1. Justin Tadlock

    It’s really a horrible use of the admin bar by plugins if they’re just adding stuff just because they can. I have a single plugin that adds a new item to the admin bar. It goes under the “Add New” menu item for adding a new role (Members plugin). It would make no sense for that item to be under a “more” menu item.

    The better option is educating plugin authors about when it’s appropriate to add items to the admin bar. For example, there’s really no reason for plugin authors to add links to their settings page to the admin bar.

    Context is more important for items in the admin bar. By adding a “more” item, we’re inviting plugin authors to add even more crap.


  2. Jon

    @Justin Tadlock – I agree, it should stay minimal. It can quickly become bloated if too much crap gets up there.

    W3TC adds a “Performance” tab and I find it extremely useful to clear my cache, but I can only imagine how much crap would go up there if more plugin authors felt compelled to add their tabs up there.


  3. Ryan Imel

    @Justin Tadlock – Agreed. Context is key.

    For example, last week at WordCamp Philly Jason Coleman developed a plugin during the event called Don’t Break the Code. It allows for disabling of the visual editor on a post by post basis. In a discussion about how to go about the plugin, instead of adding another metabox to the posting screen, it was decided that moving the controls to the Screen Options would make more sense.

    So, the plugin avoided adding yet another metabox to the screen, and moved the controls to a place that people look to make changes to the way WordPress screens operate. Win win.


  4. Bev

    Keep it clean…more is not always better.


  5. Stephen R

    I posted about exactly this concept back in 2008. Briefly stated, I think it’s a bad idea. Why? Because well-designed plugins should not scream “I’m a plugin!”. The best designs are integrated into the interface in such a way that, if you hadn’t just installed the thing, you’d never guess it wasn’t part of the core software.

    In other words, the plugin should put its interface page wherever it makes the most sense for that… whatever… within the menus.

    My original post is here: http://striderweb.com/nerdaphernalia/2008/06/on-plugin-design/


  6. Stephen R

    Also… if all plugin authors just added an “Action Link” to their plugin on the actual Plugins page, admins wouldn’t have so much trouble finding the new Settings screens. At the bottom of the article I linked above (I won’t link again) there is a link to a different — slightly outdated but useful — article showing how to do just that.


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