On Today’s WordPress Annoyance

As much as I love WordPress, it can be a serious pain in the ass sometimes.

Like today. Today was a pain-in-the-ass WordPress day.

I’m a stat nerd, and today was not a good day for a stat nerd. I couldn’t access my site stats provided by a plugin. Every time I tried, WordPress told me that I “wasn’t authorized” to see the stats, and “Currently access to stats is broken for some users and we are working on fixing this.” In short, for this stat nerd, the lack of stats was making me positively jumpy, like a heroin addict in need of his next fix.

I checked the WordPress forums. Some people said that the problem was clearing up on its own. Others said the solution was to install a new WordPress plugin, Jetpack. Unfortunately, I didn’t have FTP access to my website from the office, so I couldn’t install the new plugin at work.

I did, however, come across two very interesting articles elsewhere while trawling through Twitter, and both came to the same essential point. In one, Morten Rand-Hendricksen suggested that Automattic was phasing out the original Stats plugin in favor of Jetpack. In the other, Peter Kirk thought that Automattic had dropped the ball in letting people know what was going on; a lot of people relied upon the Stats plugin (it’s one of the top five WordPress plugins), and suddenly they were cut off from some core functionality.

This isn’t the first time that Automattic, the company that oversees WordPress and its related world, might have done something like that — releasing something new to replace something old, then not adequately explaining the replacement, and then removing the ability of the old thing to work properly (or removing it entirely) without any warning, as in the Cutline/Coraline theme controversy of last summer.

Once I got home, after I had dinner, and as I sat down to my first Guinness Foreign Extra of St. Patrick’s Day, I installed the Jetpack plugin, disabled the WordPress.com Stats plugin, and, lo and behold, my website traffic statistics were once more available to me.

I would honestly prefer it if the Stats plugin, on its own, would work again. Jetpack seems like serious overkill when all I want from it are the statistics and the wp.me shortlinks, both of which arise naturally from the Stats plugin. The other things Jetpack does, if I want them I already have solutions in place for them.

Jetpack seems to me to be more bloat to an already bloated WordPress core. I haven’t explored what it can do yet, and I’m reluctant to do so because, whether rightly or not, I feel that it has been thrust upon me.

The important thing? I have my stats back. I need to know that nine people have read my long-ago post on green Guinness today. Yes, that’s vital knowledge for me. :cheers:

ETA: One oddity I’ve noticed this morning. If I look at the stats within my own WordPress install, everything is fine. If I look at the stats within the WordPress global dashboard, the links all use the wrong permalink structure and generate 404 errors if clicked. Don’t know what’s up with that.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

One thought on “On Today’s WordPress Annoyance

  1. Well, Jetpack does have some other interesting features, like ShareDaddy, which provides links to Facebook and Twitter.

    So I tried it. And it worked.


    After that, I only got a white screen of death.

    I’ll stick with Bookmarkify for the nonce.

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