WordPress Gremlins

You may have noticed a few gremlins in the works as you’re out and about on WordPress. I know of two current issues that seem unrelated – missing posts and missing comments.

1: Posts not appearing in the Reader

I’ve always assumed that all the posts published by people I follow will automatically appear in my Reader but recently I’ve had the impression that I might not be seeing them all. I’ve had no proof until I noticed that two out of my last three posts have not been shown in the Reader. The Happiness Engineers can see no reason why they would not appear, but guess it might be because more people than usual are posting and this is overwhelming the system. They can’t offer any hope of fixing this anytime soon, so publishing is a bit hit and miss.

My two ‘missing’ posts are here:

Spring Tree Canopies for Earth Day

Hardy Geranium With Fern Shawl

Some people have discovered these, but most have not. I’m intrigued to know how they have been found – perhaps if people are following by email, following / searching for a tag, or because the lost-in-the-Reader issue does not affect everyone. If you’ve got any ideas, or have noticed this happening to your posts, I’d be interested to know.

2. Vanishing comments

Over the last few days comments have been sparser in my notifications than usual. I’d assumed this was because my posts were vanishing, but it seems something else is happening too.

Several people posted yesterday to say that they are getting email notifications of comments that don’t exist when they visit their blogs, making it impossible to reply.

As I don’t get emails about comments, it could be that some have vanished that I don’t know about, but what’s certain is that they are not all vanishing. However, I have just noticed a similar issue.

When someone replies to my comment, I am not always being notified. It’s a bit hard to explain how this works, but here goes: most replies to my replies to comments left on my own posts are not appearing in my notifications (underneath the bell icon). I can find them via my dashboard or by visiting my blog – or so I think. If your head is exploding at this point – I’m sorry. Mine is exploding too!

I’m not always being advised of replies to comments I’ve left on other people’s blogs, although I am notified if they like my comment. These ‘missing’ replies are a bit harder to track down, especially as the problem is intermittent.

I would guess that some of you are also not being notified when I reply to your comments. I’m sorry about that! I appreciate comments and do try to reply to them all, although it might take a few days.

I have reported the first issue and have seen various people saying that WordPress are aware of the second issue and are working on a fix. My fingers are crossed that both will soon be sorted.

Meanwhile I’m going to post this and hope for the best. Keep an eye out for similar gremlins affecting your blog. We might not be able to fix it, but it’s good to know what’s happening.

56 Replies to “WordPress Gremlins”

  1. Yes, I’ve noticed the same, both on replies to my comments on others’ posts which is tough to find as I comment on many, and comments on my own posts. I suspect it is related to the uptick in internet traffic and there isn’t the bandwidth to carry it all. Hope they work it out!

    1. Val has added a link to a thread in the comments below which suggests the commenting issue is resolved, although there will be no retrospective alerts for the ones that were missed.

      Reading through some of the linked posts on the thread, a staff member has posted a link to remind us we can use the conversations section in our dashboards:
      https://wordpress.com/read/conversations

      It’s not all that easy to work through when you often comment on blogs that attract a lot of comments. Some of these conversations are quite involved!

  2. I shall come and visit your posts tomorrow. I haven’t seen them. Often I have to refresh the Reader to find posts as they don’t always seem to ‘appear’.

    1. I sometimes manage to unfollow people by accident too – I have wondered if it is because the banner to click is so close to the follow/unfollow button.

  3. I’ve noticed it too. Not getting comments and also my comments done form the notifications section not showing up in the comment roll that we all like to read. I do think my blog isn’t showing up in everyone’s reader either.

    1. It would be very interesting to know if posts can be missing in some people’s readers and not in others. Do you follow your own blog? I do because I like to check mine as soon as it is published to see how it appears in the Reader as the format, layout, picture sizes etc are different to the one I’ve chosen for the site.

  4. I received the geranium in the fern shawl email notification, but not the Spring tree canopy email notification.

    My life revolves around my email inbox for everything (which is why I never see some blogs I follow). After my computer crash Easter last year and I bought a new desktop, initially, I had to use the Reader for a while, but I find that hard on my eyes and constant daily headaches, so was pleased to eventually got back to email notifications.

    I think you’ll find all is fixed now (according to another blog I read this morning)

    1. Fingers crossed! It can’t be easy to keep everything working.

      I do prefer to visit the actual blog, because in most cases, the blog settings show the content off better than the Reader settings. I still have intermittent issues with Safari, but Firefox is OK (I hate to tempt fate, so more fingers are crossed).

  5. Hi Susan, The geranium post was in my reader but the latest one with the trees wasn‘t. As I had got an email to notify me of it I searched in my reader and pressed the ‘manage’ button and pressed the notifcations buttons on and off a few times and then you were back in my reader again! I often have problems with wordpress and have recently had to resort to the reader as I can‘t comment or like wordpress blogs directly on the sites even when I am logged in. Anyway, hopefully it will all sort itself out eventually. It must be a complex system with various engineers working on it at the same time, so errors are to be expected.

    1. That’s a good tip – I’ll try it next time I suspect something is awry.

      I have a similar issue with commenting or liking using Safari, so have swopped to Firefox, and that works, with a little managing to allow cross site trackers.

      You are right about the complexity – even just managing the world’s changing (and often not updated) browsers would make my head spin.

  6. I use the reader rather than e-mails – I don’t think I’ve had either of these, but I have rectified that now. Another problem that remains is not being able to like posts.

  7. I have the same problem with Reader… for some time, my posts didn’t appear and nobody read them. Aparently there were a few issues… A plugin I was using, and as I don’t use a wordpress.com blog anymore, only my current readers can find my posts, but they don’t appear in searches by tags or anything unless I have a paid Jetpack plan…

    1. And I’ve found it is more than a bit hit or miss what Google highlights. I discovered that Google was using one of my hellebore pictures as an image that appeared whenever anyone searched for ‘Hellebore’. It was a pretty enough picture, but linked to a fairly random post, so it was perhaps as well hardly anyone clicked on it. If I had magic powers one of my first projects would be to create a search that brought up a better quality of results. Mind you, with magic powers, perhaps I’d have different priorities! 🙂

  8. My weird WP dilemma is I have seemed to like posts before I even see them. I noticed this happens when I open a post from email. Not everyone but just random. Doesn’t seem to happen opening from the Reader though

    1. That is weird. Have you looked into why? I would have thought there were only two ways that could happen – a post you read and liked so long ago you’d forgotten has been reposted or someone else has access to your account and is liking on your behalf. It’s worth investigating. You could check if it is a repost by asking next time you spot it.

      I have never reposted a post, although I have been tempted with the vanishing ones. I didn’t try that as I didn’t want to irritate email followers. I do sometimes update posts though, if I notice a typo or to add a related picture. I presume an update to a post won’t trigger a new email.

      1. I did contact WP and they were perplexed as I am. I found it mainly happens on links opened from emails. Now I am using the Reader more and there hasn’t been as many already liked.
        It is on new posts only. The WP person and I had a bit of a laugh when I mentioned that I didn’t think there would be anyone accessing my site and random liking posts before I could. I opened one post from email today only minutes after it was posted and it was liked. If I come across a post that has been liked and I didn’t really want to I just unlike. I hope you get your stuff solved Susan :)(

  9. So far I’ve not had many problems, I don’t think. However, my on-going fear is that we’ll be forced into using the Block Editor, which I don’t understand AT ALL.

    1. When we have to we’ll find a way. I would hope they’ll not go down that route before making it a bit more user friendly.

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