Feature Proposal: Content Authorship in Menus, with Live Preview

The current navigation menus system is built around a paradigm that every menu item must be associated with an existing piece of content. However, this is problematic for new users, who may find themselves with the opportunity to build a menu before creating any content. #34923 seeks to improve this experience and eliminate this usability “dead end” by adding the ability to create new post objects (most notably pages) within the menus interface in the customizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings..

content-authorship-nav-menus

Purpose & Goals

While this feature is aimed primarily at new users setting up their sitesite (versus network, blog) for the first time, it may also be useful for users that are restructuring a site, or even if they want to add a page here or there and add it to their menu before filling out its contents. It’s important to note that posts and pages added here are stubs – only their title is filled out, and the content will be added later via the post editor. For that reason, most existing sites would probably maintain their existing workflows to create new pages via the post editor, publish them, and then add them to menus. This is of course still fully supported and the new proposal seeks to provide an alternative approach that may be better for different use cases such as new sites.

Because the feature is proposed to be located in the customizer, it also fully supports live preview. The live preview component can build user trust and confidence by letting users preview and interact with their site as changes are made, before they’re published.

Technical Considerations

To allow new content to be created in the customizer, posts are created with the auto_draft status. When the user saves & publishes in the customizer, these newly-created posts are transitioned to be published. In the customizer preview, the status is modified to protected to allow the posts to be previewed.

Ideally, term creation should also be a part of the menus UIUI User interface. Unfortunately, terms to not currently have a status field, and implementing that or looking at alternative approaches is something that will take more thought. Thus, this feature is being built with future support for terms in mind, but without support currently.

By default, the ability to add new content depends on the appropriate capabilities and the show_in_nav_menus parameter when registering post types. Additionally, a new filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. is proposed to allow authorship in menus to be disabled on a per-post-type basis.

Testing

User testing has been requested and there are several tasks that could be tested:

  • Create a new menu for a brand new site by creating pages and adding them to a menu, assign the menu to a location and publish it.
  • On an existing site, create new pages to add to an existing menu.
  • On a complex site with multiple menus create a new page once then add it to multiple menus.
  • On sites with custom post types, create new custom posts for any of the scenarios above.

Test with the latest patch on #34923 and makemake A collection of P2 blogs at make.wordpress.org, which are the home to a number of contributor groups, including core development (make/core, formerly "wpdevel"), the UI working group (make/ui), translators (make/polyglots), the theme reviewers (make/themes), resources for plugin authors (make/plugins), and the accessibility working group (make/accessibility). sure the customize posts pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party is not activated (it has conflicts). If anyone is able to conduct user tests that would be much appreciated.

Customize Posts Plugin

Part of the inspiration for this feature comes from the Customize Posts plugin, which has the ability to live-preview posts and post metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. in the customizer. Only a very small portion of the plugin would make its way into coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. as part of the nav menus content authorship feature. However, the proposal is currently to establish the wp.customize.Posts namespace for future expansions of post-related functionality in the customizer. The existing plugin would extend this core namespace, and other plugins could do so as well.

There are currently no plans to consider the Customize Posts plugin for full merge into core; however, stay tuned for an upcoming feature project kick-off that will seek to explore the future of live preview in WordPress at a broader level.

Feedback & Next Steps

The latest patch is currently seeking feedback for accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), design, code review, docs, and general comments. Please test it and leave your feedback as comments on this post or the ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker., #34923. Given current timing the ticket is likely to target the 4.7 milestone.

One remaining piece to implement is a mechanism to inform the user that their new posts have been published and provide links to edit the posts in the adminadmin (and super admin). This could take the form of a notifications area in the customizer or preview, or happen inline within the menus UI as a notice using the customizer setting validation feature that’s new in 4.6. UXUX User experience feedback and ideas for the potential approach here are needed, and it could also probably work to ship without this part for now.

#customize, #menus, #proposal