One of the really nifty things about WordPress is the way it’s been designed in such a way that it’s relatively easy for people with coding skills to write plugins which can add functions, change its behaviour, or sometimes just make it a little more pleasant to use. But there are so many plugins in existence that finding a good one is often more a matter of luck than anything else. But provided you haven’t modified your Dashboard to stop those feed thingies from appearing, you might have noticed items from Weblog Tools Collection, which offers daily (more or less) lists of themes and plugins. I have a look most days, and sometimes find something of interest.
Anyway, today’s list of plugins included Admin Drop Down Menus from Yellow Swordfish. This is one of those rare plugins that I didn’t realise I needed until I saw it.
This is how the menus look in a standard installation of WordPress 2.2.x. It’s a row of styled links, some of which lead directly to a feature, while others lead to a second row of links. Now that works well enough, but sometimes you can’t quite recall which submenu you need, which can lead to a bit of frustration as pages reload. And, to be honest, it’s not very pretty.
Now here’s what it looks like with the plugin activated. Instead of having to click on a top level item and waiting for the page to load before you realise it was actually a different link you should have clicked on in the first place, you have rather more normal looking drop-down menus, so you can see all the options before you actually load another page. Another advantage is that if, like me, you have a lot of plugins that add items to the “Manage” and “Options” menus, it can be a bit hard to find the link you want when they’re all wrapped over two (or even more) lines. Now I’ve got them all on easy to read drop down menus, which is definitely an improvement.
Personally, I think this, or something very much like it, should be included in the core of WordPress. It makes the admin interface just that little bit friendlier and makes it look more like a professional application. Good stuff.
 Not me
 Random clickage sometimes leads to Good Things