Discomboobalated in WP Land

I’ve been trying to resolve a very serious issue with WordPress for the past two weeks. It’s not as though I’m new to blogging or even HTML. I’ve been working with computers since the first personal desktops were sold and developing web pages since the mid ’90s. I may not be as on top of the technology as I once was, but I can tell when I’m getting the old “did you check to make sure your machine was plugged in?” treatment.

First they told me it was the theme I was using. It had been retired or some such nonsense. Retired? Does that mean there’s a retirement home for old WordPress themes down in Florida?

So I changed my theme which is always such a joy. You have to engage with them (kind of like a blind date) to find out if you’re compatible. And I don’t know if it’s a good idea to change your theme. What do you think? Does it irritate you when a blogger you like to frequent changes their theme?


Next I was informed I’d eaten way too many cookies and caches and my computer was constipated. There are two issues I have with deleting cookies and caches on a regular basis:

  • This has been an issue since the first cookie was baked. Browser based applications should have figured out how to handle them without user intervention by now. You’d think, right?
  • Deleting all your cookies and caches means re-authenticating on most of the sites you frequent. Lovely if you’ve got a photographic memory and can recall all your many credentials. I do not.


Next they suggested that I upgrade to the Business Plan at $250 a year. I’m glad I didn’t fall for that one!

Finally … after a few shitteries from yours truly, they admitted the issue was the browser I was using. I guess they rolled out a new version of WordPress without testing it on Safari. Okay, to give them the benefit of a doubt, without enough version testing on Safari.

Anyway … IT DID WORK. Although I sure hope Firefox and Safari play nice together on my machine.

After finally fixing the problem, I began to wonder if the WP help desk guys told me a little white lie about my dear old theme. But apparently they hadn’t. It’s nowhere to be found. Alas, whatever your name was Dear Old Theme, I wish you a happy retirement.

[Still figuring out how to add images in this new browser]

44 thoughts on “Discomboobalated in WP Land

  1. I AM HAVING PROBLEMS TOO!!! Was that too loud? I reverted from business to premium and my site blew up. I haven’t blogged since May 15th! I’m glad yours is fixed. I hope it’s a good omen…

    1. Not at all too loud. You’ve got a great blog – one I really enjoy and WP should be working hard to make it easy for you to get up and going again! I did read online that the founder of WP had left the company so who knows what to expect.

      1. Thanks, Jan!

        Wow! Matt Mullenweg? i hadn’t heard about that. Some of the WP happiness engineers that helped me have been here forever. I hope they stick around!

      2. Matt Mullenweg owns Automattic which is, essentially, the parent of WordPress. And, when I say WordPress, I mean WordPress.org, the open source software that anyone can use but, self host. WordPress.com is a hosting service, directly handled by Automattic. He is still at the helm:

    1. Having worked in the industry, I think there are the lazy answers (that save money) or the well-thought through ones that save customers. Anyway I don’t think it’s worth changing horses at this point for me. I’ll just keep poking the lazy horse.

  2. WordPress has a reputation for not doing a whole lot of testing before it rolls out new features and functionality nor of notifying us of what they’ve done. I guess it’s WordPress’ way of maintaining full employment among its happiness engineers.

  3. wow – hope it al works out and sorry if you had a bit of headache with it…
    and at least you were able to get some help and support – part of the perk for paying for your blog – oh and glad you did not go for the business account – unless of course you need those business account services. And I seriously hope that WordPress is not going to change for the bad. – I know that all companies evolve and tech changes – but there has been something special about the WP blog community and I hope that does not change too much in the years to come. But if it does – we will all roll with the changes and some will leave while other will stay and new ones will come

    1. I know bloggers who’ve already given up. I think WP needs to be upfront and say they have compatibility problems with Safari (which came with my MacBook) but I don’t think they want to risk losing the Mac business. Changing browsers didn’t bother me nearly as much as some of their other fixes!

      1. Hi JT
        it is sad that some bloggers have already given up – and I have noted this before – I truly hope we do not see WP become something totally different from what it was for the first part of it’s life
        That could happen – the old WP (with Matt) and then the second phase – with Matt and the Google partnership – which had the employees go behind the scenes like many companies do -and lots of other little changes –
        and then the upcoming third stage
        and if Matt is gone as you said – then this third stage is already started without him
        I hope and pray they do not change it too much overall because there has been something special about this social media platform that is different from the rest
        and with technology and changes, I do understand that as tough as the glitches are and the changes – that is something we will always will have to deal with because technology advances – like I do not complain about not having a car with a “choke” (so to speak)
        and side note – I wonder if the gulches with Safari on more on Apple’s end (with privacy stuff and not being compatible with WP for reasons we won’t be told)

      2. I think bloggers leave for all kinds of reasons but making users learn a new editor doesn’t help. I haven’t noticed any problems with Safari on other platforms so it’s hard to say. I don’t think I miss having a choke!

  4. and to answer the question about how we feel when a blogger changes their theme – to be honest – I hardly notice because I view blogs through the reader 97% of the time – which means I see the post o a white background and don’t se the desktop site – so I never mind if themes get changed. I do sometimes get a little tired if someone talks too much much about changing their theme – not like you did here and not the way you shared about the tech/broswrr issues –

  5. I tend to read through the Reader – and chose a simple theme for that reason – because I suspect others do the same. Testing is *hard* – because so many people have different software on their computers. You didn’t mention which version of Safari you are running, for example – there are hundreds of versions of each browser out there in the wild, and while they should be standards compliant, they very rarely are (and Apple are famously bad for that).

    1. I’m was using Safari 13.1.3 – I have noted that Apple support is also spotty. I have worked in customer support on SW problems and I know how frustrating it can be. I have had to deal with a lot of people who have no idea how computers work. So I try to be nice but I hate to have my time wasted! After this last year, I don’t feel like I have that much time left.

  6. It looks good, unless you make a habit out of changing the theme regularly. I never did it myself. I’m afraid of technological changes. I’m fine with where I am. And no, I’ll never upgrade to the Business Plan to sort out any problem.

  7. I’m just happy to log on and find my blog still exists. My theme is an archaeological site of special interest it’s so old. Chin up, all will be right in the end.

  8. It worked! This is what matters. I change my theme when I fill up my blog and have to open another. I did it five times already and am always excited about the new theme. Soon I’ll need to find a new good one again. I like the readability of your new theme on my big screen, that’s important. And I like your photo up there too.

  9. I don’t mind when bloggers make a change, as long as it improves something about their old look or is in response to a situation, such as yours. WP seems to have ‘retired’ quite a few themes in the past two years. I think WP has done a great job of providing a vehicle for those of us looking to build a community, but they keep pushing the ‘business upgrade.’ Let’s hope they don’t mess up a good thing! Thanks for sharing your troubles, we have all been there.

    1. Thanks Suzanne. I agree that WP has done a great job of building communities of bloggers. I just wish they would have said it’s a browser compatibility issue up front – I can understand and deal with that. I’d much rather switch browser than delete cookies and search through templates!

  10. I had problems with using WordPress on Safari, but that was quite a few years ago. They suggest I try Chrome, which I did, and I’ve experienced no problems since then. I guess we have to use whichever we feel most comfortable with, but, as I discovered, the change I made was better because I love Chrome far more than I ever did Safari.

    As for changing the theme, yes, I change mine about once a year. Why? Because I think it helps give my blog a new refresh look and always helps me get more engagement. Like the old Classic editor, WordPress withdraw support for outdated themes, so bugs don’t get fixed. So it’s definitely worth choosing a new one when the one you’re using is retired.

    Your new theme looks great. You should be able to add images using the image block.

    As for the Happiness Engineers, as with any company that offers customer service, it can be very hit and miss with the type of service you get. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had far more hits than misses. When I’ve not been happy, I try again and often get an engineer who is far more customer-friendly focused.

    1. Thanks Hugh. I’m using Firefox and so far no problems. My new theme is much simpler than the old one which is a good thing as I tend to get widget crazy. I imagine since Safari comes preloaded on new MacBooks, WP is going to try to fix the compatibility problems. Until they do, they should probably just tell users to switch browsers – it’s really not hard at all. You make some good points about changing themes regularly. I like!

      1. Be careful on the widgets, Jan. Having too many can slow down the loading of a blog. Many readers don’t like waiting for a page to download for more than a few seconds before moving on.

        Personally, I think staying with the same theme for too long can make a blog look tired. I compare it to replacing a mobile phone or other gadgets. I soon tire of them and upgrade them, usually to get new features. And I can’t wait to start trying them out.

      2. Thanks Hugh – I think I’m over my crush on widgets! You reminded me that I have to upgrade my phone. It’s battery is just barely breathing!

  11. I hear ‘ya. I changed my template last December for the reason you mention, and fortunately my new choice worked. My current WP problem seems to revolve around comments, the leaving of said and the receiving of them. I cannot tell if people are getting my comments and ignoring me by not replying OR if WordPress isn’t letting them know I’ve commented so they don’t know to reply. It’s maddening.

    1. Yes, I’ve had that issue too. I’ve gotten so I just go into the Admin to read and reply to comments. Hopefully people will get my replies but you never know!

  12. I use Chrome and love it, I have stuck steadfastly to the theme I started with over 11years ago…it is not broke, touch wood, so fine!
    I love your blog and hope you will continue.💜💜

  13. I’m sorry, Jan, and am glad you can have a sense of humor about this stuff. I’m so frustrated with all the changes in WP that blogging doesn’t seem particularly fun anymore. I switched to that damn block editor and really don’t like it, but can’t seem to switch back. In any case, I love your blog and will like it regardless of its theme!!!

    1. Thanks Mary! They tried to charge me another $100 to switch back to the classic editor. I know about a dozen bloggers who’re taking “a break” and I don’t know if they’ll ever come back.

    1. It is annoying. When I first started out I spent a lot of time customizing various themes … but this one I really didn’t have to do so much with. I could but it’s a waste of time if they’re going to keep retiring themes!

  14. Since I had an issue not too long ago, I’ll add my experience.Suddenly my page to write the blog (with the block editor) did not show up (after a few months on this editor).
    They told me to clean my cache and cookies (sound familiar??). I did, and nothing changed. Then they sent me on a trouble shooting tour (had not been blogging for about two weeks by then). I had that sneaky suspicion, this could become a very long journey, since they relished in ít could be this, but may be that, or not….), and I m not a trouble shooting person – I hate it. So before they could give me another suggestion, I deleted my blog. I solved my problem (big grin).

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