For some odd reason I am obsessed with the contextual help menus (which is why I am really excited for this trac ticket). While the help content is steller and I love that every WordPress screen has it, I think in a few areas the content could be written a bit clearer. I am not expert in English by any means but I wanted to try to rewrite a few screens to see how it could be made easier to read. Here is my first attempt. This is the rewritten help info from the update page.
This screen allows you update your WordPress installation as well as your themes and plugins from the WordPress.org repository. For security reasons it is very important to keep your WordPress installation, themes, and plugins up to date. When updates are available, the number of available updates will appear in a bubble on the left hand menu.
Updating your WordPress installation is a simple one-click procedure; just click on the Update button when a new version is available. To update themes or plugins, use the checkboxes to make your selection and click on the appropriate Update button. If you want to update all your themes or plugins you can check the Select All box to select them all and update them all at once.
After falling in love with the WP.com custom css editor I found out that Automattic made a plugin for WP.org with the same functionality. It is a really handy plugin I can’t believe it only has ~4k downloads.
Check it out here.
I wanted to tweak the design here a bit so I splurged for the custom design upgrade. Gotta say I really love the system, especially the revisions on the custom css, its a very handy feature. Some day I need to figure out how they did it as this would be a pretty handy plugin.
So here is what I did…
- Unboxed the layout and made it full width
- Removed the search from the header and moved it to the sidebar
- Tweaked the margin/padding on the header & footer
- Removed smiley face from the footer
- Removed comment bubbles from home page as no one ever comments
- Changed the link color to a different blue
Currently the text under the “Custom Design” Upgrade in the WP.com store reads…
Customize the fonts in your theme and dive into CSS to make all the presentational changes you desire.
I think it would make more sense for it to read something like…
Customize your design by adding custom fonts and make all the presentational changes you desire by adding custom css.
I have an interest in the area of trademark law and as you also know I am obsessed with WordPress so I thought that I would take a look at the WordPress trademarks and how they are being used.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a really nice online search system for looking up registered trademarks so I pulled the latest data for the two WordPress related trademarks and posted them below. I find these documents very interesting (especially the screen captures of the WordPress.org site around the time of WordPress 2.0), but some of you may question my sanity after going through them, but they are here if you want to take a look.
WordPress Trademark — pdf
WordPress Logo Trademark — pdf
The WordPress.com store is where you can purchase add-ons for the WP.com blog. My mother is a teacher and she has a WordPress site for her classes. Unfortunately for her I am hosting it on my VPS and I like to tinker, which has caused her some downtime in the past. So I decided to get mom her own hosting account free from my tinkering. My first stop was of course WP.com. I started comparing WP.com to other services such as page.ly and Zippy Kid. The problem is those services have a monthly price while WordPress.com uses a yearly price. That’s fine I can do the math, no big deal. But what it did find odd was the inclusion of the daily price. To me, the daily price seems sort of useless. I think for people who are trying to choose between different services it would make more sense to give the yearly price and the monthly price as opposed to a daily price.
Current WP.com Store View
First off let me say I love WordPress.com. It is so nice knowing that my blog will always be up and lightening fast. While the lack of plugin support and FTP access limits me from moving all my sites here, this site is hosted on WP.com and I couldn’t be happier.
What I have noticed is that there are some really small things (I mean small) that bother me about WP.com. I thought instead of just stewing about them I could just post them here and maybe provoke some discussion (please reply I need human interaction).
Currently the “My Comments” screen’s description reads like this.
This tracks comments you’ve made across WordPress.com so you can see when people reply to you. It will show your comment, one before yours, and replies after yours. The thread with the latest replies will be at top.
I think something like this may get the point across better.
This tracks comments you’ve made across WordPress.com so you can keep track of all your conversations. Not only will it show your comments but also the comments you’ve replied to and all replies to your comments. The thread with the latest replies will be displayed first.
I am a big fan of custom post types and I use them in just about every project I do now. The same thing goes for contextual help menus. I think they are one of the most underutilized aspects of WordPress and I am a firm believer that if you have an admin screen you need to have a contextual help menu (I’ll save this particular rant for another time). But what I just noticed is that by default when you create a CPT it does not create a contextual help menu. I guess I thought that it would display the same menu for a CPT as a regular post but I was wrong.
So now that I know that custom post types do not have contextual help menus what should I do about it? At the very minimum even if you do not want to take the time to write your own custom help menu you should at least include the regular post help menu. For your convenience I have put together a gist with the code you need. I based my code off this codex entry. That being said, if you modify either the list view or the editor view of your custom post type you really should modify the help menus to reflect that. There is nothing worse than asking a user to input something in Box A when Box A no longer exists.
What do you think? Am I making too big of deal about this? Do you think all CPTs need a contextual help menu?