WordPress Tweaks (A Grumble)

It seems I am not the only one who hates the “new and improved” stats page on Wordpress. In fact, looking at the comments on the page where the company announced the release, it’s almost universally loathed. I had a play around with it yesterday and though it is attractive and streamlined, it tells me nothing useful. If anything, I have to look harder to find information I need.

*Sigh* I don’t know why WordPress keep introducing changes that people do not like. In this new round of updates, they’ve discarded the most recent form of writing a post (the attractive yet scaled down one from header page where there appeared to be no toolbox or anything else of use from the dashboard method of posting), giving all of those functions back to the Dashboard – nobody is mourning it, least of all me.

When they first changed the stats, moving it away from the blog and to the wordpress.com site a couple of years ago, all hell broke loose. It didn’t look any different at the time and it felt too many unnecessary clicks in separating the dashboard from the front page. Give them their due though, what was then the new stats page increased in functionality as the months passed and it gave us a lot more information. I never liked that the dashboard felt like a site within a site while it was still my preferred admin method but they have recently partly corrected that (more in a mo).

stats1

Since I changed my blog name to Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink, I have been far more concerned with my SEO and writing the sort of content that people would want to visit from the web rather than just attracting readers from WordPress tag surfer. After all, at the time I was working out a plan of earning a living from writing. As you can see I am now averaging 50-60 hits per day (with over 90 for yesterday) and I want to at least maintain a solid 1500 hits per month and improve on it.

I’m hoping my blog will be key to selling my fiction rather than my professional services. The latter would be great but as that stands, it’s unlikely until I can improve my hits far more dramatically and attract more business related traffic. As it is, most people coming here are looking for book reviews, writing advice and my essays on such things as social commentary in science fiction.

Needless to say, I have become a bit of a stats geek. I have been keeping a close eye on where my hits are coming from, what sort of content they are looking for, the keywords they are using to get here etc. The new page – when I found it under (bizarrely) My Sites when it used to have its own Stats short cut, tells me nothing more that I couldn’t get from the other page. So what is the problem? They layout is harder to navigate and it looks clunky and dumbed down too. There’s no neat little tables that you can quickly look over. There’s too much scrolling, too much clicking and ultimately it’s not easy to get around. The summary page is gone – the page that was my lifeblood to clawing my way up to getting more hits in a month than some blogs get in a year – has been taken away. You may still visit the older stats page, but for how much longer I do not know.

I understand that they want to appeal to tablet users but people are not about to discard their laptops en masse in favour of tablets. Besides which, tablet users have a very useful and functional Wordpress app (I use it on my phone and my Kindle Fire). Laptop users only have the website.

Somebody has made a very big mistake and as a paying customer (I have paid for my domain name) I have certainly registered my displeasure.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

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10 thoughts on “WordPress Tweaks (A Grumble)

  1. Well, since you linked back to my post (thank you) you know that I agree. I just don’t understand why the folks at WordPress make these kind of changes, unannounced and unneeded, and then have to revert back to the old way when people complain. There are other areas where they could focus their attention. And, gee, wouldn’t it be nice if they asked some of us who blog regularly to give them some feedback before they move these changes to production?

    By the way, do you not have a “like” button on your blog? I couldn’t find it.

    1. Hi and thanks for your comment.

      It annoys me because i am one of their paying customers and nobody asked anything of anyone – they just got lumped on us again.

      I switched off likes a couple of years ago when what I call “like spamming” was at chronic levels. Ridiculous that a 2000 word essay could have 6 likes but no hits within 3 minutes of posting.

      1. That used to happen to me (“instant likes”) when I first started blogging on WordPress, but not so much anymore.

        I also pay for my own domain, and I would think we’d at least get some forewarning and possibly even asked for our feedback. This is ridiculous.

      2. The problem was, it was the same blogs liking everything. I doubt I will switch them back on while a WordPress user can still like a post from the reader where it only shows an image and just two lines. That -for me – defeats the purpose of the feature.

  2. I also don’t like the new stats page. It provides less information and I honestly don’t even find it more attractive.
    Although I’m not trying to use my blog for business purposes, I also love looking at where my referrers come from. Recently it’s been a bit more from Twitter, which reflects one of my goals to use Twitter more often as a tool for networking/driving traffic. The search terms (when available) are also telling and occasionally hilarious. The country information helps me decide what time to post in order to cater to my largest audience. For me, it’s the U.S., which isn’t surprising given that 1) I’m American 2) this country is so dang huge. Given 2, I wish it’d tell me by state or at least region due to time zones, but I suppose that would be overkill for most other countries.

    1. I had a conversation on a Daily Post thread with an admin who said that we are likely to lose the search terms information because Google are becoming increasingly secretive about it. Even if they revert to the old stats, that feature will probably disappear, sadly.

      As for the country of origin, overwhelmingly I got my hits from the UK (where I’m from) but all that changed this week when the US surpassed my own country for the first time. It was a trend that started to reverse at the beginning of this year when the UK had something like a 2500 hit lead. I have no explanation for it but I’m pleased that my blog has international appeal 🙂

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