A Premium Upgrade

For a few years now, I have paid an annual fee to have a ‘Personal’ Plan with WordPress. That gave me no advertisements, easier access to tech help, and extra storage space for photos. Considering my blog is my main hobby, I didn’t think the fee was excessive, and for the first year, it included my ‘dotcom’ blog name too. (I now pay a little extra for that)

Then along came the Block Editor.

Regular readers will remember my long campaign against this being forced on users, without the option of retaining my preferred ‘Classic Option’. So I seriously considered giving up blogging, once the Block Editor became the only choice.

I am currently still using the old Classic Editor though (not the Classic Block offered on the new version) and that was supposed to have disappeared by March 2021. No doubt it will go at some stage, and meanwhile I have experimented with some posts using the Block Editor, eventually discovering that I am able to manage my very basic blogging using that. But only when it comes to it of course.

(I don’t intend to start another for and against Block Editor debate with this post. That ship has sailed.)

As I want to stay blogging for as long as I am able, I recently upgraded my payment plan to ‘Premium’. The main benefit of this over the Personal Plan is to greatly increase the space allowance. If you have a free WP blog, the space allowance of 3GB can soon be eaten up by adding photos and images. Moving up to the Personal Plan at £36 a year doubles your storage allowance to 6GB, and after a few years I have still not reached that limit.

The Premium Plan costs £84 a year, and boosts that space allowance to 13GB, which should last me a long time. And I think that £1.61 a week is a small price to pay to be able to relax and enjoy my hobby without worrying about running out of available storage space. I am hoping it will be many years before I have to think about the next option, the Business Plan, which currently costs £20 a month.

(Note that all plan upgrades include the storage already used, and do not start from scratch. So if you have already used 3GB and upgrade to 13GB, you will in effect have 10 GB available)

Apologies For A WordPress Glitch

I have to break my rule of not posting so much to let you know that many comments from regular blogging friends have gone astray.

I was about to empty my Spam and Trash folders earlier, and I was shocked to find 45 genuine comments had been dumped in there by WordPress. I have just had to manually approve and reply to them all. If you left a comment that I did not acknowledge, the chances are it has been trashed and deleted by WordPress, definitely not by me!

Apologies to everyone who kindly left a comment, then must have thought I had completely ignored it. It wasn’t my fault, and seems to be yet another of those random WP glitches that cause me so much annoyance and frustration.

Anyone wondering my my replies have come so late now knows the answer.

My suggestion to you all is to quickly check both Spam and Trash folders.

Comments from your blogging friends may have been dumped there without you knowing.

A New Spam Record

Since I logged on this morning, WordPress has notified me of 1,000 spam comments already today.

They are all from the same company, offering to sell me a drug called Cialis.

This is what the drug is for.

Tadalafil, sold under the brand name Cialis among others, is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is a tablet taken by mouth. Onset is typically within half an hour and the duration is up to 36 hours.

1,000 spam messages, all about the same thing!

They are obviously trying to tell me something…

A WordPress Exchange On Twitter

I saw an advertisement on Twitter. WordPress want to recruit more ‘Happiness Engineers’, for Customer Service.

We are growing! Check out our open, fully distributed roles across engineering, design, Happiness (customer service), marketing (and more!). Get all of the details on how to apply here: bit.ly/38guhDF

So I replied.

“Happiness? Give us back the Classic Editor, and I will be happy! Listen to your customers and bloggers!”
Then they replied.

WordPress.com
@wordpressdotcom

Replying to

If you really want to use something like the classic editor, we recommend sticking with the classic block: wordpress.com/support/wordpr We also have some extensive documentation available at

I answered.

“It’s not the Classic Editor though, is it? Just let us have have the option. What’s the problem? You know it’s possible. So many users absolutely hate Block Editor, and cannot work it out. Look after your users and paying customers. (like me) Do the right thing for once.”

Nothing since then. Not surprised.

WordPress Strikes Early!

Well it seems that WordPress understands ‘Late 2021’ to be the last week in March. With no warning, the ‘Classic’ option was removed from my blog today.

I am now stuck with ‘their way or the highway’. In other words, the hated and detested Block Editor. Not-so-fondly referred to by me as ‘Mister Blocky’.

Fortunately, I had already completed the final episode of my serial, and I am using the cheekily-named ‘Classic Block’ to produce this post.

I know many of you have come to love Mister Blocky, so there’s no need to rush to its defence in the comments. But I HATE it, and will continue to do so, whatever you say.

I am hoping to receive a ‘work-around’ that will enable me to use the Old Editor again soon. But in the meantime, if I am not around on my blog, you will know why.

More Help For New Bloggers

My recent post about blogging https://beetleypete.com/2021/02/14/blogging-lead-by-example/ proved to be incredibly popular. It is the most-read post on my blog this month, and attracted a lot of very kind comments from new bloggers who took the time and trouble to let me know that it was useful for them.

It also generated a large number of new followers to my blog, which was very gratifying.

Thank you.

However, so many of them have no direct link to their blog. This means I cannot go to their blog, read a post, and thank them. They did all have Gravatars though, either photos or images they have chosen, or generic ones. But they neglected to link their blog to that, in most cases.

So once again, I am posting about how to do this. If you don’t do it, nobody will find your blog, remember that.

It’s important!

On this 2019 post from my blog is a link to a basic WordPress tutorial that shows you how to do it.

https://beetleypete.com/2019/07/19/connecting-your-gravatar-to-your-site/

Some Rare Praise For WordPress

As most of you will know by now, I rarely have anything good to say about WordPress. Whether it is the fact that they will not be retaining the Classic Editor soon, or the endless glitches that fling our comments into Spam Folders, the host company of our blogs has received the sharp end of my keyboard on more occasions than I care to remember.

However, credit where it’s due.

This morning, I received conflicting communications about the renewal of my paid ‘Personal Plan’. One message said I had to renew it, and another told me it had been automatically renewed, supplying me with a confirmation invoice number to prove that.

So I used the ‘Live Chat’ system to query the confusion.

They replied instantly. I typed out my question, and received a reply resolving the issue in less than sixty seconds. I know this is not available to anyone who uses the Free Option. But at £3 a month, it has to be worth it. And it gets rid of the advertisements too. Some people pay that much every day for a takeaway coffee.

Compare that to so many years of teeth-grinding frustration trying to contact WP through the help pages and forums.

WordPress Glitches

Just to let you know, my blog has been suffering from some WP glitches this weekend.

Some followers have been appearing as ‘Anonymous’ when they have left a comment.

Using the notification sidebar to reply to comments has made those comments disappear, though my reply has appeared on the blog.

A few comments from regular readers have been found in the Spam or Trash folders.

I have been asked to approve comments from people who regularly comment, even if they do not contain links.

So if my replies are delayed, or your comment is missing, you know why.