Highlight and Share: a Branding and Admin Refresh

First, a narrative…

First Contact

I came across Holly about a year and a half ago. She landed in my Twitter DMs. She was having an issue getting Highlight and Share working with her Elegant Themes site. I went over to the site, inspected the divs, and told her which CSS class to put in her settings. Super easy peasy from a support perspective.

She ended up leaving a kind review. And that was that.

Second Contact

Fast forward a year and a half to the present and she DMs me concerned. She was concerned I had abandoned Highlight and Share. I let it slip through a few versions of WordPress. It was a plugin that was in a state of neglect. It was still working for me, and it only has about 2,000 users, so it slipped into whatever territory.

After I shared why I have been neglecting it, she linked me to a LinkedIn group where the concern was public.

I was like, crap. So I did the bare minimum and updated the Tested Up To portion of my readme after several tests to make sure it still works. I also use it on my own site, so I’m confident that it wouldn’t break anything.

Holly was thankful I updated it as she could update the group.

Third Contact

After getting Highlight and Sharing enabled on her site, she noticed a few major bugs with the plugin. The Copy link didn’t work for all the variations (text, inline-highlight, block). WhatsApp and LinkedIn no longer worked. They received new endpoints.

So I fixed those bugs. And I was set from there. But I had a thought. What if I could give Highlight and Share a rebrand? Document it better. Have a proper landing page. I’m thinking, “It has 2,000 users. It’s not worth it.” But I needed a “mental” break from the plugin I was coding.

As I thought about it more, I thought a little sprucing up might make it look better on paper.

The Rebranding

Creating Admin UIs kinda excite me. I figured I could practice with a refresh of Highlight and Share. What could go wrong? 🙂

I didn’t like the existing logo, so after what seemed like an endless search for one, I finally settled on something that is a share icon with a human aspect to it.

I got the icon on Adobe Stock. Speaking of which, I can’t remember if I already have the extended license or not.

New Icon/Logo for Highlight and Share
New Icon/Logo for Highlight and Share

I refreshed the font family of the masthead and settled for something darker so brighter colors stand out more without being too overwhelming.

Here’s the old one:

Highlight and Share Old Logo
Old logo banner of Highlight and Share

And here’s the new one:

New Logo Banner of Highlight and Share
New Logo Banner of Highlight and Share

After that, I felt like Forrest Gump; I had come this far. Gotta keep running.

Soooooo… I decided to write a bunch of documentation and refresh the admin panel.

Writing the docs took so much longer than refreshing the admin. I had already decided on a color palette, so the admin refresh was mostly proper containers and CSS.

For brevity, here’s the old admin panel:

Highlight and Share Old Admin
Highlight and Share Old Admin

And here’s the new one:

The New One - It's even mobile friendly
The New One – It’s even mobile-friendly

So that’s that!

As far as Holly? I got her stamp of approval.

Oh yeah…

Just a mini-announcements of sorts. I spun off a plugin business called DLX Plugins from MediaRon. I brought over four plugins. QuotesDLX will be its first premium plugin.

Ronald Huereca
Ronald Huereca

Ronald Huereca

Ronald has been part of the WordPress community since 2006, starting off writing and eventually diving into WordPress plugin development and writing tutorials and opinionated pieces.

No stranger to controversy and opinionated takes on tough topics, Ronald writes honestly when he covers a topic.

1 thought on “Highlight and Share: a Branding and Admin Refresh”

  1. Wow, Ron! (I love being a Programmers’ Muse. I was also the first person ever to install CommentLuv on Blogger, after getting Andy to make that work… ) Thank you for the kind mention here, but moreover for putting in all the work on one of my favorite plug-ins.

    Reply

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Ronald Huereca
MediaRon - Ronald Huereca

Ronald created MediaRon in 2011 and has more than fifteen years of releasing free and paid WordPress plugins.