WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives

WordPress had an editor that worked. They have forcibly replaced it with an editor that doesn’t. There does not seem to be a free way to switch back.

Please, if anyone knows a good alternative hosting service, especially one that can seamlessly transfer over the old blog contents, please share in the comments.

There might be a way to switch back to the old editor if I payed them the ransom money to upgrade my account to Business so I could use plugins, but I don’t want to do that unless I’m positive it will work. If you know for a fact that this would still work, let me know that, too.

Even if I knew it would work, it’s really bad decision theory to pay ransom money, so I’d need to think long and hard before doing it even if the amount of money is trivial. I think that if the service is otherwise good enough it’s mostly all right, since I’ve gotten a lot of value from them, but I also welcome thoughts on that front. I’m pretty furious right now.

Also, the new editor looks like it literally doesn’t function – it already ate a post and keeps telling me I don’t have permissions.

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18 Responses to WordPress Destroys Editing Process, Seeking Alternatives

  1. Amin Sennour says:

    I know a couple of people use https://blot.im/

    I’m really unsure if it will support any of what you’d need, but, it’s a pretty cool FOSS option!

    • rossry says:

      For info, not necessarily perfect for you: I use https://ghost.org/ for https://blog.rossry.net/ — it imports from WordPress, and you can either pay them to host ($360/yr) or download and follow directions to self-host on your favorite cloud server (no one upgrades your editor without your consent, have to run bash commands sometimes).

      I write a post in a single markdown block (because I prefer to use **s to control where the bold is), but they keep advertising the WYSIWYG functions, too.

      Probably my favorite feature, incidentally, is that adding /edit to any post url drops you into the editor for that post.

  2. the change to the block editor seemed to me to be complete idiocy until I started using the Markdown blocks. this way I can write and edit easily on any number of text editors and thus seamlessly transfer to the Markdown blocks and get basically everything right. not sure if this works well enough for you, but it saved me the ransom money and the pain of porting everything to a new platform.

    • TheZvi says:

      Thanks. Say more? This basically means we can just write in any editor we want? Does it get Google Docs and Microsoft Word right? I’ve always been somewhat annoyed that neither of those *quite* imports correctly, and I’d be OK using either.

      • Error says:

        “Text editor” is not quite the same thing as “word processor”. He’s almost certainly talking about composing in Notepad++, vim, emacs, or similar — not Word or Docs.

        WYSIWYG editors inevitably fail at full compatibility with each other (…and at everything else, too, but I’ll spare you the rant). Prefer platforms that will let you use marked-up plain text. Markdown, asciidoc, whatever (not HTML or bbcode, though, those are actively hostile to humans). Text is a universal format.

        Or you could self-host and support whatever you want — that’s what I do — but that can be a pain if you don’t have a sysadmin background.

      • As Error said below, I usually do stuff on gedit or notepad and then paste them into a Markdown block in WP. The blocks let you see previews and edit the code, so you can do minor corrections on the spot. It works for me because I’m used to writing Markdown at GitHub and similar places. I switched to MD specifically because pasting from Google Docs, or MS Word has always been a pain in the ass.

        But it’s also not a very steep curve to learning MD, and it covers all the basics of editing:

        https://guides.github.com/features/mastering-markdown/

  3. My self-hosted WordPress is still letting me use the raw-HTML editor, even after upgrading to WordPress 5.5 (click the “…” menu in the upper right, switch from “Visual Editor” to “Code Editor”)? But this may not satisfy you if you actually want Word or GDocs-like WYSIWYG functionality.

  4. I deploy quite a few jekyll based sites and blogs for my colleagues on campus and for my grant funded project. There’s an exitWP plugin to start migration (And I’ve done that a few times, too). Happy to chat if you want to explore using Markdown for posting. I can also show you how to use pandoc to convert google docs into markdown with little issue, or the various WYSI(K)WYG markdown editors out there. I put my uni email in here, ping me if you’d like me to give you a tour of the various blogs I’ve deployed. I’ve linked the most bloggish one as this comment’s “website”

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  7. rtanen says:

    You could use WordPress software from a vendor that isn’t WordPress.com and get your plugins and such that way? DreamHost has a migration assistant and their free online help chat was helpful when I used it in 2018.

  8. Issa Rice says:

    What happens when you go to https://thezvi.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?classic-editor ? On my wordpress.com sites I can still access the classic editor this way.

  9. Lucy Keer says:

    Just tried out this exciting new ‘feature’ too. I was able to write a post as usual by switching to the ‘Classic’ block. I normally just paste in my posts from a markdown file, but looks like you could also write in the block in the old way, or paste in from Word/Google Docs? Still an annoying extra step though.

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  12. PDV says:

    Sarah C has moved her blog to be on Github Pages using Jekyll. Which has a WordPress export flow, though it would mean abandoning WYSIWYG editing for mostly-Markdown (if you haven’t used Markdown, it’s like Wikipedia’s source editing mode but streamlined. Github sets the standard for it, CommonMark, though the standard is much newer than the syntax so there isn’t universal adoption.) It gives substantially more control over your site, though I don’t know if you’d actually get use out of that.

    I suspect any WYSIWYG blogging platform is going to have a problem equivalent to this one sooner or later. If you’re content bopping around every few years, this is fine. If that doesn’t seem worth it, you might as well reap the benefits of switching sooner; given that you know how to program I doubt the costs will be large.

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