How Are You Adapting to the New WordPress Reader?

Reader

We’ve now had some time to experience and possibly adjust or adapt to the new changes in the WordPress Reader. How are you handling it?

There has been some applause for the return of the word count. Yay!

My eyes have adjusted to the larger text. It was a shock for the first few days, but now it looks normal. However, I still regret that one post very often takes the entire screen height on my rather large monitor. It takes much more scrolling to read the same number of posts. Very likely, this means that more readers are giving up sooner, so more posts are going unread.

Indeed, I’ve noticed that I get more or much less activity depending on the timing of the post. If people are checking their posts after several hours, anything buried down at the bottom is less likely to get attention.

That popup window is still annoying and requires several extra clicks (unless you click on the word count). If you actually make it to the blogger’s site, you’ll see something new at the bottom of the post. It will show a few related posts. Unfortunately (perhaps), these seem to be automatically generated. These may help to generate interest in prior posts.

A second complaint about the popup window is that many readers aren’t making it to the blogs. They miss out on the design of the blog and content geared toward the target audience. This really affects bloggers who have something for sale on their blogs. Those who have paid for upgrades aren’t happy about the new Reader providing a means of reading the blog without visiting the site. If they choose to only show a portion of the blog in the Reader, hoping to lure the reader to their site, they run the risk of the reader giving up because it’s too many clicks.

The WordPress forum specifically devoted to this issue is now 10 pages long. You can find it by clicking here. There is talk of reading blogs in bloglovin’ that might be worth checking out.

Here are my previous posts on this issue:

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), Facebook page, Twitter

Temporary Fixes to a Couple of the New WordPress Reader Problems

Band Aids

Update: WordPress staff have since added a word count at the end of the sample in the Reader. If you click on the word count at the end of the sample, it will take you directly to the blogger’s website, rather than opening the post in the Reader.

What’s the advantage of doing this? That way, you won’t have to click twice to read one post. Some bloggers allow you to read the full post in the Reader, others set it so that you can only read part of the post in the Reader. In the latter case, if you click once to open the post in the Reader, you’ll need to click a second time to visit the blog and read the rest of the post.

So just clicking the word count to visit the post on the blog, rather than in the Reader, saves a click. If you have hundreds of posts in your Reader, this can save a lot of extra clicking.

(This post originally had a suggestion for allowing readers to go straight to the post on your blog from the Reader, but now that WordPress has added the word count link at the end of the sample in the Reader, that work-around is no longer necessary.)

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:

http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2013/11/05/wordpress-com-reader-update/

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.

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/reader-changed/page/3?replies=4

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)