WordPress may soon be getting a Command Center, which would function as a quick search component for navigating to other areas of the admin, and would also be capable of running commands. The feature was introduced in Gutenberg 15.6 under the Experimental flag and currently has limited use in the Site Editor context while navigating and editing templates.
The Command Center project is intended to be expanded to the whole of wp-admin in an extensible way so plugin developers can register their own commands. This would also allow for AI-powered extensions to expedite design, content, and layout creation.
“One aspect worth highlighting is the proposed API to interact with the command center,” Gutenberg engineer Riad Benguella said in a post requesting feedback on the project. “The command center has been developed as an independent
@wordpress/commands package. It offers APIs to render and register commands dynamically. These extension points allow plugins to inject any commands of their liking and opens the door for interactions with LLMs.”
Benguella shared a video of the prototype navigating between templates and template parts in the Site Editor:
Feedback so far had been generally positive, but contributors on the project will have the challenge of providing real examples of the Command Center’s benefits in order for some to fully realize the vision for this feature as more than just a fancy shortcut for power users.
“Neat, but I’m unclear what practical problem this actually solves?” WordPress developer Jon Brown said.
“Currently there is a clear easy to find and use drop down at the top center of the editor. Are people really having problems using that? This seems to complicate things where users have to know the names of the items to type them in. Does the average user know to type in ‘post meta’ to edit that?
“There are couple plugins that have done this admin wide, which again while neat, seems better aimed at power users that already know what they’re looking for.”
Benguella responded that the Command Center is being developed as “a complementary UI tailored specifically for average and power users,” and that users would not be required to remember technical terms in order to use it.
Other participants in the conversation asked that contributors consider not releasing the Command Center in WordPress until it can serve contexts beyond just the Site Editor.
“Initially we’ve added the command center to both post and site editors but I expect that we’ll be adding to all WP-Admin once we’ve proved its behavior and APIs,” Benguella responded. The API is currently still in the experimental stage in Gutenberg and it’s not yet known if expansion to wp-admin would be added before or after the Command Center lands in the next version of WordPress.
“Love the concept, hate that it’s limited to the Editor,” WordPress developer Dovid Levine said.
“This would ideally be implemented holistically – either as part of a push to modernize the long-neglected dashboard or API efforts to interact with GB data outside of the Editor. We’ve seen how slow developer adoption is when done the other way (GB first/only) – and worse, how painful it is for the early adopters/advocates if/when considerations beyond the Editor are finally taken into account.”
The first milestone, powering quick search for content and templates in the editor, is outlined on GitHub where contributors can track the progress. The Command Center will also be tested in the future as part of the FSE Outreach Program. Benguella is requesting feedback on the feature and its API on the post published to the core dev blog, specifically regarding the user experience and whether the APIs detailed in the post are capable enough to address third-party use cases.