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Lame - no Editable CSS for blog

  1. This statement is lame. WordPress should know that 1/2 the blogs out there are used by programmers. We don't like canned solutions that are 100% precanned. We like to edit the presentation using CSS so that our blogs can be more individual and fit our style. The worse thing is a pre-canned look & feel. I don't want to have to pay for an ISP, why can't I just edit the CSS of my blog? when will you guys provide a critical functinality!

    From FAQs, I feel this is so lame:

    Can I edit my templates?
    We are definitely mindful of making everything more customizable for our users, but at the same time we don't want people to have to look at HTML and CSS code, which is antithetical to the purpose of WordPress.com

  2. I would like a little more customising options, especially for the header on the default theme. But I am fine what I got, its better then blogspot, I'm not complaining!

  3. I'm going to save you from a WordPress.com/forums pile on.

    It's understandable that you think the lack of css editing capability is lame. As someone who has worked as a professional web designer and web applications developer, I fully understand the innate desire of the programmer to tinker with anything, be it a program, a website or a template.

    That being said, there are several good reasons why CSS and XHTML aren't editable on WordPress.com blogs, all of which have been discussed ad naseum on this forum:

    (1) First and foremost, security. Anything editable creates the risk of exploitation, and there have been several high profile examples of similar sites being exposed to such exploitation, including Livejournal and MySpace. Yes, Blogger lets you edit templates without fear of security risk, but Blogger works differently from WordPress, which directly executes PHP on every page view.

    (2) WordPress.com attempts to strike a balance between people with and without the necessary skills to create custom templates. While it's true that you may be able to create a better template, there are surely millions with absolutely no knowledge of HTML and CSS. For these people, WordPress.com is a boon. They can customize their blog's content using widgets and theme options without violating the consistency of their design, without creating a standards non-compliant mess, and without having to know how to use Javascript and RSS to syndicate other content. These people deserve a high-quality blog host, too. For you, there are options, for them, there are not.

    (4) Have you seen the quality of the templates and themes on other free, hosted sites? Take Yahoo! 360 for example - the templates are nowhere near as professional and sleek as the ones currently offered on WordPress.com.

    (3) There is something to be said for not being able to edit your HTML and CSS; it forces you to focus on content rather than presentation. For many, this is a plus. On past blogs, I know that I have become so caught up in creating and tweaking themes that my blog became less about communication that about presentation.

    (4) Even if you do not want to pay for webhosting, you have other options if you want a custom template. As explained in (3), there are other potential bloggers that do not. And remember, it is a free service.

    The bottom line is that WordPress.com is focused on communication and broad usability. Custom CSS, as you have implied, is not critical functionality for a blog. Communication and usability, however, are critical. And WordPress.com probably provides these functions more aptly than any other free, hosted weblog service.

    Please don't take this as a rant, I've just seen people ripped to shreds on these forums for insinuating that the service is deficient, and I wanted to give a good, logical explanation before the ad hominem attacks started flying.

    Oh, but I don't work for WordPress or anything, so maybe the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

  4. Whilst I (kind of) agree with the sentiment and fully back up gd's reasoned post above, I have to ask a question of you:

    Why make your post sound like you are attacking wordpress?

    Yes, attack, the attitude portraid in your post has a very argumentative tone which will probably get you no more reasoned answers than gd's above.

    Before I walk away from this thread (it has wound me up), a few months ago I wrote about the forum on my blog. You can read it here:

    http://cornell.wordpress.com/2006/01/23/aarrgh-wpcom-users-read-this/

    I think this still applies.

  5. Good post Collin - very restrained and polite.

  6. 5.) This is not WordPress that we are running here but WordPress MultiUser. A friendly reminder that they are not the same program. They have different goals. If you want a blog where you can change things to your heart's content, then you need to be over here. MU was not designed for the power user but to support those who just want to blog and not worry about stuff like CSS and the like.

    Apples and Oranges and all that. :)

  7. I would agree with those who criticize lack of CSS editing. Personally, I would like to be able to select at least the fonts (or their size) and the background colors that suit my taste. Now there are some themes who have one but spoil everything with the second.Though I have to agree that even without CSS editing, I like it more than Blogger.

  8. Now there are some themes who have one but spoil everything with the second.

    Agreed. Some theme designers who have now become aware of WordPressMU are redesigning their themes to allow the option to change stuff like this. Regulus comes to mind. Hopefully other designers will follow this.

    It's a lot easier to edit a Dashboard page than it is to edit a CSS file. :)

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