A known thing is that the longer you have your WordPress site the more plugins it has installed. From time to time I make some effort to review the list of plugins installed on my WordPress sites and delete the ones I do not need very much. This sounds easier then it is, as every time I do it, all my installed plugins occur very important. Therefore the amount of plugins grows over time. One of the drawbacks of such situation is that many plugins add meta boxes to your post edit screen. As a result of such situation, the post edit screen gets really messy, making it hard to use. This also usually applies to every custom post type edit screen.
There are 2 ways to solve this issue:
Solution 1 :: WordPress Screen Options
WordPress by default offers a way to hide meta boxes. On your post edit screen scroll to very top, and in the top right corner you will notice a tab “Screen Options”. When clicked, this tab slides out, showing a list of meta boxes names with checkboxes.
Solution 2 :: Tabify Edit Screen WordPress Plugin
Tabify Edit Screen
is a small and very nice plugin (although which was not updated for a very long time), that allows you to add tabs to your post edit screens. You can create your own tabs, and using drag&drop you can put every meta box in a separate tab. This is so simple and yet simplifies a lot. I have all my regular meta boxes in “Writing” tab, ale SEO related meta boxes in “SEO” tab, all other required to be filled in before publishing in “Required” tab, and if there is anything left I either switch it off as described in solution 1, or put it into “Other” tab. And it does support custom post types for which you can organize things differently. Sounds Interesting? So let us check how it works.
After installing and activating Tabify Edit Screen, in your admin panel go to Settings->Tabify Edit Screen.
Using “Create new tab” button, add as many tabs as you want. Tabs are represented as containers with a name at the top. If you would like to edit a tab name, double-click on its title. Once you create all tabs, drag and drop meta boxes into the fields representing the tabs. Finally drag and drop tags to order them as you like.
Repeat the above steps for each custom post types.
Now go to post edit screen to check if it works
Issue you may encounter
When configuring the plugin, you may face the issue I had. The plugin did not work. After installing and configuring the plugin, the tabs did not show. I spent some time to finally find a small checkbox “Show tabs in this post type”. It is in the plugin settings page at the very top of tabs list and can be easily missed.
I really enjoy Tabify Screen Edit WordPress Plugin. It really helps to organize the edit screen, and therefore boost your productivity. It is easy to use and lightweight. I would recommend it to anyone having to much meta boxes. It is really much more convenient to switch tabs then turning meta boxes on and off in WordPress Screen Options.
The plugin is not ideal though. What I have found out is that in most cases you organize meta boxes in the same way for each custom post type. So setting the same over again 6 times or more is a bit annoying. I would like to see some “duplicate settings of a custom post type to other” function.
And what do you do to organize your meta boxes?