What I Hated the Least Today 178/365: Old WordPress Editor

The old
The old

I’m all for innovations and no adherent of If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m disappointed with myself that I still use the old WordPress editor because I can’t deal with the new and improved one.

My general complaint about the new editor (which is now getting old, when you think about it) is its limited functionality. I like to be in control and I don’t like it when any application tries to presume that I don’t know what I’m doing and attempts to help me with it. There’s an easier way to create on WordPress.com. Switch to the improved editor, says the banner in old WordPress admin area. That’s actually a fair way to advertise it: it is easier to use the new editor because it doesn’t allow you to do fancy things.

Among the actions that you can’t do in the new editor and that I regularly perform are these:

  • Switch to a distraction-free mode. I don’t normally hide navigation elements, certainly not when writing in an offline text editor like MS Word, but this function of the old editor has grown on me and it’s hard to give it up.
  • Copy a post. I always use my old posts as a template for new ones. When you copy a post in the old editor, the categories and tags are copied, which comes in handy when you’re like me and blog serially in the sense of, say, 365 projects.
  • Edit an image directly from the new post screen. You can’t resize, crop or rotate the image. You can add a caption and change the display size, but even there, you can’t choose a custom display size.

It’s difficult to switch to an editor in which I can’t do what I’m used to do. I find the trend of withdrawing functions rather than improving the current functions or even adding new ones quite disagreeable (to put it nicely). I hope the old editor will stick around for a while. Sure, it probably needs an update by now, but not really the update it received. This post is very much an ode to the old editor, may it live long and may I not be forced to write an elegy to it any time soon.


Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

34 thoughts

  1. I am so glad it is not just me! I thought I was techno-challenged and had missed the new way to do the old stuff. Now I know you just can’t. Thanks for making me feel less stupid. 🙂


    1. I was blaming myself to start with too, and I spent a lot of time exploring the new editor, trying to find the functions missing, to no avail. I’m glad myself that I’m not the only person who finds the new editor wanting, there seem to be quite a few of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is always sad to find yourself with less. I loved “Picasa” photo editor and now Google has bought it up and you can’t do half of what you used to. Sigh. 🙂


  2. Agreed! These guys remove functionality instead of adding. That’s a little … unusual?! Of your three things, there was only one that I used; distraction free. It’s all so individual, how we work on these things.

    I notice how they quietly add stuff to the new, that I missed in the beginning. Stuff that made me unable to use the new. For example: in the beginning of the new, you couldn’t turn a picture into a link, and have it open in new tab/window. You had to write up your post, and then edit it in the old. Not so anymore.

    Somewhere, in some forum, they have promised the old one will always be around.

    I do try and use the new. In some backward way, I want to give them a chance. Admittedly, I find that there are less and less times I have to go in and edit in the old.


    1. … and I wish there was a way to edit my own comments! I made a typo in the above … an s was added to a word, where it shouldn’t be, and that’s very hurtful to my OCD senses.


    2. Yes, our preferences for the new or the old editor depend so much on how we work with it. I would probably like the new editor very much, had I not known the old one. Now that you mention that they quietly add some functions, I think I saw something like this too – not sure what it was anymore, but when I first tried the editor after it was released, some function wasn’t there, and then suddenly it was. I assumed I just missed it the first time. I hope the old admin area will stay. I like dense, compact admin areas with all the options showing, so that I wouldn’t have to toggle anything to see it in the first place. Inspired by you, I tried to give the new editor another chance, repeatedly, but we’re not good together 😦


      1. Yes, they do add to, all the time. There are lots of functions that weren’t there at first. For example, the list of own posts, when we want to link to an old one — that wasn’t there.

        Hope they’ll stay true to that promise and always let the old one hang around. If we’d never seen it, we would n’t have known 🙂


    1. It’s quite reassuring to hear that you also dislike the new editor and for the same reasons as me. Of course, to start with, I was wondering what was wrong with me. Here’s to hoping that the new editor will get improved over time! Though I was told by a WP Happiness Engineer, when I inquired specifically about the Copy Post function, that it will not be added because few people use it.


    1. Oh, you have’t seen the new editor yet? Well, if you’re happy with the old one, no point in switching and learning to use something new. And, as you see, some bloggers, me including, are happier with the old one anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t like the new post editor, either. But then I dislike change in general, and this was just too much change for me to handle. I hope the old editor (and admin sections) never go away!


  4. This is a serious peeve with me. I despise that ‘new’ editor, it’s pure crap. This is so surprising considering the popularity of WordPress which supposedly powers around 25% of sites on the web now. Those in charge need to get rid of the ‘new’ piece of crap and focus on making small improvements on the ‘old’ editor which is the only one I’ve ever used. i love ya WordPress but your editor problems need to be resolved!


    1. Why, hello, fellow new editor hater 😉 I hate to hate things (Or do I? Hm…), but I can’t help it with the new editor. Judging from your comment and other comments on this post, I’m not alone in my hatred for the new editor, which is intriguing. Could it be that a significant number of bloggers hate the innovation? If so, perhaps WP could really do something about it. Until now, I was more or less assuming that I’m just too particular and that the majority is perfectly happy with the new editor.


    1. I’m glad that you share my sentiments, though of course not glad that you also struggle with the editor innovation that went a bit wrong. At least there’s still the old admin area available 🙂


  5. I always use the old one, unless you count the couple of times I have blogged straight from my phone. I don’t prefer the old one for any particular reason, apart from bloody mindedness.


    1. Please do congratulate yourself on my behalf on not being a particular user 😉 I’m so particular that it annoys me. You actually blog straight from your phone? Hm. Never tried that, too little control over advanced settings on Android (and we’re back to me being a control freak).


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