The history of the Toolbar Extras plugin did not begin in 2018. No, it began much earlier, in 2011 so to say! That was the year when I first began coding WordPress plugins and by the end of 2011 I released three Admin Bar related plugins: WooCommerce Admin Bar Addition, Jigoshop Admin Bar Addition and bbPress Admin Bar Addition. At this time the WordPress Toolbar of today was called the Admin Bar, as it was mainly for the admin area. This bar then became “global” and was named Toolbar.
So my first three plugins still have the name “admin bar” in it. In the spring of 2012 I released five more Admin Bar / Toolbar related plugins: EDD Toolbar (for Easy Digital Downloads), BuddyPress Toolbar, XtremeOne Toolbar (a former theme framework for WordPress from a German agency), Gravity Forms Toolbar and the famous Genesis Toolbar Extras. So you know why you are already familiar with the name ;-). I left out the “Genesis” and made it Toolbar Extras “only”, right? Mmh, no, that would have been too easy.
In August of 2012 I released my “last” (at this time) Toolbar related plugin, this time more general and especially for Multisite, so it was called “Multisite Toolbar Additions”. Even though it has the word “Multisite” in its name that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be used on a regular single install. Yes, the plugin was and is so smart it runs perfectly fine on single site installs. Still today, I am really proud of this plugin, it has a special place deep in my heart! The reason for that is simple: when I already stopped using all my above mentioned Toolbar plugins myself (yes, that is the truth!), I was still using Multisite Toolbar Additions ALL THE TIME. Yes, I did (and do). “MSTBA”, how I liked to call my plugin, added Plugin and Theme installer links to the “New Content” group in the Toolbar. And that was pretty genius, as I learned that this is the one place I expected those links to be. So for years already, any plugin I install goes through that link from the Toolbar. It has become so much of a habit, I cannot imagine any other way. When I am on another WordPress install not maintained by me I always hover with the mouse on the Add New plus icon only to find that the installer links are not there… Sad but true ;-). Still, I wonder, why WordPress Core still not has those links there by default?
So, three long years passed by and there was no update or anything with MSTBA. Then Elementor – a great page builder – came around in the middle of 2016. I left it aside the first months, only to discover it again in early 2017. And that was a blast for me! I was blown away, to say the least.
After many months of working in the site building process with Elementor it became clear to me, that I need a better or new Toolbar plugin. As MSTBA was a bit “old” already and had another focus. So it became clear to me I had to code again somehow. In February and March of 2018 I coded Toolbar Extras and released it in early April of 2018.
This time the focus had shifted a bit: not Multiste, no special theme or plugin, rather a Toolbar plugin focused on site building, page building and the whole process. Yes, Toolbar Extras is used best with Elementor but the whole plugin and its experience is more general. The essential focus is on building and maintaining your site. Therefore I consider the Toolbar Extras as the current peak of my Toolbar-related coding. The plugin has a history of SEVEN years culminating in all my experience to focus on one purpose: to help Non-Coder designers and site builders speed up their work.