How to Organize and Declutter the WordPress Post Editor Using Tabs

Even on a fresh installation of WordPress, the post editor screen can appear a little cluttered thanks to the meta boxes displayed alongside and below the main content editor.

While they are useful – allowing you to do things like choose a post category, add tags and set a featured image – they can make it difficult to find what you are looking for or focus on the task at hand when various meta boxes are crowding the screen.

By the time you’ve installed a few essential plugins for things like search engine optimization and promoting your content online, the post editor screen can start to look very cluttered indeed, and can even become overwhelming for new WordPress users.

While you can choose to not show these meta boxes from the screen options settings, simply hiding them from sight isn’t the ideal solution if you want to continue to make use of them.

To help you streamline the post editor screen and make it less distracting, we’re going to look at a free plugin solution that makes the most of tabs in today’s Weekend WordPress Project.

Weekend WordPress Project

Organizing Your Meta Boxes With Tabify Edit Screen

Tabify Edit Screen is a free plugin that gives you more control over how the post editor screen is organized. The plugin achieves this by allowing you to use tabs to separate the different meta boxes that are active on your WordPress website.

An Example Meta Box

With Tabify installed on your site, it’s now possible to create custom tabbed layouts for the post editor screen for each post type on your site. This includes pages and any custom post types you are using.

Conveniently, Tabify is compatible with meta boxes added by other plugins, such as the JM Twitter Cards plugin or WPML. However, with some plugins the meta boxes are lumped together under the custom fields option, and therefore can’t be separated out into their own tabs.

Meta Boxes from Plugins

Once the plugin has been installed and activated on your site, its functionality can be accessed from Tabify’s settings, which can be accessed from the left-hand sidebar of the WordPress admin.

Creating Tabs

From the Tabify edit screen you can enable tabs for different post types. For each post type that you enable tabs for will have its own set of tabs.

Each post type can have multiple tabs as needed, and you can name the individual tabs before moving them into position.

Tabify Edit Screen Settings

After checking the option to show tabs for a particular post type, you can click on “Create a new tab” to get started.

Create a New Tab

Giving your tabs a meaningful name will make it easier for you and any contributors you may have on your site to determine which set of meta boxes will display under a particular tab.

Organizing the Meta Boxes

Once you’ve created at least one new tab, you can then drag and drop the available meta boxes onto the appropriate tab area to start reorganizing the post editor screen and decluttering the WordPress workspace.

New Tab Arrangement

Once you’ve finished, or you want to preview your progress, click Save Changes and then open up the Add New Post page to view the editor screen.

Example Tab Arrangement

When switching tabs, you will notice that the post title and Publish meta boxes are displayed under each tab, making it easy to see the status of your post and its title.

New and Improved Post Editor Screen

If you would like to edit your configuration, you can switch back to the Tabify edit screen and make your changes. If you activate any additional meta boxes on your site via any plugins you install they will be automatically added to the last tab in the editor. So if any new meta boxes are added to your site, remember to return to the settings page to move them under the appropriate tab.

Conclusion

Tabify Edit Screen provides an easy way to better organize the WordPress editor screens. If you are fed up of scrolling up and down the page in search of a particular meta box then spending a few minutes setting up tabs could save you a lot of frustration.

It would be nice if you could apply the same tab configuration to multiple or all post types on your site rather than having to create each one individually. However, if you mainly work with the default WordPress post type this shouldn’t be an issue.

If you multiple people are working on your site, it might be worth mentioning that you are using tabs on the post editor screens in your style guide or writer instructions, just so that they know where to find any reorganized meta boxes.

If you have any questions about using this plugin or more tips for improving the WordPress post editor screen, please leave a comment below.