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How about some documentation?

  • I’ve about had it with wasting time trying to get websites done in WordPress. I can’t understand why programmers go to the trouble of creating themes and widgets then foisting them upon the WordPress community entirely without any clue as to how they are supposed to work other than the delightful intro remarks like “Solves the Problems of World Peace and Hunger Without Resorting To Any Programming or Work” and then refusing to do anything resembling what they do.

    Sorry for the rant, but I’ve just blown my Saturday evening wasting time with WordPress. What a useless, stupid, pointless endeavour. Writing your own code is far easier.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
  • Moderator cubecolour

    @numeeja

    I have removed the tag you added to this thread. please do not use foul language like that again on these forums. It might be worthwhile to take the time to review the available documentation and existing support threads as part of the process when you choose the free themes and plugins you use, and then use the ones that appear well documented and supported.

    Well, shucks, that is the gosh-darned point, dagnabbit. I golly-gee wish the heck there actually was some documentation to read for goodness sake.

    Moderator cubecolour

    @numeeja

    I don’t think you read my reply properly. There are plenty of well documented and supported themes and plugins.

    Each theme and plugin has documentation and a support forum available from the theme or plugin page on WordPress.org. Some plugins and themes have better documentation and are better supported than others. It is up to a plugin author how much documentation and support they provide. If you are the type of person who does not enjoy working things out for themselves (and there’s nothing wrong with that) you would be happier choosing the ones with more comprehensive documentation which are actively supported by the author and peer users. There are plenty of these.

    Really? There are almost no themes or plugins at I’d call well documentated. Take the theme twenty fourteen for example. There is about a page of documentation in the codex and a support forum where people are asking the most basic questions, like how the built-in slider works, which should have been covered by documentation. There are hundreds of plugins with literally no documentation such as Accordion. Many plug ins in WordPress are useful and some themes are inspirational in their design but after spending hours trying to make them work, I’ve had to look for alternatives. WordPress is supposed to be easy and quick, but I find it frustrating and slow. It’s easier to build a straight HTML site in Dreamweaver and add PHP and Jquery where needed. That is regrettable however because you lose the other advantages of WordPress.

    Moderator Andrew Nevins

    @anevins

    Forum moderator

    To clarify, what you’d call well documented is not referring to the forums?

    esmi

    @esmi

    Forum Moderator

    There are hundreds of plugins with literally no documentation such as Accordion

    All plugins hosted on wordpress.org have their own dedicated sub-forum. So you can contact the plugin’s developer directly by posting to that forum via the plugin’s WPORG page. Ditto for themes.

    So if you do come across poor or otherwise inadequate documentation, it would be helpful if you could relay this to the relevant developer. There isn’t a great deal we can do on a general basis.

    WordPress is supposed to be easy and quick, but I find it frustrating and slow.

    As others have acknowledged in various ways, that can be relative to one’s ambitions, expectations, choices and personal abilities. I knew nothing at all about any of this just over a year ago, but I decided to leave the comfort and security of WordPress.com and venture into self-hosting various downloads from WordPress.org while realizing I had much to learn in order to do that with any degree of success. I have occasionally felt your frustration in relation to documentation, but then that frustration has almost always stemmed more from my personal ambitions, expectations, choices and abilities than from author negligence in a setting where most are simply sharing their work rather than trying to satisfy an end consumer or user that might actually do better at WordPress.com.

    Does anyone approve plug-ins or themes, or can develoeprs just add whatever they like to plug in and theme directories? If there is an approval process, it would seem that proper documentation, written to the level of an ordinary users, would be a criterion for being accepted.

    Also, I notice that there is no tab heading in the details section of the plug-in popup that leads to a manual or how-to-use instructions. We can see tabs for reviews, developer info and how to install, but not how it works.

    Simply saying I should write to the developer is unhelpful since most developers don’t respond. There are dozens of sites I can list where the developers pages don’t exist or where freebie users can’t get access.

    esmi

    @esmi

    Forum Moderator

    There are both plugin and theme submission guidelines. Both plugins & themes are also reviewed before being added to the relevant repository.

    esmi

    @esmi

    Forum Moderator

    Additionally, how you you determine “written to the level of an ordinary users, would be a criterion for being accepted” given that WP’s user base ranges from code guru or complete & utter technophobes? and are expert code reviewers really the best people to decide this?

    I notice that there is no tab heading in the details section of the plug-in popup

    You need to raise this with the developer of that plugin. If s/he does not respond, perhaps you should look for another, better supported, plugin.

    Has anyone ever surveyed the users of WordPress to see if they’re happy? I am not happy and I imagine there are lots of people at my level who aren’t happy either. The solutions are very easy. Is anyone out there listening or are you just going to tell me to talk to the nonresponsive developers again?

    esmi

    @esmi

    Forum Moderator

    What exactly do you expect wordpress.org to do?

    There are two things I personally would like wordpress.org to do.

    Change the order of answers to forum queries so that they are ordered by date in descending order so recent discussions are at the top. that way you won’t wind up with five-year-old discussions which are often useless.

    Second, when new plugins and themes are submitted, assess them for the detail and level of instructions provided and give them ratings, expressed graphically or with a short blurb.

    This would not be hard to do and I’m willing to volunteer or serve on a committee or whatever it takes.

    I’m not a complete newbie. I find it easier to produce websites on my own using my skills with HTML5 CSS3 and PHP. WordPress is a terrific platform but the lack of organization and documentation of plugins and themes is frustrating and discourages the use of the platform.

    esmi

    @esmi

    Forum Moderator

    Change the order of answers to forum queries so that they are ordered by date in descending order so recent discussions are at the top

    Recent discussions are already at the top. All forums here list topics in “date last posted to” order. We cannot, unfortunately, stop people from posting to topics that are months old – although we do try to point them in the right direction when that happens.

    Second, when new plugins and themes are submitted, assess them for the detail and level of instructions provided and give them ratings, expressed graphically or with a short blurb.

    That’s not really feasible in the Real World. Apart from the issues of pitching documentation correctly when expert coders are reviewing it, you cannot possibly assess the documentation unless you actually use the plugin/theme under a range of infinitely variable situations.

    So, query the forum for “remove footer” and see which dates come out on top: the oldest ones.

    As for evaluating tools that are submitted, do you mean you actually don’t try them out? How else can you evaluate something?

    I sense you are getting defensive because I’m criticizing WordPress. I have seen you on the forums before and have respect for the time and effort it takes. I also think WordPress is a terrific tool but there is a tendency among programmers to talk to themselves, explaining things to people at their level if they explain them at all.

    I think most people who use WordPress are not skilled in this area and the lack of documentation can be discouraging.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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