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  • Weston Ruter 10:45 pm on July 29, 2015 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , feature-partial-refresh, , menu-customizer, , ,   

    Fast previewing changes to Menus in the Customizer 

    The foundation of the Customizer is built on the concept of the “setting”, an abstract representation of anything in WordPress: options, theme mods, posts, terms, and so on. Settings are linked to controls which are responsible for manipulating them. When a setting is changed it gets pushed into the preview window so that the modification can be reviewed before being published live.

    There are two ways (transports) for how a setting can be pushed into the preview: refresh and postMessage. The refresh transport does a full page refresh with the modified settings applied, and so it relies on PHP to apply the setting changes. The refresh transport is designed to be compatible with all themes, but for heavy sites refresh can be excruciating slow and taxing on the server. For this reason, the postMessage transport was introduced for previewing changes. This transport uses JavaScript to apply the changes instantly in the preview without any Ajax requests or PHP calls. This is great, but themes have to opt-in to postMessage transport for settings because they must also include JavaScript code which duplicates the logic which is already being executed on the server by PHP. The postMessage transport violates the DRY principle.

    With that background out of the way…

    Partial Refresh of Menus

    In WordPress 4.3 menu management is being added to the Customizer, extending the types of objects that the Customizer can manipulate to include nav_menu taxonomy terms and nav_menu_item posts. We wanted this menu management experience to be fast so it had to avoid the slow full-page refresh transport. Nevertheless, the postMessage transport wasn’t possible to use either since we wouldn’t be able to duplicate all of the PHP menu walker logic and theme/plugin extensions for rendering menus purely in JavaScript. We also wanted to enable fast previewing of menu changes by default. So we implemented a postMessage/refresh hybrid approach which uses postMessage to sync the menus settings to the preview, and then the preview does an Ajax request to render just the contents of the menu container, and this Ajax response is then inserted into the DOM to replace the previous menu container. The technical name for this approach we have been calling “partial refresh”, but you can call it “fast preview”.

    When the Customizer determines it can’t do a partial refresh, it falls back to performing a full page refresh. Conditions for why a menu change will get a full page refresh include:

    • if the menu was just assigned to a location for the first time or removed from being assigned to a location, since the theme may have some changes to the layout that it may need to perform;
    • or if wp_nav_menu() is called with with echo being false, since the theme may be doing some string replacement in this case which we can’t replicate in the partial-refresh Ajax request;
    • or if wp_nav_menu() is called with with a non-JSON serializable fallback_cb, such as a closure or a object method—this arg has to be empty or a string;
    • or if wp_nav_menu() is called with with a walker object instance, as opposed to a class name string;
    • or if wp_nav_menu() is called without a theme_location arg and the menu arg is not an term ID or a menu object;
    • or if the menu selected in a Custom Menu widget is changed, since partial refresh for widgets is not yet supported (however, see feature plugin)—subsequent changes to the menu will result in fast partial refreshes if the above conditions

    When a menu is being updated via partial refresh, the menu container will receive a classname customize-partial-refreshing, which by default changes the opacity to 25%.

    Theme Support

    The fast preview for menu changes is being enabled by default so that theme authors don’t have to opt-in to the functionality like they do for instant preview (postMessage transport). In general this should be fine. However, if the theme includes some JavaScript which dynamically manipulates the rendered menu container, such as adding event handlers for expanding/collapsing submenus, then the theme would need to include some JS to re-apply the modifications once the menu is partial-refreshed, as the old DOM for the menu container gets replaced.

    The Twenty Fifteen theme actually uses JS to expand/collapse submenu items, so it needed a patch in 4.3 to re-setup a partial-refreshed main nav menu. In addition to firing the menu container DOM setup logic once at jQuery.ready(), it now invokes the functionality whenever the menu is partial-refreshed. See the initMainNavigation() JS function.

    So in general, if your theme needs to dynamically initialize menus with JavaScript, the pattern for the initialization code should be:

    jQuery(function($) {
    	function initMainNavigation( container ) {
    		/* set up container... */
    	initMainNavigation( $( '.main-navigation' ) );
    	$( document ).on( 'customize-preview-menu-refreshed', function( e, params ) {
    		if ( 'primary' === params.wpNavMenuArgs.theme_location ) {
    			initMainNavigation( params.newContainer );
    			/* optionally sync a previous menu state from params.oldContainer... */

    The params being passed to the event handler consists of the following properties:

    • newContainer: jQuery object containing the new menu container element retrieved from Ajax; this is what you would manipulate to initialize.
    • oldContainer: the previous jQuery object holding the element for the replaced menu container; this is useful if there is any state in the old menu that should persist in the new menu, such as which submenus are expanded (as in Twenty Fifteen).
    • wpNavMenuArgs: The array of arguments passed to wp_nav_menu() in the template, such as template_location.
    • instanceNumber: The index for which wp_nav_menu() call being updated.

    The Future

    Partial refresh is an “experimental transport” introduced here specifically for menus. In 4.4 we hope to generalize the framework so that any setting can be setup for fast preview, starting with widgets (see #27355). There is a Customize Partial Refresh feature plugin that implements widget partial refresh in a beta state. This partial refresh functionality I’ve also identified as being critical for Customizer Transactions.

    • nicholas_io 2:53 am on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is awesome. But what happens if the menu doesn’t have a container (container arg set to false)? It will fallback to a full-page refresh?

      • Weston Ruter 6:16 pm on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        @nicholas_io: Good question! I wasn’t sure actually, but I tried it out and it works fine. The critical logic here is found in WP_Customize_Nav_Menus::filter_wp_nav_menu().

        You can see that it attaches the required CSS class names to the class attribute it finds. When the container arg is false then the root ul element is used, and it will have a class name if the normal walker is used, at least. I tried partial refresh with set to false, and it continued to work as expected. As long as the items_wrap continues to have the default value of <ul id="%1$s" class="%2$s">%3$s</ul> then it will work.

        We should harden this, however, to not just find the first class attribute, but look at the first (root) element and amend an existing class attribute or insert one if it doesn’t exist already.

      • Weston Ruter 6:40 pm on July 30, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Here’s a patch for what I have in mind: https://github.com/xwp/wordpress-develop/pull/110/files

        • nicholas_io 1:28 am on July 31, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          It’s a good patch for me, the original approach could lead to problems in some edge cases (and from what I understand with this patch we could still have partial refresh even if the user alter items_wrap and remove the class attribute.)

  • Nick Halsey 12:00 am on June 3, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , menu-customizer, , ,   

    Feature Plugin Merge Proposal: Menu Customizer 

    The Customizer team is proposing to merge the Menu Customizer plugin into core for WordPress 4.3. In this post, I’ll outline the purpose and history of this project, as well as highlighting the improvements that we have made.

    Purpose & Goals

    The purpose of the Menu Customizer project is to move navigation menu management from the WordPress admin to the Customizer. In the process, we hope to offer an updated design with improved user flow, a mobile-first interface, improved accessibility, rebuild the administration UI from the ground up to be JavaScript-driven, solve long-standing problems with the current implementation (#14134), and clarify the purposes and capabilities of the menus feature. Additionally, Menu Customizer contributes significantly to the long-term goal to move all appearance functionality and, really, everything that could benefit from live previewing, from the admin to the Customizer.


    Menu Customizer started out as my Google Summer of Code 2014 Project. The initial proposal and revised schedule highlight the initial goals and provide good perspective for where we’ve come in the past year. See also the periodic posts here on make/core for updates. Development has happened on GitHub since the project opened to the community.

    Core API Improvements

    As I began developing this feature in plugin form, it became clear that the core Customizer API would need a lot of improvements to support something as complex as menus. Countless tickets have worked towards this goal over the past year, from the addition of the concept of Panels ( #27406) to JS/Underscore-templated controls ( #29572), and now, full support for dynamically-added sections and controls ( #30737, #30738, and #30741).

    Developers are still realizing the full potential of the Customizer API, and Menu Customizer pushes the boundaries of what can be done here pretty far. One of the goals with our approach is to bring as much functionality that should be natively available in the API into core as possible. With the improvements made here already, as well as the future potential to continue abstracting functionality like the add-menu-items fly-out panel or the ability to add screen options in Customizer Panels, Menu Customizer broadens the potential for developers to extend the Customizer to do anything, in core, plugins, and themes.


    In the initial GSoC project, I (@celloexpressions) developed the plugin from scratch, using Widgets in the Customizer as the design basis, with @ethitter and @obenland serving as my mentors. When the project was opened to the community for contributions, several designers and developers stepped up to help. Code contributors to date include @westonruter, @valendesigns, @voldemortensen, @adamsilverstein, and @kucrut. @designsimply and @folletto have also put in a tremendous amount of time helping with design and usability.

    Plugin Overview

    I highly recommend trying the plugin, which currently requires the latest version of 4.3 alpha. @designsimply has prepared a video demo:

    I’ve posted a comparison of the mobile menus flow in the admin and the Customizer on make/flow, and @designsimply has also posted flows there (more flows with more recent versions of the plugin on trunk are still needed). Usability testing has been conducted on usertesting.com, with results posted on make/design. As further refinements are made, additional testing and feedback can be incorporated to make the new experience as polished as possible.

    A couple of technical details: each menu is a Customizer section, and new menus can be added (dynamically adding new Customizer sections and controls in the process). Menu items are Customizer controls. To maximize scalability, menu items are all rendered using a single JS template, only when their containing menu section is expanded. The add-menu-item panel loads available menu items on an as-needed basis via ajax. The plugin uses several custom Customizer objects including a custom panel that implements screen options, two custom sections (menus, for lazy-loading of menu items, and new menus, which is rendered as a button toggle), and several custom controls. But everything is built off of the core Customizer API.

    A summary of some key improvements that the plugin includes:

    • Modernized, simplified, and more compact UI
    • Mobile-first design that leverages the Customizer
    • Scalable, JavaScript-driven and avoids performance issues ( #14134)
    • All menus easily accessible in one place, without page reloads
    • Live previews of active menus as they are edited
    • Menu locations that can be set from the main panel or while editing
    • Global search that includes all post types and terms in all taxonomies
    • Quick-delete for deleting several items sequentially
    • “Original” item links open directly into the live preview
    • The Customizer API can be used to hook into the experience in countless ways with plugins. Support for additional menu item fields can be added much more easily now in a future release, potentially leveraging the Fields API

    Core Tickets Fixed

    Menu Customizer fixes numerous tickets on core trac. This is not an exhaustive list, but covers many bigger ones:

    • #14134: Menus item are limited to 16 item and will not save more than that
    • #28138: Updating menu item requires passing all of a menu item’s data to wp_update_nav_menu_item() (The plugin steps around this, we can actually fix it in core on merge)
    • #32218: Remove title attribute option in Menu Editor (off by default)
    • #19272: Add Filter to Nav Menu Support Themes Text (can modify via Customizer API)
    • #21603: Add ability to delete multiple menu items
    • #16828: Add filter on initial_meta_boxes for nav menu Probably fixed, all are shown currently, which could use improvement but it will default to more being shown at least
    • #19464: Auto add do_action for menu in admin (can use Customizer API)
    • #31391: Make the list of registered nav menus (locations) filterable (can use Customizer API)
    • #32440: on Menu page, turn posts by default on “view options”
    • #18517: Visual Feedback for Nav Menu UI

    The Plan for the Menus Component

    This project has a very explicit goal of not just adding menu management to the Customizer, but also removing the existing admin page in the process. The menu management screen has significant, fundamental problems in its implementation and will never scale (see #14134) without a significant refactoring along the lines of what we’ve done with the Customizer. Additionally, the new UI in the Customizer is considerably more polished than the admin screen and already includes numerous features and bugfixes proposed for core (see above). Ultimately, the new UI provides a much better experience for all users, including desktop, mobile, accessibility, etc.

    The plan for the “removal” of the old menus admin screen is as follows:

    • Immediately and officially “deprecate” it: wind down any ongoing development efforts and focus all new administration-focused Menus component work on the new UI in the Customizer. Update trac tickets accordingly, and add a “Manage in Customize” link to the existing screen. Any existing tickets proposing enhancements or new features for menu administration would be required to be adapted to the Customizer version, with the (discouraged) option of also making changes to the old screen.
    • Point the “Menus” link in the admin bar to Menus in the Customizer in 4.3. Remove that menu from the admin bar in 4.4 in favor of a top-level Customize link, and put something more useful in its place (as all of its core links will point to the Customizer now).
    • Retain the admin screen codebase, along with existing links to it throughout the admin.
    • In WordPress 4.5 or 4.6, remove all core links (including admin menu) to the Menus admin screen, or point them to the Customizer. This would likely coincide with a similar change for Widgets and Themes to use the Customizer versions exclusively, once full feature-parity is achieved with the Customizer versions of the other features (Menus has it now). At this point the admin screen would be accessible only by plugin-added links or for users who cannot access the Customizer (no-js, IE7, IE8&9 with domain mapping, a very small percentage of users overall).
    • The admin screen and related code would likely not be removed entirely from core in the foreseeable future, and critical bugs or security issues would still be addressed. New feature development and enhancements would be restricted to the Customizer version.

    The above plan is fairly aggressive, to eliminate any ambiguity about future plans and intentions and to avoid the potential for mass trac ticket rot. The fact that the Menus component has no maintainers and has not received significant attention since the 3.6 release indicates that there is a general lack of developer interest in dealing with the mess that the current system is. I am willing to step up as a component maintainer for Menus if the above plan is implemented.

    Ongoing Work

    We have a few issues left that work working on. Notably, @westonruter has proposed refactoring the way menu item settings are handled, along with menu creation and deleted, and has begun work there, but wouldn’t finish until after a core merge due to time constraints and integration with core code. @adamsilverstein is working on improving drag & drop to work with sub menus. There are also several minor issues remaining on GitHub, which would either be handled in the next couplle days or after merge (many issues have been punted to after a potential merge already).

    • Weston Ruter 12:20 am on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      refactoring the way menu item settings are handled, along with menu creation and deleted, and has begun work there

      Note that this is not a refactor for the sake of making it more elegant. It’s a re-architecture for how the data is represented in the Customizer and eliminating Ajax requests that persist data in WordPress out-of-band with the Customizer session (the settings). The re-architecture is required to ensure that this help text remains true: “Customizer allows you to preview changes to your site before publishing them.” We need to ensure that there are no database changes made at all until the user hits Save & Publish. For more information, see issue 67. It is considered by myself and @ocean90 to be a blocker for shipping the feature in the 4.3 release.

      • Nick Halsey 5:14 am on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Specifically, there are five interactions that result in immediate modifications to the database:

        • Screen option toggles
        • Add new menu item
        • Edit existing menu item, other than changing order
        • Add new menu
        • Delete menu

        For adding and editing menu items, the database changes are essentially just adding draft posts (which is exactly what they are), and these are only saved there temporarily if they don’t get published. Screen options we obviously wouldn’t change as it uses the system used throughout the admin. Menu-addition I would expect to change the db immediately because actually having menus is more of an administrative thing that doesn’t get published in any way until the menu is added to a widget or theme location (which are previewed). Menu-deletion is the one that should be changed if possible, although the delete menu option is only available for menus that aren’t in use published or in the preview, both for UI simplicity and to minimize accidental clicks (there’s also an are-you-sure dialogue), so that does minimize issues there.

        Other than menu-deletion, nothing is published but draft objects are added to the db with the current setup. In terms of user-facing changes, the only tangible impact this would have is that menu deletion wouldn't be permanent, and a couple of bugs with previewing would be fixed (although they could also be fixed in other ways). There's a distinction between published to the publicly visible site vs. published to the database, albeit with a draft status like a draft or autosaved post. The refactoring would also likely improve performance, as there are certain likely unexpected bottlenecks right now that can cause large quantities of these draft items to be generated (especially with submenus).

        Hopefully this clarifies exactly what's going on here, and how a developer might think of this change versus the impact to a user. Blocker for release, but not a change that will have major implications on the user-facing side of things, allowing us to continue testing and iterating on that as needed in the meantime.

    • Spacedmonkey 8:32 am on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One thing that is was not mentioned was plugins that have built on top of the menu panel ui? One off the top of my head that I use is this – https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-custom-fields-nav-menu-field/ . Will all of these plugins break after the upgrade? Is there a plan in place to educate both theme/plugin developers and users of this massive change?

      Also, can’t believe that work was done on the menus and this ticket wasn’t touched – https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/16075 . Not being able to easily put CPT archives into the menu is mine and all the people that user my sites biggest pet peeve. I know work around it with custom links, but if you change the slug of the CPTA when that isn’t reflected in all the menus you have the custom link in.

      • Tom 11:52 am on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I am one of those menu plugin authors, yes it would break the plugin. On the up side, it shouldn’t be too much work to get it working again.

        Regardless of that, [i]my[/i] thoughts on this can be condensed into a single sentence:

        Content Management does not belong in the Theme Customizer.

        • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:37 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Tom, what is it about the change that broke? If it’s something easily grep-able, we can get a list of plugins in the repo that might be affected really fast.

          • Tom 5:30 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Here is what you could grep for in my case:



          • Tom 5:14 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            My plugin enqueues assets on the nav-menus.php page. It also uses jQuery to add a button to each menu item (which in turn loads a lightbox containing more settings for the menu item). Removing the current nav-menus.php admin page would break that functionality.

            That’s not a concern though, I can change that.

            My concern is I believe this will have a negative impact on the usability of WordPress as a whole. I don’t believe the theme customizer was ever intended to be used for anything more than customizing a theme, it doesn’t seem intuitive to expect users to manage content in there too.

            • Tom 6:13 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              Weston, a similar argument would be that writing content is essentially customizing a post, and therefore is suited to be done inside the Customizer. You could preview your changes on the fly, but I’m sure most people would agree that the Customizer is not the right place to be editing or managing posts.

              Widgets are a grey area, they look like content on the front end, but they “go” when you switch theme.

              Menus, pages, posts etc are content items that form the “backbone” of a WordPress site. Menu management is content management, not customisation.

            • Weston Ruter 7:04 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              Yes, post editing can be done in the Customizer as well. The Customizer provides a framework for implementing front-end editing, which has been talked about for awhile now. Note that the Customizer doesn’t mandate changes be done in the left-hand pane. They can be done inline as well. So for those who want inline editing, with full preview-ability of post changes on the frontend, then they would certainly think the Customizer is the natural place to do this.

              Widgets should be considered content, and should be stored in posts as well (see #32474). The widgets don’t go when you switch themes. You may have to re-assign them to the new theme’s sidebars, just as you have to re-assign menus to their new locations after switching themes.

            • Weston Ruter 5:41 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              The Theme Customizer is just a framework for live-previewing any change to WordPress. Initially the customizable settings were just appearance-related things like colors and images, but it never had to be limited to that scope. Starting with 3.9 widgets were added to the Customizer. Before 3.9, it was not possible to see what impact a widget change would have on a site without making it live for all users. The same goes here for menus in 4.3: it allows changes to be previewed before impacting any user.

          • Merv Barrett 12:28 am on June 11, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I second this. Content management does not belong in the customizer.

            Every time the customiser appears I want to find a way out of it. It’s horrible for theme selection when developing sites for clients.

            The customiser is terrible for widget management too.

            It’s probably great for single users working on their own site.

            But where you are building sites daily and have 30 layouts each supporting unique widgets, the customiser is a pretty shiny object that gets in the way of productivity.

            Terrible idea to disable Appearance > Menus

            Sorry for being harsh but if it works don’t fix it

        • Julie @Niackery 11:01 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Agreed! “Content Management does not belong in the Theme Customizer”! How does menu content benefit from front-end editing? Not at all! Only menu design does, and it should be left at that…

          • Samuel Sidler 3:48 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            There are a couple aspects of menu management that benefit from visual management:

            • menu placement, so you know exactly where your menu is going; naming isn’t always very helpful for this
            • menu item length can cause your site to “look weird” if a menu item is too long for the menu (for example)
      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:53 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Plugin developers are emailed before release to remind them about testing, and in general once a feature product hits beta (and is no longer a plugin but included in core) most developers SHOULD be already testing… Can’t make em. We do try to alert and scan the repo for anyone who might be impacted.

        Any chance you want to test the feature plugin with the one you use right now and give a heads up? Then we know for sure and can start scanning and poking around :)

      • Nick Halsey 3:04 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Because the new interface is completely different from the bottom up, plugins will need to be adapted to extend the UI. The Customizer API will actually allow for significantly more flexibility with several components, essentially adding hooks throughout the interface and letting devs tweak things at a more specific level from plugins. One of the reasons that we’re proposing to wait a few releases to remove the old screen is so that plugins would have ample time to transition.

        The one thing that the new system does not yet support is adding new fields to individual menu items. Currently, this is only possible in the admin screen for one plugin to do at a time, but it can be done so a few plugins do it. We’re still working out how best to facilitate plugins adding options here; it could be a simple (for us, but would make it much harder for plugins) as an action in the menu item template, or as involved (for us, but would be much easier for plugins) as a API for custom menu item fields, potentially leveraging the Fields API.

        Once the available hooks and APIs for customizing the Menu Customizer experience are complete, we’ll do a post here with details on what old hooks won’t work in the new interface, and what new ones are available. Note that the plugin doesn’t touch the deeper internals of menu management or the presentational layer, only the administrative layer.

    • Andrew Norcross 6:54 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The decision to deprecate / remove the existing menu is a horrible one IMO. While I don’t like the idea of putting menus in the customizer to begin with, removing the existing one poses a lot of problems for existing education / training done with users. I have trained at least 100 clients on how to build and manage their menus, both in person and with online / printed manuals. Removing this creates a new set of required training for both the menu area and the customizer as a whole, not to mention opening up the idea of “can I now customize X part” on sites that were built to specific scope and needs.

      I hope the core team reconsiders this.

      • Weston Ruter 6:58 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Removing the existing Menus admin page wouldn’t happen for quite a while, I imagine. Widgets were added to the Customizer in 3.9, but the Widgets admin page remains and isn’t planned to be removed anytime soon.

        • Travis Northcutt 7:00 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          The proposal above lays out a pretty clear plan, including “In WordPress 4.5 or 4.6, remove all core links (including admin menu) to the Menus admin screen, or point them to the Customizer.”

      • designsimply 7:04 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Aside from documentation needing to be updated, I think a better UX for menus combined with live previews will be a benefit for your clients as well as all WP users. Did you try out the plugin? Since you have experience teaching people how to setup menus, do you think they will find the newer flow easier to work with?

        • Andrew Norcross 7:09 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I have tested the plugin, yes. And I’ll keep my opinions on the customizer to myself for a moment, but I in terms of menus I do not think it’s easier or better UX. It’s a constrained space to work with and the live previews aren’t a value-add for something as straight forward as a menu.

          • designsimply 7:15 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I see. In user testing, I have found that the current menus admin page is itself not intuitive and not straight-forward for everyone, which might be one reason why you needed a lot of documentation for it before.

            Thanks for your input.

            • Andrew Norcross 7:20 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              Most users need training because they do not use systems like WP on a daily basis like we do. Once they understand, they find it easy to use. For a few clients who do have the customizer in place, they’ve found it difficult to understand and muddled.

            • designsimply 7:25 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              I’m game for helping test those kinds of interactions. If you spot specific flows that are troublesome, let me know in Slack and they might be things we can make sure to cover in user testing.

            • Andrew Norcross 7:39 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              the important thing here is the removal of the existing menus. I understand it may not “scale” but for the vast majority of users, scaling is not an issue whatsoever.

      • Robert Dall 8:15 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I completely agree with you Andrew.

        Personally I don’t like removing the menu completely from the admin. Sure if you want to use the customizer that fine. But I should be forced to if I don’t want to.

        And to echo Chris Lema’s statement as well.

      • adamsoucie 12:22 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I want to second Norcross here in regards to training. Outside of how to write a basic post, the menu system is the area my clients find easiest to understand. Often times they are more comfortable making changes to menus by themselves than they are actual posts because the interface is pretty easy to understand.

        This feels way too much like a solution for a problem that doesn’t really exist for most people, at least as far as my limited experience is concerned.

      • ahortin 2:33 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I totally agree with everything Andrew said. I’m not a fan of the Customizer, full stop. I think it’s a horrible user experience and the more options that are added to it, the worse it gets. I don’t like the idea of the menus getting added to Customizer and I would really, really hate to see the existing interface removed. Having a live preview for menus is of absolutely no benefit.

        There needs to be more input from the community when big decisions like this are made. As well as using it on our own sites, we deal with clients every day so we know what they do/don’t like. This new customizer implementation of the menu system is not going to make it easier for end users, and isn’t that one of the things that WordPress prides itself on, being user friendly? This is taking a step backwards.

    • Chris Lema 7:03 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sticking what has been done in a large screen into a small space feels like the things young people do because they a) learn quickly, b) are tech savvy, and c) have great eye sight.

      But in enterprises that use WordPress, people are often older, learn slower, and are less tech savvy. So I would strongly recommend not squeezing the menu into the customizer. I would also suggest that if this plan goes forward, they leave the main menu in place for years, not versions.

      • intriguingnw 7:03 pm on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        In respect of Customizer and Menus, seems like UI decisions do not reflect what users want or do. It’s not just Mr Lema and Mr Hancock folks. See discussions in Advanced WodPress group o Facebook. Most people don’t believe its not a good idea. Chris is right, its not change that people are against, its ‘change for changes’ sake. Please leave support in where it is for menus as its just creating a pain point for no real end-use benefit. I realise you all know much more than most of us about the coding but those of us who use WP and have to get end users, clients, corporates and busy teams sticking with WP want changes where it solves a problem or pain point. This feels like its just creating one.

        I was really tentative about making any commen here because I realise you are all leads on the technical but heck if users start leaving in droves for Squarespace and we make changes that don’t really add value, what is the point?

        What users want is a front end that is more like lasso.(Nick Haskins) so we can compete in the drag and drop world, where most folks want to be. This change just substitutes one place for another. So I may wear glasses, be a bit older but I want positive change as much as young people do but I would like it to make a difference in the market and this already feels like it is not going to do that.

        Realise my voice probably will not make a difference because it looks like its already been decided but somehow before revisions and changes get prioritised can we get some wider participation from users not just expert coders. With all respect.

    • Jon Brown 7:03 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This seems like a really pretty laid out proposal but that doesn’t mean I’m in favor of it.

      First, I share Tom’s concern about existing plugins. There is no talk about hook compatibility between the existing menus and the customizer. There needs to be a plan before this even starts for what happens with plugins when the current menu admin goes away.

      Second, I share Andrews concerns. I still don’t love the customizer, especially it’s attempt to move beyond “theme customization”. I really think content control should have been handled differently. I want to drag/drop/edit widgets directly ON THE PAGE, not in the sidebar. It’s the same issue with this. If I going to do this on the front end, I want to edit the menu directly IN the menu, not in a side tool bar.

      • Weston Ruter 7:08 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        As I commented above, the Customizer doesn’t require all interactions to be done in the left-hand pane. Inline editing is also possible but it just hasn’t been widely implemented yet. So yes, drag-and-drop of widgets directly in the page preview is possible, as is doing the same for menus. It is more difficult to implement a cross-theme compatible way of doing such inline editing, however, so this is a reason why editing remains in the Customizer pane.

        • Jon Brown 7:19 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          For me it feels like the customizer already has WAY too much going on in there… it’s not intuitive and getting even harder to navigate. User testing here is way more meaningful than my cranky opinions though.

          I think the customizer _should_ require all interactions occur in the pane. That’s easier to understand, as the hybrid some in/some out approach is confusing. Rather than put more in there other UX for editing content (menus/widgets/etc) outside the customizer should be developed.

          +1 on NOT removing the admin nav-menus.php in a few versions… should be in a few years. Still having problems with plugins that were built for the old media library layout, and problems with the new widget customizer dying/freezing on sites with heavy widgets.

          • designsimply 7:24 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Some themes add a lot of extra panels to it too! I think things will keep getting added there though. Ideas to help:

            • Spotlight style help search (I would looove something like that for all WP Admin)
            • Toggle for before-and-after so I can see what I’ve changed via the Customizer before saving

            These are outside the scope of the menus feature itself, but I see your point about findability becoming more of an issue as more things get added to the Customizer.

            • Jon Brown 7:27 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              I think about it this way…

              Why build a GUI into the customizer (ie. the drag and drop arrangement of menu items) when there is a perfectly good GUI in the preview window? Why can’t I just drag and drop ON the page?

              Same goes for widgets…

              The customizer makes some sense when the panel has settings like color, font size, etc… it doesn’t for arranging content.

              As Tom said, it’s content vs design.

          • Weston Ruter 7:27 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            problems with the new widget customizer dying/freezing on sites with heavy widgets

            Yes, this is a known problem. See #32103. I have a fix in the Customize Widgets Plus plugin’s “Efficient Multidimensional Setting Sanitizing” module.

      • Jon Brown 7:11 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        sorry, premature posting above without editing.

        In short, rather than squeeze more content editing into the sidebar, leave that for “global theme customization” (like it was original intended IMHO), and instead find a better way to enable front end layout and content.

      • Tom 7:15 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I would just like to make it clear that although the change will break the plugin I develop, that’s not my concern here. I can fix that up pretty quickly. If anything it will probably be easier for plugin developers to hook into the menu system through the customizer.

        I’m simply concerned this change would make menu management more difficult and less intuitive for the average user.

        • designsimply 7:19 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’m simply concerned this change would make menu management more difficult and less intuitive for the average user.

          Why do you think this change makes menu management less intuitive? Can you be more specific?

          • Tom 7:48 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Sure. I don’t think a new or “the average” WordPress user will instinctively head to Appearance > Customizer to manage their menus. I simply wouldn’t expect menu management to be placed there. Regarding increased difficulty, I don’t believe the Customizer offers a suitable amount of space to manage large menus (50 items plus), or menu’s with more than say 2 levels.

            • designsimply 7:50 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink

              Thanks. I’ll look into these things.

            • Zach Wills 5:24 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink


            • Ryan Boren 5:09 am on June 7, 2015 Permalink

              Toolbar > Customize is the route I take. I’d like to move that above Themes now that theme switching is built in. Directly after creating a site I head to the front page and go to Toolbar > Customize. I don’t want to see wp-admin. Having to see wp-admin is a failure. I don’t want to dig through Appearance menus in a busy admin silo. New users don’t instinctively go to Appearance > Menus. They don’t have that history and baggage. They want to Customize. From there they find what they need and never have to delve into legacy. Between the iOS app, Press This, and the Customizer, I can ignore a lot of wp-admin. I want an Edit This plugin that hooks editing and draft centric flows up with Press This so that I can ignore even more of wp-admin. I use wp-admin when setting up a business site with heavier CMS flows, although less and less as we get more capable on mobile. After that I’m good to go on a phone for the bulk of my day to day, occasionally drifting to a laptop to get at the full editor on a bigger screen.

    • carlhancock 7:15 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not a fan. I don’t think the Customizer UI is well suited to managing Menus. Sure it’s fine if you have a blog with a single menu and simple structure. It will quickly become frustrating when using WordPress as a CMS for a more complex site involving larger menus and multiple menus.

      Not only will it be frustrating to manage a complex menu structure within such a constrained space, it will also be distracting with all the sliding in, sliding out, the site itself being displayed in the main window, etc.

      When i’m creating the navigational structure for a site I don’t look at it in terms of visual design. I look at it is mapping out the navigational structure of the site like i’m sketching a site map. This is exactly why I prefer the existing menu management tool. It’s much easier to concentrate on the task at hand.

      I also think it’s a mistake to further split up Dashboard functionality between the Customizer and the traditional Dashboard. The Customizer makes sense for visually customizing the design of your theme. Not so much for managing content. To me managing menus is more like managing content and not like managing the visual design of a site.

      @chrislema also raised extremely valid points as it relates to the wide variety of users that utilize WordPress. Those types of users most definitely aren’t going to like this. At all.

      • Mario Peshev 12:16 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m not sure what’s going on, but it seems to me that the Core team is hanging out with some people in their circle that probably like that change. Among the hundreds of people around me who can’t grasp that idea at all (including myself), I haven’t seen anyone outside of the decision makers who thinks that it is a good idea.

        Democracy may create a a chaos here since every decision would have people who agree or disagree on a given idea – just due to the large volume of active people. But I can’t ignore the fact that numerous major decisions lately did not involve any usability testing with different target groups or actual users.

        Obviously solutions like https://wordpress.org/ideas/ are not getting any attention anymore since there’s some roadmap on getting things in Core regardless of the approval factor from the wide community of developers, business owners, users.

      • Alvaro Gois dos Santos 3:10 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Menu is content. Menu should not be a part of customization except for the placement part. It seems obvious to me.

        And it also seems people who’re involved in this decision, as @nofearinc also puts it, are disregarding a large portion of users.

        If I had to suggest a change in Menu, it would be it’s own place in the dashboard menu, apart from Appearance and not hide inside Customizer.

    • Richard Tape 7:33 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      My main concern here is when there is forced SSL on the admin-side (very popular in the enterprise) and not forced SSL on the front-end (sadly, likewise). My experience with this is… the customizer is entirely unusable, as you’re unable to load non-ssl content within an SSL context. This isn’t necessarily tied to this project, but the customizer as a whole.

      I see that links to the menu page would be removed further down the line, but the ability to actually get to and use the menu pages would still exist. Whilst I’m going to let my opinions on this functionality simmer for a while until they are fully formed, I wanted to make a point that it is vital that the ability to affect changes such as menu editing (And widget editing) outside of the customizer remains in place until we all live in a world where SSL is everywhere.

      • Weston Ruter 7:45 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes. This is a problem, but I do have working solution in the Customize Widgets Plus plugin’s “HTTPS Resource Proxy” module. (You’ll still most likely have to kiss any 3rd party ads goodbye, however.)

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:48 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        To touch on this, it’s only if https://domain.com isn’t workable.

        In my case, I have WordPress HTTPS enabled and set to force ‘https exclusively’ which means if you hit domain.com, it forces http unless I’m on a specific https-only page.

        Obviously the answer is ‘Use https for all the things!’ but that’s both expensive and complicated. In addition, if you happen to have Multisite, good luck finding a GOOD ssl offering that can do both multiple domains and wildcard subdomains on said domains. So until LetsEncrypt.org takes off (soon, soon), it’s not a great experience.

    • Lisa 11:42 pm on June 3, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m joining because I really care about the future of WordPress, because the future of it depends upon the users not just devs or core contributors. I am heavily invested in the WordPress ecosystem.

      As business owner who runs on WordPress, designer and user, I really don’t want to see so much stuff crammed into the customizer. Navigation and plugins will just make it worse.

      I’ve used it for simple themes and more complex and experienced issues with settings not carrying over from parent to child, and those themes like Theme Foundry’s Make, touted as the example of how the customizer should be used, just seem like waaaay too much stuff crammed into a tight space.

      When I click on widgets in the admin bar, I want to go to the admin, not the customizer – now it’s several clicks away. It’s just annoying.

      My main business is online courses and membership, but I do have a handful of client sites that I host and maintain, and I hear their pain. While it’s more business for me to do the stuff they can’t figure out how to, I really don’t want to, I set them up on WordPress so THEY could maintain their own sites, not me.

      WordPress used to be much more usable and I see this as more of it veering away.

      I would love to see a standardization of an options panel instead. Themes have evolved, and there’s just more room there to handle the evolution.

    • Knut Sparhell 1:09 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nice work! All for this great enhancement. Deprecate and remove the admin interface, but slowly, and everybody will be happy.

    • Piet Bos 3:33 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I agree that the current navigation menus UI can be improved and in that aspect the Menu Customizer works great.

      I do not agree that the UI should be added to the Customizer for all the reasons that have been mentioned already.

      What I don’t understand is why these type of decisions seem to be pushed through without too much consideration? WordPress originally was build as blogging software and there is still a vast amount of people using it as a blog.
      But there is also a vast amount of people that have moved beyond and use WordPress as CMS, as @carlhancock already mentions.
      I even have sites for clients where I simply remove everything that has to do with Posts!

      Why does it seem again and again and again that the powers that be simply make decisions on things, without too much consideration or hearing people’s concerns?

      If WordPress is all about “democratize publishing through Open Source”, then why does it feel that the core dev team is more and more a totalitarian regime?

    • Nick Halsey 4:04 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      First of all, please keep in mind that this is only a proposal. No final decisions have been made yet, other than that we’re tentatively going to merge the plugin, based on today’s dev chat.

      For those who are concerned with the usability of Menus in the Customizer, please try the plugin on trunk and see how it feels. If you’re concerned about your clients, or specific user types, please help us with usability testing and report back with the results. Speculation and theory are subjective and can only go so far, we need to actually put it in front of users to validate our opinions one way or another. If you try the plugin though, I think you’d be surprised at how nicely it works. Even though it may be familiar, the admin screen really isn’t a great experience in a lot of ways (including using much more space than it needs to).

      Many of the objections here are resisting change for the sake of resisting change (ex. revising training practices, etc.). WordPress cannot continue to improve and evolve without making changes like this. This project addresses several specific problems with the existing system, while maintaining nearly all of the existing paradigms for how menus work and retaining a very functionally similar UI. Other than finding the UI (which deep-linking would take care of), users that are familiar with the existing system really shouldn’t have any issues with the new one.

      The problem with keeping the admin screen is that there is barely any community developer interest in maintaining, let alone improving that system. Based on what has happened with other features added to the Customizer, and the current status of the menus component, I think that we’re best off focusing on on admin system for menus and drawing a hard line on it to avoid fragmentation. Menus diverge from widgets her in that they’re feature-complete now, whereas widgets aren’t, so we could remove the admin screen immediately in 4.3. But at earliest we’d keep the legacy system around for a few releases to allow time for plugins to move over.

      • Chris Lema 5:12 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        “The problem with keeping the admin screen is that there is barely any community developer interest in maintaining, let alone improving that system.”

        This is a scary reason to make this kind of change. I understand it, but if we had done the same with documentation when people weren’t interested in documentation, we’d be in a very different place.

      • carlhancock 12:01 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You think the massive amount of rejections from the community on this post, in Twitter, etc. is because people simply don’t like change? WRONG.

        People don’t like this direction because it’s not a good one. Not because of change.

        I’m all for change. I’m all for making WordPress better. I just don’t think this particular change is the right direction and judging by the comments here, on another blog posts about this change, in Twitter and in Facebook… I am far from alone and it appears I’m in the majority camp on this one.

        It’s pretty amazing that despite the near universal condemnation of this direction that it was agreed to tentatively merge the plugin in the dev chat. You guys obviously haven’t been paying attention to the overwhelmingly negative feedback that has been received on this matter.

        • Gabe Shackle 4:39 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          This +1000. I’ve built and maintained many sites with menus running 3-4 levels deep with fairly long titles. Trying to fit menus that large into the customizer would be a massive step backwards in usability. I’d like to see the same example video with a menu containing 50+ items in it and 3+ levels.

          Controlling the DISPLAY location of a menu via the customizer is completely understandable. Forcing users to manage menu CONTENT via the customizer is not.

    • Helen Hou-Sandi 5:11 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      #18517 and #32218 are fixed now.

    • Ben May 6:04 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      On the large projects we work on, everything apart from the menu manager is hidden or removed. While there are some quirks to the menu manager, it’s solid enough for clients to work on and use.

      Moving the menu management to the customiser really feels like it’s going to cause a lot more pain for our use case / clients / audience.

    • Jeremy Felt 7:10 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is a really excellent write-up, and the menu customizer team has done a lot of great work to get things this far over the last year. Thanks @celloexpressions and all.

      A few notes from my perspective:

      • I’d like to see a more visual indicator of the drag and drop behavior. I had a hard time in Chrome with the touchpad on OSX getting menu items to consistently drop into place where I expected them.
      • The preview of submenu items in Twenty Fifteen seems broken. There’s no great way for me to expand a menu on the previewed site and then watch as submenu items are reordered.

      Those two probably belongs as GitHub issues, but hey, here we are. :)

      • I haven’t tested it yet, but the architecture is meant to fix the `max_input_vars` issue with the current menu system, which is freaking fantastic. That said, hitting the `max_input_vars` limit in the current menu screen is usually an indicator that some other solution is necessary. (i.e. BU Navigation). I would personally be okay if the customizer UI for menus worked beautifully for smaller sets of menus rather than trying to account for a structure that involves managing hundreds of pages. Dealing with a long set of menu items and trying to drag and drop all the way up the chain is no fun in any interface.
      • The fly-out for adding new menu items is great.
      • The reorder option is great, but does leave me wishing for something just a bit better. I’m not sure what that is yet.

      Overall, I think things have progressed really well and this is a good example of panel usage in the Customizer. I’d like to see this merged in 4.3, though I’m also worried about how much user testing has been done so far. The plugin has 5000 active installs, which is great. It would be nice to have access to more real-world user feedback. I think more usability videos on the .org end would go a long way.

      I’m going to activate it at WSU tomorrow and try to get some feedback over the next week so I have a better idea of how groups will make use of it in our environment.

      The proposal to replace the current menu screen with the Customizer version is a bit premature. I know it’s been mentioned in past customizer posts, but I would have liked to see links to existing discussions to kind of fill in the blanks for those who don’t live core from day to day. There’s a sea of information that we publish together and it’s hard to find all the bits. :)

      Part of me can imagine keeping the old menus interface around in the hopes that it can become a page/menu manager of sorts in the future. I don’t think it’s anything we need to rush into and I think we can still focus on the Customizer being the primary experience after it ships.

      • Nick Halsey 5:59 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The first issue (drag-and-drop drop location indicator) is in progress here. Second issue is a minor theme support thing that will be discussed further after a merge. Patch for Twenty Fifteen is two lines of JS I believe, and already included with the other work @westonruter is doing that requires core patches. Essentially, we’re trying to do “partial refresh” previews of changes to menus rather than reloading the entire front-end preview, but this does require themes that have dynamic JS on menus to be using event delegation, etc. properly. We may put this behind a theme_supports flag, but as of right now we’d like to see whether we can enable it by default.

        Note that unfortunately WordPress.org is grossly mis-reporting the active install numbers due to the existence of a similarly-named premium plugin. We really have no idea how many are actually using the feature-plugin, especially since the nightly and per-commit version bumps that the github syncer does results in mass version fragmentation that makes it hard to tell from the version stats.

        Regarding panels, the Panel API was specifically created to support menus in the Customizer, which posed the problem of user-created Customizer sections that absolutely required a dedicated area. Glad that we can finally use the API for this :)

      • designsimply 12:49 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It would be nice to have access to more real-world user feedback. I think more usability videos on the .org end would go a long way.

        Agreed. Great suggestion! I will work on this.

    • davel 7:10 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not a fan either. I have small firm clients; clients who are not technical. I only give them access to the parts they need to control; and to the parts where they could not mess up the site; like the customizer could do.
      Moving the menu to the customizer in therefore not a good idea. Regardsless of how good of bad the UI is of the customizer; some clients go into panic seeing to many options to click. And the thing is: most of my clients don’t want to have acces to modify the ‘looks’ of the site. If customization needs to be done they contact me -the webdesigner-. So having opening up the gate to the customizer some of my client would experiment or would click wrong and then would be suprised if their site looks horrible or changed into something else.

      • Ryan Hellyer 12:09 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That doesn’t really make sense to me. This doesn’t allow your clients to change anything more than they already could, it just moves the UI from the backend to the frontend.

        • Seth Alling 12:38 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I believe @davel may do what I do. With some clients, I remove the permissions for them to edit widgets and use the customizer, but they still have to ability to edit the menus. This is because they could do some serious damage to their site.

          Forgive me because I haven’t used the customizer much, but is there a way to lockdown areas of the customizer based on capabilities? If there is, then I’m neutral with the change, but if not, then I’m against it as well.

        • Slava UA 1:01 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          But it makes sense to lots of other people and developers. We, the Community, are your “focus group”. You proposed this particular change, most of us rejected it.

          And now regarding Davel’s example. We change admin area nav-menu items visibility. We want editors (or any particular user) not to have access to customizer. But they should have access to Menus – and this is an easy task right now. And now, when you move things to Customizer, we are in situation when we should give such non-tech users more power in destroying their site (accidentally). Menus are NOT visual thing by nature, it’s a navigation – rather structural thing. I just don’t understand why it should be where you propose it to be.

        • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:41 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          A lot of people lock down or remove the customizer, especially on Multisite (I know!) to maintain a homogeneous site design. All you can edit are menus and widgets. No color changes etc.

    • Fabien Quatravaux 9:35 am on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This proposal is, in my opinion, a very good move. I have realized that the current menu management page is really hard to work with for new WordPress users. So it’s very good news that menus can now be managed directly in the customizer.

      I’m also a plugin developer that uses the current menu administration page. I’m using the “wp_edit_nav_menu_walker” filter to let user add an image to each menu item. That could be a good thing to grep for you @ipstenu.

      Thanks @celloexpressions for the detailed explanation and keep up with that hard work everybody !

    • MyInternetScout 12:18 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Without repeating all the solid points already mentioned about how the menu shouldn’t be moved to the customizer, I support Chris Lema’s (and others’) position to not move forward on this item as proposed. Training and re-training clients can be difficult. A sudden change like this could overwhelm the support capabilities of a small boutique design firm. Also, many see the menu system as a ‘content’ element that should be located were ‘Post’, ‘Pages’, ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ are – something I agree with.

      A little off topic, but related… because the WP user-base is so large and diverse now, I wish the Core team would start minimizing the frequency of UX changes to maybe once a year. WordPress does have a steep learning curve for non-developers (aka my small business clients)…and, unless these UX changes are truly intuitive improvement, such as drag and dropping photos into the media library, they’re not helpful. It presents WordPress as an unpolished product/platform.

    • John Teague 12:38 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Honestly, if the goal is to turn WP Admin into to Squarespace UI just say so and let’s be done with it.

    • jadpm 12:53 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sorry to say, but WordPress seems to be trying to solve the multiple not-standard loaded problem on theme options frameworks with a single standard even-more-loaded GUI that deprecates existing, working and familiar interfaces.

      Not a fan.

    • danhgilmore 1:35 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      In my largest installation, I have 38,752 sites. Will the current menu settings be moved over to Customizer, or will I have to train my customers how to do it?

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:39 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m not opposed to change. I’m not opposed to changing my mind. I think that having the menus as something I can set visually, to see how long a menu is and how it will look on my site in the GUI like the theme customizer is a good thing.

      Having the menu be visual, to see “oh hey, this looks bad on mobile” by resizing the screen, is awesome.

      But I don’t think it should be the ONLY place we do that.

      Similar to widgets, if I want to quickly reorder things, the widget panel is faster. One click to the page, move a box, done. Swapping out a link, I don’t want to go through the customizer not because it’s different, but because the flow is not sensible for what WordPress has been.

      Menus are post types, which has driven much of our design and purpose with it. Since they’re post types, we treat them as content, not design. Exactly like we do for widgets. Menus and widgets are both content.

      As for the customizer, well, using that for theme design makes sense. You (should) only design your theme once. You set it up, make it pretty, and you concentrate on what’s important. Content. Yes, we want to see how our content looks within the context of the site, and to that end I laud the customizer. But to have it be the only place, while annoying to mess with for support in two places, strikes me as a bit more logical.

      I would hope the ten tickets with solved issues (including the fact that the menus hang on save with ‘too many’ items) is carried back to the original menu interface. It’s a more practical interface for many businesses who lock down the customizer, in order to prevent people from changing major design aspects.

      And of course, given that the customizer doesn’t work if you have any sort of http(s) mismatches when you have secure admin but not a front end (not all CSS or font content will load because of insecure content), it feels like a ‘not yet’ moment. We gave WP the ability to be used in myriad situations. We have to support those people now.

      • carlhancock 1:58 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m not opposed to a Customizer style UI either. I’m just opposed to how it’s being down as it is right now. It seems obvious that there are plans for the Customizer to become the defacto WordPress administration tool. This is fine with me, if it’s done right.

        I don’t think doing it piecemeal the way it’s being done is the right way. Fragmenting the WordPress admin having some functionality in the Dashboard and some functionality in the Customizer just causes confusion. Especially when things are moved from one to the other in a piecemeal manner.

        If WordPress wants a Squarespace style admin, then build a Squarespace style admin. Outside of WordPress. In a plugin like MP6. Over a longer period of time. With more developer buy in. Work with plugin and theme developers to prepare for such a change over a longer period of time. Publicize the hell out of it and prepare the public for such a change. Then roll out the admin all at once at a later date with a big release.

        Yes this is a daunting proposition. Scary actually. But I think that baby steps with the UI involving fragmentation of functionality between 2 different UI’s just looks bad from a product standpoint. It looks patchworks. Amateur.

        Otherwise leave the admin alone and keep the customizer confined to managing the visual aspects of your site. While Menus are displayed visually on a site, they are actually a type of content. Stick to styling the menus in the customizer and managing the menus in the Dashboard.

        I wouldn’t be at all opposed to a radical new admin UI along the lines of what the Customizer is. Let’s face it… It’s a SquareSpace admin UI. It’s worked for Squarespace. It could work for WordPress.

        But i’m not a fan of the piecemeal implementation that is happening. It’s not good from a usability standpoint, and makes the WordPress admin look like a hot mess of different user interfaces.

        • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 2:28 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I don’t think the customizer should be the de facto admin tool. Maybe the DESIGN tool, for people who can’t code it’s great. But design and day to day work aren’t the same thing. They engage different parts of your brain.

          “Menus are content” – exactly that.

          • carlhancock 2:42 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I agree. Right now the customizer is a design tool. That’s how it was implemented.

            But Squarespace, and others, have proven that an admin UI can be implemented overlaid on the front end of the site like this and incorporate more than just design elements. Let’s face it, that’s where this pressure is coming from. Solutions like Squarespace, Wix, etc.

            It can be done. But how WordPress is doing it is just causing UI fragmentation which accomplishes nothing but making the product look piecemeal and inferior to the other web site solutions on the market.

            Menus are content, and with the current direction that WordPress is headed with having the Dashboard for content and the Customizer for design… putting it in the customizer is not ideal.

            But if WordPress is heading in the direction of having everything in the Customizer, at which point it won’t be the “Customizer” anymore but rather the new Dashboard or Admin… then they need to go about it a different way. Piecemeal is not the way to do it.

            IF the longterm goal is entirely new admin UI based on the customer then doing it piecemeal is the easy way from a development standpoint. Baby steps. BUT at this rate it will take years to migrate everything over. And during that time WordPress is going to look like Frankenstein. A patchworks of different UI conventions split over the traditional Dashboard and the Customizer style UI. I think that is a mistake. It makes WordPress look bad as a platform.

            I mentioned this on Twitter and it’s relevant in this discussion…

            Developers are not always product people. Ditto designers. WordPress needs more product people involved in core and decisions like this. Situations like this are perfect examples of what happens when there isn’t a product person or product person(s) guiding the overall direction.

            WordPress is an open source project. But it is every bit a product and needs to be treated as such. Anyone with an eye for product development would see that this kind of fragmentation is not a good idea for WordPress as a product.

            • carlhancock 2:52 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink

              And let me be clear. I think WordPress SHOULD move towards a Squarespace style UI like the Customizer for ALL THINGS. But NOT how it’s being done now. Not in a piecemeal manner. And not with the current UI.

              Squarespace UI is far more elegant. The arguments regarding the constrained space don’t take into account the UI can expand as needed, even going full screen. Which is exactly what Squarespace does.

              I just don’t think doing it piecemeal is the right way from a product standpoint. UI fragmentation is bad. Especially when WordPress is already daunting and complex for many users, something that us power users typically take for granted. Fragmenting the UI makes it that much more difficult and annoying for end users.

              I’m all for a completely rethink of the entire WordPress admin. I’m all for a Squarespace/Customizer style interface. I just think handling it in piecemeal fashion is a mistake.

            • Elio Rivero 3:23 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink

              So far I’d like what you’re doing with the menus. I’ve tested the plugin and it’s certainly intuitive. Leaving aside the debateable issue of whether menus are content (which I believe they are) or interface (which I believe they are too), the current path is good.

              Now, there might be other alternatives down the road better than this? I hope so. I would like to see some tool like Iseulde’s Front End Editor to edit every content in the site, whether it’s the site title, tagline, or, yes, the menus. Right now the (dissociative) nature of editing content on one panel and seeing it in other like is a bit distracting. It’s not what we’ve been used to do since, let’s say, word processors? you edit the content inline, but you can also select something and apply style. Another example is to write some text in real life: you choose the color (style) of the text (content) you want to produce. It’s always strictly separated, styling tool – content. Customizer could be something like this, becoming a glorified toolbar strictly dealing with styling, allowing users to enter their content inline.

              Hope it makes sense. Basically, I like the plugin and the overall idea, but I expect to see something more overlaid on top of the site, maybe along the lines of Front End Editor.

      • Nick Halsey 7:06 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Slight clarification: menus are actually taxonomy terms, not posts (menu items are post objects). Accordingly they bridge both post objects and taxonomy terms grouping post objects into a sort of index of content accessible on the site. Closely tied to content, but not really content in themselves.

        Of course, as westonruter mentioned a couple of times here already, the Customizer can and should be used to edit content. If you look at our component page linked in the post, you’ll see that front-end-editing that leverages the Customizer is one of our goals for the future.

        • carlhancock 8:53 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          My issue is NOT with using a Customizer style UI for managing menus. My issue is with the implementation of the Customizer UI in WordPress beyond theme styles and the fragmentation of the WordPress admin that is happening as a result.

          WordPress is becoming Windows 8. Microsoft made the mistake of fragmenting the UI and it was such a stupid mistake that they are skipping Windows 9 when they launch Windows 10 to further separate it from the UI mistakes made in Windows 8.

          Were all of the UI decisions made in Windows 8 bad? No. But the implementation was poor so now they’re having to fix it and blend the ideas behind the 2 different Windows 8 UI’s into a single unified interface.

          WordPress is in a similar situation. Right now it’s making the same mistake Microsoft did with Windows 8.

          If a Customizer style UI is the future of administering a WordPress site as a whole… then WordPress needs to go all in with it.

          Splitting administrative functions between 2 very, very different UI’s is NOT good from a user interface or user experience standpoint and makes WordPress look like a Frankenstein of a CMS. Piecemeal is NOT the way to do this.

          I have no issues with the general direction that the UI of the Customizer uses. Squarespace has a similar user interface. It looks great and is far more elegant and consistent. When admin functionality requires more screen real estate, the sidebar expands to accommodate it. It doesn’t try to do everything in extremely narrow columns. For complex actions it expands wider than simple actions. It’s not bouncing you around completely different user interfaces.

          WordPress needs to decide what the future of the WordPress Dashboard is. If it’s a Customizer/Squarespace style UI than fantastic. But the WordPress project as a whole needs to pick which direction it’s going in and commit to it full stop.

          I think it should go in that direction.

          But if the approach is to slowly move things over piece by piece and leave users, developers, plugin developers, and theme developers to have to jump between the old Dashboard UI and the new Customizer UI as pieces are slowly moved over across what would likely be years… I think it is a horrible mistake.

          I blogged about this here: http://carlhancock.com/wordpress-is-making-the-same-mistakes-microsoft-did-with-windows-8/

          Don’t mistake dislike for this direction as dislike of change, or some sort of education issue. It is neither. It’s a dislike for turning the WordPress UI into a fragmented mess of a user interface.

          • Weston Ruter 9:38 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            @carlhancock Yes, fragmentation of the admin UI is a concern. However, we also have logistical problems as you’ve also identified, where this is an open source project with volunteers contributing, so it is impossible to go the route of a closed proprietary team taking an entirely new radical direction all at once. Leaving aside the training/education aspects of changing where things are managed, there is the more fundamental problem of “person-power” to implement the change.

            If the eventual goal is to improve the Customizer to a point where it can serve as the shiny new JS-driven WordPress admin, with all of its current deficiencies accounted for, then the only way it can happen is in a piecemeal way: adding more and more capabilities to the Customizer with each release. The critical thing here though, and this seems to be the primary concern of almost everyone commenting here, is that the existing Menus admin page cannot go anywhere. Perhaps everything needs to stay right where it is in the WP admin until the eventual point where enough contributions have been made to make the Customizer complete enough to serve as the new de-facto interface for WP administration.

            If this is the direction we’re going in, it will take time. If people find the current issues with the Customizer too aggravating to bear with, then they should be able to continue to do things the old way in the WP admin. We need the WP admin to remain anyway for backwards compatibility. But they should check-in periodically to see how the Customizer has improved, and gradually see it evolve to a point where they can say, “Hey, I actually prefer this now.” But in order for that to happen, we need constructive feedback on how specifically it should be improved, and we also need more contributors.

            (BTW, and a bit of a tangent, but my understanding from elsewhere on the Web for why Microsoft chose to name it Windows 10 and not Windows 9 is because of legacy applications that are hardcoded to check for Windows 95 and Windows 98 via looking for the substring “Windows 9”. I could be wrong :-) )

            • nathanrice 10:04 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink

              Then that’s a good reason to develop features as plugins first. That way, they can be tested thoroughly without polluting the admin for users in the time between version 0.1 and version 1.0.

            • Nick Halsey 10:38 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink

              Yes, and for quite a long time the “tipping” point for the Customizer being able to actually take over an entire section of the admin was thought to be moving everything in “Appearance”. Menus is the last major thing there, but it turns out that we can go further, really.

              Not everything should or will move over from the admin, but I’d like to eventually get to a point where the admin is a secondary interface that is more power-user-oriented and has more advanced options. We have to keep everything in the admin there for at least some users because WordPress supports no-js. There will always be use cases, like list tables, bulk edit, etc. that don’t make sense outside of the admin context. But eventually I see the ideal user flow, at least for new users, being primarily oriented around the Customizer. The next big thing to tackle will be content and front-end-editing integrations, but that will of course take a lot of effort to even attempt. Biggest question is where we should remove elements from the admin that really belong exclusively in the Customizer, and I’d say things categorized as “Appearance” would make sense as Customizer-only. If a content-centric (list-table-integrated) menus experience is built in the future in another spot in the admin that’s fine, but menus are currently more at the presentational level of a site than being the actual content (controlling how to present the content in terms of the visitor’s perceived structure, not the actual data structure).

              Sidenote: I actually think Windows 8 was really well done (8.1 particularly, as it addressed most of the issues, but then it was more of a branding problem), especially for the types of interactions it was designed for (hybrid touch and mouse/keyboard). It’s great on a touch screen laptop or a hybrid, less great on a desktop but still better overall than Windows 7 on any device. The navigation between the two UI styles there is pretty seamless, and until we’re able to route users primarily through the Customizer we need to do what we can to guide them in and out. That’s why we’re emphasizing the front end context, and accessing the Customizer from the front-end instead of the admin.

    • Curtiss Grymala 1:52 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Well said, Mika.

      I’d also like to add that menus aren’t necessarily tied to a theme location at all.

      There are a number of use-cases where you can create a menu specifically for use within a widget, and that widget may only appear on a single page or group of pages. Trying to create a menu like that exclusively through the customizer would be extremely cumbersome and potentially very confusing.

      Aside from that, there’s also the current issue that the customizer is locked to a side of the screen (as far as I know, it can’t easily be re-factored to run horizontally along the bottom/top of the screen), which, in many cases, triggers a different, potentially mobile-friendly, layout. A lot of small firms/hobbyists will be completely thrown off if they’re trying to customize a menu this way when, visually, it doesn’t match what they’re used to seeing on their computer screens.

      • designsimply 1:07 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        in many cases, triggers a different, potentially mobile-friendly, layout

        I’ve run into this problem too. There’s a collapse option at the bottom left of the customizer controls panel, do you think it would help to make that more prominent and maybe even re-label it? (Not sure yet what a more user-friendly label might be, but I like the idea of that.)

    • tommcgee 1:54 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I understand the need for mobile-first for a lot of things; but as someone here has pointed out you generally set your menu once and then leave it.

      What kind of menu change would I need that would be so urgent that I couldn’t wait until I got back to my desktop PC? And is it worth the trade-off for making the original setup that much more difficult because of the narrow space that is allowed in the customizer?

    • Lisa 3:43 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks @carlhancock for mentioning SS because now I’ve decided to build a site with it so I can really compare the difference.

      I’m tired of hearing about folks moving to it and bashing WP, so I need to take a good look. Then I’d like to find a way to contribute here more to the future of WordPress.

      So the issue I experienced and mentioned in my comment about child themes is here – https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/27177

    • lockedown 4:36 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The decision to move Menus to the Customizer, and immediately deprecate the Menu admin seems very rushed and may hurt WordPress, the platform.

      There are billions of websites. WordPress powers a quarter of those, so hundreds of millions of people are affected by the UI decisions made by a handful of developers.

      The majority of users are comfortable with using the Menus screen. After all, it’s been that way for a decade. But now, the proposal is to eliminate it completely. I think this will cause mass confusion for those hundreds of millions of users who aren’t part of the WordPress 1% who follows these changes closely.

      I understand that WordPress needs to scale. But when you an important change like this, to how people use the platform, that re-training becomes difficult to scale. The development team will not be able to help re-educate the hundreds of millions of clients who will wonder where their menus went.

      Put menus in the Customizer, but don’t immediately eliminate the Menus screen. Because users will not blame the themes or plugins that don’t update with these changes, they will blame WordPress the platform.

      • designsimply 1:09 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        If you haven’t already, please test menus in the customizer! It sounds from your comment like you haven’t tried it yet.

    • Dan 4:52 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I want to voice my concerns with this move as well. I completely agree with those who are outlining the issues with re-training, the UI, and how this is fragmenting the admin interface and confusing the end user.

      Taking into account the discussion had over forcing repository themes to use this, I really think the WordPress core team needs to take a time out and have a larger discussion about where the Customizer. This approach of shoving it down our throats clearly isn’t working.

      • designsimply 1:12 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Would you be willing to test the plugin with a few users in a training setting? I’d love that and can help with ideas for testing and gathering feedback if it sounds like something you want to help with.

    • bmoredrew 5:05 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Has anyone considered the implications to managing a large menu, like one with 100+ items and several levels deep? This feels like a square peg in a round hole in that case.

      I’m not 100% opposed to menus being brought into the customizer – but at minimum the dedicated menu screen should be left in place.

      • designsimply 1:13 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Let’s test it. Are you volunteering to help test?! :)

        • Bowe 2:28 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Since it’s already approved for merge in core you’d think.. I dunno.. that you’d tested this before accepting it into core?

          • designsimply 9:57 pm on June 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            It was. :)

            I would like to encourage more testing though! If you are complaining here, you should really try testing the feature yourself. Many of the commenters sounded to me like they hadn’t tested, and being part of an open source community means you have the chance to get involved in a more positive way.

    • Jonathan Christopher 5:06 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thinking out loud, regarding removal of the link to the existing Menus area: what about the Links Manager approach? For those unfamiliar: as of WordPress 3.5 the Links Manager was simply hidden for new installs and existing installs got to keep it, untouched. To this day you can enable the Links Manager on a fresh install of the latest version with a simple filter:

      `add_filter( ‘pre_option_link_manager_enabled’, ‘__return_true’ );`

      I realize this goes against the grain of being a decision, and a ton of thought/work went into this proposal, but I’m wondering if it’s feasible to consider the Links Manager approach?

      Again, this thought just occurred to me over lunch, I haven’t fully thought it through, and it doesn’t solve the issue of the tickets for the Customizer-version-of-Menus not being rolled into Menus, but personally I think the existing Menus system can continue to work in many ways.

      • santeven 8:35 pm on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Remember the custom Header and custom Background admin pages? And whatever happened to the Themes and Widgets links in the front-end admin bar? As of today in 4.2.2 they easily can be displayed within the admin bar, in addition to the corresponding Customizer links already there.

        So long as the Menu Customizer team does no more with nav-menus.php and themes.php than what the Widgets Customizer team did with widgets.php , I expect the same will hold true for the Menus and Themes admin pages.

        Full write-up and plugin zip-file at http://wpmulti.org/old-school-themes-admin


        • Plugin Name: Old-School Themes Admin
        • Plugin URI: http://wpmulti.org/old-school-themes-admin
        • Description: Display admin bar links to the old-school dashboard appearance pages, in addition to the newer customizer links that recently have replaced them. Themes= themes.php Widgets= widgets.php Background= themes.php?page=custom-background Header= themes.php?page=custom-header
        • Version: 0.1.0
        • Author: Martin Robbins
        • Author URI: http://wpmulti.org
        • License: GPL2 or later
        • License URI: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html


        add_action( ‘wp_enqueue_scripts’, ‘old_school_themes_admin_bar’ );

        function old_school_themes_admin_bar() {

        $custom_css = ”
        .customize-support #wpadminbar .hide-if-customize,
        .customize-support .hide-if-customize {
        display: block;

        wp_add_inline_style( ‘admin-bar’, $custom_css );



      • David Sullivan 6:12 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That’s effective. It would save devs link me scores of questions about missing a missing menu editor. Plus going forward, new users get acquaint to the new UI.

      • Mike Selander 8:25 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This is a very clever idea but it would be difficult to implement for existing sites. We have somewhere in the range of 200 live sites on which we still have contact with the owners and it would be a beastly job to add this to even a tenth of them and retraining that many clients is unfortunately not an option.

        • Justin Sternberg 1:08 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I believe the idea is that: If you already have WP installed and using the menus, the UI will stay in place. If you’re installing a fresh version, the UI would be hidden by default.

          • Matthew Eppelsheimer 1:42 pm on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            This is a very good idea — similar to what was done with links.

            I share others’ concerned about remove the existing admin menu system. We never want to break backwards compatibility if we can help it. But I think this concern is adequately addressed, if the existing admin menu settings page is kept in place for existing installs, off by default for new installs, and available to be re-enabled for new installs.

    • theresajennings2011 5:42 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Shoving the menu into the customizer reminds me of Facebook’s decision to have PMs entered in a tiny little box at the bottom of the browser window. I agree with Chris Lema’s relating it to poor vision in older people. I’m 57, but I’m certainly not at a 800×600 resolution. I have a 30″ monitor at its highest resolution! Still, the customizer feels cramped.

      So in the video, I see a brief nod at sub-menu items, but what if you have sub-sub-menu items, and heaven forbid, sub-sub-sub menus too? It feels like we’d be doing our work inside a broom closet. The menu is content, and working with the menus in WP is light years better than working with them in Joomla. It’s like a breath of fresh air, in fact. Could the menu experience be improved? Absolutely. But the menu *is* content, not styling, and needs to stay in the admin area. At the very least, please don’t remove it from the admin area.

    • Matthew Boynes 6:58 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If this plan went through as proposed, this would be the first feature to only exist in the Customizer. I think the Customizer is a wonderful addition to WordPress, but I think it should remain a complementary feature. I don’t think that any (core) feature should only exist in the Customizer. I’m therefore opposed to removing the existing admin page.

      Dashboard-page-debate aside, great work on a complicated feature!

      • Job 7:30 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        From a non-dev perspective, I agree with this.

        I think having the menu option in the customizer is great. It’s a lot more intuitive for new users, especially since you get to see the result straight away.

        However, I think at least until it has become a routine for existing users to add menus in the customizer, keeping it in the dashboard as well, makes a lot of sense. That would also solve the problems Chris Lema identified on his blog. A more relaxed transition would also allow bigger companies to get more adjusted to all of this.

        That being said, having the menus in the customizer is great. I remember at first struggling to find where to edit the menus. If the customizer was there when I started with WP, I would have faster found them in there then where they are now.

      • Konstantin Obenland 4:39 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m therefore opposed to removing the existing admin page.

        There are currently no plans to remove the existing menu admin screen. While the proposal suggested it, it was never part of the decision to merge the existing plugin.

        • Matthew Eppelsheimer 1:50 pm on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          This is a little confusing Konstantin, because the proposal makes a very strong assertion that does seem to be a plan, not just a suggestion.

          > “This project has a very explicit goal of not just adding menu management to the Customizer, but also removing the existing admin page in the process.”

          Is that goal not sanctioned by the core team?

          Thank you for clarifying.

    • Jimmy Smutek 7:24 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m also not a fan of this idea for all the same reasons mentioned above. I did want to try the functionality out so I installed the Menu Customizer plugin from the repository. After activating the plugin the site crashed when trying to access the customizer with `Fatal error: Call to undefined method`.

      This is on a clean install of WordPress 4.2.2, 2015 theme, and no additional plugins, all running locally on a VVV box.

      For me, as an average user, I don’t understand how such a huge decision could be made to not only move forward with this, but to quickly remove the menu admin screen, when the plugin implementing the functionality doesn’t even seem to be stable at this point.

      Something minor I can understand, and I understand that it’s a feature that is under development – but my _first experience_ with this functionality was a white screen, on a completely clean site.

      I don’t get it.

      • Jimmy Smutek 7:52 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        *note – it would have helped if I were running 4.3 alpha, as the plugin requirements state.

        Sorry about that.

      • Konstantin Obenland 4:38 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I don’t understand how such a huge decision could be made to not only move forward with this, but to quickly remove the menu admin screen

        There are currently no plans to remove the existing menu admin screen. While the proposal suggested it, it was never part of the decision to merge the existing plugin.

    • John Teague 8:16 pm on June 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have read through the many comments here today, and also on twitter and elsewhere and decided to write a rare blog post with my views on it. I mainly did this because I have been having this conversations for several months now, and I also agree with @carlhancock on many of his points. Might be worth a read, might agree, or you might want to run me out of town on a rail. But for what it’s worth: http://johnteague.me/wordpress-admin-ui-moving-to-squarespace-ui/

    • leehodson 1:06 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t get it. Why replace the existing menu editor with something that adds more clicks to the menu creation process. Why not replace the whole process with a more visually intuitive menu editor that lets users build menus exactly as they display on screen? e.g. drag page tabs directly into the menu bar they will be used in.

      Maybe look for enhancements of the existing system before we move it to the Customizer. For example, the existing menu management system could be enhanced with collapsible top-/sub-level menu items so that lengthy menus can be more easily managed.

      I dislike using Customizer for widget management. Looking at the video I know I will not enjoy using the Customizer for menu management.

      Change can be good and I look forward to seeing the WordPress UI develop. I just don’t like the idea of change being implemented for the sake of it or because the intended result feels cute. Not keen on this particular change.

      • designsimply 2:41 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your feedback. The changes were definitely not just made for the sake of it, and making an assumption like that isn’t really fair nor is it a good conclusion based on how much detail is in the proposal about the thought that went into the improvements and the amount of work people volunteered to do to get it to the proposal stage. :)

        You mentioned you watched the video, but it sounds like you did not test the plugin. Would you be willing to test?

    • kimstuart 4:08 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think it’s a terrible idea for a number of reasons that have already been stated. It’s a terrible mobile experience, it’s a badly designed UI for a desktop experience, and it’s overcomplicating the situation for a vast number of users.

      Envato etc will become even bigger than they are – authors will write themes that people like and want to use and when they are installed, they’ll just start hiding all the parts that don’t work for what their buyers like. And those authors don’t care a whit about being in the repo, they care about cashing checks from sales.

      And what’s the hurry to gin this up so fast anyway? There seem to be a large enough number of objections from qualified people that it should trigger a review of the whole process in more detail, with some serious testing on the possible side effects.

    • Philip Arthur Moore 4:33 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Please understand how much time, money, blood, sweat, and tears go into training users for WordPress. Deprecating the Menus screen because there’s not currently interest in it is a very poor argument. I understand the importance of the Customizer, and as a developer use it as much as possible. But trying to force feed this down users’ throats will ultimately cause people to abandon the product. The overwhelming consensus in the comments on this thread and on Twitter, blogs, etc., is that this is a bad move. I truly hope that Menus sticks around the Appearance screen until Menus in the Customizer (and anything in the Customizer) is made better. Right now it feels like we’re trying to create solutions to problems that don’t exist.

      • designsimply 2:43 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Deprecating the Menus screen because there’s not currently interest in it is a very poor argument.

        Would you be willing to work on the menus admin page? It sounds like it needs some love!

      • Konstantin Obenland 4:33 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        There are currently no plans to remove the existing menu admin screen. While the proposal suggested it, it was never part of the decision to merge the existing plugin.

        • Jon Brown 7:51 am on June 14, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Even if not removing the existing menu admin screen it sounds like “it’s dead” and no one is ever going to fix the trac tickets for that screen.

          For example is #14134 going to be set to wontfix? or is the idea that their actually fixed by the customizer? (not: I still can’t get the menu customizer working on large menus that used to be an issue with #14134, it just hangs making it no better than the old admin screen).

          Elsewhere it’s been said that the idea is the admin will remain for “power users”, but what good is that if it still doesn’t work for power users?

          Just want to raise what “fixed” actually means in this context before tickets start getting marked “fixed”

    • Piet Bos 6:30 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Something I don’t understand. I was under the impression that it is a PROPOSAL, right?

      But I just find an email in my inbox that says “It was approved for merge” (https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/06/05/dev-chat-summary-june-3/)

      How does that work exactly?

      Can anybody shed light on this?

      • Tom 11:40 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I am not sure of the official process (or if there even is one), but here is what I believe has happened:

        The decision to develop Menu Customizer as a “feature plugin” was made a long time ago. The intention of Feature Plugins is that one day they will end up in core.

        On June 3rd at 1am the official proposal to merge the plugin into core was made. The surprise here is the proposal was not just “it’s ready to merge”, but also included the idea of removing the existing menu page.

        Between 1am and 9pm, 11 people had commented on the proposal, most of them opposing the idea of removing the menu page. At 9pm the dev meeting was held and a handful of developers gave it the go ahead. Important note: the proposal to remove the existing menu page was not approved, that will be decided on some time in the future.

        Most of the comments you see here and social media have been made since the dev meeting was held.

        My take on the decision to merge was that it’s just a formality. The decision that the Menu Customizer would one day end up in core was made a long time ago. The dev meeting was just to discover whether it will be ready or not for 4.3.

      • designsimply 2:34 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Roughly, the process is that developers who take time to create and submit new features go through the checklist guidelines on the following link and then the core developers, together with the release lead, decide whether to approve. There are a lot of factors involved, but this page in the core handbook has a good overview:

        If you are interested in contributing code or learning more about how WordPress gets made, you should definitely check out the core handbook.

    • Bowe 7:29 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What I don’t get is why for some reason everything that includes a “Live” preview should be tucked into the customiser. I can absolutely see the benefit of having a live preview of your new menu before you put it live. So what about just doing what WP has been doing for years with Post previews? Why don’t they add a big nice, shiny “Preview Menu” to the existing (incredibly well made) Menu manager that shows how your new menu will look? And what if this preview window would automatically refresh whilst you are working on your menu. You could dedicate a full browser tab/window to having constant live previews without having to cram all of this advanced functionality into one screen.

      And if that previewer works you can look at using some of the awesome JS stuff in Core to load this preview through a fancy animated JS/AJAX preview. This way you could move towards a preview that does not require a second browser tab/window to be open. Like this: http://codyhouse.co/demo/animated-page-transition/about.html

      What I’m trying to say here is.. It feels and seems like the Core team has decided in order to move WordPress forward it needs to make things more clear and easy to the user through showing changes as they happen. I think this is a great idea but hinging all of this on the Customiser simply because it’s the only part of WP that currently offers this type of live preview functionality is troublesome.

      Please reconsider this way of moving forward Core devs. I think it’s a mistake from especially an user experience point of view.

    • buzztone 9:58 am on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I see no issue with Menus being added to the Customizer. Objective measurement of its popularlity there, compared to the current Menu UI, could then be used to justify subsequent removal of the Admin Menu UI.

      Personally I’d be extremely surprised if Customizer Menus ever show the popularlity necessary to justify removal of the current Menu UI.

    • Jimmy Smutek 4:44 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @designsimply – I’ll help test. I already have a local test site setup with 4.3 Alpha, I have the plugin installed, and have been messing around with it.

      @Nick Halsey mentions education being an issue. I’m all for education and am more than willing to help out where I can and keep an open mind. @Bowe asks [this question](https://make.wordpress.org/core/2015/06/03/feature-plugin-merge-proposal-menu-customizer/#comment-26036 “Permalink”), above:

      >Since it’s already approved for merge in core you’d think.. I dunno.. that you’d tested this before accepting it into core?

      That’s a pretty good point, and a fair question. Can someone answer that?

      • Nick Halsey 10:44 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        It has definitely been tested with lots of menus with lots of items (I’ve played with 4-5 level deep and confirmed that you can do up to ten deep, and menus of roughly 50+ items). But of course the best testing comes in real-world usage, so if anyone is able to test with actual sites and menus (on local copies of course) that’ll help us identify and address any issues before the feature is actually released.

    • nickmg 6:11 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Joining the discussion in the official channel based on recommendation from others. To me the inclusion of the menu system in the Customizer is just scratching the surface of a much bigger issue.

      The core of the problem in my opinion is the current implementation of the Customizer. You want to have a Customizer with a live preview? Fine, no objections there. But if you do such thing, please step back and understand the importance and the implications of not doing it right.

      More specifically, the Customizer is designed and implemented with the Mobile First, Responsive guidelines in mind. Indeed, on a mobile device the Customizer looks and works fine. Great job, well done! No complaints there. Provided that I want to use an iPhone to control my site settings. But that’s another conversation.

      The problem, however, is when you start using the Customizer on the desktop. Then what you see is a cluttered, crowded space, with navigating options that don’t make much sense in the desktop world. The irony is that the UI doesn’t even take advantage of the desktop wide screens. Why, because the width of the Customizer is designed to fit the mobile screen in vertical position.

      To accomplish simple tasks, you need to make several clicks, provided you know where to click first. As many others have said here there are so many UX issues with the Customizer UI, so I am not going to repeat them. And why did this happen in the first place? Because we tried to have one code base for the mobile and desktop versions. Why? Because that’s what flies currently as the dominating design trend and is cheaper. What could have been done and could be done differently going forward? Accept the fact that Desktop and Mobile UX are two different animals and treat them differently. Yes, it’s more expensive. Yes, it’s more work. Yes, it’s worth it.

      The irony of the situation is that mobile users are now treated as first class citizens while it’s clear that the desktop users are an afterthought. And then while having these priority in place — “Mobile first, Desktop last” (punt intended), ask yourself how likely is to design the look and feel of your site on an iPhone.

      Until this problem is acknowledged and addressed we will keep arguing whether a particular element is content or design, and whether it should be included in the Customizer or not.

      • Helen Hou-Sandi 8:55 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The customizer has been around since 3.4 but was only made usable on smaller screened devices in the last release (4.2). It was definitively not created “mobile-first”.

        • nickmg 9:56 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yours is a rather selective definition. Tablets are mobile devices as well and version 3.4 was obviously designed to work on tablets. See https://make.wordpress.org/core/2012/05/03/wordpress-3-4-tablets-touch-ui/

          I don’t remember whether at the time the mantra “Mobile First” was formulated or not, but that’s not so important. What’s important is that from day one, the Customizer was designed with Mobile interface in mind. Again, nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong is to impose mobile friendly UI onto the desktop and when users complain about it to put the blame on the users. That’s what is wrong.

          It’s another matter that users when complaining about the Customizer UI are not able to articulate best the meat of the problem. But that’s the job of the Product Manager — to collect all the data and make the best interpretation out of it. Because when people complain in droves there is a good reason for it — they are not happy with what you are offering them. Nitpicking on what is a content and what is not is taking away the focus from the main issue.

          • Helen Hou-Sandi 3:31 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I was an active contributor during 3.4. That tablet/touch team did not have much, if any, crossover with the customizer. In fact, that team existed exactly because we needed to retrofit touch capabilities into the admin – the opposite of mobile-first. In any case, I think we can agree that the particular details of that are not important – what is interesting is that your perception of things is that they are developed as “mobile first” when my experience has been the opposite, in particular with the customizer, which I personally spent many hours fixing on small screen iOS devices during 4.2 because it was not created with them in mind whatsoever. So to your specific point about the customizer being designed around iPhones – it categorically was not. We made no effort to cater to devices/windows under 600px wide until 3.8.

            I’m going to take a little time to think through how the perception of “mobile-first” comes about, though, because it is very interesting to me. I find the term to essentially be meaningless, since as we do very much agree, UX needs to be treated very differently between different contexts, which includes but is not limited to devices and their capabilities.

            • nickmg 4:39 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink

              First of all, Thank you for contributing to WordPress. I want you to know that your contribution is highly appreciated. WordPress is a great product which we all love and that’s why we are so passionate about it.

              Getting back to the discussion, I don’t want to shift it to details which are more of a semantic nature rather than substance. When I use the term “mobile first” I don’t mean to say that the first incarnation of the Customizer was done so it can work on smart phones. It could be just my perception as you imply, but from what I have seen, it is my belief that the first version of the Customizer was tablet friendly, which we all would hopefully agree is a mobile device.

              Anyway, the philosophy behind the “mobile first” trend implies that mobile devices as targeted devices are of higher priority, and than the Desktop. As such, more attention and effort is put on the mobile devices than on the Desktop.

              I am very optimistic and thankful that you will take the time to try to understand why the term “mobile first” is not meaningless to me. Because if you do so, you might be able to understand the problem at the very core, not as the symptom which this thread is about. Then you and the people involved would be empowered to make the right decisions and to change course accordingly.

              To me a first step towards resolution of this problem would be accepting the fact that the Customizer UX on the Desktop is not ideal and the navigation principles found in the Customizer are mostly used in the mobile devices.

              Please let me know what else I can do to help you understand better the origin of the “mobile first” perception in my thought process.

    • Kai 7:16 pm on June 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ve tried the plugin on a site with ~ 50 menu items and, to be honest, it wasn’t better or worse than the current menu manager.
      I think it would really help the project if you manage to improve the shortcomings of the current menu manager, like ( ignoring the open issues this preview version obviously has) :

      • add a switch for a “minimized” item view (just title text, smaller font etc) while dragging/reordering long menus
      • allow for toggling sub-menus

      And in general: I wonder why the whole customizer wrapper isn’t wider on larger screens resp. resizeable (to a certain max-width )?

      • Nick Halsey 11:26 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the feedback. I generally feel about the same way in terms of handling larger menus – the experience is about the same, I’d say slightly better. I definitely think we’ll be able to improve that by doing things like the ability to collapse sub-menus in future releases.

        I recently started using a large-screen desktop setup (for non-wp things) for the first time and several years, and could see the benefits to going a bit wider than 300px on very large screens (larger than 1600px, would probably set a breakpoint around 1750px). However, while parts of the UI would scale up, it would still be one-column, and I don’t think the width should be user-configurable. I think we need more contributors and feedback from those that use these sizes of devices regularly to make a decision here. See https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/32296.

        • Piet Bos 3:12 am on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          A screen wider than 1600px is definitely **not** a “very large screen”. Perhaps it is in your perception, but that is not a global definition of a very large screen.

          If we take for instance the iMac. The smallest iMac has a screen of 21.5″ (on my 2009 iMac that is a maximum screenwidth of “only” 1920px). Yeah, it’s a large screen, but not very large as it is the smallest in the iMac family. The other one is no less than 27″, which I would qualify as “very large”.

          As I suggested on the Trac ticket (https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/32296#comment:14) I would suggest 1 breakpoint of 1280px. Below that use a width of 300px, above it use a width of 600px.

          • Nick Halsey 12:50 am on June 8, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            We absolutely would not make a jump in the size like that. We already have issues with the preview window being too small and triggering responsive layouts. I’ve never had problems with 300px on my 1600px laptop. On larger screens than that, I could see allowing proportionally more width but it wouldn’t make sense to have an arbitrary jump; it should grow slightly as screen size increases. Which would allow there to be different experiences more optimized to the exact device size, such as 21″ or 27″ as you mentioned (no idea how those compare in terms of pixels).

    • OdysseyForge 3:51 am on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The customizer is pretty awesome and it’s a fantastic design tool.That’s what it should be limited to as implemented. There’s a reason that frontend designer / developer and backend designer / developer are often split across two to four individuals. They’re often very different. The customizer is the WRONG tool for managing menus. The frontend is the WRONG place to be editing anything that isn’t just styling as it exists. The menu customizer is a nice OPTIONAL way to deal with WP menus and it should NOT become the ONLY way.

      WP also has an awesome granular role / capability system. It allows backend access to be tailored to nearly any situation. The customizer is not particularly well suited to this task and is quite immature as compared to the Appearance -> Menus screen. Moving the menu screen to the frontend removes that flexibility and degrades the client experience at once. If Automattic is ok with sending us a check to cover the time lost to retraining and support for what is / will seem to the client as an unnecessarily large change, then that’s at least something. Since that’s not at all likely to happen, I pray you all come to your senses and finally dispense with this rash foolishness until you’re better able to execute on an idea like this. By WP v5 maybe but you’re nowhere near ready to pull such a large change like this off well.

      If the plan for the “removal” of the old menus admin screen moves forward as described here, We may have to make some hard choices regarding whether we continue to use WordPress for new projects. If you insist on dragging everyone kicking and screaming into the customizer then we may either choose to stop using any version past v4.2 or fork WordPress itself. Neither are great options but if you remove the choice to allow people to continue to use the dashboard instead of the Customizer for Menu management, could you really blame us?

    • carlhancock 3:04 pm on June 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Who is in charge of leading the direction of the WordPress UI from a long term project standpoint? At one time I know that Jen Mylo played that role. Who is that person today? Is there one?

    • Ryan Boren 12:58 am on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Use the beta tester plugin to put a site on the bleeding edge nightly track and install the Menu Customizer plugin as described here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/browse/beta/

      The Menu Customizer plugin is updated nightly, as we try to do with all feature plugins. The beta tester plugin will automatically update your site to the latest core nightly every night.

      That’s a pretty convenient way to follow 4.3 development. With that in place, create a captioned gallery visual record full of your feedback. Like this: https://make.wordpress.org/flow/2015/06/04/menu-customizer-iphone-6/

      We could really use visual records that compare flow through nav-menus.php with flow through the menu customizer. In fact, comparison vizrecs should be one of the feature plugin merge requirements:


      Here are some example comparison vizrecs. These are very useful and valuable.


      I don’t say patches welcome. That’s way too high a bar for having an opinion. I will say visual records welcome. Everyone who commented on this thread is capable of applying their opinions to a set of screenshots and publishing them as a captioned gallery using the tool we all make. Pick a goal, such as adding a menu to the top of the front page containing Home, About, what have you. Start on the front page and show the flow. It sounds like those in this thread have insight into actual, real user flows. Document those in a vizrec using both nav-menus.php and the menu customizer. Compare the two flows for yourself and show your work in a captioned gallery visual record. Help us curate these flows and increase our awareness of what our users are really doing.

      And don’t just do this on desktop. Do this on mobile. Do this on every device you have. There is a lot of desktop bias and mobile blindness in our development community. We are WordPress. We will put the open web in pockets and make it capable and usable. We must be competent on phones.

      • Piet Bos 3:16 am on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Just wondering why core dev seems to be so keen on making theme settings work on mobile is a necessity? Who in his/her right mind would want to do anything related to the Customizer on for example an iPhone???

        • Ryan Boren 4:18 am on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Many people don’t have a laptop. I use mine mainly to test. I start, customize, and maintain most of my sites on an iPhone 6+. Not accommodating mobile is how 23% slides instead of rising to 51.

          And, we are an open source project dedicated to the open web, regardless of device. That is part of our philosophy and soul. We will not force our users into walled gardens.

    • nickmg 5:47 pm on June 7, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Agreed that all devices have to be supported. Anyone who wants to use an iPhone to administer their site should be free to do so. In my opinion the majority of people who are not happy with the direction the Customizer is taking, don’t mind the fact the Customizer works on mobile devices. Also agreed that the backlash is coming from the ones who use the Admin predominantly on the Desktop, hence the “Desktop bias”

      It seems to me the main point we are trying to communicate (if I may speak for the part of the Community not happy with the direction the Customizer is taking) is not well understood. It could be that we are not describing well what the issue is or there is not a real will on behalf of the leadership team to listen and interpret what we are saying. Or it could be both.

      Because of that, I am going to make one more attempt to communicate what seems to me to be at the core of the problem and then ideally we can get to the root cause. The inclusion of the Menu Editor in the Customizer is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the last grain of sand which triggers the avalanche of backlash. As such, it’s critical we treat it as a symptom, not the root cause.

      Below is a short list (far from being complete) of the main issues with the Customizer:

      1. Not everyone believes there is a need for the Customizer. The Admin “as is” is just fine.
      2. The ones who need the Customizer and want to use it are not happy with the user experience on the Desktop:

      • UI is slow
      • Not intuitive
      • Cumbersome
      • To accomplish something requires multiple navigational actions.
      • Available space is too little and feels overwhelmingly crowded.

      So when we say that the UI follows the trend “Mobile First” what we are trying to say is that the overall design and navigational principles used by the Customizer are better suited for mobile devices than the desktop. I think the use of this term is what is throwing off some of the core contributors. They seem to take the term too literally and get caught in the semantics instead of trying to interpret what we are trying to say.

      So while we are headed to expansion from 23 to 50, let’s not alienate the group who mostly do their work on the Desktop, because if this continues to be the trend, the math will work out the other way — from 23 to 10.

      How would we know that our voice is heard and understood?

      A first step would be to freeze all development effort of the Customizer and go back to the drawing board. Then summarize all use cases – from self hosted DIY makers, to Managed Hosting Solutions, to Enterprise Market. Then, and only then you will see that not everyone needs the Customizer. The ones who do will want first class experience, however, not something that feels like an afterthought, like a step child. Because if you listen carefully and filter out the noise, you then may be able to understand that the Desktop users feel like being left behind for the sake of Mobile users.

      • Ryan Boren 3:34 pm on June 8, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        > 1. Not everyone believes there is a need for the Customizer. The Admin “as is” is just fine.

        The customizer is about live previewing changes. There is emphatically a need for that.

        The customizer is also about pulling together the things that affect front end visuals. Pulling title and tagline out of settings is one of the most important things the customizer does.

        Aside: Toolbar > Customize is my first stop after setting up a new site, and I setup a lot of them, each with a different focus and flow. I set up sites on several major hosts. I have visual records for mobile and desktop that go from a host’s front page, through their onboarding, through extremely mobile unfriendly cpanel gesticulations, and on through changing the theme, title, and tagline with the customizer via Toolbar > Customize.

        > UI is slow

        Agreed. This needs to be improved. Widgets load in, in particular, feels slow. There is work in progress to speed things up.

        > Not intuitive
        > Cumbersome

        I think the navigation rework we’re testing in trunk improves this.

        > To accomplish something requires multiple navigational actions.

        More so than bouncing around the admin and juggling between admin and front end due to lack of live preview? This is why I want flow comparison visual records of real user flows. This is where contributors to this thread could really help.

        > Available space is too little and feels overwhelmingly crowded.

        Customizer is about live preview. Thus, the big preview area. The big preview area caters to desktops, not mobile. Sidebars are not at all mobile friendly.

        Overwhelmingly crowded is how many describe wp-admin. Aside: reducing crowding is something I’d really like to see feature plugins experiment with.

        I’d rather navigate the customizer than navigate the Appearance screens in wp-admin, and I created most of those screens.

        > So when we say that the UI follows the trend “Mobile First” what we are trying to say is that the overall design and navigational principles used by the Customizer are better suited for mobile devices than the desktop.

        As detailed elsewhere in this thread, the customizer was designed for the desktop. Until recently, it was not usable on mobile. The customizer doesn’t follow a mobile first trend, it follows a desktop biased “customizer with live preview” trend.

        > A first step would be to freeze all development effort of the Customizer and go back to the drawing board. Then summarize all use cases – from self hosted DIY makers, to Managed Hosting Solutions, to Enterprise Market. Then, and only then you will see that not everyone needs the Customizer. The ones who do will want first class experience, however, not something that feels like an afterthought, like a step child. Because if you listen carefully and filter out the noise, you then may be able to understand that the Desktop users feel like being left behind for the sake of Mobile users.

        I agree with summarizing all use cases. I want visual records for every use case brought up in this thread.

        Of course not everyone needs a customizer. I and many others do, however. I want live preview. I want the things I change most often to be in the customizer where I can see the result of my fiddling. That includes menus. Live preview of my menu changes will be powerful and beautiful.

        Desktop users shouldn’t be feeling left behind. They are still catered to almost exclusively, customizer included. We’re getting better on mobile, but we are still chock full of desktop bias.

    • Mel Choyce 12:04 am on June 8, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Really excited to see this merged. This is a really fantastic feature that I, for one, am going to use a lot once it’s in core. It keeps even more of the site building process in the Customizer, making the initial site setup and build much easier and faster for users.

      I think it’s pretty clear that the tremendous work put into this feature will help improve the Customizer as a whole as it moves forward and is iterated upon.

    • Fabien Quatravaux 8:35 am on June 11, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A lot of the negative feedback posted here is about the Customizer not being easy to use. I was really surprised, as my thoughts (and the feedbacks I have from my clients) are exactly the opposite : Customizer is easier to use than other admin pages. That’s because everything is right there : you do not have to look for the right admin page to modify this or that. And that’s because changes can be seen immediately : you know exactly want you are doing.

      In the next WordPress Meetup I will attend in my local area (Le Mans, France), the subject will be : how to setup and customize a new site. We are targeting small shops owners and new WordPress users and will use the Customizer heavily. I think the Customizer is a perfect tool for new WordPress users.

    • dinamiko 10:58 am on June 13, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I tested the menu customizer plugin and I think that it maybe can be a cool feature in the future but right now in my opinion needs a lot of improvement.

      As for including it in 4.3, I think that although it will be a good and tested version in the future, maybe will be better that it continues as a plugin, there are a lot of users that not need these features and there are other users that love it, so for the users that love it, they can use it as a plugin.

  • Nick Halsey 3:53 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , menu-customizer,   

    Customize Component Update – 5/25/15 

    The Customizer team has been busy working on some major user-facing and behind-the-scenes changes targeting WordPress 4.3. This update will provide an overview of our goals, current status, and pathways for contributors to get involved.

    We’re planning on holding an extra meeting in #core-customize at 5pm PDT today, 5/25, (May 26, 00:00 UTC) to discuss progress and assignments/plans for the coming week-plus before the feature-plugin merge window opens. This time won’t work for our European contributors but hopefully more of us can make it than can make the old Friday time. (cc @westonruter, @valendesigns, @voldemortensen, @ocean90, @folletto).

    Redesigned Customizer Flow/UX

    Customizer mobile flow redesign walkthrough gif

    New Customizer flow introduced in #31336, on a mobile viewport with a recent (not latest) patch.

    #31336 introduces a re-imagined Customizer experience that clarifies the flow, distinguishes navigation from control UI, and improves design through careful adjustments to colors, contrast, and spacing. The primary changes are centered around removing the accordion UI in favor of panel-like horizontal sliding for sections, allowing us to introduce consistent headers across panels and sections to build on the work that was started in 4.2 with the new themes section. Design work for this change was started at the end of 4.0 last August, and @folletto has continued refining the flows since then while I’ve done most of the patching work.

    At this stage, we’re trying to get a first-pass patch committed as soon as possible as it’s holding up some of our other priorities including #30737 and Menu Customizer work. We need help testing the patch on different browsers & devices, as well as for any further usability feedback. Once the initial patch is committed, it will be easier to contribute via additional smaller patches.

    In addition to this broad UI/UX change, we have several other proposed UI changes being considered for 4.3. Icons for Customizer sections and panels are ready to go pending feedback ( #28504). If time allows and there is enough interest, we could also potentially introduce an improved collapsed mode ( #29949) and device-size preview for the Customizer preview ( #31195) in 4.3. We may also do a full accessibility audit and make fixes accordingly later in the release, per recent discussion on #31336.

    Menu Customizer

    I just pushed version 0.4, which includes:

    • In-Customizer previewing of “original” menu item links
    • A redesign of the screen options popup
    • The addition of theme location checkboxes within menu sections (which fully cross-sync with the menu locations section)
    • Theme locations listed within menu section names
    • Menus can only be deleted when they aren’t assigned to any locations
    • Available menu item searching, and a first-pass redesign of the available menu items panel to match the new look for core in #31336 (more to come here)
    • Integration of the existing theme location controls into the plugin
    • Also notable, I compiled a list of ~10 (and counting) core tickets that Menu Customizer fixes; most notably, #14134

    Big thanks to @valendesigns, @folletto, and @voldemortensen for helping out with these changes. We have several major issues to fix still, so please jump in on GitHub if you’re interested in helping out.

    Now is also the time for an extensive review process to begin on all fronts, so that we can address any issues in time to make core merge in just a few short weeks. We need several kinds of feedback:

    • General usability feedback
    • Usability testing
    • Accessibility review/feedback
    • Design/UI/UX feedback (test with #31336)
    • Inline documentation review (should be mostly there, but needs a thorough review and cleanup)
    • Code review/cleanup
    • Lead dev/committer review for additional issues

    Note that testing should be done with the Menu Customizer plugin and WordPress 4.3 alpha, and that the patch on #31336 is currently a dependency for everything design-related. The plugin can be tested on 4.2 right now, but some pieces of the UI may be a bit off, and we’ll be breaking 4.2-compat in the near future as critical dependencies are merged into core. The most urgent dependencies are #31336 and #30737 (both of which require updates in the plugin and prevent key functionality from working). #30738 and #30741 would be really nice to have, but we can more comfortably hack around those issues at the time of core merge if we have to.

    Partial Refresh

    @westonruter has finished integrating partial refresh into Menu Customizer (it already worked for widgets), and is now abstracting it one layer further to be available for general use via the API. Partial refresh is an in-between option for setting previewing between doing a full refresh of the preview and fully implementing setting changes in JS via postMessage; settings are previewed by refreshing only part of the preview window.

    Other Updates

    We’ve made some changes to our component page. Customize is no longer a sub-component of Themes (note the URL change). I also added a summary of our major projects over the past several releases, as well as a brief roadmap/wishlist for future-release projects, and a few routes for getting involved in contributing. @valendesigns and I also triaged the roughly-20 tickets needed a response yesterday, as well as triaging a good chunk of the enhancement tickets in the component that haven’t had activity in more then 4 months. @valendesigns has also stepped up as another component maintainer, joining @westonruter, @voldemortensen, and myself.

    • Emil Uzelac 4:26 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great job all! I am personally super excited about the update 👍

    • Matthew 4:28 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Looks great!

    • Omaar Osmaan 4:47 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Awesome! Thanks for the hard works-

    • Ryan Boren 5:55 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nice. I’m looking forward to using it.

      If you’re interested in testing, check out the core handbook. If applying and testing patches is too inconvenient, there is still plenty of testing to do once patches land. Once #31336 is committed, any site using the beta tester plugin to automatically update to the latest nightly build will get the new customizer ui. Between these daily core updates and the regularly updated customizer plugins mentioned in the post above, the latest 4.3 has to offer will be delivered to you daily. The customizer is an important interface. Many flows traverse it. We need to test it continuously on every device we have.

      Aside: Auto-update of feature plugins would make beta testing even easier. Auto-updates for core have been a valuable testing convenience.

    • jameskoster 6:47 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This looks great. One of the biggest complaints I see regarding the Customizer is the amount of scrolling required when there are lots of sections. It’s easy to become disoriented, this solves that quite elegantly!

      The other complaint I see a lot of the time is about the width. I wonder if it would be useful to allow the user to drag the Customizer edge to a width of their preference.

    • Shaped Pixels 8:45 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’d like to try this out because there’s always room for improvements, and it sounds like there are some added here. I’ve just set it up and will check it out.

      As a side note, I’d like to see the Theme Changer, Widgets, Navigation, Header, Background, Site Title and Tagline, and the Static Front Page options removed and put back under “Appearance” and “Settings” because in my opinion, these really are not related to a theme’s “customizer options” setup. The customizer should be in place of using a third party theme options panel or one that is coded into a theme. Right now it seems like core WP settings are being thrown into the customizer on top of what a theme provides.

      Actually, what would be nice is to have add_theme_support(‘customizer’) if a theme needs it for it’s own options, otherwise leave it out.

      • Nick Halsey 9:03 pm on May 25, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The purpose of the Customizer is to customize all aspects of a site, not just theme options. If you’d like your theme’s options to be consolidated to one place within it, I’d suggest using a panel and calling it “Theme Options” or something along those lines.

        In the future you’ll see menus (soon) as well as potentially a front-end-editing integration among other projects in the Customizer, with more of core moving there from the admin. The broader idea is than anything on the front-end should be able to be changed with the Customizer, with live-previewing functionality before publishing.

  • Konstantin Obenland 8:51 pm on May 4, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: , , menu-customizer,   

    Customizer Chat Summary 

    Priorities for Customizer development in 4.3:
    1) Customizer Concurrency (aka Control Locking)
    2) Partial Refresh
    3) Menu Customizer
    4) Theme Installation
    5) UI/UX changes

    Customizer Concurrency doesn’t need much Core changes to implement (except for temp hooks maybe), so it makes sense to remain as a plugin, living here: https://github.com/xwp/wp-customize-widgets-plus
    @westonruter aims to have beta ready by end of this week.

    Partial Refresh is available as a feature plugin and can be tried out now: https://wordpress.org/plugins/customize-partial-refresh/
    There are a couple issues still needed for that one and feedback on the API for opt-in.

    Menu Customizer will be picked back up to have that ready ASAP for merge review (probably needs about a month). @voldemortensen, @valendesigns, @westonruter, and @celloexpressions will all work on dev, as well as anyone else who wants to jump in. @sheri will get started with design review, possibly with help from others (@folletto). The plugin currently works with WordPress 4.1 or 4.2. We can push lots of testing to start happening now since it’s pretty much functionally complete. It just needs a lot of back-end improvements.

    Theme Installation and UI/UX changes were not discussed in more detail and will be worked on as time allows after completing the first three items.

    Slack logs.

  • Nick Halsey 7:07 pm on December 19, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , menu-customizer,   

    Menu Customizer: Call for Contributors 

    After a few months off from working on the Menu Customizer to focus on improving the Customizer API in core, I’m starting to pick up development on the feature-plugin. Now that it’s approaching a reasonably usable state, and is compatible with the latest major release of WordPress (4.1), I’d like to begin efforts to see if we can propose merging it into core for WordPress 4.2.

    But there is a lot of work to be done. When Menu Customizer was my GSoC project, it was closed to contributors per GSoC rules. But development is now open to everyone, and I could use a lot of help with both development and non-development tasks. Here’s a list of items that need work:

    •  Development
      • Build-out the core API for adding Customizer sections and controls entirely with JavaScript, #30741 and its related tickets (PHP, JS)
      • Drag & Drop menu item reordering needs to do sub-menus (code imported from nav-menus.php is commented out in menu-customizer.js currently) (JS)
      • Fix problems with previewing updates to menu items, and with previewing newly-added menus once items are added (JS)
      • Eliminate the PHP closure that currently facilitates menu previewing, for PHP 5.2 compatibility (PHP)
      • Redo the add-menu-items “panel” to lazy-load its contents & utilize Backbone sub-views (PHP, JS)
      • Improve the core Customizer on mobile, then make Menu Customizer work on mobile (CSS)
      • Think about an API or otherwise action hooks to allow plugins to add menu item fields, #27066, #21898, #18584, etc. (PHP)
      • Inline docs audit, once we’re mostly done (PHP, JS)
      • Comprehensive code review by people like @westonruter, @ocean90, or @nacin, once we’re mostly “done”, preferably before a core merge proposal. Initial code review/cleanup from anyone can start now
    • Design
      • Overall UI audit/review, propose changes
      • Consider things like #29158 in relation to how the menus UI looks
      • Discuss approach to screen options (currently an icon in the Menus panel header)
      • UX audit, propose changes
      • Evaluate user flows & menus use-cases
      • Conduct user tests
    • Other
      • General user feedback – getting the word out about the plugin and collecting feedback (reviews & support forms on the .org repo would be a good place for feedback). Anyone reading this can try the plugin and provide feedback too :)
      • Accessibility audit
      • Backwards-compatibility audit; in particular, assessing whether Menu Customizer could replace the Menus admin screen, and what further features or use-cases would need to be addressed to do so
      • Research the history of the Menus UI in core and document how Menu Customizer addresses ongoing concerns; also consider open tickets in the Menus component (for merge proposal)

    Development is happening on the WordPress.org plugins repo the a GitHub repo. Some helpful links: create a ticket, Menu Customizer tickets, development log. It’ll probably also be possible to contribute via Github if that’s your preference – talk to @westonruter about how he does it.

    This project will primarily take place over the next month, when core development is largely on hold for the holidays and between releases, and when I’m in between semesters at school. The goal is to be merge-ready before the 4.2 feature-plugin merge consideration happens in January. If you’re interested in helping out, please comment on this post or ping me in WordPress Slack in #core (@celloexpressions).

    Due to the timing of this project around the holidays, we’ll probably do mostly asynchronous communication, but I would like to try a kick-off meeting in #core Slack on Monday, December 22, 2014 18:00 UTC; please come by if you’re interested!

    • diddledan 9:11 pm on December 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi Nick,

      you may find my plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-menu-fields/ useful as it provides an api for menu fields to be added by plugins. I’ve not updated it in a while, but you’re welcome to have a look and reuse anything you like the look of (we are all GPL afterall :-p) – I might be able to have a look at your code over the weekend or holiday period and see if I can develop and send you any patches I think you might find useful.

    • Nick Halsey 7:51 pm on December 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Had our first meeting today. Ongoing discussion will happen in the new #core-customize channel on Slack, so stop by if you have any feedback or want to help out!

  • Nick Halsey 3:48 pm on November 17, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , menu-customizer,   

    JS/Underscore-template-rendered Custom Customizer Controls in WordPress 4.1 

    The Customizer is a JavaScript-driven feature of WordPress core, but until recently, most of the APIs for extending it in themes and plugins were PHP-oriented. In WordPress 4.1, we’re introducing more complete JS models for the different UI objects that comprise the Customizer. In the process, all controls are now placed into the DOM with JavaScript, rather than being output directly in PHP.

    At the same time, we’ve been working on issues of scalability and performance. In particular, bringing the navigation menu management experience into the Customizer has highlighted several areas with room for improvement. With menus, each menu item is a Customizer control with several fields, so a site with hundreds of menu items across different menus will end up sending a lot of repetitive HTML down from PHP, and we currently have to send the full markup for a menu item control down from the server when adding menu items in an Ajax call.

    #29572 offered a solution to these challenges: an optional API that allows Customizer controls to be written as JavaScript templates. Rather than populating a control’s container with markup rendered on the server and obtained via an Ajax call, we can now use JS templates to render these controls on the client without any server-side call. In the future, new controls could be added dynamically (lazy-loaded, #28580) by leveraging the control-type templates already loaded in the Customizer.

    In the remainder of this post, I’ll walk through how to use this API, its benefits, and example use-cases that are already benefiting WordPress core in 4.1.

    Registered Control Types

    In order to introduce a concept of having one template for multiple Customizer controls of the same type, we needed to introduce a way to register a type of control with the Customize Manager. Previously, custom control objects were only encountered when custom controls were added using WP_Customize_Manager::add_control(). But detecting added control types to render one template per type wouldn’t allow new controls to be created dynamically if no other instances of that type were loaded. So we’ve introduced WP_Customize_Manager::register_control_type(). Usage is simple:

    add_action( 'customize_register', '29527_customize_register' );
    function 29527_customize_register( $wp_customize ) {
    	// Define a custom control class, WP_Customize_Custom_Control.
    	// Register the class so that it's JS template is available in the Customizer.
    	$wp_customize->register_control_type( 'WP_Customize_Custom_Control' );

    All registered control types will have their templates printed to the Customizer by WP_Customize_Manager::print_control_templates().

    Sending PHP Control Data to JavaScript

    While Customizer control data has always been passed to the control JS models, and this has always been able to be extended, you’re much more likely to need to send data down when working with JS templates. Anything that you would want access to in render_content() in PHP will need to be exported to JavaScript to be accessible in your control template. WP_Customize_Control exports the following control class variables by default:

    • type
    • label
    • description
    • active (boolean state)

    You can add additional parameters specific to your custom control by overriding WP_Customize_Control::to_json() in your custom control subclass. In most cases, you’ll want to call the parent class’ to_json method also, to ensure that all core variables are exported as well. Here’s an example from the core color control:

    public function to_json() {
    	$this->json['statuses'] = $this->statuses;
    	$this->json['defaultValue'] = $this->setting->default;

    JS/Underscore Templating, + examples

    Once you’ve registered your custom control class as a control type and exported any custom class variables, you can create the template that will render the control UI. You’ll override WP_Customize_Control::content_template() (empty by default) as a replacement for WP_Customize_Control::render_content(). Render content is still called, so be sure to override it with an empty function in your subclass as well.

    Underscore-style custom control templates are very similar to PHP. As more and more of WordPress core becomes JavaScript-driven, these templates are becoming increasingly more common. Some sample template code in core can be found in media, revisions, the theme browser, and even in the Twenty Fifteen theme, where a JS template is used to both save the color scheme data and instantly preview color scheme changes in the Customizer. The best way to learn how these templates work is to study similar code in core and, accordingly, I’ll briefly explain an example here now.

    class WP_Customize_Color_Control extends WP_Customize_Control {
    	public $type = 'color';
    // ...
    	 * Render a JS template for the content of the color picker control.
    	public function content_template() {
    		<# var defaultValue = '';
    		if ( data.defaultValue ) {
    			if ( '#' !== data.defaultValue.substring( 0, 1 ) ) {
    				defaultValue = '#' + data.defaultValue;
    			} else {
    				defaultValue = data.defaultValue;
    			defaultValue = ' data-default-color=' + defaultValue; // Quotes added automatically.
    		} #>
    			<# if ( data.label ) { #>
    				<span class="customize-control-title">{{{ data.label }}}</span>
    			<# } #>
    			<# if ( data.description ) { #>
    				<span class="description customize-control-description">{{{ data.description }}}</span>
    			<# } #>
    			<div class="customize-control-content">
    				<input class="color-picker-hex" type="text" maxlength="7" placeholder="<?php esc_attr_e( 'Hex Value' ); ?>" {{ defaultValue }} />

    In the above template for the core custom color control, you can see that after the closing PHP tag, we have a JS template. <# #> notation is used around statements to be evaluated – in most cases, this is used for conditionals. All of the control instance data that we exported to JS is stored in the `data` object, and we can print a variable using double or triple brace notation {{ }}. As I said before, the best way to get the hang of writing controls like this is to read through existing examples. WP_Customize_Upload_Control was recently updated to leverage this API as well, integrating nicely with the way the media manager is implemented, and squeezing a ton of functionality out of a minimal amount of code. If you want some really good practice, try converting some of the other core controls to use this API – and submit patches to core too, of course!

    Working with Controls in JavaScript

    The Customizer has always had an API for working with controls in JavaScript. Now that the Customizer supports JS-rendered controls, this API will be even more useful, as you can do things like re-rendering the entire control if its data changes significantly (think media attachment previewing, for example), rather than doing direct DOM manipulation. Again, the core code is the best place to start getting a feel for this API, but it essentially works like subclasses do in PHP. See @westonruter‘s post for details on how this side of the API has evolved in 4.1, and take a look at the control-related models in wp-admin/js/customize-controls.js.

    Putting the pieces together

    Here’s a summary of what’s needed to leverage the new API in a custom Customizer control subclass:

    1. Make your render_content() function empty (but it does need to exist to override the default one).
    2. Create a new function, content_template(), and put the old contents of render_content() there.
    3. Add any custom class variables that are needed for the control to be exported to the JavaScript in the browser (the JSON data) by modifying the to_json() function (see WP_Customize_Color_Control for an example).
    4. Convert the PHP from render_content() into a JS template, using <# #> around JS statements to evaluate and {{ }} around variables to print. PHP class variables are available in the data object; for example, the label can be printed with {{ data.label }}.
    5. Register the custom control class/type. This critical step tells the Customizer to print the template for this control. This is distinct from just printing templates for all controls that were added because the ideas are that many instances of this control type could be rendered from one template, and that any registered control types would be available for dynamic control-creation in the future. Just do something like $wp_customize->register_control_type( 'WP_Customize_Color_Control' );.

    The PHP-only parts of the API are still fully supported and perfectly fine to use. But, with WordPress 4.0’s decreased need for custom controls, and given our long term goals for making the Customizer more flexible for doing things like switching themes in the Customizer without a pageload, I strongly encourage using this new API for all custom Customizer controls where feasible.

    • Jon Brown 10:51 am on November 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nick – Thank you! Seriously impressed by the work you’re doing to the customizer. Please keep it up!

    • Fabien Quatravaux 4:24 pm on December 15, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for your hard work on this topic Nick.

      I’m currently trying to implement a custom control with the new API on 4.1-RC1, and I hit some roadblock : if I use the `$wp_customize->register_control_type` method, the input inside my Control becomes inhert. When I change the value of this control, the “Save” button on the top stays disabed showing that my changes are not taken into account.

      I’m missing the link, that was done automatically in the previous API version, between the actual HTML control and the setting that it is bound to. I thought this link was done thanks to the `data-customize-setting-link` attribute, but I had no luck using it. Any suggestions ?

      • bduclos 6:11 pm on February 6, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hi Fabien,

        Did you manage to do it?
        I’m triing to implement in in WP 4.1 but I have the same issue that you’ve described.

  • Weston Ruter 4:46 am on October 27, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , menu-customizer, , widget-customizer   

    Toward a Complete JavaScript API for the Customizer 

    The Customizer is the first true JS-driven feature in core. That’s awesome, especially coming out of WCSF where JavaScript has been highlighted so prominently between Backbone.js, the WP REST API, Node.js, and socket.io. The Customizer has a great architecture with models for settings, controls, watchable-values, collections, events, and asynchronous callbacks. Nevertheless, the JavaScript API in the Customizer is incomplete.

    Existing Challenges

    When widgets were added to the Customizer in 3.9, adding widget controls to sidebar sections required direct DOM manipulation. For controls there is at least a Control model to manage state For sections and panels, however, there are no JS models at all, and so adding them dynamically is even more of a challenge. And this is the exact challenge that Nick Halsey’s Menu Customizer plugin currently has to struggle through.

    When Customizer panels were added in 4.0 to group all widget area sections into a “Widgets” panel, a bug was introduced whereby shift-clicking a widget in the preview no longer revealed the widget control in the Customizer pane because the sections were inside of the collapsed Widgets panel: there were no models to represent the state for whether or not a panel or section were currently expanded. Without models, a fix of this would require more messy DOM traversal to check if parent accordion sections were expanded or not. Storing data in the DOM is bad.

    In 4.0 the concept of contextual controls were added to the Customizer. This allowed controls to be registered with an active_callback, such as is_front_page, which the preview would execute and pass back up to the Customizer pane to then show/hide the control based on which URL was being previewed. This worked well, except when all controls in a section were inactive: then the result was a Customizer section without any visible controls. Instead, the expected behavior would be for the section to automatically collapse as well when all controls inside become inactive. Again, this problem stems from the fact that there is no JS model to represent a section and to list out the controls associated with it.

    For the past three weeks I’ve been focused on fleshing out the Customizer API to address these challenges, and to facilitate doing new dynamic things in the Customizer. The parent ticket for this is #28709: Improve/introduce Customizer JS models for Controls, Sections, and Panels.

    Models for Panels and Sections

    As noted above, there is a wp.customize.Control model, and then there is a wp.customize.control collection (yes, it is singular) to store all control instances. So to follow the pattern established by controls, in the patch there is a wp.customize.Panel and wp.customize.Section, along with wp.customize.panel and wp.customize.section collections (both singular again). So just as with controls, you can iterate over panels and sections via:

    wp.customize.panel.each( function ( panel ) { /* ... */ } );
    wp.customize.section.each( function ( section ) { /* ... */ } );

    Relating Controls, Sections, and Panels together

    When registering a new control in PHP, you pass in the parent section ID:

    $wp_customize->add_control( 'blogname', array(
    	'label' => __( 'Site Title' ),
    	'section' => 'title_tagline',
    ) );

    In the proposed JavaScript API, a control’s section can be obtained predictably:

    id = wp.customize.control( 'blogname' ).section(); // => title_tagline

    To get the section object from the ID, you just look up the section by the ID as normal: wp.customize.section( id ).

    You can move a control to another section using this section state as well, here moving it to the Navigation section:

    wp.customize.control( 'blogname' ).section( 'nav' );

    Likewise, you can get a section’s panel ID in the same way:

    id = wp.customize.section( 'sidebar-widgets-sidebar-1' ).panel(); // => widgets

    You can go the other way as well, to get the children of panels and sections:

    sections = wp.customize.panel( 'widgets' ).sections();
    controls = wp.customize.section( 'title_tagline' ).controls();

    You can use these to move all controls from one section to another:

    _.each( wp.customize.section( 'title_tagline' ).controls(), function ( control ) {
    	control.section( 'nav' );

    Contextual Panels and Sections

    Also just as with controls, when you invoke $wp_customize->add_section() you can pass an active_callback param to indicate whether the section is relevant to the currently-previewed URL; the same goes for panels. A good example of a contextual section is only showing the “Static Front Page” section if the preview is currently on the front-page:

    function contextual_static_front_page_section( $wp_customize ) {
    	$wp_customize->get_section( 'static_front_page' )->active_callback = 'is_front_page';
    add_action( 'customize_register', 'contextual_static_front_page_section', 11 );

    Nevertheless, this will not usually be needed because a section inherits its active state from its control children (and a panel inherits from its section children), via the new isContextuallyActive() method. If all controls within a section become inactive, then the section will automatically become inactive.

    As with controls, Panel and Section instances have an active state (a wp.customize.Value instance). When the active state changes, the panel, section, and control instances invoke their respective onChangeActive method, which by default slides the container element up and down, if false and true respectively. There are also activate() and deactivate() methods now for manipulating this active state, for panels, sections, and controls:

    wp.customize.section( 'nav' ).deactivate(); // slide up
    wp.customize.section( 'nav' ).activate({ duration: 1000 }); // slide down slowly
    wp.customize.section( 'colors' ).deactivate({ duration: 0 }); // hide immediately
    wp.customize.section( 'nav' ).deactivate({ completeCallback: function () {
    	wp.customize.section( 'colors' ).activate(); // show after nav hides completely
    } });

    Note that manually changing the active state would only stick until the preview refreshes or loads another URL. The activate()/deactivate() methods are designed to follow the pattern of the new expanded state.

    Expanded State

    As noted above, in 4.0 when panels were introduced, a bug was introduced whereby shift-clicking a widget in the preview fails to show the widget control if the Widgets panel is not already open. With the proposed changes, panels, sections, and (widget) controls have an expanded state (another wp.customize.Value instance). When the state changes, the onChangeExpanded method is called which by will handle Panels sliding in and out, and sections sliding up and down (and widget controls up and down, as they are like sections). So now when a widget control needs to be shown, the control’s section and panel can simply have their expanded state to true in order to reveal the control. Expanding a section automatically expands its parent panel. Expanding a widget control, automatically expands its containing section and that section’s panel.

    As with activate()/deactivate() to manage the active state, there are expand() and collapse() methods to manage the expanded state. These methods also take a similar params object, including duration and completeCallback. The params object for Section.expand() accepts an additional parameter “allowMultiple” to facilitate dragging widget controls between sidebar sections. By default expanding one section will automatically collapse all other open sections, and so this param overrides that. You can use this, for instance, to expand all sections at once so you can see all controls without having to click to reveal each accordion section one by one:

    wp.customize.section.each(function ( section ) {
    	if ( ! section.panel() ) {
    		section.expand({ allowMultiple: true });


    Building upon the expand()/collapse() methods for panels, sections, and controls, these models also support a focus() method which not only expands all of the necessary element, but also scrolls the target container into view and puts the browser focus on the first focusable element in the container. For instance, to expand the “Static Front Page” section and focus on select dropdown for the “Front page”:

    wp.customize.control( 'page_on_front' ).focus()

    This naturally fixes the #29529, mentioned above.

    The focus functionality is used to implement autofocus: deep-linking to panels, sections, and controls inside of the customizer. Consider these URLs:

    • …/wp-admin/customize.php?autofocus[panel]=widgets
    • …/wp-admin/customize.php?autofocus[section]=colors
    • …/wp-admin/customize.php?autofocus[control]=blogname

    This can be used to add a link on the widgets admin page to link directly to the widgets panel within the Customizer.


    When registering a panel, section, or control in PHP, you can supply a priority parameter. This value is now stored in a wp.customize.Value instance for each respective Panel, Section, and Control instance. For example, you can obtain the priority for the widgets panel via:

    priority = wp.customize.panel( 'widgets' ).priority(); // => 110

    You can then dynamically change the priority and the Customizer panel will automatically re-arrange to reflect the new priorities:

    wp.customize.panel( 'widgets' ).priority( 1 ); // move Widgets to the top

    Custom types for Panels and Sections

    Just as Customizer controls can have custom types (ColorControlImageControlHeaderControl…) which have custom behaviors in JS:

    wp.customize.controlConstructor.FooControl = wp.customize.Control.extend({ /*...*/ });

    So too can Panels and Sections have custom behaviors in the proposed changes. A type parameter can be passed when creating a Panel or Section, and then in JavaScript a constructor corresponding to that type can be registered. For instance:


    add_action( 'customize_register', function ( $wp_customize ) {
    	class WP_Customize_Harlem_Shake_Section extends WP_Customize_Section {
    		public $type = 'HarlemShake';
    	$section = new WP_Customize_Harlem_Shake_Section(
    		array( 'title' => __( 'Harlem Shake' ) )
    	$wp_customize->add_section( $section );
    	$wp_customize->add_setting( 'harlem_shake_countdown', array(
    		'default' => 15,
    	$wp_customize->add_control( 'harlem_shake_countdown', array(
    		'label' => __( 'Countdown' ),
    		'section' => 'harlem_shake',
    		'setting' => 'harlem_shake_countdown',
    		'type' => 'number',


    wp.customize.sectionConstructor.HarlemShake = wp.customize.Section.extend({
    	shake: function () {
    		// This can be invoked via wp.customize.section( 'harlem_shake' ).shake();
    		console.info( 'SHAKE!!' );

    Next Steps

    • Continue discussion on parent ticket #28709: Improve/introduce Customizer JS models for Controls, Sections, and Panels.
    • Review JavaScript changes in pull request. Anyone is free to open a PR to onto the existing branch on GitHub to make changes. Props to Ryan Kienstra (@ryankienstra) and Nick Halsey (@celloexpressions) for their contributions.
    • Update logic for adding widget controls to use new API (adding widgets is using the old pseudo-API and it is currently broken); allow controls to be added manually.
    • Work with Nick Halsey to make sure that dynamically-created sections and controls suit the needs of Menu Customizer, and make sure that it works for other plugins like Customize Posts.
    • Build upon the initial QUnit tests to add coverage for existing JS API and newly added API (#28579).
    • Harden the logic for animating the Customizer panel into view.
    • Get feedback from other Core devs and get initial patch committed.

    Thanks to Nick Halsey (@celloexpressions) for his proofreading and feedback on the drafts of this blog post.

    • nikeo 6:38 am on October 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Really awesome improvements! This customizer JS API is sooo currently missing in core!

    • Fab1en 9:09 am on October 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This new API sounds great ! Thanks a lot for this great work.

      I’m wondering if it will be sufficient for my use case : I’m currently using the customizer to customize each posts that appear on the front page. In the same way widgets can be selected on the preview side by a simple click, clicking on a post on my theme preview will reveal the editing panel on the customizer side.

      I’m facing two issues to implement this properly :

      1 During the control creation JS callback, I have to wait until the preview loading is complete to bind the events. There is no event that tells me the preview is loaded and the iframe DOM is ready. Here is my implementation :

      (function( exports, $ ){
      	var api = wp.customize;
      	api.controlConstructor.myCustomControl = api.Control.extend({
      		ready: function() {
      			var control = this;
      			// wait for the preview iframe to be ready
      			var timer = setInterval(function(){
      				if(control.previewer.preview && control.previewer.preview.iframe && control.previewer.preview.iframe[0].contentDocument) {
      					// get iframe document
      					var doc = control.previewer.preview.iframe[0].contentDocument;
      					// bind events using doc
      			}, 200);
      })( wp, jQuery );

      Am I missing something ?

      2 To open the correct customizer section, I need to parse the customiser panel DOM :

      var $section = control.container.closest('.accordion-section');

      For this one, I think your API can solve my issue :


      But would not it be simpler to get the section model directly from the control ?


    • Ryan Kienstra 5:18 am on October 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Dear Fab1en,
      Regarding your second question, you only need to call .expand() on the control instance.

      This will expand the control and its containing section.

      For example, to expand the header image:

      var headerImageControl = wp.customize.control.instance( 'header_image' );

      You could also use .focus() instead of .expand() This will expand it and scroll it to the top.

    • Weston Ruter 11:15 pm on October 31, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      FYI: The proposed patch was committed: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/changeset/30102

    • brianfeister 5:38 pm on November 1, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s really great to see this make it into Core! I’ve implemented my owns pseudo version of this functionality a while ago and it’ll be good to clean up that code. The one thing I am wondering about is the customizable widget areas in the Customizer. I have written a custom plugin that manages widget areas dynamically on the fly and also manages layout. As such, the widget area management in the theme customizer is showing widget area controls for dynamically named (e.g. random hash’s) widget areas and it looks bad from a presentational perspective. Is there a way to de-register these widgets from the customize preview sidebar?

      • Weston Ruter 5:25 pm on November 2, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        @brianfeister: Yes, I believe so. What you can do is add customize_section_active filter, and use it to force the $active to be false if the $section argument is for one of your dynamically-generated widget areas.


        So in theory this should be all you need:

         * Prevent the second widget area (sidebar) from being displayed in the Customizer.
         * @param bool $active
         * @param WP_Customize_Section $section
         * @return bool
        function force_hide_second_widget_area_customize_section( $active, $section ) {
        	if ( 'sidebar-widgets-sidebar-2' === $section->id ) {
        		$active = false;
        	return $active;
        add_filter( 'customize_section_active', 'force_hide_second_widget_area_customize_section', 10, 2 );

        However, in practice this is not working as expected because the SidebarControl Customizer control is manually updating its parent section when its active state changes. So this needs to be fixed.

        Let me know if this would address your use case, and I’ll proceed with a patch to fix.

      • Weston Ruter 5:33 pm on November 2, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        You actually can force a widget area section to be hidden if you take the above filter and then also add this one:

         * Prevent the second widget area (sidebar) from being displayed in the Customizer.
         * @param bool $active
         * @param WP_Customize_Control $control
         * @return bool
        function force_hide_second_widget_area_customize_control( $active, $control ) {
        	if ( 'sidebars_widgets[sidebar-2]' === $control->id ) {
        		$active = false;
        	return $active;
        add_filter( 'customize_control_active', 'force_hide_second_widget_area_customize_control', 10, 2 );

        However, there should not be a need for two separate filters. So this should be fixed in Core.

        • brianfeister 6:28 pm on November 2, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          @westonruter, sounds great to me! The `customize_section_active` filter hasn’t landed in core just yet, is that correct? Your proposed solution sounds good to me and I agree that two filters shouldn’t be necessary. Thanks so much!

          • Weston Ruter 6:33 pm on November 2, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            @brianfeister: correct. This will be in the 4.1 release.

            How are you hiding your dynamic widget areas on the widgets admin page?

            • brianfeister 7:27 pm on November 2, 2014 Permalink

              @westonruter – I’ve made some very deep system level changes (without altering core) because I’m doing this with a Multisite network. So, really I’m changing the way all users on the network interact with these dynamic areas and layouts. I’ve removed all links that point to the widgets admin page and replaced that area with my own system. The code isn’t perfect, I wish I had time to improve it, but it works. I could show you some time, but it’s more complex than just throwing a link to a gist on here. DM @brianfeister on Twitter if you want to set up a time to have a look. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it.

        • Weston Ruter 12:02 am on November 3, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          @brianfeister: I just filed a new ticket for this, please star it to follow updates: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/30235

  • Nick Halsey 12:20 am on August 8, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , menu-customizer,   

    GSoC Menu Customizer Update: Live-previewing Menus 

    I’ve finished implementing menu-previewing in the Menu Customizer plugin, building on the scalable approach to saving menus that I discussed in my last update. The entire Menus experience is now consolidated into a Menus panel in the Customizer, where you can preview your menus as you make changes. It’s really nice to have Menus easily accessible alongside the rest of the site-appearance-management tools in the Customizer.

    I only have about a week and a half left in my GSoC project, and I’m hoping to focus on improving the add-new-menu-item panel in my remaining time, making it scale and implementing the search functionality. I’m also planning on cleaning up the codebase and implementing the ability to manage menu hierarchy (submenus).

    If you’re interested in testing the Menu Customizer, and live-previewing changes to your menus, you can get the plugin here. Please note that it currently requires PHP 5.3+, but it’s getting less and less alpha by the day.

    Post-GSoC Plans

    After the GSoC coding period is over, I’m planning on transitioning Menu Customizer development to the feature-plugin format, gathering a group of interested contributors and holding weekly meetings to coordinate our efforts. While it won’t be ready for core consideration by 4.1, and requires some more core Customizer infrastructure to really work well, we’ll continue working on the plugin until menus in the Customizer really shine, and are ready for core.

  • Nick Halsey 3:15 pm on July 15, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , menu-customizer,   

    GSoC Menu Customizer Update: Scalable Menus 

    Since my last GSoC update, I’ve spent a fair amount of time helping prepare the Customizer for 4.0 beta 1. But I’ve also continued working on the Menu Customizer and have a lot of progress to report.

    Add & Delete Menus

    You can now add new menus, via the “+ New Menu” section. Added menus currently have some issues, though; you’ll probably need to reload the page before adding items works. The problems stem from the lack of a proper JS API for adding, deleting, and managing Sections and Settings (and Panels), and the incompleteness of the existing Control JS API. This will probably need to be resolved in core before the Menu Customizer can be considered for core integration, see #28709.

    I’ve also implemented a menu-deletion mode, which can be toggled from the add-menu section. It’s too easy to delete menus otherwise, even with an AYS confirming the delete, because deleted menus cannot be restored, and are not “previewed” before being published to the db (added menus aren’t either). It’s probably worth augmenting the AYS to state the menu name being deleted, and to add an extra warning if it’s active in a theme location or a widget.

    Saving Menus and Menu Item Data in a Scalable Way

    In core, menus do not scale well at all. You don’t have to look very deep into the code to see why – massive amounts of data for each item are hidden on the admin screens (much of which never changes) and then must be updated every time a change is made.

    Since one of the goals of this project is to experiment with new approaches, I’ve begun implementing a new approach for saving menu data, which is currently in use in the plugin. Thanks to my mentors @ethitter and @obenland for guiding me on the best approach to take here, and @westonruter for the way he implemented the Widget Customizer UI, which inspired this exact approach. Here’s how it works:

    • Each menu has a nav_menu Customizer control that contains an ordered array of numerical menu item ids (known throughout the core menus codebase as their db ids).
    • When an item is added, it is created as an orphaned draft via ajax, and its id is added to the nav_menu setting’s array.
    • When an item is deleted, its id is removed from the nav_menu setting’s array.
    • When menu items are reordered, the order of ids in the nav_menu id is updated to match.
    • When menu items are moved into and out of sub-menus, the parent menu item id is updated in the individual item’s data (not yet implemented).
    • When a menu item field is changed (by default, this would mean changing the label or, for custom items, url fileds; there are screen options for several others), the original item is cloned and the copy is updated with the new data, using a wrapper for wp_update_nav_menu_item() that doesn’t require passing all existing (unchanged) menu item data. The cloned item’s id is returned and replaces the original id in the nav_menu setting (thereby marking the original item for deletion). Additional changes are saved to the cloned item until the settings are saved, at which point all items are marked for a new clone to be created if changes are made (not yet implemented).
    • When the user saves their changes from the Customizer (via the customize_update_nav_menu action), the array of ids is compared to the currently-published menu’s items. If there are items that are no longer present, those are marked for deletion. For each of the new ids, the corresponding menu item (which already exists) is updated to be published, assigned to the corresponding menu (for the new items created as orphaned drafts), and the item’s menu_order is set to the id’s position in the nav_menus setting array. Finally, all of the removed items are deleted.

    While menu previewing in the customizer is not yet implemented, it will also be able to use the nav_menu setting’s array of ids to display an augmented set of menu items. I’m also still working on ensuring that menu item data is not posted during the customize-save ajax, but the data isn’t needed so we’re most of the way there already.

    UI Aside


    Quick aside: @DrewAPicture pointed out in IRC that the new Customizer close and panel-back icons don’t really match the save button. I’ve done some rough explorations of potential alternatives; if anyone’s interested in discussing them and possibly implementing a change here, feel free to ping me in IRC (@celloexpressions) and/or create a ticket and/or comment here.

    Finally, I’m hoping to finish implementing menu previewing by the end of this week, fully utilizing the Customizer. Once this is done, I’ll essentially be at feature-complete stage (other than some little details and several known bugs) and ready to iterate (I’m already planning on working on the add-menu-items backend, as it currently doesn’t scale).

    • michalzuber 5:30 pm on July 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m figuring out why is `@todo: Remove choices` in the `wp-includes/class-wp-customize-control.php` ? Couldn’t get it.

      • Nick Halsey 5:43 pm on July 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That’s more related to the Customizer post, but I think that’s leftover from the initial customizer development in 3.4. We can remove the todo, since removing $choices is no longer an option due to back-compat.

    • Weston Ruter 8:26 pm on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When an item is added, it is created as an orphaned draft via ajax, and its id is added to the nav_menu setting’s array.

      Something that I’ve been exploring with Customize Posts is the addition and deletion of postmeta. Instead of actually mutating the database, when creating new meta I’m creating faux post meta IDs and then referring to them in the preview filter. When saving the Customizer settings, these posts meta are then inserted at that time. It’s not quite done yet, as I need to now gather the post meta IDs that were inserted at the time of saving, and update the setting to refer to them.

      Generating a virtual post meta ID: https://github.com/x-team/wp-customize-posts/blob/85dc4e562ea806c17480899f5d94f93d42297de1/js/customize-posts.js#L611-L618

      Sanitizing a setting that includes virtual post meta ID: https://github.com/x-team/wp-customize-posts/blob/develop/php/class-wp-customize-posts.php#L303-L310

      It would be ideal if Menu Customizer could add new menu items virtually without touching the DB.

      • Nick Halsey 10:12 pm on July 22, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’m not sure if it would be possible to add items without touching the DB in a scalable way. The primary reason for doing that is so that menu item data doesn’t need to be sent to the server all at once when saving, which causes scaling problems currently (for example, imagine if 100+ menu items were added to several different menus upon initial setup of a site – that data would all go up together).

        In the existing menus system, items are similarly added to the db via ajax before being made available for manipulation in the UI. So, the concept of orphaned draft menu item posts is existing and currently being leveraged here.

  • Nick Halsey 2:44 am on June 28, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , menu-customizer,   

    GSoC Menu Customizer Update 

    Since this is my first post here, a quick introduction. I’m a student at the University of Southern California studying Civil Engineering, Architecture, and Music Composition. I’ve been contributing to WordPress Core for just over a year and this summer I’m pleased to be working on WordPress full-time for my Google Summer of Code project.


    The goal of the Menu Customizer project is to add Custom Menu management to the Customizer. Ideally, the project should be able to replace the existing Menus screen, with full feature parity, but that’s obviously a bigger discussion that would take place later. For more details, check out my initial proposal.

    Current Status

    I started six weeks ago and have built out most of the plugin’s UI and structure. However, I still need to build the menu-item previewing and saving components of the project. The UI closely resembles the Widgets-in-customizer UI, with sections for each menu and controls for each item. New menu items are added via a slide-out panel, where they’re currently grouped by post type/taxonomy, custom links, and a global search feature. The existing “Navigation” Customizer section has been re-branded to “Theme Locations,” and emphasizes the ability to add menus to widgets. Development is being done on the plugin repo, and you can download and play with it from there, but note that adding items creates orphaned draft menu items that are never published currently. Here’s a demo of the current plugin:

    (If the embedded video doesn’t play for you, try this link: https://cloudup.com/cVJbk3u32QV)

    The add-menu-item UI and implementation will be getting a lot of attention throughout the rest of my project. Items are added immediately, rather than the existing two-step checkboxes and adding several at once process, and menu items can now be deleted without having to open their settings, making deletion and addition more streamlined.

    When editing menu items, changing the navigation label of an item instantly updates its drag-and-drop handle, and updating a menu name updates the corresponding Customizer section. Items can be reordered or moved into sub-menus via either drag-and-drop or a reordering mode similar to that of the Widget Customizer.

    To minimalize the UI, given the limited space in the customizer, the “Title Attribute” field has been turned off by default, and all of the existing menu-item-field screen options are available, syncing with the existing Menus screen. I might look into building a core API for customizer screen options now that #27406 is in trunk, time permitting.

    A good amount of my time in the past couple weeks has been dedicated to #27406, which is a prerequisite for the Menu Customizer to be realistic given the need to allow users to create new menus (and in turn, new Customizer sections). Committed to trunk yesterday, it introduces a “Panels” API to the Customizer. Panels are a way to group sections, adding a new layer of hierarchy to the Customizer. In the Widget Customizer, all widget areas are added to the Widgets panel, allowing widgets to take over the entire Customizer as needed. The Menu Customizer plugin does the same thing with Menus, and requires trunk accordingly.

    Upcoming Work

    My next steps are to implement menu-adding and deleting, to implement reorderability/sortability, and then to spend quite a bit of time developing a saving/previewing system that scales well (see #14134  and related). This will most likely involve creating clones of changed menu items (posts) and menus (taxonomy terms). Once all of that’s finished, the plugin should be feature-complete, and ready for iteration.

    Core Patches

    I’ve also taken the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time working on core patches related to either Menus or the Customizer, as this project is widely expanding my knowledge of both areas. A couple of examples that have made it into core include #27406 – Customizer Panels, and #23076 – which adds live menu-item label-updating to the existing Menu screen. I’m planning on continuing to work on Menus and the Customizer via tickets/patches throughout my project as time allows.

    • helgatheviking 3:00 am on June 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The video is pretty sweet!, great work! I’m definitely interested in seeing #14134 get fixed because it has been holding up the addition of an [18584: action hook for custom menu item meta](https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/18584), which is causing all menu modifying plugins (and themes) to not be compatible with each other.

      • Nick Halsey 3:21 am on June 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks! I’m hoping to both fix the scaling issues and add some hooks in the new interface. The addition of a hook would really open up the possibilities for what menus can do, as your plugin and others already demonstrate.

        That being said I’m thinking that an API for custom menu fields might be even better than a hook, as that would make it easier to work with and match other core patterns for this type of structure. We’re essentially looking at custom post fields here given the way menus work. I’ll definitely look into this more once I get to the initial feature-completion stage. The ongoing Metadata UI API project might be able to be integrated here in some form, too.

    • nikeo 8:28 am on June 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great work! The plugin’s code is really clean and well commented.
      Thanks for sharing

    • Rami Yushuvaev 5:05 pm on June 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Have you tested this in RTL mode?

      • Nick Halsey 5:54 pm on June 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Not yet, that’ll come once we’re ready to test on different devices & environments after the basic functionality is complete. That being said, I’m guessing that the core build process will handle most of it automatically.

    • Graham Armfield 10:24 am on July 8, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think some accessibility testing needs to be done on this to ensure that anyone not using a mouse, and screen reader users are catered for here.

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