The Less Is More Post

Clutter. I hate it. Crap everywhere, post-it’s, scribbles, hamburger wrappings, fiftythree beer cans, a broken pencil, an iPhone charger, USB cable for unknown peripheral, a hand out from the local Thai place, two printed quotes, a dirty espresso cup, napkins, some coins, two iPads, a pen for the Wacom board nobody uses, and so on. Clutter. I really do hate it.

Tons of menu items and unnecessary options. I hate that too. Option pages for themes and plugins that are just over the top, settings for everything which leaves the end-user staggered and with nothing that truly helps.

Less is more. I think more and more about that these days, and Konstantin Kovshenin’s theme options blog (that’s niche blogging for ya!) reminded me yet again.

Developing a theme or a plugin for WordPress? Got a settings page or, God forbid, several? Consider this:

  • Is this setting really necessary?
  • Do I need more than one settings page?
  • Will everybody understand my settings right away, at a glance?
  • Is my settings page located in a logical place in the admin menu structure?
  • Does my settings and the way I’ve made them make sense within the WordPress interface?

Keep it simple, dead simple, and keep everything to a minimum is my advice. You might have a ton of ideas for settings, which you think will help the user, but most will not. In fact, they’ll be a hurdle. The settings you do have should be done using the Settings API.

And with that I’ll prove my point by not rambling on for another paragraph or four.

Photo by Blake Patterson (CC)