New WordPress Plugin Shows Users Where a Plugin’s Settings Link Is Upon Activation

A common frustration I’ve experienced in WordPress after installing a plugin is figuring out where the settings link is located. It can be a top-level menu item or tucked away in a sub-menu. Sometimes, the plugin doesn’t warrant a settings link.

A new plugin called Show Plugin Menu Items on Activation created by Kellen Mace and Gary Kovar seeks to calm the chaos. When a plugin is activated, an Admin Notice is displayed that informs the user where to configure it.

AkismetSettingsLocation
Where to Find Akismet’s Settings

The notice can be dismissed by either clicking the dismiss button or hovering over the menu location. The notice does not display for plugins that include a welcome page or wizard such as BuddyPress and WooCommerce.

The number of admin pointers that are displayed depends on the number of menu items that are added. For example, if a plugin adds three menu items, three admin pointers are displayed.

When four or more menu items are added, a notice is shown at the top of the screen that says, ‘Many new plugin menu items were added.’ If no menu items are added, a notice displays at the top of the screen that says, ‘No new plugin menu items were added.’

I tested the plugin on WordPress 4.7.3 and didn’t encounter any issues. Although plugins ought to make finding the settings link easier upon activation, this particular plugin has me wondering if displaying these types of admin notices should be a core feature. In my experience, plugin authors rarely take advantage of admin pointers to explain where to go or what to do next after being activated.

Related to the above, I encourage plugin developers to read this article by Hugh Lashbrooke, that explains how to add a settings link to the plugins listing page. Adding a settings link to the plugins listing page puts it in a predictable location and is something I as a user appreciate.

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