Bellows Plugin Adjustments
Added by Laurie Hurson about 1 year ago.
Updated about 1 year ago.
The folks at the GC Writing Center are working on building out a series of writing/revision resources on their website here:
They are using the Bellows plugin to create the sidebar menu you see on the left of that page and other pages clicked on through the menu.
They were wondering if it would be possible to make some adjustments to how the plugin works. It would be ideal if the sidebar menu:
- highlights which page a user is on.
Meaning if you are on RS argument, the background color of the sidebar menu highlights this page.
- show the the path the user took to arrive at each page.
Meaning, at the top each page the breadcrumbs info shows the top level and lower level menu items that lead to that page. For example if I was on this page https://gcwritingcenter.commons.gc.cuny.edu/rs_ventilation/ the breadcrumbs at the top would be "Home > RS Style > rs_ventilation"
I am not sure what our policy is on editing plugins for single use cases but these changes to Bellows seemed simple enough and potentially useful for other users.
- Status changed from New to Reporter Feedback
Hi Laurie - For reference, this is the plugin you're referencing, correct? https://wordpress.org/plugins/bellows-accordion-menu/
As a rule, we never modify any plugins. When we make a change to a plugin, we are essentially forking it, which means that we no longer benefit from improvements to the plugin, and also means that we have to maintain it in perpetuity. On rare occasions, it's necessary to make certain kinds of modifications to ensure compatibility with the Commons, but that's not the case in this instance.
It looks like something similar to the first request may already be possible. See eg https://sevenspark.com/docs/bellows/settings/expand-current-submenu.
Breadcrumbs are a nice idea, and can probably be accomplished using an existing plugin on the Commons. See eg the plugin really-simple-breadcrumb. You might also consider making a request for this feature in the Bellows plugin, though it seems a bit out of scope - the plugin handles menus (which appear in sidebars) while breadcrumbs are navigation that appear in (or above) post content.
Sorry yes, that is the plugin.
Good to know re: plugin modifications. I thought this might be the case but wanted to ask. I suggested they turn on the settings you linked to and also use a "skin" which adds some plugin-created css and shading the to the sidebar menu.
For the breadcrumbs, the pages needed to be parent/child pages fro the theme to pull the correct path. Makes sense that this was not part of bellows. Sorry about that.
Also, I tried really simple breadcrumbs at first and could not find any settings or mod possibilities in the back end. I also saw that it was discontinued for download in 2018. Not sure if that effects the Commons in any way but wanted to share that info
Thank again for the feedback.
- Target version set to Not tracked
Thanks for the note about really-simple-breadcrumb. I'm CCing Scott to see if he has any ideas about alternative plugins (either on or off the Commons) and to see whether he has recommendations about retiring that plugin.
We have a plugin called Yoast SEO which creates breadcrumbs with a shortcode [wpseo_breadcrumb] or with a block. Would that work for them? It seems like we should get rid of really-simple-breadcrumbs.
Thanks for this info Scott- good to know about Yoast.
They are able to build the breadcrumbs out using parent/child pages with the theme they are using but this is good info for me to know in the future if anyone asks.
I agree about really simple breadcrumbs but not sure how many sites might be using it? Maybe we could make unavailable for install if it is significant number of sites?
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