DOTW: White label! What are we missing? (Participation = 3 Hero Points)

So, not everyone wants our Superheroes in their wp-admin apparently :smiley: :devman: no worries, we’re happy to add the option for premium members to hide them but we want to make sure we cover other related white label requests at the same time too :slight_smile:

1. Are we missing anything else related to white labeling in plugin admins?

It also sounds like just hiding the plugin menu items from all users except the WPMU DEV Dashboard admin(s) could be another option you want? Or would you just use a plugin like Admin Menu Editor for that since it would give you further flexibility with all menu items?

What we are planning is adding white label options to the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin so you can manage it all there and won’t need to repeat the same options in all plugins.

Feel free to discuss anything relating to white label too; your post doesn’t have to be specific to the questions above.

-------- :smartcrawler: :monitor: :dev-man_4: :hummingbird: :defender: --------

-At least one comment = 3 Hero Points(must participate within 7 days of thread post date)
-DOTW = Discussion of the Week

  • djohns

    "It also sounds like just hiding the plugin menu items from all users except the WPMU DEV Dashboard admin(s) could be another option you want? Or would you just use a plugin like Admin Menu Editor for that since it would give you further flexibility with all menu items?"

    Flexible is always good, but it would be nicer if WPMU DEV's plugins were that flexible for hiding admin stuff, and restricting by user role. Given that WPMU DEV seems targeted towards developers or wanna-be developers (like me), one can expect that limiting access to areas by role is needed by most folks, along with customized hints.

  • Blue Summit Creative

    I didn't have a chance to go back and read the previous responses, so please forgive me if someone already asked this. Will do that a little later.

    Personally, I'd love to see a plugin that can be installed that is like Admin Menu editor plugins out there, or within each plugin just have the ability to "turn off branding."

    Would there be any benefit to renaming the menu items if you're a premium subscriber? Say, instead of "Defender," if you have paid for a subscription, you can choose what it says (like, "Security").


  • Fabio Fava

    Excellent! Add an option at the WPMUDEV Dashboard could both remove all the super-heroes and add some White Labeling options. I also think that the WPMUDEV Dashboard could do the linking of the Live Sites with Staging Sites and Development Sites (Local) for each Site or Multisite (please increase the Multi Network Support too), so every plugin and service (including Snapshot and The Shipper) would use that linking settings.

  • David

    I think having the ability to manage all white label functions within the Dashboard would be great as well as having the ability to enable/disable based on user role. Though we could use another plugin to manage that, more plugins = more chance for problems. Keeping everything (or as much as possible) to the 1 plugin makes it easier to both manage and less room for conflicts or errors.

  • Julian

    Nice! I'm veeery happy you're going to do this! :happy-james:

    Just hiding the plugin menu items from all users except the WPMU DEV Dashboard admin(s) could be another option you want?

    Having that option wouldn't hurt, so sure.

    Or would you just use a plugin like Admin Menu Editor for that since it would give you further flexibility with all menu items?

    Yeah, that's what I'm using right now. But I'd love a WPMU DEV solution for this. Maybe an admin menu editor could be added to Ultimate Branding?

    What we are planning is adding white label options to the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin so you can manage it all there

    Makes sense since the Dashboard plugin is installed on all sites anyway. Nice.

    Here's some more stuff I can think of right now.

    This should be removed in all plugins as well.

    An option to change a plugin's name, example: change Hummingbird to Performance. All instances of Hummingbird in the plugin would be replaced with Performance. I think that would look better to clients. UB has a network wide text change option, but it's wonky and doesn't work very reliably.

    An option to disable the WPMU DEV documentation links. Allow us to change the button text and link it to our own documentation/support page or hide the button entirely.
    There's probably also a couple of spots across your plugins with links to the WPMU DEV site or support / documentation resources. Those might have to be removed too?

    And perhaps this is slightly out of scope, but how about creating 'client views' for every plugin. It basically would be what the plugin admin pages look like right now, just without any ability to edit/delete/deactivate anything. Just 'dumb' data views if you will, stripped down versions of the plugin UI's. Does that make sense? :slight_smile:
    This would allow our clients to see all the good stuff right inside their site admin, and we wouldn't have to worry about them destroying their sites :grin:
    Pair this with the plugin name change option and documentation option described above, and you'll be in white label heaven :yum:

    • Tyler Postle

      Julian Yep, we'll def include hiding that footer and also an option to disable the docs links :thumbsup:

      And perhaps this is slightly out of scope, but how about creating 'client views' for every plugin.

      Yeah a bit of a step further than just white labeling but this made me immediately think about the "Dashboard" view that is in many of our plugins. Especially The Hub related ones such as Defender, Hummingbird, SmartCrawl, and Snapshot. A lot of the information in those Dashboards we include in the Reports. So having that tab as the stripped down client view, probably strip out few things in that view as well, then clients can check the status of things whenever they like by checking there and could also get the weekly/monthly Reports based on the same info. Seems like something that wouldn't be difficult to standardize across all plugins that had a Dashboard view... Interesting idea!

      Just quick update for everyone, the team and I are meeting this upcoming week and will discuss all this further. I'll try to update this thread as things progress, especially once we get a firm plan in place. Thanks again to everyone who has left feedback :slight_smile:

  • Tony G

    Big disagreement with a couple notes in this thread.

    1) Dashboard plugin? Why not "Ultimate Branding", which was developed for this specific purpose. I install UB in every site and appreciate the diversity of features. It makes complete sense to ensure each plugin supports whitelisting and that UB has options for branding each plugin.

    2) I get very uptight about the notion of having too many features in a single plugin. This is "all eggs in a single basket". When one feature breaks we need to wait for an update of the entire, now larger and larger plugin, before we can get a resolution. We need more agility to respond to issues. If a single module of UB fails we can turn it off. If there's a separate plugin for whitelisting than other WPMU dashboard features then chances are better of getting just that one plugin fixed - without breaking some other valued component.

    3) I also get uptight about WPMU DEV taking on the development and maintenance of features that already exist elsewhere in fine, well-supported plugins, when there is so much else that is not getting done with existing products. Please, bend toward recommending best-fit plugins as blog topics, rather than encumbering the precious resources of development staff to create something new. What do we get with a new WPMU DEV feature to customize the admin menu? We get the exact same features that are already well-supported elsewhere ... actually we get fewer features until the company has the time to get these features on-par with other offerings, which can take years. We see this with most of the flagship plugins here, and then we see how the non-flagships get deprecated and retired because there aren't resources to care for them. Why? All it the name of getting that one company brand on something new. Please don't continue to do this. Ref my notes on this in the blog by James Farmer on retirement of UpFront.

    5) Ref djohns "Given that WPMU DEV seems targeted towards developers or wanna-be developers..." No, WPMU DEV does not target developers or all of the products would be extensible to developers. WPMU DEV targets UI users (WP admins) who don't want to get into code. How often do we see code posted here by members? It's rare. How often do we see people asking for features (or asking DEV for new plugins) that could be addressed with code changes to existing plugins? All the time. I wish DEV targeted developers because (as discussed with James Farmer ) then we'd see more plugins and add-ons in that add value to DEV offerings, which translates to free marketing for the company, more memberships, and more of the same tasty goodness.

    So again, please. Let's all make better use of what IS rather than looking to consuming resources on shiny new gizmos - at least until DEV developers run out of bugs and fixes for the current software ... which are yesterday's shiny new gizmos.


    • jetmac

      Tony G ,

      I also originally thought the UB plugin would be a better choice, as I also install it on a lot of things, but I think that the white labelling of plugins is tied to being premium. As such, why not make it closer to the source and putting it right into the Dashboard plugin - the plugin all of the other plugins are already looking to for Premium credentials? Seems to make a lot of sense to me and I think that adding a White Label option to the Settings area of the Dashboard Plugin makes a lot of sense, both for users and developers.

      As to the dashboard customizations being raised in this thread, I don't think the Dashboard plugin is good for that. I've used UB for that at times, as well as Pretty Plugins and Admin Menu Editor, but those have their drawbacks. I've tried renaming "Hustle" to "Marketing" for example, and it gets people confused, as sooner or later the renaming breaks down. It's like trying to maintain a lie - eventually you're going to slip up.

      There may be some ways to make that happen, but it's a lot harder than one would expect.

      The problem becomes not everyone wants to choose the same name, or even the same location, for the plugin. If WPMU builds a renaming functionality into the White Labelling system (assuming that's in Dashboard plugin), it's now a big thing, and something simple (a white label toggle) now becomes something complex.

      If members want to do any renaming of menu items, I would recommend either sticking with Admin Menu Editor or perhaps add that as a module in Ultimate Branding (or EasyBlogging, if we can get it reincarnated) down the road.

      • Tony G

        jetmac We're on the same page for the most part.

        I might be sort of blinded by the glare of the name "Ultimate Branding", where "branding" is a synonym for "white label" and I therefore gravitate toward using that tool for this quite specific purpose. If it wasn't for the name, the plugin might as well be "Helpful Customizations". (Like blogs with the name "Ultimate Guide to...", while good bases of information and functionality, neither that plugin nor the blogs are "ultimate" by any stretch of imagination.)

        What about non-WPMU DEV white labelling? Here we have this one plugin provider asking about what they should do to enable white labelling of their offerings. Let's say we get all of them here perfectly brandable. What about the next one that confuses the client? Do we approach each plugin developer and ask them to use whatever method suits them to brand their plugin for our purposes?

        How about this as a techo-marketing initiative for DEV...? If they create a branding framework to which they themselves confirm, then any other plugin can use it. Now wouldn't that be a great way to get the WPMU DEV brand out there? As well, if other plugins conform to a branding standard defined by DEV, then all of them have a common development pattern, like filters and shortcuts and widgets and other WP core standards. If we ask other plugin developers for brand-ability, their first thought might be "how would I do that with my software?". That's my first thought before I tell a client whether something is do-able or not. We can leave each developer to soul-search for a methodology, and all of them will do something different and proprietary if they do it at all. Or we can suggest that they can use an existing framework defined by WPMU DEV. It's always a lot easier to get someone to say Yes if they know they don't need to be a pioneer, and they just need to follow some established pattern.

        So once again, (sorry guys) DEV is thinking in very short-sighted terms. Their company-level strategic business goal is to get new memberships to fund efforts and grow their business. But their tactical approaches are too-often looking inward: "If we give features to our base, they'll be happier and a happy client base is good for marketing". Compare that to "if we establish ourselves as platform developers, and use our own platform to make our clients happy, we'll get both that marketing perk and get more marketing value as an industry core provider".

        To be clear, what kind of "framework" am I talking about? Well, this can be as simple as using _e( PLUGIN_NAME, 'WPMU' ) notation for every example of a plugin name in the UI. How tough is that? I'm not thinking that through, so if more code changes are required then maybe we need a filter like brand( $plugin_name, ' WPMU' ) ... Gosh, that's not much tougher. What about the UI? OK, now in the Dashboard or Branding plugin, provide text boxes for name replacements (oh hey, create a Forminator page for that). Or for a different approach, always display plugin names in the UI as "!":stuck_out_tongue:LUGIN_NAME:"!" (yeah, magic characters are bad) and then use the text substitution in UB to change !Hustle! to Marketing, etc. UB text doesn't work in the admin menus? Sounds like an opportunity for an enhancement.

        As you see, some thought needs to go into that, and then the rules just need to be published for others to follow. Even if it's as simple as using the _e() function, DEV can get recognized as an industry innovator for something like this ... which will give them more marketing value and ROI than an internal plugin change will any day.

  • Desmond Teng

    Nice DOTW! Can i suggest that a totally white label can include the admin menu plugin. Maybe perhaps another plugin because Ultimate Branding has so many features in it right now.

    Also, it would be nice if we could rename some plugins for example Defender to like Security, as someone mentioned it below. But, I guess, we could integrate the rename of the plugins into the admin menu plugin :slight_smile:

  • Debbie

    White label - love that you're going to offer this!
    I had reached out to support heroes for help with hiding Defender and Hummingbird menus, and I found a way to also hide some other plugin and admin area menus.

    I think adding white label options to the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin will be really handy to have. There are some WPMU Dev plugins that I use only on the sites that I do the ongoing maintenance for. Being able to have all those white labeled would be a handy way for those plugins look more like they're part of the maintenance plan. I'm looking forward to this being available!

    What about offering a plugin like Admin Menu Editor AND having the whitelabel options added to the WPMU Dev Dashboard plugin. That way folks that want to do more with all the menu items can use the plugin like the Admin Menu Editor plugin, and not bother with the white label options in the dashboard. And the folks that are only interested in whitelableing WPMU Dev plugins can do so in the dashboard without also using the additional plugin.

    Hope this helps! I appreciate that you folks reach out for feedback about these things, thank you!

  • Dean

    Fantastic idea! Remove all branding from all plugins. Make them look as native WordPress core as possible. I understand this should only be a Premium benefit though to be fair on WPMU Dev and will also encourage people to get the premium for White Labeling.

    One reason to avoid plugins for us is if they are hard to de-brand, and get rid of adverts etc etc.

    Then allowing us to choose the name for the plugin. Like someone mentioned further up. We could change "Defender" to "Security", or "SmartCrawl" to "SEO" or whatever we want without have to do this hit and miss with Ultimate Branding. Also all mentions of the plugin names and WPMU Dev in text descriptions etc within the plugin.

    Finally, allowing us to select the what user role sees the settings pages and has access via the menu. As a general rule of thumb we only provide clients with the minimum they need access to. This is both for security and also ease of use. So this would save us having to write our own mini plugins just to tidy up. As an example of what I mean, on multisite we always hide the permalinks settings page and remove it from the menu. Why? Because once setup it shouldn't be changed and so a client shouldn't need access to this...

    Great DOTW! Thanks Tyler Postle Seems like a good time to be a wpmudev member... :slight_smile:

  • Brent

    White label options are always welcome. I can see how it might become difficult to maintain because there are so many plugins, so I would obviously start with the newer ones (or those that are updated often). The problem with white labeling is that devs sometimes don't get everything. So you would need to make sure that every options page, every menu, even the plugins menu, has the plugin name removed.

    The other problem I see is the cartoon characters. Why? Because while that might fit with the branding and ethos of WPMUDEV, and WE know about that, if a client sees those and doesn't like them, or if they just don't match OUR ethos or style that we normally use in our product, what can we do? So if you're going to white label, you really need to consider removing that type of stuff as well.

    I think that a menu editor would be very welcome but ONLY if it was better than the current favorite, Admin Menu Editor. And if you do it, I would love the option to restrict editing access to only the current user (me). I have some clients who want to be admins, and some of them will even know how to see if they are an admin. So I'd love to be able to hide options behind a wall they can't see. Maybe a "Super Admin"? Not that any clients have ever given me trouble, but I do know some prefer having the full admin experience.

    Outside of that, I would welcome white labeling in any form. The Hub reports are already welcome, and I like the idea of creating more to help the freelancer. So keep up the good work. Thanks!


  • joe

    5 years as an annual member and there is much to like here. Tony rightly noted that Ultimate Branding would be better named Helpful Customizations as there is nothing ultimate about it, and this is really symptomatic of the hyperbole that is entrenched in WPMU thinking

    The cartoon characters are part of this thinking. They are not superheroes, they are cartoon characters. They are superficial. Please white label them asap.

    One other request I have, which is generalised but extremely important. Please do not rush out plugins with the usual marketing razamatazz that are not production ready and then use customers as crash test dummies to highlight their flaws. Upfront did it from day 1 and ultimately cost the company more than two million dollars.

    Memberships was another that set sail lacking some basic functionality, although credit where it is due, the team worked hard to bring it up to speed when the flaws were pointed out by this particular crash test dummy.

    Learn the lessons and we all benefit.

    Admin Menu Editor is a tough act to follow, and I question the wisdom of trying to re-invent that particular wheel. Why throw resources trying to top something that is already available and works fine?

    The Hub can be temperamental and needs to be 100% reliable. The idea is a good one. The implementation must be hard core solid.

    Be square and level with us and you will find helping hands everywhere.

  • Steve - Just Think BiG

    I agree with a lot of what's been said.

    White labelling is definitely the way to go and it could be done through a range of strategies.

    Using the Dashboard to manage this makes a lot of sense and it would be good to be able to limit access to user roles on a per plugin basis in much the same way that you can limit access to the Dashboard itself.

    Controlling white-labelling and user role access is gong to be easier with DEV's own plugins and thought needs to be given to existing options like Admin Menu Editor and whether DEV looks to offer a complete alternative or some kind of integration/joint use. As has already been mentioned, development resources need to be managed as efficiently as possible.

    The Super Hero branding is a bit 'Marmite' in that some love it and others loathe it. I can see that some clients would object, although I haven't really had any push-back on that side of things with my own clients.

    I am loving the DOTW discussions and like where DEV seems to be heading. Making everything rock solid should be a pre-requisite, of course.

    Regards, Steve

  • Tony G

    With all the love here for Admin Menu Editor, I'll mention another plugin that does wonders with the dashboard and other control areas. WP Admin UI Customize is great software. It's well-maintained by a Japanese developer who doesn't speak English well, and that's reflected in code and docs. As a part of my "pay forward, pay back" ethos, I've helped him a bit with some language issues, but alas, there's only so much time. For those who can get beyond that, it's really worth checking out.

  • DigitalPowerups

    I feel like a lot of this could be tied into the Ultimate Branding plugin. I was a little surprised when I first installed it and tried using it. I just assumed it would have features similar to other plugins like Adminimize.

    If Ultimate branding allowed me to hide or rename tabs from my clients I'd be happy with just that.

    Sidenote: I thought it was funny that when ultimate branding is installed there is a prominent tab called ultimate branding in the admin menu. Just screams "Hello client, yes I took a shortcut rebranding your site" lol

  • Tony G

    Please forgive yet another post here, I'm trying to separate topics.

    I don't want to convince anyone out of whitelabeling, but I would like everyone to consider a concept as we discuss this: Maybe we shouldn't take it too far.

    The WordPress ecosystem is vast. FOSS is diverse. The more we isolate people from it the less they know about it. End-users, typical consumers, have the impression that "everything should be free". They're thinking beer, not liberty. LAMP developers get paid a pittance because people don't value their work. "It's only a website, I can make my own for free". The simpler we make it look the more they'll take it for granted that it's all cheap and easy.

    FOSS is only free if your time is worthless

    The fact is that a single WP site is the culmination of the work of lots of people working independently. It's a patchwork of components of varying styles and quality. That is its nature. It's not a homogenous, consistently styled product from a single corporate entity. While we don't want the dashboard to actually look like a patchwork, the WP-styling of the back-end already provides some level of elegance and continuity.

    Whitelabel/branding is an attempt to hide the sources and identities of those components. Why do we want to do that? Do we not want users to look elsewhere for solutions? Are you afraid your users will ask for too much? Are you afraid they'll find competing offerings? The more they look elsewhere the more they'll ask for related solutions. The better they understand this industry, and FOSS in general, the better they'll understand why it took you 12 billable hours to install free software with a click.

    People don't understand that it takes a lot of time to make this stuff work in harmony. They don't know the hours/days that it takes to find decent software before we do that one-click installation. They don't know how we spend hours (yeah months) in forums, trying to track down issues, trying to get devs to fix their own bugs or to provide enhancements, and maybe trying to fix things ourselves without losing the ability to do an update.

    Let them click the link to the plugin author's home page - some of them will be good, others not. That's the world we live in. Let them go to to see plugin reviews, or to see the support page where your postings show that you've spent a lot of time to get a solution from the developer. Let them look for competitive plugins so that they understand why you've chosen the stack you've installed. Discuss with them the merits of what you have, and premium up-sells that are available. Partner with them in your offering. Engage them in the process.

    You're selling solutions. You've chosen the WP stack for its quality, diversity, and your "affinity" with how it works. You've chosen this platform over Drupal, Joomla, ModX, Concrete5, Sitefinity, and a lot of other competitors. Stand behind your decisions. Embrace what that includes, which is some inconsistency on the back-end that exposes people to your toolkit.

    I've been a developer for about 40 years. WP isn't actually my line of business, it's a tool in my kit. I don't sell sites like most of you. But I've worked on innumerable front-end systems, communications interfaces, and back-end business applications. In most cases the admin screens and user dashboards are a part of my product. But to the client they're more of an afterthought. They come to me asking for a business solution, a front-end for their business app or a portal for their end-users. The dashboard part is something I need to toss in because it's necessary but they didn't think about it. They don't really care about it. It doesn't need to be styled like the front-end. When I develop a site with .NET or Java or other tools, there's one entity responsible for both front-end and the dashboard "back-end" (not to be confused with the server back-end), so they expect some amount of consistency.

    When we're providing a WP installation, I think we need to set different expectations. We're pulling in tools from different sources and They Look Different. If the client wants full consistency, end to end, they could be paying for custom development from a single source. But they've chosen you to develop their site. They've accepted you and your toolkit of diversity and everything that goes with it. You must explain to them that replacing plugins every few years is normal and integral to this model. You must explain that themes eventually go unsupported and that you must change themes to get better support and also to keep up with styling trends (so that their site doesn't look dated). And because they are buying into the FOSS/LAMP stack, they must understand the diversity of this world, that individual developers put ads in their UI to upsell premium features, and that some software providers like cartoon characters.

    If they want "free" they need to pay with their eyes, their time, and some forgiveness. The less forgiveness they have for diversity and some amount of patchwork, the more it will cost them. People understand this. We are familiar with this in the phone apps we use and the websites we enjoy. Don't take too much time to try to hide that ... unless you have users who are willing to pay for your time.

    And ... thanks for your time.
    (This shoulda been a blog)

  • Lawrence

    Well I must be the only guy here that doesn't mind the superheros! :slight_smile:

    When I set up WordPress I usually make a single Admin account, apply two-factor authentication to that account, then everyone else is an Editor. When you're an Editor - as far as I can tell at the moment - you can't see any of the WPMU DEV plugins in the menu and that's cool by me.

    The only thing I can think of right now where I would need to allow a client access to any of the WPMU DEV plugins I use would be Smart Crawl to allow them to work on SEO stuff. Anything else like Humming Bird, Defender, Snapshot I don't want clients messing with.

    So being able to toggle visibility of plugins in the Admin Menu would be helpful. I know people are worried about bloat but I can't see that adding much really and the Dashboard would be the logical location for something like that I believe. The same goes for toggling the supers.

    I love these DOTW! It's a "super" way to communicate with the members and for guys like me to hear the opinions of other members. I look forward to them every week!


  • denny

    In addition to losing the superheroes I'd really love if the UI adhered more closely to WP standards. Things look nice enough in the WPMUDev plugins but I really hate how they've got a completely different look and feel from stock WP - fonts, buttons, colors, etc.

    Feels disorienting to me and I hate that I have to unleash that experience on customers as well.

    I realize this is WAY easier said than done. Probably easier to give us a new admin theme that customizes the rest of WP to match your custom styles :slight_smile:

  • amused

    i have a very simple solution that can solve this and make everyone happy !
    "everyone" being both wpmudev staff & members alike

    - Simply create one more wpmudev super hero cartoon character !!!
    & lets call it "Franky" - short for wpmudev super white label Frankenstein Pro :slight_smile:

    he can look something like this ;

    or maybe save some design cash and give CustomPress hero a promotion ?

    ok all amusement aside . :slight_smile:

    point is -
    white label is not JUST about making a platform/software/service look like one's brand.

    its about a uniform UX/UI experience and being considerate for beginners/new site owners/ older less techy folks etc. etc.
    in other words not going to the wp admin and seeing an obvious stitching of many different parts.

    that to me is key.
    even the new styling of Hustle, Smush etc honestly looks very nice but the point is it does not look like the wp admin even if it looks better than the wp admin and the wp admin looks like :poop:

    "We're standardizing styles across all our plugins and Smush will get some tidying up."
    - taken from the current roadmap.

    so therefore besides the Characters and company names,
    the styling should be consistent as well in my humble opinion.

    so you see Franky will add this consistency by having a consistence mess all over :slight_smile:
    ok promise no more amusement

    i absolutely appreciate all this effort and honestly if i were not a wpmudev member already for years now and visited the front end of the site today for the first time i would absolutely be very impressed and it is indeed waaaaay more compared to other wp companies out there.
    the design(and yes even super cartoon heroes) shows professionalism/care behind their marketing and brand and it also implies some huge capital (a company i would trust etc.) etc.

    but if the product being marketed and sold is for other companies and users to market and sell as well (all within WP) then COMPLETE white label is a no brainer and in fact NECESSARY for some.

    i agree with Tony G that UB may be a better choice.
    Thats a good choice for an already powerful plugin that seems to be getting some love lately.
    each feature can be activated or not to avoid conflicts/performance issues etc.
    but in a way "Franky" can become a monster :slight_smile: by itself and possibly have its own dedicated plugin or as an option in WPMU DEV Dashboard if done right.

  • joe

    Can anyone remember what MSN used to be like?
    Microsoft Network

    They actually tried to ambush the web in its early days, as did AOL
    If you were a member of either back in the late 90's they did everything they could to keep you in their ecosphere and branded everything in their own particular way. Every site searched for and landed on was on their approved list and no doubt commercial interests were paramount rather than the best interests of users.

    Microsoft lied that Internet Explorer was so integral to Windows it could not be separated, as they obviously did not want Netscape and others to enter that marketplace.

    Several court cases and many millions of dollars later Microsoft were forced to back down.

    I'm not suggesting WPMU has such notions, but the idea of thrusting those darned cartoons down out throats when there is clearly a large body of opinion that dislikes them is a mistake that will backfire spectacularly.

    The cartoons might be great for WPMU, and I must admit that as far as cartoon characters go they are nicely drawn, but they are not for me or several of my clients. I need an option to do away with them, sweet in a childish way as they are.

    Walt Disney does cartoons. WPMU should do great software.
    I'm only asking for the option to choose. Is that wrong?

  • Jaxom

    Hi Tyler Postle

    Well personally I like the Cartoon Characters, they make me Laugh and A good Giggle a day is good for you.

    I like the idea of being able to hide all WPMU plugins from the dashboard or the ones you choose to hide. Nice simple check box = Display:none; should do the trick :slight_smile:
    I also like the idea of being able to label them in the admin menu to something other than standard for certain clients (You Know the Ones)


  • Paul

    White labelling is awesome! I never really understood why I would need the Dashboard though if I only wanted to use a certain plugin on a site. Seems like an overkill to me no?

    I'm all for white labelling, though as a workaround right now I do use Admin Menu Editor PRO. It even allows me to hide plugins I don't want other users to see (if given access to the plugins page)!

    Just some ideas :wink:

    • Tony G

      I never really understood why I would need the Dashboard though if I only wanted to use a certain plugin on a site.

      Funny you should mention that. Right this minute I'm building a site where neither members nor managers need the dashboard, so I've moved minimal required functionality (like profile maintenance) out to the front-end and completely disabled the dashboard for all users except me = super admin. Admittedly this is a luxury, not appropriate for most scenarios.

      I do often hope that one day WP will close the gap between front-end and back-end, so that environment maintenance and plugin options are all selectable by role, and where the UI elements aren't hard-coded to dashboard pages but exposed more like shortcodes which can be placed anywhere on the front-end. With this the notion of branding goes away, as configuration becomes the same as content maintenance, subject to whatever templates and styling we wish.

      Hey DEV ... shaking up the industry with that kind of innovation will surely get you some marketing attention.

  • Manuel

    Seems a good decision by wpmu dev with introduction of white labeling ‘brand’).
    Introducing white labeling,( in one form or another) is a good decision as this can help managing client's well established websites without clients being puzzled by what they do not need to see and/or tweak.
    Moreover I also agree that some clients can be WP educated, and if they do not see their websites looking like ‘’normal non-branded websites’’ they’ll start asking questions from their developers. I refer to what Tony G. is warning developers and would be developers like myself and djohns.

    “Are you afraid your users will ask for too much? Are you afraid they'll find competing offerings? The more they look elsewhere the more they'll ask for related solutions. The better they understand this industry, and FOSS in general, the better they'll understand why it took you 12 billable hours to install free software with a click.”

    Before white labeling comes trust as I see this.
    In other words if we are confident in the work we do on behalf of our clients, there is nothing to worry about. You give them a price, on acceptance ask for 50% upfront, and do perform and give these clients what was promised. Then these clients can look anywhere in their own time and ask you the web/ developer any questions they like.

    “1. Are we missing anything else related to white labeling in plugin admins?”

    As a linguist I can’t stop thinking that things can be improved at a social and economical level of interaction. This is about ''Business and Marketing'' Topics so I suggest:
    Additional Support for Tutorials and better quality W.L.Videos for ‘Would-bees and developers alike’. Including transcription of these videos into a good dozen languages.
    Clue/question: Are there other forums in other languages than English that we know of, and we can participate on?

  • Kjetil Wikestad

    Superheroes are fun and seeing them makes me smile. But...

    Clients are often not easily amused and find the superheroes childish and unprofessional. So an option to turn them of will be greatly appreciated. The same goes for "promo" videos for the plugins. They should not use a superhero voice over.

    White labelling plugins name are not important to me. Clients will soon realise that WordPress are nothing without a collection of plugins, and some brand recognition is not bad for WPMU DEV and could potentially be a selling point for me.
    But it would nice if the plugins could have a tagline associated with them to easily identify what the they do. For instance, SmartCrawl could have changed the H1 from "Dashboard" to "SmartCrawl - SEO Helper"

    More important than the naming option is to have greater control of what user roles have access to.

  • Nathan

    I’ll keep mine short. Seems a lot has been covered. I feel that all white labeling options should be placed in the Ultimate Branding plugin, since I install it on every site, even my own personal site.

    A cross between Adminimize and Admin Menu Editor would be amazing.

    Also it seems a few plugins allow us to choose which user roles can access some plugins, but they only support standard WP roles. Need to be able to choose custom roles too.

    The only white label option I see feasible in the dashboard would be to remove the super heroes.

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