[wp-hackers] Consensus on plugin config screen position: Settings vs. Plugins?

Stephen Rider wp-hackers at striderweb.com
Fri Jun 13 17:20:55 GMT 2008

On Thu, 12 Jun 2008 16:37:23 -0400,  wrote:
> Here's one I've never really found an answer to: what's the WP2.2+
> consensus on which screen to display your plugin's admin menu on.
> Most people (and I) still use the Settings section, while others are
> location them on the Plugins section instead.
> Any insight on this, or is it just a matter of choice?

Here's my take on it:

Plugins should be invisible.  That is, _the fact that it is a plugin_
should be invisible.  The best design for a plugin is to seamlessly blend
into the existing interface so that someone who didn't already know would
not realize that it's an "add on" to the system.

Therefore, if you have a plugin that has something to do with managing
plugins, put the screen under Plugins.  If it just has a basic settings,
screen, put it under Settings.  If the screen lets the user _manage_
something, then "Manage" is the right place.

I have a plugin that lets people easily put pull-quotes into a post.  The
admin screen for that plugin allows people to set options that control what
the pull-quotes look like.  I put the screen under "Design" (or "Themes")
because **that's where it made the most sense**.

So:  Don't make your plugin scream "this is a plugin" to the end user.  If
it were going to be part of core, what menu would you expect the screen to
be under?  Put it there.

(On a related not, the header on the top of your plugin's page should not
say "Such and Such Plugin" -- it should just say "Such and Such".)

Hope that helps. :)


Stephen Rider

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