WordPress: Making Sense of a Messy Admin Menu

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Plugins are a great way to extend the functionality of WordPress well beyond just blog posting and accepting comments from readers. The problem is that plugin developers often make use of the admin menu within WordPress, but not necessarily with any rhyme or reason. Using enough plugins could create a messy admin menu that is virtually impossible to navigate with ease.

Depending on your theme and the number of plugins you use, you might know exactly what we are talking about. Some say that having a messy admin menu is a clear indication you are using too many plugins. Nevertheless, such advice doesn’t help the website owner who has found functionality in his/her plugins. That owner needs to find a way to better control the admin menu without having pious experts continually opining about learning how to write code instead of using plugins.

Fortunately for you, there is a way. How? You guessed it, another plugin. There are several different plugins that make it easy to arrange the admin menu any way you like. Examples include:

These five plugins only scratch the surface of possibilities for editing the admin menu. Of course, you should try multiple plugins to find one you like. We will explain Admin Menu Manager for the purposes of illustrating what can be done and how easy it is.

Cleaning up the Mess

Cleaning up your messy admin menu with Admin Menu Manager begins by downloading and installing the plugin. You can do so using the plugins section of your dashboard menu or going directly to the WordPress plugins website and downloading from there. Working through the dashboard is obviously the easier of the two choices.

Once the plugin is installed, it is easy to use. That is one of the reasons we chose this one. You should see an ‘Edit Menu’ entry at the very bottom of your admin menu. This is where the magic happens. Click on that entry and an arrow icon should appear. Use that icon to drag-and-drop menu items as you see fit.

Do you want the calendar entry to appear higher up in the menu? Just place the mouse over it, click on it, and drag it to its new location. You can drag and drop primary menus, sub-menus, and individual items.

The current version of this plugin is 1.3; developers are hard at work on version 2.0. The upgraded version promises to allow you to completely remove and restore menu items at your discretion, edit existing menu items to include icons and other options, and create custom categories and new menu items for your specific tasks.

Having such a handy plugin will make finding your way around your admin menu easier than it has ever been. It will enable you to work faster, smarter, more efficiently and more effectively. At the end of the day, it is a lot easier than learning lots of code just to eliminate the use of plugins. If you wanted to learn so much code, why would you be using a content management system like WordPress?

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