Update on the new WordPress Reader

Reader Update

Perhaps the changes to the WordPress Reader are oriented towards the trend of more people accessing websites and reading blogs on mobile devices, as suggested in the following post:


That may explain, for example, why the post opens in a new window—but not the actual website—when you first click on it, and allows you to like or comment without visiting the actual website. Unless, of course, the website restricts the Reader from showing the entire post, in which case you must click a second time to access the post. Then you have to close two separate windows when you’re done, so we’re clicking twice as often. That’s in addition to scrolling several times more because of the larger images and text.

It’s a shame that you can read some posts entirely in the new Reader window that pops up, completely missing the blogger’s header, background images, social media links, products for sale, and all the other content that blogger prepared on his or her website, hoping to draw a little traffic with the blog post.

On a positive note, the images seem to be displaying on all of the posts now.

I’m getting used to the font size and picture display now, but my wrist is sore from all the extra clicking and scrolling.

There are some threads about this in the WordPress forum. The following thread is now up to three pages. You can find a comment from one of the Happiness Engineers on page 3 of the thread (I strongly urge you to read this if you’re curious about why WordPress did this and what they think about the reactions that have been posted). It also provides informative clarification on whether or not the new Reader window will affect your stats.


If you would like to share your feedback, please click on the above thread. Perhaps you can help them “engineer more happiness.”

Here are links to my two previous posts on the status of the new WordPress Reader, in case you missed them:

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)

10 comments on “Update on the new WordPress Reader

    • My smartphone isn’t WordPress friendly, and the changes haven’t helped. 😦 If the larger text is good for mobile devices, though, it would be nice if we had two viewing options, since not everyone is mobile.

      • I hate the WordPress App because I can’t get the ‘All Comments’ option. I have to go blog by blog and I’m never told if someone responded to a comment on another person’s blog.

    • I have seen two or three people say that they like the new Reader, although usually they offered no explanation. I do find it difficult to believe that a significant population prefers the new Reader, although people who are unhappy or frustrated are more likely to share their opinions.

  1. Hi Chris, out of interest what type of mobile are you using? Prior to the recent update on wordpress I was finding wordpress quite easy to use on my phone.

    I’m typing this on said phone!

    However, in addition to the reader problems, on your site the follow button stays in the middle of the screen when trying to view your latest posts so I guess they’ve broken that too 😦

    I’m not sure I believe the happiness engineer, nothing about this update works on a mobile and they would surely have tested that thoroughly if that was indeed the focus of the release. I suspect this has more to do with increasing page hits to make their stats seem better in order to command higher ad revenue?

    • I have the Samsung S4. I can type a comment on the phone, it just won’t post… Maybe it’s related to the internet connection on the phone, although I have no problem using many other websites with it.

      The large font and new window that stays in the Reader seem like they could be mobile-oriented, but I have to agree, if this was geared toward mobile devices, it doesn’t seem to have been tested thoroughly.

      The Happiness Engineer said they are trying to improve things like views, likes, comments, and follows. But then it seems that the new Reader experience is hindering this in some ways, too. Don’t you need to go to the blogger’s website for the ad to be relevant? Now you can read some posts without even going there, and if you have to click twice to get there, that’s a deterrent.

      This is quite a puzzle. I’ve been trying to reason out the logic behind the switch, but this seems like a case for Sherlock Holmes. 🙂

  2. I don’t hate the new reader but I’m definitely struggling to adjust to it. I have a habit of right-clicking and opening all links in new tabs or windows, and I keep forgetting that when I do that now, it just opens up another reader window. Sometimes, I accidentally get to where I want to be, but it isn’t easy and I can never remember how I did it.

    • I have this tendency, too. The worst is when you do it the wrong way (maybe close out the Reader window, then click on the avatar), then when you return to the Reader, you’re back way at the top of the page. 🙂

  3. Pingback: How Are You Adapting to the New WordPress Reader? | chrismcmullen

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