WordPress Groupie No More

[I’m going to cross-post this on Don’t We Look Alike? because the same holds true on that blog.]

Since I began blogging in July 2012, I’ve been a devoted fan of WordPress.com. The organization of the system and the ease of use hooked me from the first day.

What have I liked?

  • I don’t know very much about computers or the internet, but I was able to set up my first blog without any help from anyone, other than glancing through WordPress for Dummies.
  • The look of my first blog was just what I wanted. It was a snap to blend my taste and that of my daughter (the first one was our adoption blog Don’t We Look Alike?) with the theme WordPress had to offer.
  • One of the best parts of WordPress blogging has been the sense of community. I participated in blog awards for many months, although I have decided more recently not to do so any longer. It was fun getting to know about other blogs through the award posts when bloggers would list their ten or twelve favorites.
  • It felt as if I quickly caught on to blogging and, within five or six weeks, one of my posts was Freshly Pressed. I hadn’t even been blogging long enough to know what Freshly Pressed was! Then I realized I could access all the other Freshly Pressed posts as one way to find other blogs I wanted to read.
  • I learned how to read some of the stats. The part that I found of particular interest was that I could see the list of followers of my blog—and I could use that list to check out followers’ blogs and decide if I wanted to read and follow.
  • My favorite part of WordPress has been the list of blogs I follow and my “reader.”  Under the edit function for the blogs I follow I could set up email notifications for new posts. I could decide if a blog warranted a daily or weekly notification or if I needed to know instantly when a new post hit the internet.

My experience with WordPress has been so rewarding that I have been sad when I’ve lost blogs I follow to Blogger or to WordPress.org or some other platform. I like to keep it all in the family.


I am so disappointed.

First, the easy access to emailing support for troubleshooting disappeared.

Then, I started getting lots of spam followers. Once you get too many spam followers, it’s not smart to keep checking out who your new followers are, so you stop looking. It’s hard to believe WordPress doesn’t have a way to keep out the majority of these fake followers.

Most recently and most disturbingly, I no longer get email notifications of blogs I follows.  That is, I only get a couple.  I used to look forward to a long line of emails every Monday morning and a shorter line-up on the other days. If I felt overwhelmed I deleted some without looking, but I was pretty faithful.

Without those notifications, I have to go through my reader to find posts, and honestly, the same bloggers show up over and over. This is great for me to keep reading their blogs, but what about the others? A lot of my regulars are not showing up—at least not at the times that I scan my reader. If you haven’t been getting all the love from me I’ve shown in the past, this is why!

I’ve been faithful to blogging on WordPress, but WordPress has let me down.

Where do I go from here?


Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Nonfiction, WordPress

30 responses to “WordPress Groupie No More

  1. I’ve noticed the spam increasing over the last year too – I think every network suffers the same problem at some point in it’s growth – at some point somebody is going to try and take advantage of any open system, and pollute it to serve their own aim…

    • Luanne

      It’s such a shame that they have to ruin it for others. My 3rd blog, which is family history and genealogy doesn’t have the same traffic as my other 2 blogs and I haven’t started to get those spam followers .. . yet.

  2. Sorry you’re having problems. Perhaps you should email WordPress. Oh, that’s right, you can’t …
    Maybe you should try to click on the link to change your preferences on your followers — you can do it through the stats follower page. I get mine immediately when they’re posted. Perhaps there is a problem if you opt for them once a week? Of course I am a technological dumbbell, so maybe not.

    Good luck. But I have to say that the blogs I followed that went to other sites are very difficult to access. Three went away — two came back to WP.

    • Luanne

      I agree with you about the bloggers who leave WP.com. It’s very hard for me to keep up, but there are a couple I still get emails for and do keep up.
      I tried something on my adoption blog this morning–changing everyone to instant notifications because I noticed that the couple I wwas still getting notified on were instant. We’ll see if that works!

  3. I’m sorry to hear you’re having issues with WP, Luanne. I’ve had a few hiccups since I started blogging last September. My biggest problem has been not always receiving the e-mail for new posts. I see the post in my reader, but I prefer the e-mail. When I resubscribe to that blog, sometimes it will solve the problem, but sometimes it doesn’t. My issues with WP are nothing compared to my recent issues with our cable/internet/digital phone company…I’m ready to pull my hair out!

    • Luanne

      Jill, I’m trying something new. I’m converting them all over to instant notifications and will see if that works. But when I follow someone new (since this problem started) I automatically get instant notifications, so will that always work? I don’t know, especially now that I read that it doesn’t always solve the problem for you.
      Soooooo sorry about your cable/internet/phone–that is super frustrating!!!

  4. I have been feeling pretty aggravated by spam following and missing posts from blogs I subscribed to (weren’t showing up in reader). I’m still a fan of WordPress, but there have definitely been some unwelcome changes in the last few months.

    • Luanne

      Well put, Michelle. I do realize that WordPress is still the best but I’m disappointed about the nasty changes. I feel as if they know they are the best so they don’t have to notify us of changes they make that could alter how things function. I wish they sent us emails letting us know about these things.

  5. When I was on Blogger, I never had spam followers. It surprised me to encounter them over here on WP. That said, I still find WP far more user-friendly than Blogger ever was.

    • Luanne

      Mareymercy, that’s why I really want to stay with WP, but I wish they had stayed their trustworthy selves ;). And if there is a way to capture spam comments, why don’t they have a way to catch spam followers?

  6. jeannieunbottled

    I’m sorry to hear that you are having these problems. Right now is a hard time.

  7. I actually managed to leave an email message with wordpress and after a few days, a tech got back to me. I was unable to solve the situation, however, the tech must have checked the site and notified that he had corrected it for me. I received an email notifying me. It took a few days,however, I did receive help. Spam~ I seem to receive a lot, too. I just trash the comments asap and hope that’s the end of it/them! Overall, I am satisfied with the site. Please stay~ “love” to read your writing!

    • Luanne

      Grace, do you remember how you find a way to email WP? It used to be that I could do that and they were so nice and helpful!! Re the spam, it’s the spam followers that annoy me, not the comments. Because their spam catching system for comments is really good, but they don’t even have one for spam followers! Yikes! I will stay–thanks for asking me to :). xo

      • Hi, Luanne! Here is the link that I used and within a few days I had “help.”
        Scroll to the bottom of this link page and in a grey bar you will see
        a bar that reads something like, Contact us or How can we help you? Click on it and it should open to type in. Good luck. I get a lot of spam followers~ just trash them still it makes me uneasy.
        Good luck!

      • I agree re: the followers on those “empty” Gravatars or the ones that Advertise. I would love to know how to eliminate them or keep them from “following.” Lately, I have been getting quite a spam following! If you get WP support and advice, please share.
        ~ Grace/Lynne

  8. Hi Luanne, so sorry to hear of your disappointments with WordPress. I just wanted to let you know that I dropped out of sight though simply because I was on a long trip and I also shut down my blog rather suddenly, for reasons I won’t go into here. Thank you for being one of my first and most faithful followers. I love your blog, so I hope you find ways to resolve those issues.

    • Luanne

      So it wasn’t my lack of email notifications for you? I’m so sorry to hear about you having to shut down your blog! I loved it! I was thinking of you the other day when I saw a book or movie, but I can’t remember which one now! Please stay in touch!

  9. Hi Luanne. I’m fairly new to blogging and so only recently found your site but I’ve been enjoying the posts a fair bit and so am sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve been having. It’s always a shame when things start out nice and then change. Hope the issues get resolved soon.

    • Luanne

      That’s it–they started out so lovely. I was soooo impressed with WP. Now I wish at least that they would communicate with us and that they would develop a system to catch those spam followers like they have for spam comments! Thanks for reading, thoughtlife!

  10. Luanne, your post prompted me to go check my blog’s spam folder. There’s more there than I thought there would be!
    I require all comments to be approved before they are posted (unless a commenter has been approved before), so the spam doesn’t show up on my blog. But it is an annoyance.
    I was also a writer on the Write Brain Trust blog, which WordPress recently took down, because of alleged spam on WordPress forums. It wasn’t us who posted the spam, so we must have been hacked. Now there is no way to get our content back from WordPress.
    Back up your blogs, all you bloggers out there!
    Thanks for posting,

    • Luanne

      Theresa, the spam that really annoys me isn’t the comments because that system works pretty well, but the “new followers” who are just spammers.
      That is awful to hear about how you lost your content because of being hacked! How do you back up your blog, out of curiosity?

      • The only thing I’ve done is to use the Export feature in WordPress. I’ve taken exported content and moved it into a new blog in the past, but I don’t know what gets preserved if a blog is taken down by WordPress, so I don’t know if the Export function works then.
        Unfortunately, Write Brain Trust hadn’t even exported the blog on a regular basis.

  11. Hmmm. This is very interesting and a bit concerning. I’m certainly not as adept as you at this whole WP thing, but I’ll keep my eyes open. I’m always so encouraged by your words, Luanne. Thank you.

    • Luanne

      It seems to be working to change over all the blogs I follow to “instant” email notifications. Thanks for your kind words, Ashley!

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  13. I barely use the WP-reader these days — I used google reader before they stopped the service and now keep in touch through Feedly (feedly.com).
    I don’t know how to get rid of spam followers either, but i notice them when they just follow without any like or comment.

  14. Ivy

    Thankks for this blog post

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