WordPress Kills Post Formats UI For 3.6 Release

Mark Jaquith announced today that Post Formats UI will not be a part of the core in WordPress 3.6 but will be relegated to a plugin, similar to MP6. We’re referring to the fancy new display that would have been added to the post edit screen:

The new post formats

Why is WordPress Killing Post Formats UI?

It seems the attention to the post formats was holding up the 3.6 release date, so it’s been punted to a plugin. The core WordPress contributors are now hatching a plan for extracting it from this release.

Current post formats box with added icons
There are a few rough mockups floating around on make.wordpress.org for the possibility of keeping the icons in the current post format listings, but nothing has been set in stone yet.

Some WordPress users will be quite disappointed that the shiny new UI has been removed. But the question remains – how many people really use post formats on a regular basis? Certainly there must be a decent number, but I’d wager that the vast majority of WordPress users won’t ever bother with post formats. A massive display of post format options on the edit screen seems to be more attention than they deserve. Removing them from the 3.6 release is a good call.

Will Post Formats UI Ever Be Added to the Core?

It’s possible, though I know many folks are crossing their fingers and hoping that it doesn’t return. It may eventually be reintegrated after it’s polished up. This would be a great time to take a community poll. Who really wants the proposed post formats UI? Having the ability to turn it off in the screen options is great, but is this just another thing that most people will turn off?

If this was your favorite new feature and your heart is broken, just use the plugin. You won’t even know the difference. ;) Let us know in the comments how you feel about WordPress killing the new post formats UI. Are you disappointed? Do you use post formats regularly? Do you think they deserve all this attention?

46 Responses

    • New Recruit

      exactly simon. like microsoft word and many other progs the bloated functions and capabilities overwhelm many new users and in the case of ms word, 90% of the users use less than 10% of the functionality.

      this will more than likely make for a much better interface and allow peeps to pick and chose only what they will need or want for day to day ops.

  • New Recruit

    While I didn’t use it, I think post styling was a great idea.

    I do hope that adding and editing custom post types and styles is revisited as either core or first-party plugin.

    I see so many use cases for custom post types and custom post styles, but right now the creation and management of them is tricky to the point where the juice is not worth the squeeze.

  • New Recruit

    I think post styling is better handled by the more abstract (and robust) taxonomy system that the WP team has been pushing. I believe including the styles in their current incarnation was a throw-back, reminding me of “the old way” of WP.

    Kudos for removing this feature until it’s better planned. I would also be okay with it being a feature out-of-the-box, but disabled by default. I don’t need more needless clutter on my edit screens.

  • New Recruit

    I use the gallery post format with the Twenty Eleven theme in my personal blog all the time. One of my clients just decided to use Asides in Twenty Twelve to announce workshops, because the background turns blue. (Semantically a horrible decision, stylistically attention-getting.) A new client (about to migrate from .com to .org) just asked me for post formats without knowing that’s what she wanted. (She wants her gallery posts to look different from her text posts.)

    Depending on who you are, there are many post formats you will never use. I will never use a chat transcript or an aside or, very likely, a status update, except for instructional purposes. Audio, video, or gallery? Yes, quite likely. Single image, possibly. Those could be in either personal or professional contexts, for me or for clients.

    I have been USING the new post format UI for the past 3 weeks and some, because I am teaching a WordPress class that started on May 8th and wanted to equip my students for the imminent upgrade. I recorded 2 sets of videos about how to use post formats, one with WP 3.5 and Twenty Twelve, one with 3.6 beta and Twenty Thirteen.

    I found the new Post Formats UI MUCH EASIER to use. Also much easier to explain to others. It includes hints on what to do and where to put things. If you haven’t tried using the link post format without the new UI, it’s downright confusing. I never bother. The new post format UI also shows you which post formats have titles and which don’t. AND because your selection of post formats is horizontal, it doesn’t force you to scroll down the page to find your categories and tags below your post format metabox.

    When you used the Standard format, which is the default, your edit screen looked absolutely normal–and had no distracting post format metabox cluttering your right sidebar.

    So far as I could tell, it was working just fine, though 3 weeks of use with just one theme is by no means sufficient testing. But my Hopeless N00b students liked the look of it. The members of my meetup liked the look of it. I can explain to all of them that if they want it, they can install a plugin, and if they plan to use post formats, they SHOULD install the plugin…once we know what the plugin is called and it’s available.

    I’ve asked the core team what exactly wasn’t working, that they felt the need to pull this feature at such a late date. I feel I owe an explanation to my students and my meetup members, and that we haven’t received one. I trust the core team to have encountered genuine obstacles that aren’t apparent from the outside, but I want to know what they are and why fixing them would have taken longer than trying to preserve the audio/video functions and the other things that they are trying to hang onto in spite of this. It has to be pretty serious, because I’m sure they knew there would be a backlash against it.

  • New Recruit

    What a shame. WordPress makes great things and people are so quick to put it down. This would have been a great step forward, especially for introducing new users to wordpress, and sometimes you just need to piss a bunch of people off to open their eyes, let’s stop blaming wordpress. Instead, blame poorly serviced and updated themes, plugins, hosts, extended services.

    bottom line quote from fangirl “I found the new Post Formats UI MUCH EASIER to use. Also much easier to explain to others.”

    Very much agree, such a shame. I am saddened because as a partaker, I feel I haven’t lent enough support to WordPress’ efforts, and so – plug in I guess it will have to be (weak)

    Last words – all of that hard work, good effort and discussion down the drain.


    People need big shiny dummy stickers everywhere. It’s why we “need” windows.

  • New Recruit

    No No No Bad idea to remove formats from the core. At least make it as add theme support and dont make a fancy layout cluttered button in the edit pages. Leave the metabox as it is.

    I just started building themes based on the formats. It filles the gap between categories and theme templates. The latter is to present the structure of the page view and the format to grain the content part in the tamplate, without adding new themes.

    For example, in setups as CMS, internal projects with cistom post types and diffrent layers of front end access, a small status format can be adjusted for the contents purpose in layout and script funstions. List formats in categories and make all image format posts open in modal etc etc.

    The format UI make it possible to adjust the responsive desgin and views for diffrent roles.

    This is a huge step back to remove the UI and the future of using WP as a cloud service and much more.

    I agree formats is an overkill for users with default Twenty themes, but the few of us who extend the wordpress world, please respect the small voices in this matter

    / Jonas Lundman, coordinator and project manager.

  • New Recruit

    This is a great day for common sense.

    WP are not removing Post Formats, just the horrid and confusing overlay for them in the post editor.

    In the current 3.6 beta, they are back to a simple radio button dialog.

    A feature like post formats should, like post types, be something in the control of the theme and plugin developers. WP’s attempt to put post formats front and centre greatly risked users finding out about them and demanding devs include support – when they (the users) don’t even know why they want them. It’s shiny! I like shiny!

    Imagine the “joy” for every theme developer having to go back and build in support for the multitude of post formats because someone *might* use them.

    Keeping post formats to a lower profile means the devs can seamlessly build it in as a feature if required, instead of having to build it in because it’s a key WP feature.

    (Sure devs can disable post format support but if it had a high profile like WP intended, then users would blindly say “I want a theme with post formats”)

  • Flash Drive

    I’ve honestly never used post formats but I can of course see the appeal, especially to sites which relies heavily on their blogging..

    Personally I wont miss it altho I was excited to see if I couldn’t make something out of it.. I don’t know about you all but I think it would’ve been reaaaallly sweet if you could choose from settings or a function which post formats to use AND add your own which you could then assign custom meta fields to.. I know, this is basically the same as page templates and/or using categories but this would allow for a much simpler UI for clients who has a few different types of posts.. for example: Leads, Investigative articles, chronicles etc.

  • New Recruit

    Yes, of course – this would be a nice feature if we could add custom fields and assign them to the necessary Postformat. In most of our cases we are registering new meta fields in the functions and tell them to be visible only on the “article input page” based on the selected category. So kind of page-templates where we have to modify the single, add category-…php and content-…php. So we don´t have to think about the outcome on Category, Search and so on outcomes…

  • New Recruit

    Definitely the right decision. 80% of our projects are WordPress based business sites and for our, and our clients’ purposes, all CMS type features are far more useful than blogging features.

    Post formats seems like a mix of ideas for social media platforms and blogging and I just don’t see any need for something so specific to be in the core, as in practice a plug-in works just as well. In fact, for our purposes, it merely clogs the interface with useless features to further confuse clients that rarely have a proper understanding of what they’re doing from the get go.

    Whenever we incorporate a blog with our projects, clients don’t want to make ‘video posts’ – they want to ‘add a video to their posts’. There’s are not equivalent.

    But as stated, we just happen to use WP more as a CMS than a blogging platform (mostly because of the ease of development and the ease of use for the end user), and this is somewhat of a development path type a choice for WP in general.

  • New Recruit

    There is already a perfectly good plugin that performs this function – it’s called ‘CF Post Formats’ by crowdfavorite.com, I literally use it all the time when choosing to publish unique single page formats for video posts, galleries, embedded magazines etc.


    Here’s a screengrab of my admin area showing it in action. When I heard that WP 3.6 would include the same function in core, I was already setting aside time to test and workaround any problems when migrating to it – now it sounds like I don’t have to..

  • New Recruit

    The reason we don’t use joomla and drupal is becuase their UI is very complicated. Current UI is very good and makes it easy to access. Though the new UI of post format gives impression of easy access yet the controls are moved to the top of the nav bar if you see the UI in action on wordpress.com site. So you can see that UI with postformat was quite complicated. Sidebar based UI is very effective as the things are easy to access. That said, rolling such changes to plugin is much better option. As much as it looks easy for quick posting like tumblr. It is very complicated UI for multi user blogs, for editor use, admin use and for blogging that doesn’t deal with Video, chat and link based post format.

    • New Recruit

      I’m not sure why the new post format UI would be more complicated for multi-author blogs than for single author blogs. If your site uses post formats, you have to convey your house policy about using them to all your writers irrespective of the UI.

      I’m sure the proposed improvements to editorial workflow that were cut in the alpha stages of 3.6 would have been a more useful feature for those with multi-author blogs, however.

      I think the new UI made post formats more usable, and made it clearer what they are (NOT the same thing as custom post types). And I think it was the splashiest new feature in 3.6, so that removing it eviscerates the release.

      It does not mean that post formats are equally useful for everyone. It doesn’t even mean they are what I would have chosen as the top priority for the next phase of WP. I think removing the new UI at a late date is problematic, and I think that the new UI for post formats is better than the old one.

      There is not a question of removing post formats themselves from the WordPress core. That being the case, they need to be improved. And I do wonder: will the new UI be ripped out of WordPress.com? Or will we find people migrating from .com to .org who find themselves confused by the post editor until the next WP version catches up?

      • New Recruit

        I’m disappointed, because I thought I wanted the “shiny new thing”. But, honestly, I’ve not actually tried post formats at all yet. (Only very briefly with the Standard Theme from 8bit).

        @sallie_goetsch – Could you or someone dumb-down an explanation of the difference between post formats and custom post types for me? Or is that beyond the scope (and too off-topic) of this discussion?

        • New Recruit

          @brian_meagher It may be off-topic, but worth explaining.

          Post formats are about just that: the format of your post, matching style to content. There’s some semantic information included, too: this post contains an image gallery. This post contains a video. This post contains audio. But posts with post formats are still posts. The WP team came up with a standardized set of them because there are typical types of content that go into posts: text, audio, video, images, etc.

          Custom post types are meant for specialized content that doesn’t belong in either pages or posts. There aren’t any pre-defined kinds available directly through the UI, because they are CUSTOM. Some people don’t need any of them; some people need many different ones. A few common uses for custom post types are products, portfolio items, event listings, testimonials, directory entries. Custom post types usually make use of a number of custom fields (price for products, client name for testimonials or portfolio items, dates for events, contact info for directory entries).

          An item to note: Jetpack’s Publicize feature only works for posts (with or without post formats) not with custom post types.

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