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In the codex it lists the parameter $context for the add_meta_box as having the following options:

  1. normal
  2. advanced
  3. side

What does "advanced" do? I don't see any difference between it and "normal".

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

The difference between normal and advanced is that normal will be placed on the page before advanced.

For example the following will display "One" before "Two"

function admin_init_test() {
    add_meta_box('one', __('One'), 'test_one', 'post', 'advanced');
    add_meta_box('two', __('Two'), 'test_two', 'post', 'normal');
add_action('admin_init', 'admin_init_test');

function test_two() {
    echo "<p>test_two</p>";
function test_one() {
    echo "<p>test_one</p>";

If you switch the context parameter around, then "Two" will display before "One" on the edit page:

add_meta_box('one', __('One'), 'test_one', 'post', 'normal');
add_meta_box('two', __('Two'), 'test_two', 'post', 'advanced');

Also if you reorder the meta boxes yourself by dragging them around then that order is saved and seems to take precedence over the 'normal' and 'advanced' contexts.

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Thanks. That's a strange way they decided to use $context and $priority. – matt Sep 21 '10 at 1:36

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