46:7 Cobwebs in the WordPress admin - Lee Matthew Jackson
46:7 Cobwebs in the WordPress admin - Lee Matthew Jackson

46:7 Cobwebs in the WordPress admin

Make it easier to access and sort data in the WordPress admin.

Lee Matthew Jackson
Lee Matthew Jackson
Make it easier to access and sort data in the WordPress admin.

In this series, Lee looks at a range of WordPress tools that can add value to both the development process and client interactions. For each episode, Lee will define a problem, discuss his agency’s solution, and share a use case.

Lee Matthew Jackson - Trailblazer FM ™


Lee Matthew Jackson

Trailblazer FM ™

The problem

Post lists for post types in WordPress are very basic, and in order to add all the custom fields you’ve created, you have to roll up your sleeves and get coding.

The solution

We use admin columns pro to add columns, filtering, inline editing, and export features. This allows our clients access to their data in a meaningful way that they can interact with.

Use cases

  • We use this on a multisite network to ensure all sites have the same column interfaces.
  • We use this for agenda management for inline editing of times.



WordPress tools to try before you die. Sorry about that. Time for the next tool.

Welcome to another episode of WordPress tools to try before you die. Our awesome series celebrating the season of Halloween. Whilst looking at problems that you may have, offering a solution and sharing some use cases. These are all problems we’ve had and solved using these WordPress tools. Right at the very end, you have the opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions on what you would have done to solve the problems that we share.

So, without further ado, let’s look at today’s problem. If a client was to log into WP admin and access the posts or any of the custom post types that we’ve created, the information isn’t necessarily going to be very useful and we’d have to hand code a whole load of columns to show helpful information. If you’ve also activated, say, Yoast or some third party SEO plugin that throws in a whole load of extra columns, then it might look like a complete nightmare. How can we create a user interface that gives our clients the ability to see the information they need to see in the posts and page lists, but also give them extra tools like the option to filter, search, find or export? Well, don’t worry, we have a solution.

Our solution has been Admin Columns Pro. There is a free version. We upgraded very quickly to the Pro version because there is so much more in there. Admin Columns quite literally does what it says on the tin.

For any post type you can assign your custom fields as columns in the post list per column. You can then set whether or not it’s filterable sortable whether or not you can export the data that’s in that column and loads more. One of my favourite features is the inline edit option. This means your client can tap a button and then edit all of the information that they can see on all of the posts in that list. That means they don’t actually have to drill down into the post to make the edit.

For example, they could change the featured image or the content, or maybe change the author quickly and easily at the press of a button. Absolutely love that feature. Another feature would be the export option, being able to filter the list that’s in front of you and then export that data it’s invaluable to any client. My final most used feature is the ability to create different views depending on the role of the user. This means you can give more information to the admin then you would an editor and so on.

In my humble opinion, Admin Columns Pro gives you the ability to make the WordPress backend look phenomenal and give your clients the tools they need to interact with the data. What’s cool as well is you can export that and import it into any website. You can also export it to PHP, so if you say using multisite you could have the same columns across multiple sites. So exceptionally clever, exceptionally powerful. One of my favourite WordPress tools.

So let’s look at the use cases. You all know that we are in the events industry over at Event Engine and one of our biggest use cases for this is to roll it out across our multisite networks and allow our event organisers to control the data they have, especially areas such as their exhibitor information and their agendas. Agendas specifically are very fluid and times need to be changed quickly. So for an event organiser to be able to jump in the back end of their WordPress website and then quickly change all the times in a column, filter it by day, whatever they need to do, and then change those times, that is invaluable. So now it’s your turn.

How do you customise the WordPress experience? Do you hand code it? Would you prefer to do that? Many would. They don’t want the bloat of an extra plugin.

Do you have an alternative plugin that you would use other than admin columns? Let us know in the comments. In the show notes there is a link to this episode and of course all the other episodes in this series. So please do come and have a conversation. If you’d like to have a conversation in person, then we have an in-person event here in the UK on the 10th of November 2022.

Come along to a two-day event. Day one being our conference with amazing speakers, day two being our in-person Mastermind where we use the combined brain power of the room to establish what each of our small achievable actions will be so that we can move the needle in our businesses. So check out more information about that on agencytransformation.live. If we don’t see you in the comments, if we don’t meet you at Agency Transformation Live. Let’s see you in the next episode.


PodcastSeason 46

Lee Matthew Jackson

Content creator, speaker & event organiser. #MyLifesAMusical #EventProfs