See addendum for September 17, 2020, and updates for September 18, 2020 and September 19, 2020, at end of post.
I no longer have, with WordPress.com, what I am paying for. Their latest changes are a travesty:
- Buttons to publish or update posts have links that expire. When they expire, clicking on them loses the post. I only might be able to recover, if I can find a draft and my browser has an up-to-date copy.
- Getting to that draft is damned difficult. The sidebar menu contains no option that obviously links to a list of posts. Instead, for some utterly mysterious reason, it fixates on plugins at the top of the menu.
- The workflow is awful, in part due to point number two.
- Searches have become unreliable. I’m having to experiment with various plugins, some of which cost additional money, to try to restore that functionality.
- I am constantly getting logged out. I tried a plugin to fix this; it only works some of the time.
When I initially moved my blogs onto WordPress.com, I had an editor that worked and a reasonable workflow. I no longer have that and I am sure as hell not paying for this.
I need a platform that supports private posts, blockquotes correctly (with indents), references (superscript-style) well, and doesn’t force advertising on my content. If I can’t get it, I may well take Not Housebroken and The Irregular Bullshit down. Because what I have now is absolutely unacceptable.
I am furious about all this and have communicated my discontent. WordPress.com’s response has been to take away my access to support.
I am also, I have to say, fed up with Drupal. Every major version change throws extensions into disarray; these upgrades are not only painful, but seem to function for the sole purpose of breaking old sites. And I can’t even figure out what Joomla is supposed to be for, because every time I’ve played with it, it has broken within hours.
I don’t have the readership to justify going to a platform like Medium or other subscription-based sites and it’s not clear to me that they meet my requirements anyway. It may well be time to give up.
Addendum, September 17, 2020: The deadlines to either find new hosting or shut down the sites or for WordPress.com to take corrective action will be based on the expiration of the plan I am running them under. For each site, these are:
As a practical matter, I will need to act prior to these dates. Should I fail to find an adequate solution, my plan is to convert Not Housebroken to book in PDF format which I can make public from my Google Drive. Because I’ve been using The Irregular Bullshit to archive stories, I can convert it to a book in PDF format and store it on Google Drive, but I probably cannot make it public without infringing copyrights and that’s a battle I just don’t need.
Unless WordPress.com makes changes to restore functionality to something tolerable before I find a suitable alternative or I feel I can wait no longer, I will be removing my content from their site. I do not intend to let them derive advertising revenue from it. I will be considering further what changes I may want to make in the meantime: It’s possible I will move some pages from The Irregular Bullshit to Not Housebroken as there is some stuff there that can and should be kept public.
These transitions take time. First, there is the site move itself which is relatively fast and simple. Second, there is DNS propagation as I move the DNS for the sites away from WordPress.com and set up new A and AAAA records. Here there is administrative stuff which is mostly just annoying and then a lot of waiting while changes propagate to DNS caches. I’ll be able to resume normal operations (this will be the last update until that happens) when the DNS cache I use gets the update but you might not see updates until your cache gets the update. And it’s possible your cache will get the update before mine does. Assume you’re still looking at the WordPress.com version until you see a further update here.
Update, September 19, 2020: It appears everything is fixed now.