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WordPress 3.3; It’s On My Nerves Right Now

Posted by on Dec 13, 2011

Yes, I have my gripe with WordPress that I’m going to get to, but I’d like to mention the latest interview I did that’s shown up, this time on Arlee Bird’s Tossing It Out blog. Wow, what a loyal following he has, and there were lots of comments before I even got there; that’s special. Thanks Lee; and for those who are wondering what this is about, check this out.

As many of you know, WordPress has updated things, and now we’re on 3.3. I’m not sure how you feel about it but I’m bothered by some of the admin things. I write this to warn those of you that haven’t upgraded what’s coming, while also saying that when you don’t update you risk leaving your blog open for outside attacks. Okay, here we go.

The first thing that bothers me is that my menu to the left is now always closed. I can’t figure out how to open it up, and I’m not sure you can. That’s because now when you hover over one of the menu items a second menu opens to the right with all of your choices. Thing is, it opens up into whatever you have on the right already, and thus it makes it hard to read those menu items. Who the heck decided to turn the internal menu into a fancy website menu?

Next, the bar at the top. With the last upgrade this sneaky little bar showed up both in the admin panel and on the outside of one’s blog while signed in. However, you could turn it off under Users, which I did. This time around they’ve added it and merged it with what was there before, and there’s no getting rid of it. So I’m seeing my picture with “Howdy Mitch Mitchell” at the top right, and it’s just weird having to keep looking at myself while I’m in the admin area. I know the idea is to give us something that we can access some of what we do quicker but I really didn’t need it.

The third thing I’m not crazy about are these windows that keep popping up all over the place, telling me that something’s changed. Yeah, I noticed it. I guess they did this because with past changes people griped and said they couldn’t figure things out but I haven’t been able to figure out if I can turn it off, or when it’ll stop.

Now, the one thing I have noticed that I kind of like is that they’ve changed how one can upload images, or pretty much anything. That system has always run slow and been pretty ponderous, and now you only have to click on one thing and it will bring up whatever type of file you want to bring into your post. Supposedly you can also drag something in, but I’ve never been able to figure out how to drag something from one place to another when using tabs.

That’s all I have for the moment. Being forced to integrate certain things and get used to them is like making dogs and rabbits be friends. Oh yeah, I guess it turns out they can be. I guess I’ll get over it at some point; right now it’s so new that I have more gripes than likes. What say you?

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Mitch, you confirmed my decision to hold off updating. I have never had a problem getting used to their changes, but I don’t want to have too many updates floating around at once.

Unrelated to WordPress, I’m trying to figure out what to do about my reliance on RoboForm, as the company who makes it, Siber Systems, completely changed things up. I have a tandem of creaky old software (Firefox 3.6 and RoboForm 6.x) which are barely being supported by their respective companies.

The last thing I need is a flaky WordPress update.


Mitchell Allen recently posted…How to Post a Contest-Winning Article: 3 Easy StepsMy Profile

December 13th, 2011 | 10:05 AM

Mitch, why are you still on Firefox 3.6 when we’re up to version 8 by now? Or have you upgraded and you’re still running into that issue? Heck, didn’t I write something a couple of months ago about trying to hold onto old software? lol

December 14th, 2011 | 8:54 AM

Mitch, I rarely upgrade unless there is a compelling reason to do so. But, here’s the story on Firefox 3.6:

One day, Firefox offered an upgrade to the NEW and IMPROVED Firefox 4. I had read that Mozilla switched from Gecko to Chrome for its main engine. Since I had experimented with, and loved, Chrome, I eagerly upgraded.

Within minutes, I had to downgrade. RoboForm 6 did NOT work with Firefox 4!!! I should have known. It didn’t work with Google’s Chrome, either. I already knew that I would have to shell out for a yearly subscription to use RoboForm 7.

The pain threshold had not been passed – I just had to give up the promise of faster web browsing. The truth is, RoboForm was way more important than whatever browser was running.

That’s the main reason. RoboForm 6 wasn’t broken. Firefox 3.6 wasn’t broken (technically, LOL), so there was no compelling reason to upgrade.

Fast-forward to now: I visit certain sites that seem to accelerate the resource-hogging behavior of Firefox 3.6. It slows down everything from loading new pages to actually typing in comment boxes! Part of the problem is NoScript, which makes browsing safer but, it relies on a database stored on my hard drive. That sucker grows and grows. All the web forum suggestions don’t work for long…

The pain threshold is here. I have reached the point where browser functionality is more important than whatever password manager I plan to use. Ain’t that a kick in the productivity head?


Mitchell Allen recently posted…How to Post a Contest-Winning Article: 3 Easy StepsMy Profile

December 14th, 2011 | 2:49 PM

Dude, you’re trying to fight the future; never works. lol I fully understand, as you can tell by my gripe about the WordPress change here, but it’s still better than the alternatives. I’ve had to leave a lot of programs I loved in the dust; didn’t like it but that’s just how it goes.

December 14th, 2011 | 3:43 PM

Hey Mitch, thanks for the update, I needed a nudge to get me to log back in to my WordPress site.

The left hand menu seems to work fine for me, the submenus expand on click as well as fly out. I’m using Chrome, so maybe it’s a browser issue?

I do completely agree with you, the pop-up notices are extremely annoying, I don’t need to be told over and over again that the interface has changed. Unfortunately, this problem doesn’t limit itself to WordPress and I think the advantages still outweigh the disadvantages?

December 13th, 2011 | 10:18 AM

I’m not sure yet Anjlee. I like the image thing, and I’ve noticed that when I’m replying to comments the box is much bigger than it used to be; now that one might be a browser issue. Otherwise what you described is what I’m seeing, I just don’t like the submenu’s flying out at me.

December 14th, 2011 | 9:17 AM

Thanks Mitch, unfortunately I can’t see any way of turning off the flyout feature. I do like to keep the menu expanded to show the menu titles as well as the icons, so it doesn’t really bother me too much.

December 14th, 2011 | 10:35 AM
Grady Pruitt:

I haven’t upgraded yet. I was thinking of doing it later today or tomorrow. Might put it off a bit if people are having troubles.

Oh, and the bar with your image on it reminds me of the “idiot badges” my dad wore at work… Not only did they think he didn’t know his name, but that he didn’t know what he looked like either! 😉
Grady Pruitt recently posted…The 100 Questions Follow-up Exercises – New Year Resolution Goal Setting – Mastering Me MondayMy Profile

December 13th, 2011 | 11:42 AM

Something else, isn’t it Grady? I actually understand the badges at work, but this makes no sense whatsoever since no one else will be in my Admin area. And it’s not that we’re having troubles loading it, just that things are, well, different.

December 14th, 2011 | 8:57 AM

I agree with you. I like stability. I hate to feel that I have to figure my site out every time I turn it on. Changes are inevitable, I guess, but that doesn’t make them good. Susan Kane
Susan Kane recently posted…Christmas in the Sock DrawerMy Profile

December 13th, 2011 | 2:51 PM

I hear you Susan. Sometimes I wonder if they ever decide to ask the clients what they’d like to see. I know it’s free software so I shouldn’t complain much, but…

December 14th, 2011 | 8:58 AM
Donald P:

I have already converted to WordPress 3.3 and I can understand why you are so frustrated as I have experienced some of the problems that you were talking about. Think Positive, maybe the word will get to them and they will make some changes.
Donald P recently posted…Digest It Colon Cleanse – Why do You Need a Good Colon Cleanser?My Profile

December 13th, 2011 | 4:28 PM

I doubt it Donald. It’s rare that the WP people reverse a change unless something didn’t work properly.

December 14th, 2011 | 8:58 AM

I just started playing with wordpress so for me it just more learning. I didn’t have time to get use to the old one. In general, I’m liking wordpress.

December 13th, 2011 | 4:08 PM
jim syyap:

I didn’t know there was a new version until I saw your post. I guess I am going to hold off upgrading until things get sorted out then. I’m not such a tech person. If things go wrong with new versions, there may not be enough websites to help me sort things out. Thanks for sharing.
jim syyap recently posted…Simple Ways To Make Your Site Easy To ReadMy Profile

December 13th, 2011 | 4:55 PM

Jim, the upgrade went fine, and I haven’t read where anyone has had problems with it. Just the learning of new stuff and the nostalgia for things we liked that are no longer around.

December 14th, 2011 | 8:59 AM

Changes, changes, changes. Some I don’t think are really necessary but for some reason all these sites just have to keep improving things.

Upon the recommendation of Kim Castleberry, I’m holding off for about a week before upgrading. That’s usually the time they will work out the kinks so hopefully I won’t have too many problems after that. Guess we shall see.

Thanks for warning us Mitch about what’s in store.
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December 13th, 2011 | 6:38 PM

No problem Adrienne. Actually, waiting isn’t the worst strategy, and yet I never seem to do it. lol

December 14th, 2011 | 9:05 AM

I agree with you, Mitch. I wish they would just leave well enough alone. As far as the roboform alternative, try a site I use called I know one of the previous commenters asked about that. I just don’t like that the new version always makes a plugin that I liked stop functioning. This time it made my digg digg plugin stop working. 🙁
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December 13th, 2011 | 7:50 PM

Thanks DeAnna, and I hope Mitch saw your recommendation here as something to try out. It’s always weird when you see certain plugins not working with each other and can’t figure out why.

December 14th, 2011 | 9:07 AM

Thanks, DeAnna. I will check it out.

I have a long, embattled history with software that USED to be great. So I do understand what you mean.


Mitchell Allen recently posted…How to Post a Contest-Winning Article: 3 Easy StepsMy Profile

December 14th, 2011 | 2:30 PM

I feel very happy with the last update, those things are easy to fix, actually I didn’t experience any of it as I’ve previously marked those settings, so left sidebar is always open and admin bar doesn’t appear outside admin area. Another thing is that all major plugins already have stable updates and yesterday, I’ve updated more than 10 WordPress blogs without any problems so far.
Carl recently posted…Super User created new blog entry 5 Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress For Your Website in Web design & DevelopmentMy Profile

December 13th, 2011 | 10:54 PM

Carl, the update worked just fine on all my blogs, but what alteration did you do to keep your menus open?

December 14th, 2011 | 9:08 AM

Thanks again for your visit to my site. I do have some great readers and I’m seeing some of them here now.

I don’t know about WordPress as I haven’t made the change. I do know Blogger has been changing things and I wouldn’t say necessarily for the better. If something works okay I’d say to leave alone unless the change is massively beneficial. I think the programmers have nothing else to do so they have to come up with new ideas to justify their jobs. And the problem is that once we get used to the new changes then they’ll think of something newer.

And I’ve been pondering setting up a WordPress site to see which format I like the best. Maybe I’ll wait a bit.

Arlee Bird recently posted…How To Blog Better: An Interview with Blogging Guru Mitch MitchellMy Profile

December 13th, 2011 | 11:01 PM

Lee, if you’re going to set up a WordPress site, now is as good a time as any because you’re not already used to things as they are, or were. lol I would still recommend WordPress software over any other I’ve seen in a heartbeat.

December 14th, 2011 | 9:09 AM

Hi Mitch, I usually give it a good week or so before installing the latest WP updates just in case the world comes crashing in on everyone that jumped right in.

Well, for whatever reason, I backed my blog up last night, held my breath and upgraded to version 3.3. The world hasn’t came crashing down yet but it’s still early.

All in all, I don’t mind it. I do agree that admin bar is very annoying. I keep the dashboard in one tab and my preview post in another so the bar is not needed and I wish I could turn it off. The little popups go away pretty quickly.
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December 13th, 2011 | 11:11 PM

Thank you for the warning. I am going to wait. However, I did notice that a couple of my plug-ins stopped working. I’m now wondering if it had anything to do with the upgrade.
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December 13th, 2011 | 11:38 PM

Could be Marcie, since that happens here and there as the plugin makers know for the most part when changes are coming to the main product.

December 14th, 2011 | 9:10 AM

Hey Mitch,

Concerning your menu …

“The first thing that bothers me is that my menu to the left is now always closed.”

That fly-out behavior annoyed me, too. Not that I mind the fly-out in and of itself, but with a lot of settings, it does get in the way. So I want a choice. But I’m so used to clicking on a menu title, I did it once inadvertently, and voila!

If you click on the menu title for the group you want (for example, click on “Settings”) it will drop the menu down, or open it up.
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December 14th, 2011 | 12:45 AM

Vernessa, I know it’ll open up if you click on it, but I was used to it just always being open on 4 of my 5 blogs, and now it’s closed on all of them. That’s just irritating for me; yup, I’m gonna whine! lol

December 14th, 2011 | 9:11 AM

I’m actually fine with all of the new features Mitch. I actually like the way the menu now works as it saves me from scrolling all the way down to find something. I find it also a time saver.

Now that you mentioned those alerts, I have a feeling that’s going to start bugging me now. 🙁 😀
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December 14th, 2011 | 3:17 AM

Sire, I haven’t had anyone tell me yet that they’ve received an alert asking them to subscribe to the blog, and I hope they don’t, but I put this out to everyone asking that you alert me if you notice it happening from here. No one ever should get something telling them they need to subscribe to get a response to a comment.

December 14th, 2011 | 9:12 AM

I was actually referring to that window that pops up reminding you of something new.

As to the email subscription, I think it may have something to do with JetPack and I’ve deactivated the subscription part so it shouldn’t happen anymore. Considering I never activated it in the first place it must have occurred because of the upgrade.
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December 14th, 2011 | 11:58 PM

Sire, I had to go look up what Jetpack was because I’d never heard of it before. Looks like it has a bunch of features, but I couldn’t see me needing all that stuff. I just noticed that your latest response to my last comment didn’t send that notification so maybe it’s corrected.

December 15th, 2011 | 12:17 AM

I first heard of it when I installed WordPress using my Hosts auto installer as it came with the installation. I pretty well only use the stats part of it.
Sire recently posted…Why Zaparena Is No MoreMy Profile

December 15th, 2011 | 12:22 AM

Interesting; then again, I didn’t use my host’s installer so that’s probably why I never saw it.

December 15th, 2011 | 12:35 AM

In the last release, JetPack stats plugin added some unwanted subscription process that changes the standard commenting reply routine.

Sire, glad you turned off that part of it and that you never installed it Mitch. I wrote about its bad behavior (see CommentLuv link below) and Automattic responded in an email to Doc Sheridan and me. I still advise folk to ditch it.
Vernessa Taylor recently posted…Graphic Proof: JetPack Stats From Hijacks Your Commenting SystemMy Profile

December 15th, 2011 | 5:10 PM

Thanks for adding this Vernessa. Maybe others will see it and do as you state, but I’m really glad as I sit here knowing that I never had it and thus it never became a problem for me.

December 15th, 2011 | 9:28 PM

I’ve only ever used the stats part of it Vernessa and so far its been fine.
Sire recently posted…A Review Of WP Zon BuilderMy Profile

December 16th, 2011 | 5:15 AM

I’m still learning my way around Blogger, but I also would not be thrilled with unnecessary changes. Just came over after enjoying you interview with Lee, and I’m glad I did!

December 14th, 2011 | 3:27 AM

Welcome Julie; glad to have you visit. I don’t necessarily mind change, as other changes have been okay, but they went hog wild this time around.

December 14th, 2011 | 9:13 AM

I didn’t upgrade it yet on my main blog ’cause I am afraid it’ll break Genesis like it did last time (due to a child theme which needed to be upgraded as well, and since I had it customized it wasn’t an easy step, but I am divagating), but I did upgrade a secondary blog and it all went smooth thankfully.
The changes aren’t quite bad, even though I admit it’d be handy to let the user choose which way he wants the menus and all the rest.
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December 14th, 2011 | 9:04 AM

Hey Mitch, I haven’t upgraded yet, I usually hold off for awhile. Plus, I have waaay too many plugins going now and I want to pare down on those before I do a major update to cut down on conflicts.

I agree about having your picture up on the top there. It’s like wordpress is saying “Hey, it’s YOU!”

But then you’re like “Uh, I know it’s me. Because I’M ME.”

I have to believe forcing that menu closed by default will be something they’ll be hearing a lot of complaints about. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of workaround already?

Keeping fingers crossed for the update…
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December 14th, 2011 | 10:07 AM

John, I think this might be fodder for a cartoon: “Hey, I know I’m me.” “No you’re not, I’m me.” lol

Someone told me on Twitter that I should write the WP people to complain about it; feels kind of silly since it’s free but I just might pony up at some point.

December 14th, 2011 | 12:39 PM

I covered all of these when I reviewed the beta weeks ago on my blog with a video tutorial. There is a way to turn off the sliding menu’s and default back to old style. I think it’s a tweak to a WordPress.php core file and don’t remember but you can search for it. You can also expand the menu’s old style just by clicking on the menu item name, this will refresh page and expand it so it looks like old style for that menu.

I didn’t find the drag/drop media that useful myself since I typically post media as part of my Live Writer publish.
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December 14th, 2011 | 7:40 PM

Justin, I’m not necessarily afraid to go into the PHP files, as I do it often enough, but I wouldn’t know what to look for. As for the menu, it’s a temporary thing that goes back to being closed when I move on to something else. We used to have a choice; now if you hit “collapse menu” it shuts the entire thing down, and one has to remember where everything is. Frankly it’s a change I could have lived with out.

And I’m with you on that drag & drop media thing. Actually, all my audio and video files are way too large to upload that way in the first place so I’m not sure what everyone else is using it for.

December 15th, 2011 | 12:14 AM

I am grinning. Not at you, Mitch, but at the fact that you self-hosters are finally getting what we guinea-pigs on have been putting up with since they started testing 3.3 on us!

The flyout menus are a pain, the admin bar at the top is a pain, too. They just can’t leave things alone. What we have that you won’t have (except possibly users of jetpack which, as I understand it, gives some of the stuff that users have – I think it was originally supposed to ease the shock for people who move from to so that they have a more familiar dashboard when they arrive) is some extra buttons at the top that light up when someone ‘likes’ a post ( has its own ‘like’ buttons, separate from Facebook ones) and a flyout menu that says who’s posted a like, who’s subscribed and so on. I’m just beginning to get used to it but it’s not been designed very well.

The flyout menus in the dashboard sidepanel menu can’t open more than one category at a time, but at least one can click on it to show the actual options in each category. And it can be hidden by the little button at the bottom as before. (I don’t think I’ve ever needed to hide the main menu).

The only really very good thing they’ve done which I hope you’ve got, is the ability to drag and drop media. That’s long overdue.

A suggestion, not just for you but for anyone blogging on if you get yourself a free blog and keep it private, just for yourself, and pop into it every few weeks or so, you’ll see what changes are on the way for you rather than having to acclimatize to everything all at once.

December 16th, 2011 | 4:14 PM

Val, I just couldn’t get a free WP account, and not necessarily because I don’t like it but wow, I already have 5 blogs and I write for many others. I’m thinking this is one of the few times where WP has made a drastic change to the .org software but tested it on the .com first. At least I hadn’t heard of them doing it before. I guess I should get used to the fact that they’re going to do stuff like this on a periodic basis, but it’s just so hard at times.

December 17th, 2011 | 2:04 PM

I am new with blogging and in any changes that is happening, I am having a hard time to cope up. But I love reading your post.
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December 20th, 2011 | 12:40 PM
J. Kingham:

I run a microbolg that features funny and strange videos from the web. The majority are from YouTube.

I just upgraded to WordPress 3.3 and now all of my videos aren’t viewable. I have no clue what to do!

Any thoughts?


December 20th, 2011 | 9:39 PM

Jason, I’m not sure how you put the videos on your blog, but you might have to go back to each of them and add the embed code instead. That’s how I’ve always had to do it on this blog, even when using different plugins to try to get it done differently.

December 21st, 2011 | 1:38 AM
Sergey Frolovich:

Yes, there are some changes… I can’t really say what I really think about that. I mean are they good or bad changes, but one issue actually appeared. We have developed a software that works on WordPress, and after WordPress updated to 3.3 we started having some issues with our customers regarding this moment. So, now we are working hard so the plugin is compatible with WP 3.3
Sergey Frolovich recently posted…Web design software | Divine Elemente – Photoshop pluginMy Profile

January 21st, 2012 | 5:18 AM

Good luck to you Sergey; I bet you’re not the only one.

January 21st, 2012 | 10:30 AM