A Silver Lining in the WordPress Reader

You can’t talk about WordPress without talking about the Reader. It’s not that WordPress, the actual publishing platform, doesn’t carry weight in comparison. It’s just that so much hangs in the balance of the Reader because it displays your favorite blogs in one place. It’s a blogger’s lifeline.

Do I secretly wish the Reader would go back to the old format? Yeah. I am heartbroken over it? Maybe. But, I certainly wouldn’t boycott WordPress over of the new layout.

Photo credit:

From what I’ve been reading in the blogosphere this design change has created an uproar. Many bloggers are outraged. Some are even threatening to move their blogs to an alternative hosting website. And yes, a small part of me thinks a warning about the impending change would’ve been nice. It’s as if I went to sleep and woke up the next morning to my couch stolen. I was barely settling into the WordPress kingdom. Then, poof! The friendly navigation page was gone. Still, it’s not a reason to lash out.

I refuse to get sucked into campaigning against the Reader. It’s Monday, the start of a new week, and I am choosing to remain optimistic.

Let’s face it, nobody likes change. But, in the grand scheme of things, a revamped Reader is nothing to lose sleep over. There are people with REAL problems. Life threatening problems. As long as we have breath in our lungs, we shouldn’t be complaining.

This blogging platform is a FREE service for crying out loud. Unless, of course, you opt for customization or a dot com. In any case, the advantages of being a WordPress subscriber are far greater than the disadvantages. Namely, this interface helps millions connect across the globe.

The way I see it there is a silver lining in the newly formatted Reader. The WordPress gods decided to keep the word count in the navigation bar. I personally love knowing the word count of each post. It helps me determine which posts I can immediately read and which ones have to wait. Anything over 600 words won’t be attempted until my toddler is napping.

After weighing the pros and cons, I’ve concluded that I’m far too invested here to leave. There’s no chance of me switching to a new hosting platform. This is my blog’s permanent home with or without the old Reader.

Can you find anything redeeming about the new Reader? Is WordPress home to your blog regardless?

About Anka

Spent forty grand on a journalism degree just to learn that truth is stranger than fiction. Now I spend my days changing diapers and eating bon bons. If you're looking for a place to commiserate, then come join me at It's kind of like a playdate, but for grown ups.


68 Responses to “A Silver Lining in the WordPress Reader”

  1. I totally feel your pain. Personally I was just settling down as a newbie and poof (change). Yeah your also right about how can we complain when it’s free to us(besides the upgraded bloggers). So in the words of my grandmother “Put on your big girl panties and suck up it” LMBO!!! Have a stress free Monday:)

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 6:22 am
    • Your grandmother is a smart woman! I think we all need to “put on our big girl panties and SUCK it up!” Change isn’t easy but I’m quite certain we’ll adjust in due time. Hope your Monday is stress free too dear!

      Posted by Anka | January 14, 2013, 9:15 am
  2. Good morning Anka! Like-minded mamas getting their work done early before toddlers wake up. Normally, I do not deal with change well but I am so pleased with blogging and WordPress that it would take quite a bit more than this to get me complaining.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 6:25 am
    • Good morning, Diana! As painful as it is to hop on the computer at 6:00 a.m., it’s the ONLY time I get alone so I have to make the most of it. As for the Reader, I agree with you. It would take a far greater offense than just a newly formatted page to leave WordPress.

      Posted by Anka | January 14, 2013, 9:19 am
  3. I appreciate your positive outlook! I HATE the new reader. Ha Ha! Seriously, I’m pretty good with technology and I can’t for the life of me get used to it. It’s too big and I feel like I am missing out on posts and comments. Wahhhhh! I hope I didn’t bring down your nice post, I just needed to vent. ;)

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 6:47 am
    • You didn’t bring me down a bit! I actually giggled at your honesty because you expressed what many are already thinking. Hopefully, you’ll adjust in the next few weeks. That, or you can just come here and vent some more! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 14, 2013, 9:26 am
  4. I wish I could navigate around WordPress better. I wish that I wasnot so technically challenged. I just tried to post a reply on my friend’s blogspot blog and typed in my wordpress address ten times and it could not find my ID! My husband always says user error! I hate it but he is probably right! So now change the format on wordpress and you would expect it to throw me for a loop but I seemed to adjust… though I am with you… if it aint broke, why fix it? I mean what was improved? I was thinking because of my challenged capabilities… I just was missing it.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 7:15 am
    • Yep, if aint broke, why fix it? Apparently, the WordPress gods thought they Reader needed a major overhaul. This change is especially difficult for us “technically challenged” types. Gah!

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:40 am
  5. Like all other change, I’ll adjust eventually. One day I’ll be reminded that it used to be different and I’ll chuckle on the inside about how I struggled to adjust.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 7:41 am
    • I’m with you! Six months from now, or a year from now, we’ll both look back and laugh at the complaints we made against the Reader. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:18 am
  6. I too dislike the new change! It’s taken me a little while to figure things out on the new layout.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 8:02 am
    • It took me a while to navigate through the new Reader too. But, I must admit, I’m adjusting quite nicely now. Hope you are settling in as well!

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:20 am
      • I still type in my name dot wordpress just so i can read my comments and likes and follows. I cant get the notification box to open for me if I were say looking at my stats or something…dont know why.

        Posted by | January 16, 2013, 2:32 pm
  7. I’m so out of touch that I didn’t know their was outrage. But what I do know is that the new reader gives me a headache. My brain cannot follow it. Thank you for putting into words what I’ve been feeling!

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 9:26 am
    • Aw, I hope your headache has subsided. I’m sure your grief about the Reader will subside soon enough. Hang in there, Barbara!

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:16 am
  8. Shows how much I pay attention! I knew it was different, but it barely affected me. I can now read everyone’s new posts all from one place instead of searching through all the blogs I follow.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 9:29 am
    • Like your attitude! You are definitely focusing on the positive aspects of the new Reader. I think it’s adorable that you hardly noticed the new layout!

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:26 am
      • It’s really probably because I didn’t use it a whole lot because I hadn’t figured it out yet. I just started my blog in August.

        Posted by | January 16, 2013, 10:28 am
  9. I think the only annoying thing is that the titles of the blogs and the pictures seem to get all mashed up. I look at a picture and I can’t tell if it’s for the story below or above. Other than that I have no real complaints.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 9:59 am
    • That’s the only thing that really bothers me about the new layout as well. All the posts seem to run together. An easy fix I’m sure, and one we will probably see soon as the capable folks at WordPress are usually in tune with what us users want.

      Posted by | January 14, 2013, 3:14 pm
      • Yeah, actually right now my reader is looking different as I type this. The pictures are off to the side, now. Hmm, we’ll see how it goes!

        Posted by | January 14, 2013, 4:13 pm
      • The Reader absolutely took some time getting used to! I’m sure WP is trying to fine tune things as we speak. Hope you adjust soon and it doesn’t cause too much of a headache!

        Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:31 am
  10. I have no idea how I have avoided this new reader!! Mine is still exactly the same! I checked out my husband’s site and I see what you’re talking about! I think WordPress forgot all about me!!!

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 10:46 am
    • Of course, the new Reader would bypass you, Melissa! If anyone deserves special treatment from WP, it’s you. I believe you’ve been set apart from the start super star!

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:07 am
  11. I have used Bloglovin’ early on in my blogging experience as my reader (I never liked how only select posts would show up in my WP reader, I felt like I was missing so much)… I don’t feel like I miss a single beat, using Bloglovin’ ;)

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 10:55 am
    • Interesting. Are you currently using Bloglovin’? Or, have you just decided to suck it up and stick with WP? Either way, I love what you’ve been doing on your blog. You’re one creative mama! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:29 am
      • I’m currently using Bloglovin’ as my reader. I personally like it way better than the WP reader. I feel that it is much more well organized, and easier to keep track of what you have or haven’t read, and most importantly to me I don’t miss out on posts like I was when using the WP reader! And thanks for the compliments on my blog, girl! ;)

        Posted by | January 17, 2013, 4:38 am
  12. I really dislike the new reader, and I thought I had mistakenly messed with the settings. Yup, cause I’m just that computer savvy. I’d agree, keeping the word count is helpful, not sure I like anything else about it, but I’ll get used to it. I like WordPress, much more than the reader went into the decision to use it as my platform :)

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 11:40 am
    • Funny, when I first noticed the change, I thought I’d accidentally messed with the settings too. But, then every time I clicked the mouse, the tool bar was glaring at me from the wrong side of the screen. That’s when I realized the change was permanent. But, we will survive, no?

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:09 am
      • Time will tell, but I’m guessing I’ll adjust right about the time they change it again. :p

        Posted by | January 16, 2013, 8:35 am
  13. I’ve been disappointed with the new reader as well — definitely would have preferred to have rec’d some notice, or at least to have had it be an optional upgrade. I miss the notifications tab particularly, plus just like Monk-monk said, I find it hard to figure out which picture goes with which blog post.

    But hey, your posts still show up for me, so that’s a positive at least…

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 11:48 am
    • The new Reader as an optional upgrade would’ve been ideal. I agree that it’s difficult to figure out which picture goes with which post. A bit of a guessing game I suppose. Glad to hear my posts are coming through on your side of the screen. I will definitely keep my eyes open for your posts as well.

      Posted by Anka | January 16, 2013, 8:37 am
  14. Anka! I had some fun vlogging about the new wordpress layout . I like that you are being positive, but I still can’t get past my grudge. I hadn’t visited my reader in quite a while, and today I finally did, only to long for the old layout. Oh well, like you said, we are lucky to have this free service.

    There is a word count?! Where?!

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 1:04 pm
    • Oh Becca, it’s been a while my girl! A small part of me will always long for the old layout too. But, remember? I have to remain OPTIMISTIC. It’s Monday! In any case, you can find the word count after the blue link that says, “READ MORE . . .”

      Posted by Anka | January 14, 2013, 1:09 pm
  15. Very positive approach! :)

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 1:19 pm
  16. I was literally just complaining about the Reader yesterday. I will try to be more appreciative of this tool. :)

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 1:22 pm
  17. I’m thinking we should all start including a BIG ASS photo of ourselves at the beginning of ALL our posts to easily recognize bloggers in the new format! ;-) The rest I can deal with…no big deal.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 3:22 pm
    • Ha! Baby, I like your style. That might be the ONLY way to recognize each other in the new format. We should plan it one day for fun, huh? :)

      Posted by Anka | January 14, 2013, 3:24 pm
      • Absolutely! Count me in! :-) We can make start BIG ASS Photo Fridays until they get the hint! lol

        Posted by | January 14, 2013, 3:26 pm
      • Sign me up! Let us know the exact date and time you want the post to go live. Maybe you can write a quick blurb to get our blogging pals on the same page. Too fun to pass up!

        Posted by Anka | January 14, 2013, 3:29 pm
  18. I can always tell when WordPress has been playing around with the Reader again — my page views drop by about 50% every time they make an “improvement” — but they do come back. The biggest thing to remember at the moment is to have one full paragraph ABOVE the first photo in every article (if you put a photo above the text no one will see any text in the “reader”).

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 3:36 pm
    • Thanks for the tip about the full paragraph above the first photo. The first few posts that went out in the new Reader were completely discombobulated. Helpful advice coming from a seasoned WP member!

      Posted by Anka | January 15, 2013, 8:30 am
  19. Well I just like your attitude of grattitude. ..this is a FREE service, really, like what do we want to complain for? :)

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 3:50 pm
  20. It is free! It is what you make of it! I wasn’t crazy about the changes but only because of the change it’s self. We get “use to” things and want the nice things to remain. I finally figured out how to get the Fresh Pressed part back on to a grid instead of a list. The reader I didn’t use too often anyway because I get ALL of the blogs in my email as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe using the reader would be less stress on my email. But, then I might miss something. ;) No complaints here, just ‘getting used to it’ stuff for a bit.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 4:05 pm
    • I’ve thought about subscribing via email to all my favorite blogs too. But then, my inbox would be inundated with new posts. There’s no telling if I’d ever open them. For now, the Reader is my blogging lifeline. :)

      Posted by Anka | January 15, 2013, 8:35 am
      • I’ve thought about unemailing everything…. and just using the reader! But I would be afraid to lose something. Right now if I can’t get to something I leave it in my email and it stays there until I get it. The reader gets FULL fast and quickly moves past those I miss.

        Posted by | January 15, 2013, 5:54 pm
  21. Hi Anka,
    Indeed change can be scar, but we must look at the bigger picture. I, too, would like it to be back to the way it was. However, as you said, I am not about to start campaigning and being all difficult. And like you, I’m too invested here to leave. Let’s stay optimistic ;)

    Posted by Cynthia Matos-Medina | January 14, 2013, 5:53 pm
    • Hi Cynthia, good to hear from you! I agree about not wanting to complain about a free service. Life is stressful enough. Grumbling doesn’t make it any easier. Have a lovely day my friend! :)

      Posted by Anka | January 15, 2013, 8:38 am
  22. the new reader sucks (she says with broad optimistic smile), but i’m not going anywhere.

    Posted by | January 14, 2013, 6:50 pm
  23. I just converted to wordpress and I actually don’t remember what the old reader looked like. It just reminds me about how every time facebook changes something, users threaten to leave, but the vast majority stay because they’re hooked.

    Posted by | January 15, 2013, 11:07 am
    • What blogging platform were you using before WP? Speaking of the Reader, I haven’t seen any of your posts come through. Are you posting much these days?

      Posted by Anka | January 15, 2013, 1:11 pm
      • I was using Blogger before, which was very easy to use but more limited.

        Actually yes, I’ve been posting daily in the evenings. My last post was yesterday at 6pm EST. Let me know if you don’t see it. Thank you!

        Posted by | January 15, 2013, 1:47 pm
      • I just subscribed via email again. But, I did not see it come through the reader last night. I’m going to read your OPTIMISM post as soon as get back from picking up my daughter from school!

        Posted by Anka | January 15, 2013, 1:54 pm
      • Aw thanks. For email, maybe check your spam folder? I have been getting them.

        Posted by | January 15, 2013, 3:10 pm
  24. Hello- Just wanted to stop by & let you know that I nominated your work for “Blog of the Year 2012!” Keep up the great work & enjoy the day! :)

    Posted by | January 15, 2013, 7:43 pm
  25. can you explain the details of what has changed? is it the same information and function, just in different places and maybe slightly different colors?

    Posted by | January 17, 2013, 7:42 am
    • As it stands, today, the Reader is nearly the same. So are its functions. But, when WP first switched it, there were certain features missing. For instance, the word count, number of likes, comments, etc. I witnessed the slew of complaints coming in through the WP forum. I’m sure things have subsided by now.

      Posted by Anka | January 17, 2013, 7:51 am
      • what i haven’t liked – but maybe they fixed it – is that i would click “like” from the reader, but then it wouldn’t usually actually translate to the persons blog.

        Posted by | January 17, 2013, 8:17 am


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