WP Help 1.0

My WP Help plugin just got a huge update. Version 1.0 is really worth checking out. I’m quite proud of it.

WP Help

WP Help is a plugin for creating documentation for display within the WordPress admin. Many WordPress installs are customized, and it’s really helpful to have a centralized resource for documenting those features. You can create documents about creating content, editing content, moderating comments, or whatever you want! If you have clients who can’t seem to remember how to do X, you should install WP Help and document it for them. WP Help is powered by WordPress Custom Post Types, so you create content using the full WordPress editor.

Document Syncing

Oh yeah. This is the feature you’ve all been waiting for. If you have a standard set of help documents you want to use on multiple sites, this lets you do that. Create the documents, grab the (secret) sync URL for that site, and then plug that URL in to other sites. Those other sites will automatically pull down those documents, and keep them up-to-date (even handling new documents, deleted documents, renamed documents, and re-parented documents). Any internal links in the original document will be rewritten to be local to the destination WP Help install. So go ahead and use the WP internal linking functionality on your source site and know that those links will work on all the destination sites!

Menu Placement

The menu item for the help documents can now be placed in one of four locations:

  1. As a Dashboard submenu
  2. Top level, above the Dashboard
  3. Top level, below the Dashboard
  4. Top level, at the bottom

You get a live preview of this (yeah, I know, super fancy).

Menu Name

The menu name (and page title) can be changed. Just doubleclick the page title, edit it, and hit return. Boom. Again, this has a live preview.

Topics List Name

Likewise the topics list header can be renamed. Doubleclick, edit, return. Live preview.

Edit Links & Management Links

If you can edit help documents, you’ll get an edit link. When editing, there is a handy “Manage” link to jump you back to the documents management interface. Navigating in general has been improved quite a bit.

Dashboard Widget

There is now a simple dashboard widget, listing all of your help documents.

Better Default Access

A lot of you said that you have Contributor-level users who need documentation just like authors do. So now they can view documentation by default (there’s a hook if you want to change the capability required to view help documents).

Lots of Little Tweaks

There are numerous little tweaks to improve your experience. Check out out!


Things I’m considering:

  • Restricting individual documents to users with a certain level of access
  • Multiple sync sources

Any other ideas?

64 thoughts on “WP Help 1.0

  1. Mark, this is great, I especially love the syncing feature. May I assume that “synced documents” mean any WP Help cpt that I create on one site (including embedded video content, etc.) is in fact the “document” that gets synced between installs?

    • Attachments aren’t transferred — but if they’re hotlinked, they should continue to work. It is the post_title and post_content that are transferred, mainly. Yes, for all WP Help documents created on the site.

    • Thanks Mark, understood. I use the Easy Video Player 2 script to embed tutorial videos for my clients (allows me to put call-to-action buttons within my videos). Now I just need to start testing this out and see if it works for including these in all my client sites.

      Very cool update and thanks for making it available!

  2. Great!
    I would like to be able to sync only parts of the document source on the remote site. For remote documents, something like a remove action on the management page. When a remote page is removed, all the sub-documents are removed, too (opt-out). Or implemented as the opposite, so that when you add a sync source, select top level documents of that site to sync, including sub-documents (opt-in).

  3. rayhunnsdon says:


    I sent you an email about this plugin some months ago as it was getting a bit out of date.

    I don’t know if you got it but great, it’s now updated! Excellent carry on the good work.

  4. rayhunnsdon says:


    Problem! I use Adminimize plugin for detailed control of users backend. Now after the update I can’t lockout the editor role from editing the help topics due to the plugin allowing users editing capabilities with ‘admin & editor’ roles.

    Any ideas on a fix or work around, as I used to be able to remove anyone who wasn’t an editor from making changes to the topics.

    • Hi Mark

      Sorry I am not an advanced user and need instructions on how to do that. I have edited files before but with instructions. Any assistance please.

    • I think there is some confusion. The filter described above allows you to define who can *read* WP Help docs. As far as I can tell it doesn’t affect who can *edit* the docs.

      In fact, the “Add new” and “Manage” buttons are displayed to any user with the publish_pages capability, and this is coded into the template, NOT the post type capabilities array. Take a look at wp-help/templates/list-documents.php on line 8:

      if ( current_user_can( ‘publish_pages’ ) ) : [buttons displayed here, etc]

      As you can see this is hard coded into the plugin, and there’s no way to hide those buttons without hacking the plugin core.

      I’m with @rayhunnsdon: It would be a great addition to this fine plugin if it were possible to have fine grained control over who can *edit* as well as who can *read*.

    • hi Jan Beck

      I tried this but getting a 500 error now and the site doesn’t load at all until I remove it.

      Any help would be appreciated, thanks. Or if you can guide me in the right direction to get it to work.

  5. Hi, one great improvement would be to make the “items order” system more user friendly!

    Using just number is so Joomla like and it’s a pain if you want to insert a new item in the middle of the list.

  6. I’m interested in letting subscribers see the docs written with WP Help. Could you explain how to achieve? Although my PHP skills are very limited, I have been able to get it by changing “edit_posts” capability by “read” in wp-help.php, lines 111, 155, 483 and 485, but I know this is not the right way.

    By the way, great, great plugin.

  7. Carlos says:

    The syncing sounds very advanced, but how about something very simple: MultiSite support? Allow me to create one help, managed from the network admin screen, that all of my sites can see.

  8. Thank you very much for the clue, Mark. I’ve written a short review of your plugin: http://wp.me/p12llC-z4 (in spanish). In this article I’ve included the code of a function inspired by your answer. Feel free to correct my code in case I make some mistake.

    At the end of the post, you can find my updated and upgraded spanish translation of version 1.0. I’ve added to it all the missing text strings which Knut Sparhell pointed. So, I think that this translation is much more comprehensive than the previous one.

  9. Right here is the perfect webpage for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for years. Wonderful stuff, just great!
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  10. junkfood says:

    Hi Mark !! Is possible extend permission to read for contributor ? In plugin description you describe this function but when user whit this role can try to access to page he receive this error :

    The requested help document could not be found.

  11. Is it possible to assign user roles to a help document? (next version?)
    That because an editor could do more than a contributor, so he needs different help contents (but some will be the same, so please use checkboxes :-) .). And who can edit the help? If the admin could assign who can edit the help… That would be a perfect next version!

  12. I absolutely love this plugin. But is there any way to make it readable to non-members? I always thought this would make for a great FAQ/help page for new readers to my site.

  13. Lauren Darman says:

    Dear Mr. Jaquith, Is it possible to let my brother know that you are not personally helping him? Allen Darman believes you are. Thank you. Lauren

  14. Josh says:

    It appears current version does not allow video embed to appear on sync sites? Any work around or fix for this issue. I would love to be able to include videos in the help docs. Thanks for an amazing plugin.

  15. Gabe says:

    I really like the plugin, but I have a question. Is there a simple way to make the plugin read-only (i.e. can’t access settings or edit help items) for site administrators on a multisite install and only allow super admins to modify/access settings? Thanks.

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