Wordpress & lay-out: less is more
Web design and content presentation trends have changed a lot over the past 10-20 years. Long gone is tolerance for, and patience with, 100+ lines paragraphs, cluttered pages, word and function density beyond sensible measures.
This was quite common before, a long time ago. But today one has a completely different level of freedom with regards to navigation, navigational design and content structure. It's easy to shout: All Hail Progress!
One reason for the shift is of course mobile use. Smaller screens, limited surface freedom for presentation, whether verbally or graphically. But with high resolution and number of colors, making it possible to design good, even if design is adapted for small surfaces.
The return to Wordpress
Having been away from Wordpress for a while I returned early this year. Just to find that it had evolved tremendously. Easy to see why it is the most popular platform of them all. From a Main Street view much easier on the surface than for instance Drupal or Joomla. But from a designer's perspective maybe not so much.
Surface simplicity doesn't necessarily mean it's better for all intents and purposes either. One thing I quickly began to miss was the architectural freedom of Drupal. An almost limitless capability of lay-out control, positioning of elements, views, panels and modules.
Compared to all of this Wordpress widget and basic layout control seemed at first limited, too simple and lacked many important options.
Restrict Widgets - Wordpress must-have
Yes, this creation had me wonder, why isn't it a part of the standard architecture! One day while searching around for means and ways to control widgets, and where they should appear, without having to customize templates or code, I came across Restrict Widgets. Eureka!
This plugin is a true blessing. A tool that allows you to basically control what widgets show where, and to whom. It adds important functions with ease of use, and no need for modification of your template files.
Less IS more. Not everything needs to be visible, everywhere. This tool helps you structure your layout and indirectly improves the performance of your pages.
One problem that often emerges, and not only with Wordpress, is performance. Too much stuff, too much code whether front or back-end. Tools are cool but some can have a direct impact on the performance of your pages, or your entire site.
Therefore, regardless of your level of usage or technical capabilities, Restrict Widgets is one plugin you simply cannot do without, at least not if you think simplicity design-wise.