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Better Post Lists with CodePress Admin Columns

In this week’s Quick Guide we’re covering how to improve your “post lists” screens in WordPress. That is, we’re taking control the look of your “posts”, “pages”, etc lists by changing what appears in those columns. We’ll do that using that Admin Columns plugin (which was called CodePress Admin Columns until fairly recently 😉).

You may know that out-of-the box you can turn off and on columns on those views by looking for the (sometimes hard to find) “Screen Options” dropdown in the top-right of your screen. Here you can off and on the columns that you’ve already got. For anything beyond hiding columns, however, stock WordPress doesn’t offer much help.

That’s where the AdminColumns.com plugin (previous branded as “CodePress”) comes in. Want to control how wide your columns can get? It does that. Want to make a new column to see, say, word count at a glance? Done and done! Enough bluster, here’s the video where I walk through what I love about CodePress Admin Columns for WordPress:

And for those who prefer written words, here are the step I take to customize my Admin Columns with the AdminColumns.com plugin…

Improved WordPress Post Admin Tables with CodePress Admin Columns

1. Install and Activate the (CodePress) Admin Columns plugin

If you’ve done this before you know the drill. If not, we’ll be going to “Plugins > Add New”. This is the way we can search the “WordPress Plugin Repository” for the plugin we want.

We’ll be searching for plugin called “Admin Columns”. At the time of this writing, the listed author is “AdminColumns.com”, but it was previously published by an entity called “CodePress”.

Once we’ve found the plugin from the WordPress repo, we’ll click the “Install” button and wait a bit. After it has installed, that button will now say “Activate,” which means “turn it on.” Since we’re trying to use this plugin, we want that ;p

2. Customize your setup at “Settings > Admin Columns”

One of the best things about the AdminColumns.com plugin is that you can make so dang many customizations. So I won’t take the time to describe them all in detail—you’re more than smart enough to work through them yourself. But I will do an example, the “Word Count” column I mentioned above. Here’s how to add that to your “Posts” table view in the WordPress admin.

  1. Navigate “Settings > Admin Columns”. By default, you’ll notice that your “navigation” tab on that top of page is on “Admin Columns”. Right under that you can see that it has defaulted to modifying the view for the “Posts” WordPress custom post type.
  2. Under the “Posts” dropdown, you’ll see a set of horizontal rows that correspond to the admin columns in your view.  At the bottom on that list is the “+ Add Column” button. As you might guess, we’ll click that.
  3. By clicking that button you should have added a new little panel on the bottom. To make it a “Word Count” column, we’ll need to change the “Type” value in that panel. By default you’ll likely see “Actions”, and you’ll want to move that dropdown menu to “Word Count” using either a search or a scroll.
  4. Then be sure click “Update“. That’ll save your settings.
Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!
David Hayes

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