A Refreshed Reader for 2017
Reader now sports a simplified design, new post layouts, spiffed-up tag pages, and recommended posts.
Reader is WordPress.com’s town square, where you can follow your favorite sites and read them in a distraction-free environment. We’ve been working on a refresh for months, and we’re thrilled to share it with you today. For readers, we hope these changes will surprise and delight you, adding more diversity to your stream and exposing you to posts you’ll love. And for writers, we want to put your awesome work in front of a whole new audience.
A Simplified Design
We want Reader to feel like a magazine you can cozy up with, so we’ve streamlined the design, featuring clean text on a simple white background. We’ve also increased the information density so you can see more of the sites you love with less scrolling.
New Post Layouts
There’s a huge variety of content in Reader. We want to make sure it looks great no matter what, so the layout now responds to what’s in the post. For example, posts with lots of imagery will get the Gallery layout, which highlights the first four images.
A post with an image and very little text will get the Photo layout, letting the visuals take center stage. Want to see more of the photo? Click or tap and it will expand in place.
Reader is now better at choosing which media to show — like many of you have requested, it’ll start looking for media at the top of each post. If the first media is a video, we’ll show it in the stream — just click the image to watch.
Writers don’t have to do anything new to use these layouts. Reader will automatically select the layout that makes your post look its best.
Spiffed-Up Tag Pages
Tag pages are a great place to find a variety of voices on a subject you care about. In addition to the new post layouts, each tag page now features an image from one of the top tagged posts. This makes the pages more fun, and it’s another chance for your posts to get noticed (hint: tagging your posts and including a large image is always a good idea). Every header image has a credit that links to the post, of course.
You know you can follow tags, too, right? Click Follow Tag at the top of any tag page and it’ll be added to your Tags list in the sidebar.
There are millions of amazing posts flowing through WordPress.com every day that you never see, and we want to bring a few of them to your attention, so we’re adding a bit of serendipity. We call it Recommended Posts.
This new section will show up in Reader intermittently — more for new members, less for existing members who already follow a lot of sites. You can also see Recommended Posts on the Search page.
The recommendations are selected by a unique collaboration between editors and algorithms. As a new member, your recommendations will mostly come from our Editors’ Picks. As you follow, like, and comment on blogs, the algorithm will recommend other posts we hope you’ll like.
If a recommendation looks promising, click or tap to read it. If you enjoy it, click the star to like it, and we’ll keep that in mind for future recommendations. And if you don’t like a recommendation, click the X icon to dismiss it, and we’ll keep that in mind, too.
Writers, just keep doing what you’re already doing and your work could get recommended, too!
As always, this is a work in progress. These changes will be coming to the WordPress mobile apps soon, and we’ll be tweaking and improving along the way. We’ve got some really exciting stuff coming up.
What do you think of all these updates? Let us know in the comments. And thanks, as always, for being part of the WordPress.com community.
Actually I like this layout. Well done WP.
I am very pleased to see that the videos have been removed from the Reader feed when we have a picture on our posts. Thank you.
My complaint is the same one I’ve had before and that is when the post title is clicked it goes to a bland page with the full post, like others have also complained about.
It is faster to load up and see more different blog posts tagged with your favourite tag. On the down side, there is more “cluttered” looking feed because of the automated way the platform pulls in large photo, vs.gallery, etc.
I don’t like the fact that if you have a single photo on your post the Reader cuts the photo to a pre-determined size, which means that the photo is not actually shown in full which is very annoying and disappointing. Whereas before I could see a photo in full, now I have to click on the post to be able to see it in full meaning more clicks. It also means that my own photos will suffer from being cropped in this new version. Not happy!
Love the changes! WordPress os the best blog site. I recommend it to everyone. I appreciate how you all and all of the bloggers using WordPress are so supportive, especially to new bloggers. This has been such a fun adventure getting started, and as I become more comfortable and knowledgeable, thanks to the courses on Blogging U, I am enjoying blogging more and more! Love WordPress!
Over the last few months reader has grown on me and the new layout is certainly very nice. Any chance of adding more keyboard shortcuts and maybe sharing of text-selection via right-click (in addition to re-blogging) straight to the editor? That would be very nice and helpful 🙂
I don’t mind the idea of change so much, but it seems like you’ve just tried to look like Facebook. I really hate it when you jam carefully formatted text in a lead together, it looks very amateurish and potentially changes the meaning.
Some of the format ideas have potential, but as it is I’d call it a step backwards. This place isn’t Facebook, and shouldn’t be treated like it is.
Thank you – I think that most of this works well.
Two things that I think could do with improvement:
One is reading the whole post in-Reader when you select it. I think that works when on a tablet, but is a bit of an irritation on a computer, when usually I’d prefer to see the post in its site.
Second, I’d really like it if you could stop the ability to ‘like’ posts from the Reader until you’ve actually selected the post – how can you like something until after you’ve actually looked at it? I think that it leaves liking things open to abuse – as it could be used as a way to advertise your own site rather than because you’ve actually liked the post.
But, overall, I think that this is an improvement, thanks! I like how you’ve merged Followed and Recommended as well.
Good points: the posts scroll easier and smoother on my old laptop.
Bad points: As a photo blogger who likes to include a few lines of complementary text, the result is that my image is squashed to thumnail size. Photo bloggers who don’t include text get a bigger image displayed. Therefore photo bloggers are being penalised for writing about their photo. Anything which discourages the written word, I feel, is a negative step.
Some nice visual changes in this iteration. Makes it one of the most visually pretty feed readers out there now while still maintaining a relatively light weight.
I still wish there were more functionality pieces built into it like the indie-reader Woodwind.xyz or even Feedly. While WordPress in some sense is more creator oriented than consumption oriented, I still think that not having a more closely integrated reader built into it is still a drawback to the overall WordPress platform.
I’m with David above about not liking the horizontal slice of a vertical photo – I know you’ve already heard that, I’m just adding another vote for change.
I agree that less scrolling is good, but I’m not a fan of the current small gray line divider between posts. If I’ve got my screen brightness down or my (admittedly nearsighted) eyes are tired, that divider is hard to see, which makes the posts run together unpleasantly.
Thanks for being open to feedback – it makes changes easier to take.
Loving this change. I actually asked for something like this last year, and finally got it. Love the WordPress team!
Absolutely phenomenal loving the new insurmountable reader, living there now the tags are now very visual it’s very alluring. Keep up the good work
I wasn’t too sure about the new layout from a photographer’s perspective with the images reduced in size, but I can see where you are coming from with a clean cut magazine layout, which also helps with increasing loading times, and it actively encourages folk to click on posts to investigate them more rather than simply scrolling away. Nice one, and thank you!
That’s awesome! I really like the new reader 🙂
I love it. Louise
I’ve been very happy with WordPress and the wonderful communication venue it provides. Updates have always been gradual and well considered. Until the move to the new reader. As a blogger and consumer of others blogs, I despise the new reader for all the reasons stated above. The gallery feature does not affect me too much, as I tend to post single images and narratives about the photo, but I am concerned about the order that the reader sorts them in. I enjoyed seeing full sized images from fellow photographers, not cartoon strips.
I want people to click on the posting, see the full sized photos click on links for more information and insights on the photo. I want ‘engaged’ followers, not casual browsers.
Also, as other photographers have stated, the ‘cropped’ view of the image is is a disservice to the photographer, who has spent a lot of time carefully composing the image in the first place.
What would be awesome would be a choice on ‘how’ we publish to the reader, which is what I was doing with my theme, rather than have it decided for me. Please consider this feedback when designing the next iteration of the reader.
Hi Derek, I’m a big fan of the Reader and use it regularly. As a photographer tho, I must join the ranks of those who don’t love the most recent changes. In many cases they distort the photo by cropping inappropriately which is a shame. Not sure what the right answer is, and understand you’re working on improvements so will be patient, just wanted to express an opinion. Thanks for the work you all do to make WordPress terrific.
I dont mind the new format for my followed reader, because chances are I’ll go to their sites. For the ‘photography’ tag though, it’s selling the posts short. Apart from the obvious cropping issues, the thumbnails make it hard to pick a really good photo. I dont have time to go to every site and see what they really look like.
Thanks to you and the team for the work you put into making changes an trying to improve the reader. So far I like the new format for scrolling, but as a blogger I’m disappointed that my Monday blog post showed no picture on the reader feed. Is there anyway I can get the picture to show up? Is there a setting I need to change for future posts?
It would be nice to have a choice on how a post is displayed in the Reader rather than automatically chosen based on the number of images a post contains. I prefer the Photo layout for all my posts independent of whether a post contains a lot of photos or not – there’s a reason why I upload a specific “Feature Image” for each post. The Gallery layout looks like a comic strip and looks very jumbled, not simplified. It could be as simple a s checkbox next to the Feature Image – use Photo layer or Gallery layout in Reader.
Is there a way to avoid posts with 4 or more photos being displayed as a gallery?
I am not an anti change guy but please make it better….I think this posting states the case well for just how badly single image posts are now treated. Please take a look :- https://davidoakesimages.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/the-new-reader/
I have been working with WordPress for more than 18 months to create my blog for landscape photography in WordPress. Thanks for providing such an awesome content management system to enable that. Today I looked at my blog in the new reader for the first time. I saw horses without a body, landscapes without land, seascapes without sea. Nobody will click on these previews to see more details. You have basically destroyed the work of the last months. And don’t say my images look awesome in the new reader. They don’t. I always loved working with and in WordPress. But may be the wind of change is driving me into another direction. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.