Admin Column View: A New Way to Organize WordPress Pages

Have you ever wished for a better way to navigate pages in the WordPress admin? The UI for hierarchical content makes it difficult to understand the organization of pages and custom post types at a glance.

Inspired by the column view in the OS X Finder, Alex King and the team at Crowd Favorite have created a similar interface for navigating pages/hierarchical CPTs in the WordPress admin. Their new Admin Column View plugin is now available in the WordPress plugin repository.

This plugin introduces a Column View menu item under the Pages menu for viewing content in a more intuitive way.

Column view of pages
Column view of pages

Admin Column View does more than just redesign the Pages menu UI. It also includes some features that are not easy to see in a screenshot:

  • Use drag and drop to re-order (set the “menu_order” property) pages/custom post types.
  • Provides a link at each level to create a new page/custom post type at that level.
  • Colored post status indicators: ie. private, draft, etc.
  • Support for custom post types

This expanded view shows the new page/CPT creation link and colored post status indicators in action:

Admin Column View
Admin Column View

Admin interaction with the content is much easier to see in Alex King’s video walk-through:

An Alternative Content Listing UI for WordPress as a CMS

Admin Column View is a very helpful plugin for sites using WordPress more heavily as a CMS. It provides instant context for hierarchical content, showing posts in relationship to those above and below. Plugins like this also open discussion about how the WordPress admin can be improved, although this way of arranging content may not be for everyone.

Last Friday on our weekly podcast Matt Mullenweg said, “I don’t think everyone’s WordPress should look the same.” This statement applies in this instance where sites with a large number of pages or CPTs might benefit from an alternative UI provided to organize content in the admin.

The Admin Column View plugin was designed for the WordPress 3.8 admin refresh, so it won’t be outdated in a couple days when 3.8 is released. Download it for free through your admin panel or via its home on WordPress.org.

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