294 – How might we fix the WordPress notifications problem?

If you’ve used WordPress for any length of time and use plugins, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen notifications in the backend which you did not expect. Perhaps they were ads, or upsells for things which are already installed. WordPress notifications serve a purpose. They are there for a very good reason, to notify you of things that you ought to be aware of. You just published a post. Something needs updating. That kind of thing. But not all the notifications that we see are the kind that you might call ‘essential’ or ‘useful’. This goes back to the fact that the WordPress notifications system was not really designed to be used in the variety of ways that ingenious developers have been able to use them. It’s a bit like cookies. They we created to maintain state on a website, and then developers figured out a whole raft of other uses for them, some of them somewhat undesirable. The system was created and then it was warped and reused in alternative ways. So it is with WordPress notifications. Brian Coords is on the podcast today to talk through his thoughts on the WordPress notifications systems and how it might be improved so stop its true purpose being misused.