Can Toolbar Extras be Used Without Elementor? (or Plugin/ Theme Xyz?)

This question I got asked a few times yet. I guess this comes up because “for Elementor” is part of the plugin name (headline) on its page on the Plugin Directory. So of course, it is a good and relevant question.

Short answer: Yes, absolutely!

The long story: Still a resounding “yes, absolutely”. But with some background information that could really help, I believe.

A Feature Set for Core WordPress

If you activate Toolbar Extras in a vanilla WordPress installation without any other plugins you will just notice and see that it already adds and optimizes some really useful stuff. It can auto-detect a local development environment and color your Toolbar appropriately (or you can adjust this via options yourself, of course). It adds valuable sub items for the comments icon within the Admin Bar. For the New Content group (+ New) there are additions as well. Likewise, the Site group gets more relevant items added, for Widgets, Nav Menus, Updates, Plugins and, essentially, Manage Content & Media.

On second sight you will notice the resources links added where it might make sense. On your further exploring of the plugin you will land on its admin settings screens (under Settings > Toolbar Extras): From here you can also disable or enable various of the above mentioned items and groups. Plus, you will discover the settings tab Smart Tweaks. Here you can adjust the “Howdy”/ Welcome item in the top right corner of your Toolbar.

And there is more to discover on your travel through your install. – So, congrats on using Toolbar Extras, you are welcome! ūüėČ

Remember, until this point only WordPress Core, a theme and the plugin “Toolbar Extras” are active. Nothing else. And you already can do so many additional things from this inconspicuous little bar on the top. – This is exactly how it was envisioned.

If you happen to have a WordPress default theme active (you probably would because you are in a vanilla install, right?), like Twenty Nineteen or Twenty Seventeen, then you’ll notice, it is supported by default. The Build group which is labelled with “Customizer” (can be changed in plugin’s settings) now has a sub item with Customizer deep links. Really handy. It is working the same on the frontend as it is in the admin area. If your vanilla install may already use one of our other supported themes, then you might notice even more theme-related items (for example for the Astra theme, or Genesis).

I repeat it again: until this point in your journey no other plugin was installed or activated. None. And yet, so much more value. So much more possibilities and inspirations for being more flexible, more productive.

And now, on the fun part:

Integrations on Top

The moment, any of the supported plugin or theme integrations are installed and activated, additional Toolbar items or other features reveal itself when travelling and hovering over the Toolbar’s items. It all happens automatically and conditionally.

So, Elementor may be your thing? Great, just install it via + New > Install Plugin from the Toolbar. Activate, and voila, the Build group just got on stereoids (and some other areas as well).

Build group items in Toolbar Extras plugin
Build group items in Toolbar Extras plugin

This is Toolbar Extras at its finest: helping optimizing your workflow out of the box. It’s just working. How it should be in the first place by default in WordPress, right? – On top of that, Toolbar Extras tries its best to come with sane defaults so you can focus on your content and tasks.

I made this plugin to scratch my own itch. It was created to solve issues I had myself when working endless hours in admin and frontend and hopping between the two every five seconds. It’s for stuff like that.

Again, just try it out. You think you won’t need all this integrations? Maybe you are right. Maybe not. Toolbar Extras is the only plugin of its kind (not regarding other Toolbar plugins from myself) in the WordPress Plugin Directory. No other Toolbar/ Admin Bar plugin is doing the things it does. So maybe you still want to try it out?

If so, then a very happy welcome! — Welcome to the Toolbar, your new central hub for saving some precious time and being more productive!

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