Every WordPress administrator has different needs when navigating the admin. For example, one may require frequent access to the Posts menu and rarely touch the Appearance menu. Another admininistrator may have a certain custom post type that is accessed more frequently than any other menu item.
In some cases plugin developers take their liberties placing their menu items at the very top of the admin. Jetpack is a prime example of a plugin that assumes preeminence above Posts, Media, Comments, and other more frequently used publishing items.
Admin Menu Manager is a new plugin that allows you to take control of the admin and order menu items to suit your workflow. The plugin, created by Pascal Birchler and the folks at required+, adds a simple drag-and-drop interface for decluttering and reordering menu items.
As you can see in the demo, Admin Menu Manager allows you to drag menu items from top level to a sub-menu or pull sub-menus out to top level for easier access. The plugin is unobtrusive and doesn’t require its own settings page.
“I got the idea for this particular plugin when I stumbled upon a similar one that used a drag and drop interface just for reordering menu items,” Birchler said. After searching for other comparable solutions for the admin, he decided to take it one step further and produce a proof-of-concept. The result was a useful new plugin.
“I learned that such side projects are great for adapting new technologies and digging deeper into WordPress,” he said. “This is already my third plugin leveraging Backbone.js in my first three months working at required+. Before that I had no idea how to use this library.
“Also, I now know that the WordPress admin menu can be quite a mess. I mean, there aren’t even unit tests for it. I’ll see how I can change that in core.”
Birchler said he counts himself lucky that his employer offers him time to work on open source projects. Before he started at required+, the company had no plugins listed on WordPress.org. Now they are up to five after polishing up a few that were lying dormant on GitHub for awhile.
Version 1 of Admin Menu Manager is now available on WordPress.org and the team is working on adding the following features to version 2:
- Completely remove (and restore) menu items
- Edit existing menu items and their icons
- Add custom items to the admin menu
In its current state, the plugin is a good option for re-arranging the admin to suit a client’s needs or for simply getting Jetpack and other less-frequently used menus out of your way.
New users often complain about how confusing the WordPress admin can be, especially when many active plugins are adding their own top-level menus. With the features promised in version 2, Admin Menu Manager has the potential to become a solid tool for decluttering the admin.