What Annoys You?

This isn't really about WPMUDEV, lets not target anyone else either, we're not a hit squad, this a generalised chit chat!

When using WordPress, plugins and themes this is what annoys me:

+ Public upgrade notices - WHY do my users need to know there is a new plugin version or that the next release of WordPress is here. It smells like Spamvertising to me! Its even worse when a plugin developer sticks several replicated bits of code all over rather than being a little OO or at least sticking it in a recycle bin (function for reuse). If you must use them then make sure it is only show to super admins.

+ Every theme that contains generator tags for WordPress! - Isn't it enough that spammers find your site through various means without sticking a big flashing beacon out inviting them to come piss on your community and business. And I don't need potential hackers/crackers knowing the version I use! Why make it easier for them!

+ Branding - I understand that designers and developers want to get their name whored out there, heck many of us have complex issues with life and require someway to claim some fame. But..... don't make it hard to remove those in your face spamvertising bits. If its commercial then why do it! The money is made and if its free then why not open a coffee tin for donations or charge a spam link removal fee.

+ I hate it when theme require separate plugins to make it work just like the demo!

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So why this post?

Well perhaps it might help create some thought about these sort of things.

So what annoys you?

Remember play nice, because I know this sort of thread could turn....

  • Philip John

    Hiya Tim!

    Nice idea - some general feedback about how everything works might well help with understanding what users expect from their plugins

    Even if it is a bit of a rant...

    I have one plugin where the developer has added a mini-essay asking for money onto the bottom of the settings page... not cool!

    Phil

    P.s. being British, I'm always up for a good moan

  • Fondeli

    Hiya!

    I use a Disable Wordpress Updates plugin to hide those update messages. Here is the plugin site: http://www.crazytoast.de/plugin-disable-wordpress-updates-theme-plugin-und-core.html

    Yeah, those plugins with all the donate money links are annoying. Do you think that if you donate they would take the links out for you?

    b.t.w. being Irish, seeing the British moan gives me a laugh! Actually one thing that makes me smile on these forums are Tammies replies sometimes, stark contrast to the American replies!!

  • Tammie

    *hides her teapot as her Englishness is showing and pondering how to take that comment Frondeli Also wandering if that sentence was even in English

    Joking aside though the biggest gripes from a theme designer perspective is anything that hijacks stuff. From a plugin that has more clears than a clearing sale through to the world's ugliest button you can't over-ride without !importants.

    That mentioned !important is also a huge bug bear of mine and anything set to float left / right and then width 100%... truly a mind boggler.

  • Timothy Bowers

    @Phil

    I have one plugin where the developer has added a mini-essay asking for money onto the bottom of the settings page... not cool!

    Argh!! that annoys the hell of me as well! Especially when its on several pages from several files. No reuse of code.

    @Fondeli

    Yeah, those plugins with all the donate money links are annoying. Do you think that if you donate they would take the links out for you?

    I wish they would either stop or offer a donation version without the spamvertising for donations.

    b.t.w. being Irish, seeing the British moan gives me a laugh!

    I hope that is a good laugh an not a laugh of jealousy because we excel in the art of moaning! And you wish you were that good! pmsl!

    @Tammie

    That mentioned !important is also a huge bug bear of mine

    Do you think there is a place for !important or should it be scratched from CSS?

  • Tammie

    Do you think there is a place for !important or should it be scratched from CSS?

    Good point Tim, it just like anything has it's place. However, it's more of a last resort. What bugs the heck out of me is the use of it in header.php or using it just to mask a problem. Lipstick on a pig is still lipstick

    Think of it in terms of you have this bag of CSS tricks. You have tons of things you can do and that should be the last attempt - the dynamite so to speak. To crack a nut you'd probably want to use a nutcracker, then a hammer.. then progress up to dynamite

    One thing that is often forgotten about CSS is what it means: 'Cascading Style Sheets'. Clues in the name right? This is the one area so many forget about.

  • Timothy Bowers

    I think I have another pet hate....

    I love themes which have a lot to offer, but where should it stop?

    Should every theme duplicate the features of another theme, or should of it be left to a plugin.

    This post for example highlighted a point:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/seo-in-marketpress

    Thanks Tim, I just installed WPMUDEV SEO and see that the features I wanted are available.

    On posts and pages I now have two SEO settings boxes, but that's a minor problem and does not have anything to do with WPMUDEV.

    The theme in question is changing the functionality of the admin area and obviously the front end as well to utilise the SEO stuff.

    Does anyone else think that themes should stick to design related features rather than changing the functionality of WordPress? Leave that to a plugin?

  • Leokoo

    Hmm, themes should remain themes and plugins remain plugins. However, I find the concept of parent and child themes extremely helpful, as we can customize child themes without worrying about re-customizing a theme whenever there's a new update.

    However, being a virtual programming n00b, due to my dis-preference to programming, I do hope that there'll be a complete and thorough plugin guide/review site for us all to go to, as I find many times a newly launched plugin will override the functionality of an older one and perhaps even perform better, but people just keep mentioning the older one

    D:

  • Tammie

    Does anyone else think that themes should stick to design related features rather than changing the functionality of WordPress? Leave that to a plugin? - Tim

    It's a problem with themes and specifically with what a theme is and what a framework is. In my mind the 2 are not the same and should not be. To me a framework is like a language.. an entire wardrobe. A theme is just one item of clothing.

    It's also further on from that an issues with people's expectations. A simple theme no longer cuts it without a few bells and whistles. Is this right? Probably not. Do themes designers get carried away with this and wander into lands they shouldn't - yes many do often.

    In my own mind there is a clear definition between theme designer / developer and plugin developer. That I think is something not all share.

    Bottom line you have to think what are those boundaries though - to each person they are different. What does 'design related features' mean for instance. I bet we all have a different answer for that.

    Lately though the one thing I'm really digging is themes that do something. For instance the stuff we're doing with our plugins (directory and now coming soon MarketPress). I think that's a luxury we have here of being able to do that and others will end up doing. Plugin + theme in harmony so to speak.

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hi Tammie.

    A simple theme no longer cuts it without a few bells and whistles. Is this right? Probably not.

    Bottom line you have to think what are those boundaries though - to each person they are different. What does 'design related features' mean for instance. I bet we all have a different answer for that.

    For me simplicity in terms of bells and whistles is better for me. But I believe some people want it all. lol

    Design related features for me.

    CSS styling, and multiple colour schemes.

    Display categories: on/off
    Display author: on/off
    Change column layout (1,2, 3 columns, etc)
    Changing logos and favicons
    Use of jQuery option for slidshows
    Icon selections (if used)
    Navigation options, including or excluding pages, categories, etc.

    If a theme has custom pages for different types of content based upon category then it would be considered acceptable to give options on how many posts are permitted per page otherwise it can be left to WP.

    I don't mind when a theme takes the first image of a page when there is no featured image providing there is an option to turn off if required.

    I don't like it when themes have specialised advertisement areas and then only let you enter an image and link url, they should allow code for Google ads or similar like OIO. I do prefer a plugin to handle Analytics, ads and such. (One of the reasons I signed up here, for the site specific and wide analytics) but I don't mind themes giving those positions as sometimes it is built into the design (not just above and below like most plugins do).

    If I'm honest I would say ElegantThemes and their ePanel is mostly right.

    I've not tried all the themes here yet, but the network theme options look good to me as well.

    If WP doesn't deal with all the SEO stuff, then I would prefer a plugin like your WPMUDEV DEO plugin to handle it, another reason I signed up here.

    Lately though the one thing I'm really digging is themes that do something. For instance the stuff we're doing with our plugins (directory and now coming soon MarketPress). I think that's a luxury we have here of being able to do that and others will end up doing. Plugin + theme in harmony so to speak.

    I'm not sure what you mean here.

    I love that MarketPress works with designs well. Directory though which requires its own design I find a little annoying, also one of the things which annoys me with BuddyPress and by the looks of it the forthcoming bbPress plugin.

    The more and more plugins require their own designs, the less they can be used out of the box, especially together. And the less they can be used an a WPMU install because of the confusion it will cause for end users.

    Allowing their own internal layouts is cool though, which is what I think you mean with MarketPress?

  • Tammie

    What I mean is themes that link into a plugin not styles that come with it You will see that soon. From what I know the aim of plugins is they work independently or should from a theme - a rule we adhere to. What about themes though designed to take advantage of that plugin.. a shop for instance with template pages just for that... sounds a bit like something we're doing no and I've already mentioned

    Display categories: on/off
    Display author: on/off
    Change column layout (1,2, 3 columns, etc)
    Changing logos and favicons
    Use of jQuery option for slidshows
    Icon selections (if used)
    Navigation options, including or excluding pages, categories, etc.

    This is a tad frameworky Also it's a bit of a misconception now that all themes should have a slideshow.. we're not all the same and neither should our themes

    For navigation stick with WordPress menus in any theme being developed now, same goes with backgrounds and custom headers - wheels are not for reinventing when they work well

  • Timothy Bowers

    What about themes though designed to take advantage of that plugin.. a shop for instance with template pages just for that... sounds a bit like something we're doing no and I've already mentioned

    I think providing they can function independently as well then that is cool, but when using in a multisite install it could confuse the end users when things produce errors when a plugin is not install.

    This is a tad frameworky

    I don't disagree, I'm just saying I don't mind them being in themes. I think the ET ePanel is a framework?

    Also it's a bit of a misconception now that all themes should have a slideshow.. we're not all the same and neither should our themes

    Sorry, my comments were not a "this is what all themes should have" but more of a "I don't mind themes having these as part of the options".

    For navigation stick with WordPress menus in any theme being developed now, same goes with backgrounds and custom headers

    I agree again!

    But as I said just above (in this reply), I don't mind themes having these options, like in ePanel. But most definitely they should now be using the WP Menu system which I think is awesome!

    Would you agree we are kind of singing from the same hymn sheet here?

  • Tammie

    Yep same hymn just different verse which is what means there is always a great variety of themes

    Also to note the rule we have with themes has always been works without. For instance unlike a lot of companies we have a natty switch thanks to Aaron that even checks what variation of WP is being used and BP. There are lots of those little things under our theme hoods that allow us to have one theme that works in a wide range of cases. Almost all of ours work for BuddyPress out of the box but don't require it.