WordPress Flaws – My 0.02 USD

Despite being a fan of WordPress, there are a lot of things about the application that leave me less than thrilled.

The inimitable Lorelle blogged about WP’s comment handling, an area I agree needs improvement, and has done so for a long time.

I’m not going to complain (much!) about the Ajaxturbation problem, or the WYSIWYG editor that still hasn’t made many friends. I mean, come on, an idiot-friendly editor you can’t cut-and-paste into? And one which totally borks both code and formatting? After a year of updates? And is both the default and less-than-intuitive to disable?

But enough griping about the stupid, useless, worthless, no-good, very-bad editor. 🙂 Actual improvements I’d like to see in vanilla (non-third-party-modded) WordPress include an option to backup the entire blog, not just the database, and an included cache system on par with WP-Cache2, which I think should be installed on every WordPress site.

I also think image-handling could be improved from the way it stands now, and believe there should be some improved tools for adding (or removing) posts to/from categories. The upgrade scripts provide a great exit strategy for people using Blogger, for example, but having a year or more worth of archives all stuck as “Uncategorized”, or whatever your default is, and then having to manually edit each one has been a major letdown for a lot of people I’ve helped migrate to WP. Going back and adding posts to a newly-added category is also less-than-fun.

My take is, WordPress has a huge, loyal, and talented user- and fan-base willing and able to produce a huge variety of plugins and themes to add exotic functionality and cosmetics. Leave the eye-candy to the talented artistes; leave the bells and whistles to those who think there’s a need. The almost-working “features” WP added, like the editor that still doesn’t work as it ought, both detract from an otherwise polished program and, more annoyingly, delay and distract the developers from improving the core product – adding actual performance-enhancing cacheing, for instance, or fixing some of the really bad MySQL queries. (Adding handling to support gzip compression for syndication feeds would be spiffy, too. – nevermind, that already happens, I just hadn’t realized it. Huh.)

Me, I’m not so much bothered by the comment handling. Spam Karma does a good job of identifying spam, and my once-daily email digest with a list of “borderline cases” is adequate to help me spot any misidentified spam. I’d much prefer some little checkbox in the (an!) editor when writing a post, giving me the option to not send trackbacks, for that post, to linked posts on my own site. It’s not hard to go thru and delete the self-referential trackbacks, but, in the vein of Lorelle’s complaint, it would be so much more convenient not to have to.

One last thing that would be neat (but potentially database query-intensive, and thus bad) would be an option for the front page, to display either the n most recent posts, or as close to yy/yyy lines of recent posts, if the number of lines in n exceeds that limit. For example, have the option to display the ten most recent posts – or at least one-hundred but no more than one-hundred-seventy lines of posts. This post, for example, takes up nearly no space on the front page, because of the placement of the break, but other posts can run for screens and screens, and it’d be nice to have a workable option other tan the arbitrary insertion of more-breaks to keep front pages to a somewhat consistent range of sizes…

Published in: Geekiness, General, Meta | on December 16th, 2006| Comments Off on WordPress Flaws – My 0.02 USD

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