day might be nice once in a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Such beautiful photos Dan! I too have had issues with notifications and as a result I’m sometimes late when I suddenly remember I have not seen some of my favorite blogs around.
    Whenever you choose to post we will always be waiting eagerly. Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Dan, I always have good intentions when I read your posts about doing this like categorising my posts, but when I have when I could tackle the problem, something else always pops up. My posts are not categorised and may never be, sadly. I read all of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts or join the discussion. One relevant link is OK, more require moderation. Markdown is supported.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.