Singing The New Dash Editor Blues

Since about 2011-12, WordPress.com users have been redirected to the New Dashboard (“New Dash”) after logging in on the main WP.com log-in page rather than to their primary site’s Dashboard. This change coincided with the introduction of the WordPress.com Reader and “Freshly Pressed” to the New Dash.  The “Quick Editor” was added and allowed users to select a Post Format to make a quick post on their site directly from the New Dash.

Over the last 6 months or so, the “Quick Editor” has been morphed into what WordPress.com calls “the improved posting experience”, i.e. New Dash Post Editor, which now has been imposed on users as the default Editor for writing new Posts and new Pages, as well as editing already published Posts and Pages.  This strong-arm tactic to force users to use the New Editor has hijacked all links in the WordPress.com Admin Bar, as well as in-post or in-page links for editing already published posts, which previously brought users to the Classic Editor.

The two editors may look similar, but they are not and the differences are significant. Forum volunteers have routinely advised users not to use the Quick Editor/New Dash Editor because of problems with lost drafts, no post revisions, uploading and managing media files, spacing issues and others. These problems exist today even with the current iteration of the New Post Editor.

Up until a week ago if users landed in the New Dash Editor after clicking a link, they had the option to return to the Classic Editor to edit their post or page via a link in the New Dash. No more. The link to the Classic Editor from the New Editor has been removed and according to Staff replies to upset and angry users in the Community forums, the link won’t be coming back. What has been amazing to me to learn is how many users did not know that they could get to the Classic Editor directly in their Dashboard via Posts>All Posts without needing to detour through the New Dash Post Editor to get there.

What’s behind this change? There are some decidedly wild hare theories being opined by users in the forums, but there has to be a concrete benefit for WordPress.com to continue foisting the New Editor on unwilling users. According to a Staff reply in the Community forums:

WordPress.com is moving in a direction that will allow users to manage multiple sites from one central location. The end result will be faster and easier to use while also working across any setting (mobile, desktop, tablet, etc). The road won’t be perfect, and there will be bumps along the way. But, we’re going to continue to iterate and adjust. Like any web project, we’ll continue to tinker so I don’t have a guaranteed finish date for you, but we’ll continue to launch new pieces as we have here: https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/dashboard-update/

Personally, I’m not entirely convinced that this is the only reason for the changeover.

Regardless, the New Dash Editor’s birthing pains have been excruciating and WordPress.com users are its suffering midwives.  According to extensive and overwhelming negative feedback from users, even after months of labor, the current New Editor is still a far cry from a fully-fledged Classic Editor.

Do you use the New Dash Editor to write your posts? The Classic Editor? Take the poll below and leave your thoughts in the comment section on the New Editor vs. the Classic Editor!

Author: JenT

Celebrating 10 years on WordPressdotcom! When not herding cats, I can usually be found setting up or customizing someone's WordPressdotcom blog, spelunking in the Support documents or helping out in the WordPressdotcom Community forums. Talk to me about taking your message to the world on WordPressdotcom (the hosted version).

8 thoughts on “Singing The New Dash Editor Blues”

  1. ~ /wp-admin/post-new.php takes me right where I want to go. Or am I missing something? I could bookmark it, but I just trace through with my mouse on All Sites/Switch Site/ Site/New Post

    I read KokkieH’s post a couple of days ago on the same point – and I didn’t understand the problem. I feel I must be missing something, or perhaps I have learned to work within the confines of the system – or perhaps the -dash- changes haven’t taken effect on my Admin panels yet?

    1. It could be that there is A/B testing going on, but to the best of my knowledge the changes to the links in the Admin bar (not your site Dashboard panels) are platform-wide and take you to the New Dash Editor. This also includes the EDIT link that appears in your posts and pages.

      Being that both of us started with what is now called the Classic Editor, we may never use the New Dash Editor for creating posts. However, the newer users are clicking that pencil icon in the Admin bar and now find themselves “stuck” in the New Editor without a way (so it seems) to get to the Classic Editor.

      Off to read KokkieH’s post. Thanks for the tip.

    2. It could be that the cookie that set the preference for the classic editor hasn’t expired for you yet. Every day there are new users in the forum who suddenly find themselves in the new editor after deleting their cookies, so it’s probably still coming for you.

      As for me, I never click on My Sites, even before they removed the link to switch to classic. I have the link to my WP-Admin dashboard bookmarked and always go there directly when I’m working on my site.

      1. That could be it. I cleared cookies, logged back in and it’s still the same and I can get to classic mode.

        I am concerned about this principally in case they do it to self-hosted admin panels. If they do that I shall squeem, squeem, squeem!

        ‘Waiting for the ax to fall.’

  2. It does make me wonder what’s happening at the intersection of jetpack and WPcom in so far as the New Dash is concerned. There are pages in the New Dash that I didn’t know exist, like the plugin page which I came across following a link in the forums. I guess this is another example of “watch this space!”. :p

  3. @JenT I see the ‘pencil’ now – never use it. I suspect I clicked it ‘once and never again’ and don’t remember.
    I could still get back to the Admin panel via MySites – but I agree that a newbie could easily get lost.

  4. So Staff did confirm in that same close to 860 reply thread that jetpack connected, self-hosted WordPress sites can also use the New Dash Editor, but I have to wonder which group is taking a bigger beating beta testing the dang thing!

    (Edited to note source of Staff comment-not that I can find it again, maybe after the holidays…)

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