I don’t like end of the year posts, but I’ll make an exception for 2020, which by anyone’s standards was an exceptional year. And I think I can safely say, not always in a good way!
This was the year I set up an editorial calendar and for the most part kept to it thanks to the intrusion of the Block Editor into everyone’s life and not only for those who opted into it when it was introduced on WordPress.com back in 2018. I think you’ll agree that our host could have handled the transition a little more kindly rather than using the “sink or swim” method of onboarding. It also didn’t help anyone that during the few months after the May announcement of the planned switch, there was a lot of flip-flopping on their part. Thankfully that’s all behind us now, until the next time. 😱
One goal I set for the post-ablockalypse era, besides getting to grips with it myself by changing themes and pushing myself to use an assortment of different blocks, was to scour the WordPress.com Reader to locate posts from unhappy site owners having issues with making the switch and answer their questions. Not everyone finds their way to support or the community forums to try to figure out how to work with the Blocks. A happy outcome was I discovered some new blogs to read and follow along the way. The unhappy outcome was finding final posts before a site owner headed off into the ether, either to where the blogging grass was greener or pulling the plug and going dark.
If you are reading this post and have questions about using the Block Editor, feel free asking in the comments. If you want more in-depth assistance, we might move over to a test run of the Helpdesk (free of charge for now). I’ll need to invite you, so again, please leave a comment.
What you read in 2020:
So let’s quickly catch up on those topics:
At the close of 2020 there remain 82 Premium themes from the previous 183 Premium themes that were available at this time last year. If you upgrade your site to a WordPress.com Premium plan or higher, those 82 Premium themes are included in your plan for as long as you maintain your upgrade. Free and Personal plan owners can purchase a Premium theme as a one-time purchase and the theme can be used for the life of your site on WordPress.com.
Important Note: In September 2021, WordPress.com retired all available Premium themes.
There really haven’t been any major changes to general site privacy. Sites can be either Public or Private. Additionally, you can password protect both posts and pages on a Public site. Keep in mind that when your site is Public, password protecting a post or page will keep the text on those pages out of sight from both visitors and search engines, but search engines will still crawl and index any Media in your Media Library, including whatever is included on password-protected posts or pages.
Sites that have a Premium upgrade plan can add a Premium Content block that limits who can see that content. You might be seeing more of it in 2021.
The Block Editor continues to be a work-in-progress, with the addition of new blocks. Thankfully the editor workspace itself seems to be fairly static for now. If you find the Block Editor’s sidebars confusing, you’ll find a guide in the first two sections on my “Behind the Wheel” post.
What you commented on in 2020:
The post with the most comments this year was Writing in the WP Admin Classic Editor-A Quick Tour for the Perplexed WordPress.com User followed by The Classic Editing Experience is Moving, Not Leaving. But where? And for whom?
What you shared in 2020:
This was the year of saving to Pocket! The most saved posts were:
- The Block Editor: A Block Management Guide – 74 shares
- Writing in the WP Admin Classic Editor-A Quick Tour for the Perplexed WordPress.com User – 66 shares
- Behind the Wheel of the Block Editor’s Classic Block – 45 shares
- Getting One’s Head Around The Full Block Editor – 35 shares
- Go: The SEO Benefits of Creating a Website with WordPress.com – 27 shares
After Pocket, you shared the most via Twitter, Reddit, WhatsApp and Facebook.
Thank you for your inspiration and camaraderie which made 2020 a better year not only on WPcomMaven, but for me personally.
That’s a wrap! See you in 2021.
As always, the information in this post is correct as of publication date. Changes are inevitable.
Featured Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com