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For the past few years the WP third party development community has trended to creating custom Front End forms for Users. This has been the "solution" to keeping unsophisticated users out of the "complicated WP Admin dashboard".

The other "solution" is to dumb down the WP Admin dashboard so that developers only allow their users to see what they can more reasonably handle when it comes to posting inside the WP Admin environment.

But both of these "solutions" are partial fixes necessitated by the Admin-in-a-box restrictions of WordPress architecture.

What I have not seen is a single Front End template or plugin for "Front End page editing", even from WP core contributors like Mark Jaquith, that INCLUDES the Plugins Dashboard Menus of installed plugins.

All Front Ends I have seen eliminate the Plugins themselves that I would install to give extra post options and goodies. For instance, a plugin that gives post Authors the ability to create, name, and add individual calendars to each post uniquely.

In the WP Core WP Admin dashboard you see the plugin name in the Dashboard view and you see the Settings and Options in sub-menus if you are a registered user with the Author role. The plugin itself confers special permissions to Authors to make individual saved settings just for themselves.

But such plugins are not viewable or usable in Front End "solutions" or in the custom User template applied by, say, a Real Estate theme. All Front End Editing projects I have seen go no farther than tapping the "design" elements of a post. None of them take the next step of displaying installed plugins that can add other elements to that post and a facsimile of the Settings and Options that can be saved.

Does anyone here know of a project now underway that will add a "dashboard" view of installed plugins to a Front End template for post creation and modifications?

I have Googled incessantly for the last 2 years and no where do I hear of someone working on extending the full functionality of the WordPress back end... including the exposure of the installed plugins dashboard menus and sub-menus so that settings and options associated with that plugin can be utilized and changed in a Front End editor?

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I do not think this is technically feasible.

In general case any plugin creating its own admin screens will be relying on admin-side conditionals (such is_admin()) and context (such as $hook_suffix, etc).

Reproducing this in general at the front side will be fragile and nightmare. Simply put creating custom curated interfaces has little to do with exposing arbitrary extensions. The point of customization is increased control, not just shuffling things around.

  • Thank you for that, Rarst. It is the very "admin-side conditionals" that are CORE to WP that I think should expanded if Front End editing is ever going to be more than a groovy toy. The CORE is what locks in the functionality to the Dashboard. When you have tutorial after tutorial and plugin after plugin being used to "artificially" create the "illusion" of being in a Front End environment you are only attempting to blindfold the User from the naked fact...they are INSIDE the core WP Admin no matter what styling you applied. All this work because Front End Editing is INCOMPATIBLE to CORE. – Thunder Jul 2 '14 at 12:25
  • RARST--you say "The point of customization is increased control, not just shuffling things around." I am not talking about shuffling things around at all. Exactly the opposite! CONTROL is key and the whole purpose of PLUGINS is to ADD extra Control, extra features CORE WP cannot. The dilemma is that Front End editing 2014 STRIPS THAT CONTROL AWAY from the USER..the ability to CONTROL a specific plugin while they are adding or modifying post content. The USER now needs to Re-Login from a familiar Front End and Re-Access their posts in WP Admin and work in a different back end environment. – Thunder Jul 2 '14 at 12:34
  • RARST..enjoying your website! – Thunder Jul 2 '14 at 12:45
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So it could mean that's what the community likes about WordPress having things controlled from back end. WordPress doesn't necessarily have to be the solution for every problem out there.

WordPress in essence is a content management system and an application frame work. We need to analyse if WordPress caters to our requirement. If it does then you have to architect your application/website around WordPress by utilising the power it has to offer.

A WordPress plugin by definition extends the functionality of WordPress. Why would you give the world(front end by default is open to everyone unless you restrict) to change the functionality of WordPress? You might argue by giving every user the freedom to customise the website/application however they like. But in my opinion, if there is no control on how some things operate then that leads to all sorts of chaos.

  • Your comment has nothing to add to my question. And you obviously don't understand the issue. Go look at all the themes using custom Front Ends for WordPress content management. Look at all the Front End plugins to EXTEND content management from the back end to the front. It is a huge huge trend. No irrelevant lectures needed from you. – Thunder Jul 2 '14 at 9:52
  • I believe it is an open place to learn and discuss. If my answer is not relevant then I get punished. So don't worry about that. If you aren't brave enough then just ignore reading. – sri Jul 2 '14 at 10:10
  • Please read my editing of your comment above. – Thunder Jul 2 '14 at 10:19
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    In PHP I can apply classes and functions willy nilly and call them up all over an application. The plugin process for WP confined the the ability to modify plugins that allow settings and options to be stored to the WP Admin dashboard. – Thunder Jul 2 '14 at 12:04
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    The plugin process for WP confined the the ability to modify plugins that allow settings and options to be stored to the wp_admin path and the WP Admin dashboard. BECAUSE so many Developers of themes for WordPress now write with the INTENTION of forcing the use of "User friendly" front ends WP needs NOW more flexibility in how Plugins can be configured by the Author, Subscriber, Editor roles, etc, who have been SPECIFICALLY GIVEN ACCESS to a sub-set of "Save Options". We have a fork in the road that must be overcome by WP core improvements so WP can extend its usability for Front End editing. – Thunder Jul 2 '14 at 12:16

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