1. Ronald Huereca

    Top-level menus can be tricky and are a difficult decision for a plugin author.

    I used to have a sub-menu under options-general (Settings), but found it incredibly difficult and counter-intuitive to create sub-sub pages, which would have been ideal.

    To get around this, I created a top-level menu item for my plugin since it has, and will have several more, sub pages.

    From a plugin author’s standpoint, all we are given is a priority argument. We have no control of the sorting.

    For the settings link, that is pretty easy to add to the plugins page, and I did so with one of my more recent versions. But again, adding this in as not as easy as one would hope.


  2. Norcross

    It bothers me as well. I’ve made a few plugins, and it took me a while to figure out how to hook it into different areas. The fact that I can hook it ANYWHERE makes it even harder. Good luck finding a solution.


  3. Chuck Reynolds

    Oh this SO needs to happen – has annoyed me too for the longest time.


  4. Stephanie Leary

    Just to make things more complicated, it’s also possible for plugin authors to add new sections to existing settings pages. Some do, but for the most part it’s a little-known feature.


  5. Steven Bradley

    At one of the WordCamps (Boulder I think) Jane was talking about this very subject. She suggested that plugins should attach themselves where it makes the most sense. For example if your plugin deals with comments you would add your menu under the top level comments menu.

    She suggested that very few plugins should ever add a top level menu. For things like ecommerce plugins it would make sense to grab a top level menu, but for most plugins it wasn’t necessary.

    It would be great if there were some guidelines in the codex about where to hook your menu. It really is a mess now.


  6. LobsterMan

    I agree it’s quite annoying, but none of the proposed solutions are a perfect fix (Alphabetically sorting can be confusing if you don’t even know what the title is for the plugin you’re looking for, and that happens allot)
    I think Plugin authors should do their best to have the least amount of settings panels and give them logical names that describe the functionality of the plugin if its an operation panel (i.ie add photos) and the plugin name if it’s a settings submenu (i.e. WP Photo Album)
    ALso, the amount of settings menus get annoying, and if you have a setting or two in your plugin, perhaps you want to add them to an existing core settings page instead of creating a new page (clearly stating in the read me that the settings for your image related plugin are in the media settings panel makes sense and i don’t think it’s confusing)


  7. Adam W. Warner

    It’s surely something that bugs me too. I’m glad you brought it up and hopefully it’ll gain some attention. Another thing regarding plugins that bothers me is the fact that there is no quick link to plugins page in the “Right Now” box on the Dashboard. There’s a quick link for everything else…posts, pages, cats, themes, widgets, etc. How ’bout adding a quick link that says something like:
    “You have 18 active Plugins“.


  8. Kyle

    I use Admin Menu Editor in every WP project I use. Couldn’t recommend it more than I do already.

    I only wish I could push my changes out across a multi-site installation.


  9. Stephanie Leary

    Here you go, Adam: How Many Plugins? Of course, this will increase the count by one. ;)


  10. epschmidt

    Attaching plugins to the spot where they make the most sense is nice, but that will still result in a long drop-down under Settings. Personally, I check the plugins page first for a settings link and I think all plugins should be required to add a configuration link here. It’s annoying when I install a new plugin and return to the plugins page but do not find a ‘Settings’ link there. Then I have to go searching.


  11. Philip Downer

    I think this is a pretty common theme. Should there be published guidelines and API restriction on how links are integrated or should we simply count on plugin authors to make sensible decisions in regards to UI?

    IMHO this is partially what separates the men from the boys so to speak. Quality plugins get more downloads. A portion of what makes a quality plugin is how it’s integrated into the whole of WordPress.

    Personally I always opt to add the plugin settings under the section where it most directly applies. As Steven Bradley mentioned, there are only a few instances when a plugin should create a top-level menu.


  12. hakre

    I once coded a quick search over the menu and the plugin tables. After Jeffro’s post I just put it in it’s own plugin and I hope to get that on wp.org soon: At your fingertips – just search quickly the long lists. has some screenshots.


  13. Frank

    I inlcude the Settings-link in all my plugins and the users say thank you for this – this is great and forward for an better gui.


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