Email subscription button

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    I hate this new change – why can’t WP leave well enough alone. AND WHY WON’T THEY REPLY TO ANY OF THE MIRIAD OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS CHANGE. It is confusing, for both my blog and blogs I followed. Please put things back the way they were. It was a good system and it seems I am not the only one who dislikes these changes to the e-mail subscription system.



    because I had no idea at first what the new button was – clicked on it and am now following my own blog – I can’t find a way to delete subscribing to it – HELP ????????????????????????????????????????????



    @jobryantnz: you should be able to just click on the button again and it will “unfollow”. It’s a toggle.



    Interesting that on top of everything else, this morning I have no subscription notification emails either. Mine always arrive in my inbox at 4am my time. Nothing. I might get a chance to catch up on the week, do you rhink?


    As far as I’m aware of the ‘follow’ button still works as a subscribe button for wordpress users. Someone subscribed to my blog and it lists them as a wordpress follower.

    As to whether it works for people subscribing via email I’m still not sure. To put this to the test I got one of my friends to subscribe to my blog via email by the follow button – he’s not a wordpress user – it did subscribe him via email to my blog.

    The problem here is that he wouldn’t neccesarily realise that it was an email subscription until he clicked on the follow and supplied his address.

    Very frustrating – but at least we know that as soon as the do click the follow button they are prompted for their email.

    Though it seems a bit silly that you can follow your own blog.



    Thanks for the feedback so far. Just to clear up a few points:

    • We are actively working on this, so it will continue to change and adapt based on usage and feedback.
    • The functionality has not changed, only the look. Users are still subscribed as they were before.
    • Logged out users will still see the email form and wording when they click the follow button.
    • users will now instantly follow your blog without having to enter their email address.
    • You can change the title and wording of the widget in the Appearance > Widgets menu in your dashboard.

    If you are a user then you can read and manage the blogs you follow here:



    Staff: I was getting reports from my potential non-user subscribers that the email subscription functionality is gone altogether. The subscription form shows up, but they get bounced to the fresh page almost immediately. I logged out and confirmed the problem.




    First of all, thanks for finally posting. It’s nice to know that WP is paying attention. Thanks also for working on the problems and adapting based on usage and feedback.

    I personally have two problems with the change.

    1. This one bullet is not true:

    You can change the title and wording of the widget in the Appearance > Widgets menu in your dashboard.

    I’ve tried multiple times to change the title of the widget and it doesn’t stick. Every time I click on Save it reverts back to “Follow Blog”.

    2. Even if I could change the widget title, I don’t want the button to be labeled “Follow”. As I mention in this thread, I have a Follow page in my main navigation menu, and so using the “follow” terminology for the email subscription button causes confusion for my readers.

    If you read through this thread, you’ll see that a lot of other users are stating the same thing, that the term “follow” is most commonly associated with Twitter, not email subscriptions.

    It seems to me that the easiest solution is to offer two different widgets: the old email subscription widget that worked very well, and the new Follow widget.




    I concur with @drawingboard to the extent there needs to be very clear indication to the users they can subscribe by email. At the moment it looks as if email subscriptions are NOT available.

    Basic principle of systems design in an intuitive GUI – this does nto meet that principle.



    It seems to me the solution to the problem could be as simple as substituting the word “subscribe” for “follow” on the button.

    I agree with the point made above. “Follow” implies Twitter, and it is very confusing.

    I don’t understand why the change had to be made in the first place, but if the change must be made, at least make its function clear to users. As it stands, it will prevent more email subscriptions than it enables.



    @apeatling – thanks for commenting. It’s reassuring to know that the Happiness Engineers are doing something about this.

    I agree with the two above me – we need to clearly distinguish between Subscribe via email and Follow. 95% of my email subscribers are non WP-users. They chose to “Sign me up” rather than “Follow on FB/Twitter etc.” Saying you can now follow with an email subscription is confusing. And no, I can’t change the widget title. (I’m using Rubric.)



    Thank you, WordPress, for responding so quickly.

    However, there are a few issues that I would like to point out, from feedback I’ve received from people trying to subscribe to my blog.

    1. You say that we can change the title and wording of this new widget, but that is not true. Nothing changes, no matter what I try.

    2. People trying to subscribe to my blog are confused by the word “Follow”, which they associate with Twitter.

    3. Non-Wordpress users who click on this new “Follow” button, do not get an option to enter their email, so if they want to get my blog updates by email, they can’t.

    4. Soooo many people keep saying the word “Follow” is confusing because they think “Twitter.” People who want email updates are completely lost. They think the only way to get updates on my blog is thru Twitter, and if they don’t want that, they just give up!

    Please, just put back the old subscription widget! And if you want to add another widget that says “Follow” that’s fine. But give us the choice – please! We’re losing subscribers, and to new bloggers like me, subscribers are so important!

    Thank you.



    What happened? Suddenly my ‘subscribe’ button became some ‘follow’ thing. I’m getting a lot of complaints from readers. There’s no way they can choose every day or summary versions of the posts.
    Please, please put back the subscription post, it was working just fine.



    For those who haven’t noticed, there’s a checkbox for “number of subscribers”. You can uncheck it and that little stat will disappear.

    I logged out, went to my blog and found that, once I clicked the “follow” button, the box to enter an email address <i>did</i> appear. Some people have said it isn’t there. Perhaps there are differences among themes.

    Finally, until this gets sorted out, I’ve substituted this text for what used to be a simple “Subscribe By Email”:

    <i>To Subscribe by Email – Click the “Follow” Button (It should say “Subscribe”, but WordPress changed it. To “follow me” on Twitter, click the little birdie just below.)

    Such gyrations shouldn’t be necessary. Not everyone in the world is a coder or site developer. The point should be to make things easy for the reader, not more difficult and/or mysterious.

    To quote Paul Graham, author of <i>Hackers and Painters</i>, “… to write good software you have to understand how little users understand. They’re going to walk up to the software with no preparation, and it had better do what they guess it will, because they’re not going to read the manual.”



    I think we can safely judge this to be a VERY unpopular change.



    @apeatling Thanks for posting a response.

    But I think the complaint is that readers do not know that “follow” means “subscribe.” They are confusing the word “follow” with Twitter. They don’t realize it means “subscribe.” Why? Because it doesn’t say “subscribe.” It says “follow.” Which to most people does not mean the same thing.

    And some people don’t use twitter and don’t want to. What we are trying to say is that the change of wording that is confusing.

    And that subscribers don’t equal followers. In the minds of most people (scratch that: all people) they are different. The definition of each word is different.

    What we are complaining about is not the simplicity of function, it’s the word: “follow.”

    Just change “follow” to “subscribe” and we’ll love you forever, we promise.

    And if you must have the word “follow” you’re going to have to explain that to the vast majority of people who do not get it. Or else its kinda creepy to just change the definition of a word for no reason.


    Please return to users the option of a “Subscribe” button. Experimentation is great — that’s how we learn. This “Follow” experiment failed.



    Dear Matt and team,
    You know I love you guys, but this Follow button is for the birds. We have subscribers not followers … The new Follow button is vague and makes non WP people wonder what it is for… that term works for Facebook and Twitter not for us as bloggers.
    There is nothing attractive or uplifting about the design and it neither invites nor excites any potential subscriber to want to click it. I’m all for streamlining, but this is a terrible idea. Please give us back our subscriber button. It is a standard everyday English word that people understand and everyone gets it… Follower, NOT!
    Thank you!



    I agree. I also don’t like the new ‘Follow’ button. I think it is confusing for the readers. The original ‘subscribe’ button meant they knew exactly what they were signing up for.

    After reading some of the above comments feel even more wary now. I have no real idea if my readers are affected by the changes. I do know that one reader felt the need to resubscribe to my blog.

    People were happy with the way it was befre, could you not just change it back?



    This is a fundamental change to the look of my site, and I resent it. It’s ugly and takes away a point of difference – namely, the ability to talk to readers when asking them to sign up. You ought to us the option to choose. Why shouldn’t we be able to keep the old version if we prefer it? I feel very strongly that you should change it back.

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