Pages and pages
As WordPress developers, we’ve been noticing that large default installation WordPress websites with numerous pages and posts can often lack organisation in the content management system (CMS).
There are plugins to extend the default functionality which if combined go some way to solving this, but it still leaves a CMS that isn’t as user friendly as you’d like it to be.
One option would be to create each outline or category as a custom post type which would then be treated individually. However, this would mean they’d have a new slug (or URL prefix, like having a folder in-between the pages and the home page).
This isn’t ideal for live sites where pages have been indexed by search engines, plus the pages themselves would need to be redeveloped in line with the required new url. For us, this wasn’t the right direction.
Creating structure with folders
We envisaged creating a folder structure so that we could group pages according to categories without having to modify the existing structure of pages and posts. Looking at online forums, it seemed there was demand for this solution and variants of it.
We develop our websites on WordPress and as users of open source software, we appreciate and value the freedoms it offers us and believe in contributing to the ecosystem whenever we can.
Although we had a specific problem to solve, we believe in developing custom software for a universal benefit wherever possible. There was clearly a need for this solution, so we decided to go ahead and create it so it’s possible for everyone to better organise their WordPress CMS.
The solution was a plugin that would essentially act as a folder, but without causing pages or posts having to be moved from the existing website structure. Thumbs up from a SEO point of view.
User friendly Folders plugin
The plugin registers new custom taxonomies for pages and posts that we called ‘folders’.
Using the WordPress CMS bulk edit function, you can quickly reassign pages and posts into folders. The plugin also creates a custom filter along the top of pages and posts pages so when you’re in the CMS you can select a view of only the pages and posts you want to see.
We wanted the plugin to be user friendly and not leave users in a position where they have no choice but to seek support to manage their site, so we added those folders into the admin sidebar to give quick and easy access to the filtered individual folder view.
We then extended the plugin so it also handles media attachments.