15 Comments

  1. William Patton

    I appreciate you taking the time to write up this post and ask some tough questions. I have been waiting on comments and the thoughts of theme authors since the initial post was written and as of yet there have been no authors commenting to tell us how useful this would be for them of what they may want to use it for. I look forward to seeing what they have to say in the comments here.

    Their silence makes me feel like they are indifferent to the idea where as there have been some quite vocal messages claiming this to be a bad idea or to be opening a can of worms ripe for abuse.

    I only have insight from direct messages and conversations I have had with authors over the years – a few of which have been recently. Those discussions make me feel like they would like to have this ability but it is hard to guage the overall feelings without discussions like the one we had in the #ThemeReview slack room.

    I want to think that primarily the purpose of a theme page is to use for documentations. Some themes have support threads for the same issue frequently that might be slowed by having the documentation right in the dashboard in a place authors are able to discover it easier.

    What I want is to find ways for themes to take more of the limelight without going overboard to the point where it is a distraction. The idea of having a top level page fells like one way we can do that.

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  2. ProbablePossible

    I find all the top-level clutter irritating, like billboards on the roadside.
    I would prefer that plugins put themselves into the approprate submenu. Galleries, lightboxes minimizers etc should be available under “Media.” Security, SEO, coming soon, would be easy to find in the “tools” submenu. Membership management and other user-oriented items belong under “users.”
    A lot of plugins only need to be configured once, which would be very easy to link to from the plugins page itself.

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    • Bradley Allen

      Advanced Database Cleaner is a cool plugin which creates a top-level admin menu upon activation. When you visit the Overview & settings tab, there are three helpful options. The first two options are selected by default, while the third is not selected:
      1. Show plugin left menu
      Displays a menu at the left side of your WP admin
      2. Show plugin menu under tools
      Displays a menu under “tools” menu
      3. Hide premium tab
      If checked, it will hide the above premium tab

      It’s great to have these options.

      On the other hand, while I like Jetpack, I use a code snippet to hide their upsells in the admin.

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  3. NK Patet

    I support what ProbablePossible suggests. However in all these discussions all theme writers are missing out on the bloat that is made on the Media files. You put one jpeg or some thing and there are a number of copies made by the theme (it is an overkill). If I as an author want I shall load any media file appropriate to my document and theme authors should have no hand in this.

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  4. Peter

    If WordPress had a built in, easy to use Admin Menu Editor this maybe would not be such a big issue? Just add an Edit button at the top and then let users move menu items around, add and remove submenues – all with drag and drop.

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  5. Andreas Nurbo

    There is an appearance top level menu. All theme appearance settings can go below that menu.

    When it comes to promotions etc I think it could be solved like this. WordPress should have a dedicated Donations & Promotion admin page with WP styling. Then all plugins using admin notifications for promotion or adds “billboards” could get rejected in the WP repo. If a row is registered it can be notified automatically by WP itself on activation.
    Then users can configure how they want things to work themselves. Also everything is in one place. Order can be random, there can be default reminder etc.
    It is a bit odd that the repo is used as a freemium promotion platform.

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    • Leho Kraav

      When it comes to promotions etc I think it could be solved like this. WordPress should have a dedicated Donations & Promotion admin page with WP styling.

      This would fail, because successful marketing is pretty much always about context, presenting the right offer at the right time.

      For a product to become successful (in true meaning of the word), it needs to be able to present its upsell offers where the user might actually need the upgrade to better achieve their goals.

      Obviously, all of it should be well designed, dismissable etc, no argument there. Design fidelity is another topic, though.

      Implementing a dedicated promotional bin would hence probably be an excercise in futility?

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  6. Carolina Nymark

    The problem with not setting a max number of sub pages is that some theme authors will then try to add 12 pages, and the reviewers will have nothing to back them up when they ask the author to remove them.

    The problem with setting a max number is that everyone will use the max number…

    The team has tried to be flexible in the past and review settings on a case by case basis.
    There are always exceptions to the requirements (except licensing).

    It is highly unlikely that anyone is going to mark a theme as not approved because the author asks if they can use 4 sub pages, as long as the content follows the other requirements. That is not what the team is trying to accomplish.

    -The problem we (reviewers) are seeing is that when we ask theme authors to motivate why they need something extra, or when we encourage them to explain why they need to break specific requirements: The theme author never replies.
    It is a communication issue.
    Instead of motivating why and request exceptions, they remove the settings without adding as much as a comment.

    -And in the long run this means that requirements are not updated to reflect what the authors really want.

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  7. Gary Taylor

    Unfortunately I think they’re trying to fix the wrong problem. The WordPress Admin area needs a refresh (as alluded to in a separate Tavern post, coincidentally). Lots of plugins add their own top-level Admin menu option (JetPack used to do so as well); I have two with blue icons, which don’t stand out well on the solid brown menu background I have. To save space I minimise the Admin menu, then have to guess what each non-core icon is for.

    A theme might have subpages, it might not. Do the ones that don’t need a top-level menu still get one? How long will my Admin menu get?

    Is there a better way to divide/present the admin area; say core and non-core, or front-end (content, themes) and back-end (settings, plugins), with upsell notices done the same way as the News, etc panels which can be turned off?

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  8. T Piwowar

    My admin menu is a mess. Too many of the scores of plug-ins required to make WordPress usable insist on occupying the top level or put themselves in places I find puzzling. Worse yet, they appear in no sensible (random?) order. The solution, yikes!, is yet one more plug in. It should be a priority to provide a full-functioning admin menu editor in WP core. Only then should we contemplate adding yet more stuff to the admin menu.

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  9. Matthias

    I also think admin-menus should be easier to configure. Expecially with hiding stuff for writers and displaying them for admins.
    I like the idea of nesting menus depending on their purpose. Some plugins change appearance of a page a lot. Others are just for administration purposes.

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  10. Thomas Simmons

    Hi, WordPress new update has arrived.
    I was using the Astra for my site but I can’t use anymore now.
    I am using generate press now but getting issues in ads.txt, so should I change the theme and accept the WordPress updates?
    I am bit confuse what to do first? I need the urgent solution.

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    • Justin Tadlock

      The best thing to do at this point is to talk directly to your theme author about the issues you’re having. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

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