[theme-reviewers] "Plugin Territory"

Bruce Wampler weavertheme at gmail.com
Fri Jun 14 15:30:02 UTC 2013

I've been watching the "Plugin Territory" discussion for some time,
including the recent posts about displaying ads and social media links of
various kinds.

I think the "That's plugin territory" answer is starting to go a bit too
far for things that I think are layout and design elements. Placement of
ads, social links, and many other small things like that are really an
important part of the visual design, and it is simply impossible for any
plugin to match all elements of a theme's layout design and CSS styling.

I just don't see how things like social links and ads are really part of
the content - they do have to be specified, of course - but they aren't
part of posts or pages. An end user might want these elements in various
places - header, menu bar, end of content, sidebars, even post meta
information lines.

I can imaging a user really wanting a line like "Posted on June 15, 2013 by
author. Like". Very reasonable, useful, and nice layout. As far as I know,
there are no filters available for whole meta info lines, let alone a
standard for just what goes in those lines or foolproof ways to match a
given theme's style. So how would a plugin even be able to approach that
issue? It is a design issue, and design issues are theme territory.

And why not social links, including LIke in the menu bar or header area? Or
ads? Where in the menu bar or header? Once again, design issues with no
reasonable solution via actions or filters to totally control placement and
layout. It just seems theme territory to me.

So, yeah, if you just want Like buttons at the end of a post, or in a
widget, a plugin is just fine. Want it somewhere clever or interestingly
laid out to match a theme, I think we are in theme territory. I know that
makes the line a bit fuzzy for writing a set of standards, but please don't
go so far to limit theme design, or even user convenience.

Bruce Wampler
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