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Sarah Gooding
WordPress may soon be getting a Command Center, which would function as a quick search component for navigating to other areas of the admin, and would also be capable of running commands. The feature was introduced in Gutenberg 15.6 under the Experimental flag and currently has limited use in the Site Editor context while navigating and editing templates.
The Command Center project is intended to be expanded to the whole of wp-admin in an extensible way so plugin developers can register their own commands. This would also allow for AI-powered extensions to expedite design, content, and layout creation.
“One aspect worth highlighting is the proposed API to interact with the command center,” Gutenberg engineer Riad Benguella said in a post requesting feedback on the project. “The command center has been developed as an independent @wordpress/commands package. It offers APIs to render and register commands dynamically. These extension points allow plugins to inject any commands of their liking and opens the door for interactions with LLMs.”
Benguella shared a video of the prototype navigating between templates and template parts in the Site Editor:
Feedback so far had been generally positive, but contributors on the project will have the challenge of providing real examples of the Command Center’s benefits in order for some to fully realize the vision for this feature as more than just a fancy shortcut for power users.
“Neat, but I’m unclear what practical problem this actually solves?” WordPress developer Jon Brown said.
“Currently there is a clear easy to find and use drop down at the top center of the editor. Are people really having problems using that? This seems to complicate things where users have to know the names of the items to type them in. Does the average user know to type in ‘post meta’ to edit that?
“There are couple plugins that have done this admin wide, which again while neat, seems better aimed at power users that already know what they’re looking for.”
Benguella responded that the Command Center is being developed as “a complementary UI tailored specifically for average and power users,” and that users would not be required to remember technical terms in order to use it.
Other participants in the conversation asked that contributors consider not releasing the Command Center in WordPress until it can serve contexts beyond just the Site Editor.
“Initially we’ve added the command center to both post and site editors but I expect that we’ll be adding to all WP-Admin once we’ve proved its behavior and APIs,” Benguella responded. The API is currently still in the experimental stage in Gutenberg and it’s not yet known if expansion to wp-admin would be added before or after the Command Center lands in the next version of WordPress.
“Love the concept, hate that it’s limited to the Editor,” WordPress developer Dovid Levine said.
“This would ideally be implemented holistically – either as part of a push to modernize the long-neglected dashboard or API efforts to interact with GB data outside of the Editor. We’ve seen how slow developer adoption is when done the other way (GB first/only) – and worse, how painful it is for the early adopters/advocates if/when considerations beyond the Editor are finally taken into account.”
The first milestone, powering quick search for content and templates in the editor, is outlined on GitHub where contributors can track the progress. The Command Center will also be tested in the future as part of the FSE Outreach Program. Benguella is requesting feedback on the feature and its API on the post published to the core dev blog, specifically regarding the user experience and whether the APIs detailed in the post are capable enough to address third-party use cases.
I have always found myself wishing the WordPress had this kind of tool. It saves time in finding certain things in the WordPress backend. Of course it can only be used by those who have a little more knowledge on how the backend works
I am wishing WordPress will make a better looking Admin Panel. Also default WordPress to have better user management with roles and permissions for different user levels.
I explain clients they will be able to edit their website by themselves, but we also see they still find it complicated, especially when we use builders with limited support for Gutenberg. I haven’t tried this feature yet, as I still hasn’t switched to Gutenberg. But even I find it complicated to look for something in menus especially when side bar is hidden. Maybe I’m just using too much plugins. I think something like that could be useful in admin section as well.
The command tool has been added to the following FSE Program Testing Call #23: Rapid Revamp
https://make.wordpress.org/test/2023/05/18/fse-program-testing-call-23-rapid-revamp/
The various features being asked to test in this round are:
– Preview block themes
– Rely on revisions
– Content and template editing
– Using the command tool
Going through the call for testing Full Site Editing program is a very good way for really any user of varying knowledge to go through a guided approach to try out new features. One is shown how to test out a feature and has a chance to give feedback to the experience. Because this is at a very early stage it makes it a lot easier for developers to go in and adjust any feature where it is needed based on the feedback received.
This is probably one of the most useful QoL features I could imagine for WP, something I found myself looking for instinctively when going through the admin panel. Great initiative.
If this sort of tool is appealing, you might be interested in checking out what the Beaver Builder Team has been doing with our Assistant plugin.
It’s a collection of productivity apps that can be accessed from the front or back end of your site (it plays nicely with page builders and the core editor too).
https://wordpress.org/plugins/assistant/
It’s fast, free, and can really speed up your day-to-day workflow of managing a WordPress site. 🙂
I love the Mac’s Spotlight Search and equally enjoy the implementation in the Arc browser. This would be a really nice addition to WP if they make it work across the entire site and not just the post editor. It would be great if I could finish editing a post and then type in the title of another post and jump straight to that editor.
As a professional in the field of website development company, I am wishing WordPress will make a better-looking Admin Panel.
Thank you so much for the valuable suggestion.
Keep informing us in the same way.
Exciting addition to WordPress! The Command Center seems useful for admin tasks and running commands. Curious about its benefits for average users and if it may complicate things. Looking forward to seeing it in action beyond the Site Editor.
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