The End is Near: Wix Terminates Its Original Blog

12 Dec 2018

If you have had a Wix website for a while and have blog pages on it, this news may come as a shock to you. The blog you are familiar with is no longer available to be added to websites. At the moment, the old blog still functions, and you can still add new blog posts, use the tags and categories, and see the Insights analytics if your app included that feature. 


If your Wix website never had a blog and now you want to add one, you will be getting what we call the new blog. It's still a free app from Wix, and some people who are used to other blogging platforms claim to like it. You also could upload the app for installing a Blogger blog on your site, or add a Tumblr feed, but I don't really recommend doing that.  It's best to stick with apps that are specifically made by Wix to ensure the highest level of functional compatibility. 


Wix has been working on a whole new blog app for quite a while, and has spent months /years incorporating feedback from the community of Wix designers. More improvements are still to come, which is why I'm not yet advocating for making the switch. 


In fact, making the switch right now would mean a lot of relearning and restyling, and adjusting to where common tools are located, as well as what can and can't yet be done. If you are wanting to replace your old blog app with the new one on the same website, I'm told there is an auto-transfer function for moving posts from the old app to the new.


I couldn't find or test that that without installing the new blog on an existing site with an old blog, and frankly didn't want to risk losing my ability to retain the old blog. I'll let you know more about this when I can. What I do know is that there is no way to auto-transfer a blog from the old app on one site to the new app on a second site. For that kind of relocation of blog posts, the old copy and paste operation is what you'd have to do. But be aware that you will likely lose any SEO history for that post when moving it to a new site / domain.



Unique Features of the New Blog


Privileges -- The new blog allows website owners to give blogging privileges to team or group members, while still keeping the editing of the website as a whole locked down. This may be advantageous to group practices where each therapist, coach, or lawyer wants to blog for their particular ideal client. For those of us who work alone, that login / sign up button displayed on the menu line at the top of the main blog page can be turned off in Settings.


Categories -- For now, categories are inflexibly displayed across the top of main blog page. Only the first four or so will be visible, with the rest consigned to a drop down menu under the word "More". This is a big change for those of us who have used the Categories element as a movable design feature as a set of text links, able to be placed wherever we wanted it on whatever page.  I've asked for the return of the Categories element and for the current menu type of display to be optional instead of forced on us.


Tags Replace by Hashtags -- Another missing element is the tag cloud, replaced now by in-text hashtags. Admittedly I'm not up on using hashtags, but I'm going to have to learn because right now I can't figure out how to direct where any included hashtags will end up. When adding a tag for #DeWriteSites, and clicking on it, I'm just taken back to a strange version of the blog itself but without the photo and not all the content. I don't get the point of that.


No Partial Content in Some Layouts -- In the new blog, some layouts offer partial content, and others don't. In all layouts, you can choose to display the name of the author along with a tiny avatar of them (must choose both or none), the blog's photo, date of publication, how long it takes to read each post, how many views the post has had, how many comments on each post, and how many likes. All this shows on the top blog page. And most of this can be switched off so that none of it is displayed -- which leaves a bit of odd, blank white space under the title.


Styling -- At the moment we can select colors but not font nor font size for the top page menu. We can select color, and size for headlines but not font style. We can select color for the post container (background), and for the border around each post. There doesn't yet seem to be a way to style the display of photos -- making them round or oval, with a shadow frame, etc.


Comments by Default -- Because most bloggers really want readers to comment because it's good for SEO and for developing a reader community (and thereby a pool of potential clients), Wix has made a Comments element a standard feature at the bottom of each post. Unlike the old blog where the comments feature was somehow connected to Facebook, this one is not.


So far, for psychotherapists, attorneys, and others who don't want personal stories and pleas for help from random readers, or trolls, displayed on their website, the comment function can be switched off. The place to find that ability is in the Manage Posts list. It looks like we have to switch off the comment function for each blog post published individually. There is not yet a universal OFF switch.



Changes to Hunt For


So far the content editing tools are in the same location -- in a popup tool bar when you highlight a word or paragraph when editing a post.


But the tools for adding a photo, video, divider or html is no longer at the top of the editing screen. Look for those at the bottom.


In the old blog, alt text was added on a popup tool bar that was attached to each photo. That's sort of still there, but hidden as a "settings" (gear) icon which when clicked opens a sidebar that allows more than just the alt text.


Unlike the old blog where we have a visible sidebar for SEO, etc., in the post editing screen, in the new blog at the top right of each blog post there is a link for Post Settings, which opens varies SEO, categories and general tools.




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Why I've Retired

It's possible this will come as a surprise to you -- it certainly has snuck on me that I'm well past retirement age. Over the last year or so, my heart has been pulled in other directions, and while I still love the creative aspects of website design, I want to use my time making a life rather than devoting my energies to making a living. So I plan to travel, attend writers' retreats, work on learning to take good iPhone photos, and just be open to where my spirit guides take me. I have also stepped back from my esoteric work for 2020, and who knows what the future holds for that.

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All the Best to You!