WordPress 4.4 Removes the View Post and Get Shortlink Buttons From the Post Editor

In WordPress 4.4, the View Post button in the post editor is disappearing in favor of a clickable permalink. Four years ago, Scribu, who is a former WordPress contributor, created ticket #18306. In the ticket, Scribu explains that the View Post button is redundant functionality and suggests that it be removed in favor of a clickable permalink.

Here are two screenshots of the post editor. The first is WordPress 4.3 and the second is WordPress 4.4. Clicking the permalink allows you to preview the post in its current state. Notice the slug part of the URL is in bold. You need to click the Edit button to edit the permalink.

WordPress 4.3 Post Editor
WordPress 4.3 Post Editor
WordPress 4.4 Post Editor
WordPress 4.4 Post Editor

Not only does this change remove redundant functionality, it removes a UI element from the page. Enhancements like these are a huge win for WordPress because it makes the interface simpler without permanently removing the button’s purpose.

In addition to the View Post button, the Get Shortlink button is also removed. The button shows up if you’re using a custom shortlink and can be re-enabled using code or a plugin. For most users, the Edit button is the only one they’ll see between the post title and content box.

I expect some users will be frustrated as they go through the process of changing their workflow but overall, I think it’s a great improvement. What do you think?


If you’re using the WordPress beta testing plugin by Peter Westwood, I encourage you to set it to bleeding edge nightlies and update your site. You’ll be able to test this change and others during the WordPress 4.4 development cycle.

72 Comments


  1. I planned to come in here guns a-blazing, but seeing the screenshots it looks like the permalink itself will be “click to visit”. As long as there’s *something* there, that’s fine, but I do see people looking for the button and getting frustrated… even if it’s for a split second as they see the permalink underlined and colored.

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    1. Yeah, in WordPress 4.3 you can click the slug area of the Permalink and it’s the same thing as pressing the edit button. In 4.4 you have to explicitly hit the edit button to edit the slug. Being linked performs the same function as the View Post button so it’s not needed.

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    2. I would just note (from my commit message):

      Previously there were two persistent “View Post” links on an edit screen: next to the permalink and in the toolbar. This would then become three links after a post was published or updated, as a link is also included in the admin notice. This is a lot of redundancy and visual noise for a flow that is not your primary action upon starting to edit a post. The “View Post” link next to the sample permalink was particularly bad because it is styled like a button, but unlike a button, does not keep you on the current screen.

      The “View Post” link in the notice you get after updating a post is hugely useful, because you’ve just made a change and want to check it out. The need to go to view a post in its current state from the edit screen otherwise is typically quite small, and the visual cues of the button were full-out wrong. The toolbar link is still there though, and becomes a pretty useful toggle between “View Post” and “Edit Post” in that location (I hadn’t thought about that until a tester pointed it out).

      It’s definitely not easy to decide to remove something that is built into many people’s habits, but I think when we look at this for new users and long-term as UIs change and need to adapt, it’s the right call to clean that area up and really focus on what it’s for: managing the permalink itself.

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      1. Great; I’m happy if only because it gets rid of a link that was styled like a button. Now users will know for sure that the link is a link, and isn’t going to perform some sort of action on the page – much better affordance.

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    3. Just spent 5mins looking for the button and then I remembered this post.
      Clicking the permailnk it is then.

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  2. Scribu is no longer contributing to WordPress according to the man himself:

    http://scribu.net/blog/left-wordpress.html

    which is too bad really, could really use have him back and breathe -much needed – fresh air in the WordPress world

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    1. You’re right. I’ve updated the post to reflect he’s formerly a WordPress core contributor.

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  3. I like it. Eliminate redundancy. Always. Of course, I will have to get used to it but that is OK.

    Less confusing for new users is the way to go.

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    1. +1

      Working with new, or part-time, WordPress users quick frequently, I applaud every simplification of the interface like this.

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  4. The permalink is better because the shortlink is sometimes treated as spam when you add it to a card in YouTube.

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  5. Replacing the obvious with the obscure — is that really the way WP ought to be going? Any noob will know what “View Post” means. Explaining “Permalink” is going to be a long story that might have to be repeated several times. I bet most WP users do not know and will never care what a permalink is. Even fewer will have any desire to edit one. Useless clutter. Permalinks should be a feature for the hard core that can be enabled via Screen Options with a default setting of off.

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    1. Keep in mind when you update or publish a post it will still say “blah blah blah your post has been published, view post” in an admin notice.

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  6. The screenshots explain it all Jeff.
    Looks pretty simple to me… just hit the Permalink to view the post instead of the View Post button.

    We’ll soon get used to that.

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  7. I really like the UI changes made in 4.3 especially after I started using them heavily. This new UI change makes sense too and gets rid of the clutter.

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  8. It’d be nice if the domain (which is the same for every post on a site) is what gets truncated rather than the slug itself. As it is in the above screenshots, you have to click in to edit the slug to see if you even need to edit it.

    The slug shouldn’t be truncated or shortened; it is editable content and should be fully exposed so that users can decide whether they need to change it.

    $0.02

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      1. In testing the way editing slugs works in WordPress 4.4, I too wondered why the slugs are truncated. I have a lot of real estate on my desktop monitor yet the most important part of the URL to edit is truncated.

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    1. Yes! This!
      It’s always annoyed me that the most useful part of that url was truncated.

      I like the idea of removing the button, but I think the slug part should still keep the same yellow background. Simply bolding the slug, doesn’t make it stand out enough.

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    2. Good idea for certain situations, certainly worth more than two cents :P

      However, if you ask me

      (1) it doesn’t really matter if the slug, or any part of the permalink, is truncated as long as it links to itself and reveals itself upon clicking “edit”

      (2) this wouldn’t be very useful for those of us with short domains, as there wouldn’t be much to truncate

      (3) there should never have been any truncating of the permalink anyway; if the slug is really that long, extend it to the next line. Sure that’s not appealing in terms of aesthetics, but that’s what people get for devising absurdly long post titles :P

      Just my ha’penny :)

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    3. Amen to this one. That would make it easier to remember to edit the slug properly.

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  9. Just out of curiosity, how will this affect the “Preview post” button to the right of the editing screen (if at all)?

    Is the new feature going to open as a lightbox, or still a new tab with the post’s current state? Seems the only thing that’s happening here is the removal of one little button?

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    1. I learned that clicking the Permalink URL shows you the post in its current state in a new browser tab like previewing a post. Clicking the preview link shows you the most recent autosave. That’s the difference between the two.

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      1. But if I click the Preview button now, before hitting Save and then Preview, doesn’t that also show current state?

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      2. If I write a draft post, click the save button. Then the preview button and clicking on the Permalink URL will show me the same state. I’m losing my state of mind :)

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  10. How has it taken four years for this to get done? Surely it’s a ten minute fix.

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    1. it wasn’t a high priority thing

      ironically, though, seems to prove one of Scribu points in his very own post (author of the original trac ticket, which then left WordPress) :

      I think one of the required ingredients for the success of the WordPress platform is its commitment to backwards compatibility. The downside is that WordPress is stuck with its crappy architecture forever and improvements take a lot more effort to land.

      source: http://scribu.net/blog/left-wordpress.html

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    2. It wasn’t a ten-minute fix, and it takes somebody actually working on it to get it done. I went back to it three years after my first patches because it occurred to me that I hadn’t revisited it, and there hadn’t been any movement in the meantime.

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      1. 11 minutes? :) Once it became a priority it was done. No such thing as a 10 minute fix.

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  11. Does anyone know the logic that was used to remove the “get shortlink” button? Kind of a handy feature for sharing posts with long URLs.

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  12. About time! It’s nice to see WP coming back to deal with streamlining core functionality instead of adding slightly different ways of doing things we could already do anyway!

    Now, if they’ll only get on the phone with Google and start playing nice with Drive . . .

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  13. The shortlink button reappears if somebody is using a plugin that modifies the shortlink, which is fine. The default shortlink was a bit worthless, but the functionality itself isn’t.

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  14. If the get shortlink button is removed then where do we get a shortlink? I have grown accustomed to using the shortlinks when Tweeting out posts.

    KEEP THE GET SHORTLINK BUTTON! WHY REMOVE IT TOO?

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  15. Happy to hear that undesirable setup is finally being fixed. It was such a minute issue in the first place, but one which many people dealt with multiple times a day. I’m not mad it took this long to improve this feature, better late than never. There have definitely been more important things for the developers to be worrying about.

    I absolutely love the way the new setup looks. It’s exactly what I’ve been thinking this whole time in terms of, “Why can’t the permalink’s slug just link to itself and be editable?” Exactly what I was hoping for (though I had long since given up hope they’d actually improve it, given how minor an issue it was).

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  16. Hmmm… on the update message the link has also no explicit target. It seems that I use it already too long with the link context menu (“Open in new Tag”) and can’t remember it (subconscious) :)

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  17. As others have pointed out already, it would have been great if the slug is shown in full (if not full, at least 70 characters).

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    1. The URL that’s always been printed there will become a link itself.

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      1. That doesn’t answer the question. The link is a long link, not short. Some of us need links that occupy less than one line.

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      2. This is my exacdt question. I need shorter links, and now the button’s gone!
        The old way worked well, and now I’ve got to spend my valuable time, attempting a workaround, for no other reason than somebody thought the editing page was cluttered.

        Give it a rest, and leave us alone. If it works, don’t fix it.

        BRING BACK THE ‘GET SHORTLINK’ BUTTON.

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      3. Never mind only Google offers a compatible, shortlink creator for WP 4.4 …and that requires all sorts of sophistication and messing around, and down time.

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  18. The changes sound good to me. I’d also like it, though, if visiting the page does not log me out of the admin panel.

    I also like the “15 minutes to edit” feature.

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  19. Great decision.

    And a bit funny too, I was just thinking today that there are many “View Post” links there… :-)

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  20. Interesting upgradation by removing the view post and get shortlink buttons from the post editor. This is cause less confusion for the new users.

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  21. I use “view post” quite often. This doesn’t seem a big change for the function to me. I just click a bit over to the left instead.

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  22. The simpler the interface is, the better. Thanks for the update.

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  23. I need to enable Get shortlink button in wordpress 4.4

    Please guide me how to enable it back ?

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  24. N0 objection to the clickable permalink, but removing the “get shortlink” removes a very useful function for those of us sharing links by e-mail wanting a link that doesn’t break onto two lines.

    Please, please ,please give us back out “get shortlink”.

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  25. Why would you do this? Just for the sake of change? It just makes everything more tedious.

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  26. For those who want the button back, just add this as a MU plugin, or put it in your functions.php file:

    add_filter( 'get_shortlink', function( $shortlink ) {
    return $shortlink;
    } );

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  27. Using the not-so-well-known SHORTER LINK plugin solved the WP removal of the shortlink button issue for me. In my opinion WP should not have removed this feature — although I agree that the VIEW POST removal/change-up is a great minimizing feature.

    Bring back GET SHORTLINK for everyone, WP — there are LOTSof people who rely on it! :)

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      1. Great name for the plugin. I installed it on a site running WordPress 4.4 and the Get Shortlink button doesn’t appear after activating it.

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      2. Hm, that’s odd. I have the plugin running on several sites (both online and local dev sites), and it’s working fine. It doesn’t do anything but add a passthru function to the get_shortlink filter.

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    1. Thank you for that information! I installed “shorter link” and my life has been restored! yay

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  28. NO! NO, I beg you! I rely on that Shortlink tab to easily create FIXED links to other posts and pages. Why does it matter? If you’re doing any level of Search optimization, you’ll change that page title a dozen times or more. In a few months, as competitors eat away at your page rank, another dozen more. The Shortlink tab prolly save(d) me 2 hours per week.

    PLEASE PLEASE make it come back??

    Andrew

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  29. I agree that the Shortlink button should not have been removed. It was an easy way for me to make quick sort links for email newsletter links (although I can tease it out by Post ID manually). Reminds me, I MUST move a client’s site to a new version of PHP as the posted function does not work on older PHP installations. (I know, I know. But sometimes with shared hosting you get what you get).

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  30. Email client doesnt allow for us to use long links, not really sure why such a simple feature would be removed like this

    Please make the ‘get shortlink’ button come back

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    1. Just install the SHORTER LINK plugin. It restores the ‘get shortlink’ button.

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      1. How do I install the SHORTER LINK plug in? Just reading the greyed out screen with my poor eyesight is a major challenge and finding obscure plug in options is something that I have never done. As I said in my previous posting, I write about issues, not program the UI.

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  31. This doesn’t (seem to) work with custom post types.
    In my install all cpt’s lead to the edit page and not to the (front-end) url.

    Also my view item/post is missing from the admin menu…. No idea why/where it went…

    Could this be related to this change ?

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  32. A writer about social justice issues that challenge the status quo, I am more concerned about ease of editing what i write and the ability to share my postings via Twitter using a short link URL than with the mechanics of the UI. Therefore, I profoundly dislike the new format which appears to have abolished the incredibly useful short link tab.

    The apparent absence, or the actual absence of the ability to create a short link that fits into Twitter or which can be remembered and written down on a Post-it note is more than a major frustration; it is effectively a barrier to freedom of speech. Has anyone at WordPress given any thought to just how useful a tool the short link tab is to persecuted minorities who are desperate to share word of their plight?

    In the real world, people really are persecuted and some of those people really are dying and their plight needs to shared as widely as possible. Whether it has been permanently removed or merely shifted to an obscure location, it needs to be placed “front and centre’.

    Finally, I am nearly 70 years old and whilst that makes me a ‘member’ of the Grey Power Brigade’ i.e. an old fogey, I do not like grey text on a computer screen. People in my age bracket have tired eyes and whatever the perceived benefits of grey text and boxes, for elderly people that stuff is very hard to read. Just because Microsoft programmers like grey text is no reason to follow suit. For me, the old 1980s white text on a blue screen introduced with the EGA screens (remeber them?) actually produces the most clear and easy to read text whilst black text on a white screen produces the next best level of readability for those with aged eyesight. So, if you want to really make WordPress better:

    (A) Put the short link URL tab back at the top of the screen and,
    (B) Make it easy for users to by offering a pallet of screen colour formats which includes KNOWN poor eyesight friendly alternatives.

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