Ben Gillbanks Releases Module to Tidy Up Plugin and Theme Notifications

Have you ever logged into a WordPress site that has so many plugin and theme notifications, you wonder why it doesn’t come with a janitor to clean them up? If so, there’s a new module available that does just that called Tidy Plugin Notifications by Ben Gillbanks. Tidy Plugin Notifications is actually a module that’s part of his Toolbelt plugin. Toolbelt is a collection of modules aimed at accomplishing specific tasks with as little code and privacy implications as possible.

The module uses a bit of JavaScript to take plugin and theme notifications and place them behind an icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the dashboard. Clicking the icon displays all of the notifications as a list, preventing the dashboard from becoming cluttered.

Tidy Plugin and Theme Notifications in Action

One of the drawbacks to using this plugin is that it’s likely not going to capture every notification from every plugin and theme. In these instances, Gillbanks recommends creating an issue on the project’s GitHub page with the name of the plugin or theme to add support for.

In my limited testing on two different sites, I noticed that it does not recognize the notices given by the FooBox Image Lightbox plugin. However, it is pretty darn convenient to have all of the notifications in one area hidden by default as opposed to the mess that’s usually on display if you haven’t logged in for a while. As Gillbanks mentions, this solution is not perfect but it does provide a nice stop-gap measure until a proper notifications center is built into WordPress.

3 thoughts on “Ben Gillbanks Releases Module to Tidy Up Plugin and Theme Notifications”

  1. I’m always a little skeptical of these “hide the notices” solutions for one specific reason: they’re built to mitigate for the bad actors and almost never accommodate for the good actors.

    Speaking as the lead developer for a WordPress product, I’d like to think we’re one of the good actors. We actively use admin notices in our plugins because a great deal of our plugins live on the admin experience. We also only show our admin notices in our own admin screens.

    I’m sure this addition was meant as a gesture of goodwill, but it’s a near certainty that users of good actor plugins won’t see a notice they need because they’re all neatly hidden out of sight and out of mind.

    • I think it’s right to be skeptical. No solution that someone creates is going to be able to cover all use cases. That’s why I and many others are hopeful that someday, WordPress has a proper notification center in place to handle notices. It’s also unfortunate that so many of the bad actors pretty much eliminate the positives the good actors do.

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