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WordPress 4.5 to Introduce Native Support for a Theme Logo

In October 2014, Jetpack 3.2 introduced a new site logo feature for theme developers. As Jetpack is widely used, it provided a way for theme developers to easily build in logo support, thereby increasing data portability across themes.

After discussion in yesterday’s core development meeting, WordPress 4.5 is now set to introduce theme support for a site logo using code that was ported over from Jetpack’s implementation. Themes will be able to declare support via: add_theme_support( 'site-logo', size ), which will add the site logo upload to the customizer.

Image credit: Ryan Boren
Image credit: Ryan Boren

According to release lead Mike Schroder, WordPress 4.5 will ship with a new version of Twenty Sixteen that will support a site logo as an example implementation for theme developers.

Adding a Site Logo was Not Intuitive for Users During Testing

In the corresponding ticket, a few WordPress contributors were concerned about users experiencing confusion between the “Site Icon” and “Site Logo” features. Tammie Lister conducted two users tests, which she posted on the blog.

The first user landed on Appearance > Header and said, “I’m not really sure if this is the logo where I should be adding this.” She goes back to the admin, returns again to the header setting, and then finally lands on the customizer. She mistakenly added a site icon thinking it was the logo. Eventually, she found the correct setting and added the logo.

The second tester first landed on the Tools menu and then navigated to Appearance, got lost in the theme browser, and then landed on Customize. She thought she was on the wrong screen and went back. She navigated to Settings, Users, and several other screens in the process of trying to find the right place to upload the logo. Eventually she found it with the explicit instructions included in the testing round for those who are having trouble.

Both test users struggled to find this feature. Based on these tests, it does not appear that adding a site logo is very intuitive for users who are not working in WordPress every day. Watching the test users struggle through the admin in search of this setting is rather painful.

“Discoverability of the feature isn’t great,” Lister reported when summarizing the results of her testing. “Perhaps this is ok as a theme feature. Perhaps we need to ensure publicity of this feature and documentation. Once people find it and use it the actual process makes sense.”

Two Jetpack support personnel joined the conversation to report that the site logo feature has been well tested while used in the plugin and that they receive very few questions about it.

“I can’t recall a single case where a user was confused about how to use the Site Logo, nor a single instance where a user confused it with the Site Icon,” Kathryn Presner said.

Several contributors involved in the conversation commented that the feature seemed rushed. Given that nearly every modern website has a logo, this feature is one that is likely to be widely used with theme support. Theme authors will be the ones to add support for a site logo and field questions about how to use it. Based on the user tests, however, a brand new WordPress user with a vanilla site running Twenty Sixteen may be in for a bit of a hunt when trying to upload a logo.

Schroder pulled the trigger yesterday to include the feature in the upcoming release and it is now available in the first beta released last night. If you want to help test, the easiest way is to use the WordPress Beta Tester plugin and select “bleeding edge nightlies.”

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