Admin Chaos: Dobby Keeps Your WordPress Backend Clean

Thorsten Frommen frees your WordPress backend from the notification chaos. His new plugin called Dobby is a must-have for any operator of a self-hosted WordPress.

Is Your Backend Full Of Colorfully Highlighted Info Boxes As Well?

Administration notifications in the WordPress backend could be a practical thing if there weren’t so many plugin and theme developers that think that everything their products do warranted a notification. Even ads are often displayed as an administration message. With every notification, the actual content, being your management functions, are pushed down further. In the extreme case, all you see “above the fold” are notifications.

Thorsten Landsiedel, web developer and moderator of the WordPress.org support forum, laconically posted the following:

This completely unagitated post inspired the WordPress developer Thorsten Frommen, from Inpsyde, a company that is well known in the WordPress community, to at least create some visual relief:

Dobby Pools Notifications Into One

Dobby is a free WordPress plugin that keeps the admin area clean. It does that by pooling all admin notifications, displaying all of them in a single notification. Here, Dobby uses the color of the notification with the highest priority.

In the Dobby notifications, you’ll find the button,show which displays hidden notifications. This happens when there are multiple notifications of the same category. If you have notifications of different priorities, Dobby bundles them.

Dobby is a Brand New Addition to the Index

Dobby is a very fresh addition to the WordPress plugin index. The installation is done in the classic way of downloading the Zip file from the repository, followed by an upload via your WordPress backend. You’ll also find it using the search function in your backend, saving you the down and upload. After installation, activate Dobby. Now, the small tool is ready to use. Further configuration is not required.

Dobby
Dobby
Developer: Thorsten Frommen
Price: Free

If you want to, you can select the option that Dobby only steps in at a certain number of admin notifications. By default, this value is at 1. This means that starting with the first one, Dobby replaces every single notification with its own display. You can freely set the value, although values above 2 or 3 would thwart the plugin’s purpose.

After adjusting it to your installation, you’d implement the following snippet in the functions.php of your selected theme, or in a page specific plugin, as recommended by Noupe, instead of thefunctions.php.

<?php
/**
 * Filters the minimum number of admin notices required for Dobby to take action.
 *
 * @param int $threshold Required minimum number of admin notices.
 */
add_filter( \tfrommen\Dobby\FILTER_THRESHOLD, function () {

	return 3;
} );

Dobby is only three weeks old, so its popularity is accordingly low. Maybe, this article can have a positive influence on that. Dobby is looking for translators. On this page, you can see what’s available already (not much). If you happen to know one of the required languages, join in. The translation won’t take more than ten minutes. The plugin is being distributed under the liberal MIT license and taken care of via Github.

Personally, I installed Dobby right away, and am now enjoying a focused backend experience. I recommend doing so as well.

Dieter Petereit

Dieter Petereit is a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called web design and has carried on ever since. Two decades ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. You can meet him over on Google+.

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