A blogger’s Halloween


They’re back. The gremlins… and this time they mean business. They must have eaten all the Happiness Engineers already, given the distinct lack of response to my cries for help. Or maybe they read the previous rants and decided I didn’t deserve their help.

Or…maybe the Happiness Engineers are the gremlins…

You know, like the cute, furry mogwai who turn…

I remember that film and, there are moments that seem like a very good idea…

I am having problems.

I have learned to live with a computer that crashes several times a day and an internet connection that refuses stability every few minutes. I have found ways to work around the fact that it drops out mid sentence, losing me time and work. I can even cope with the fact that Word is as temperamental on this PC as the PC itself. I have found alternatives to the editing software I use for pictures. These are merely economic problems…nothing that can’t be solved by the judicious application of a sledgehammer and the eventual acquisition ofΒ  a new machine.

But… call me a lunatic, why don’t you… I trust WordPress to do what it is supposed to do… like, for example, actually retaining the text of a carefully crafted post when I press ‘schedule’ or ‘publish’. Not erasing it completely. Or not duplicating bits of it willy nilly. I trust it to keep the amendments.

Now, however, the gremlins have undermined its erstwhile trustworthiness and strange things are occurring. Doubtless, all will be made clear on that front when the latest batch of improvements are rolled out…

Probably for Halloween…

For there are other problems. Comments going to spam that shouldn’t. The case of the disappearing pingbacks. Email notifications going missing…and comment notifications that just simply don’t tell you about most of them. I’ve learned how to cope with those, although a more reliable system would be helpful.

The one major problem that the gremlins have installed, though, I find insurmountable. And it is here that any technical advice would be most gratefully received!

What should look like this:


Now looks, instead, like this:


My eyes do not work well with this size of text.

I know where the problem lies…but have tried everything I can think of to fix it with no success. The Admin screen used to have three columns. It has, somehow, developed a fourth…an empty fourth… that squishes the other three down to unreadable proportions.


The other sites I work with are all fine. It is just this one that is affected…the one where I do the majority of my work. If anyone knows how to remedy it and get rid of that ghastly ghost column, I would be HUGELY grateful! It is currently too small to even pick up typos. What should be a pleasure is becoming bloody hard work.

I hesitate to cast aspersions on the WordPress we all know and love….

Maybe it was the dark creature from this weeks photo prompt that followed me home…


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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58 Responses to A blogger’s Halloween

  1. Oh my, sounds like you need a magic wand from the good fairy to help you. :o)


  2. blosslyn says:

    Its not really a like, buts theres not a sorry button, its just down right horrible when you loose everything and things are not going right, by no fault of your own, hope its back to normal for you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Poetry Channel says:

    I feel your pain. I know many of us are experiencing weird shit. That’s what it is too. Sorry I have no technical advice, Sue. That sucks.


  4. That’s bizarre and I never saw it before. Learned about the spam comments issue yesterday too. Weird that nothing is in that column too. Is it on every WP screen or just the one you showed? For the post size issue, maybe you can increase the font size at first and shrink it before posting until things get fixed? Honestly, I’ve always had the second version.


  5. Bernadette says:

    I have heard a lot of similar complaints lately but no resolution. Maybe you should get Exorcist.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t have a solution Sue but I’m really sorry that’s happening. Word press is very of noxious for me right now also. Apparently I can only like posts if I am on my iPhone but it will not work on my PC which means that they have made the like button to visual and you can’t Clickett with a screen reader. Frustrating. I wish they would just leave what works alone.πŸ™„πŸ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  7. olganm says:

    Wow! I use WordPress.org now but I don’t have 3 or 4 columns… Perhaps it’s some new update on the theme or the settings. I always try and check the text version, in case there’s something weird there, although my coding skills are very limited…
    Perhaps check if there is a new version of WordPress… (although that might make it worse)…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. noelleg44 says:

    Control plus should increase the size of the font – I do that frequently – but I have no solution for gremlins. Perhaps a plate with peanut butter? Happy Halloween.


  9. Oh Baby am I with you on this one!!!!!

    They’ve stopped corresponding with me as well – and I have been experiencing a TON of bizarre problems on my site. NOT that they ever advised much beyond “clear cache and cookies” or “use another browser” in any case, but I comforted myself knowing that somebody at WordPress was at least AWARE of weird functional problems.

    My guess is that they are so overwhelmed with complaints that they can’t get to them all – a situation that is only going to worsen as increasingly more new bloggers begin on WordPress — unless they hire coders who actually USE the platform (and testers to check out the effects of their “improvements” before they unleash them). Reading would be good, too, but I don’t want to ask for the seemingly impossible.

    I have taken to saving after every edit (and, before I publish, deleting a bunch of junk code they add to the bottom of my posts with every save, which result in a TON of white space between my posts and the comments unless I do). Then, at least, I have SOMETHING to go back to when they mess with my posts — CLEARLY a problem with their back-up code that they have been disinclined to address for MONTHS now.

    I’ve lost entire posts, parts of posts, inserted graphic, formatting – none of which are my own doing. When I’ve done a ton of research with links and graphics I don’t want to chance to the WordPress eraser-ap gremlins, I hop over to the html version and copy it ALL into Notepad before “saving.” NUTS – and time consuming, but not as much as having to gather the info all over again.

    Over the years I have written more than a few posts like this one. Hasn’t changed a darn thing, but it gets some pressure out of my cooker. My heart goes out – I not only feel your pain, I experience it with almost every post anymore.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”


  10. Delyn Merce says:

    So nicely, courteously said, Sue! I’ve been quietly moaning about my comments going to Spam–and that my pingbacks to Daily Post Prompt clearly are not pinging back. I contacted the Support Forum (as my blog is free, no special attention by the WP staff)–but no response yet. I’m patting myself on the back that I’ve matured to the point that this is not sending me over the edge–but still… As you say, we love and trust WP, otherwise we wouldn’t be blogging with them!! I sincerely hope your tech issues are resolved Soon and Completely–best wishes, and extra prayers! πŸ™‚


  11. I hate to say it Sue, but I think this is WordPress’s way of forcing you to use what they want you to use. I’ve always preferred writing new posts by going through WP Admin and then clicking on New Post on the dashboard but, many months ago, I was having terrible problems saving any drafts on there. Although I reported it to WordPress they told me to go via the new route (by clicking on ‘add’ next to blog posts) and to compose new posts from there. I hated it, but over the months grew to like it (knowing it was the only way I could continue to publish posts). WordPress put it all down to most of us wanting to blog via a mobile phone or tablet! I’m certainly not one of those people (and never have been) preferring instead to blog from my desktop, but they really do hold your arm behind your back when they want you to do something.
    Sorry I can’t help with a solution. However, if you did find one then please let me know.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Noelle sorted the text size…which was my biggest practical problem. Most of the others don’t depend on me using the new editor…and having tried it, I won’t unless they DO force it upon me. It lacks a few features I use daily and I find it longwinded to use. But I think you are right, Hugh. However, I object strongly to paying their Premium rates and not even warranting a response.


  12. I keep ending up in people’s spam folders and having to be moderated which is bloody annoying! I don’t like the look of that weird column and tiny text, what on earth are they up to now? I would be tempted to give it a whack with a sledgehammer, plus a couple of boots too for good measure. Sorry I can’t be of any more help to you!


  13. Widdershins says:

    Glad to hear the font size is fixed … you’ve probably done this a gazillion times, but have you checked your default settings? … my site went crazy a while back, and I reset everything back to default, (after I made note of what MY settings were) did a re-start of my computer, and that settled everything down nicely … touch wood.

    Don’t know if you do this too … I compose all my posts on a word doc first then C&P to the editor – the old one, not that idiotic ‘new-and-improved’ one, then once I’ve made any last minute edits (cos there’s always at least one) I C&P back to the word doc. That way if WordPress ever goes the way of the Dodo, I have copies of everything separate from them. It’s an extra couple of steps, but worth it, I reckon. πŸ™‚


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’ve always C&P’d too, till Word started playing up. At some point I will have to bite the bullet and getthis thing sorted…its not an ancient machine so it should behave better.

      I did try the default settings… didn’t help on this occasion. Just one of thise wonderful WP things, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. dgkaye says:

    I can relate on many counts. My newest Weirdpress issue of late is that it won’t post my scheduled posts! Have you had that happen yet? 😦


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