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I have spent the last day using the functions.php file to fully customize WordPress for my client sites. I am amazed at how much I have been able to accomplish and how much easier it will make things for my clients.

I have removed certain menu items for users that are not logged in as an admin. What I am hoping (and from what I have read know it can be done) is to find a way to rename some of the menu items (left sidebar in the admin area). For instance change Posts to Articles.

If anyone can supply the code for the functions.php file or point me in the direction I would greatly appreciate it!

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Maybe you should split this up into two different questions: "Renaming admin menu items" and "Changing the order of admin menu items"? This will help you get more views for your question. – Jan Fabry Feb 13 '11 at 15:39
Thanks, I just did that. I am new here and still learning my way around the site. – Adam Feb 13 '11 at 16:11

3 Answers 3

up vote 44 down vote accepted

Here's the process to change the labels (I changed posts to "contacts" in my example)

function change_post_menu_label() {
    global $menu;
    global $submenu;
    $menu[5][0] = 'Contacts';
    $submenu['edit.php'][5][0] = 'Contacts';
    $submenu['edit.php'][10][0] = 'Add Contacts';
    $submenu['edit.php'][15][0] = 'Status'; // Change name for categories
    $submenu['edit.php'][16][0] = 'Labels'; // Change name for tags
    echo '';

function change_post_object_label() {
        global $wp_post_types;
        $labels = &$wp_post_types['post']->labels;
        $labels->name = 'Contacts';
        $labels->singular_name = 'Contact';
        $labels->add_new = 'Add Contact';
        $labels->add_new_item = 'Add Contact';
        $labels->edit_item = 'Edit Contacts';
        $labels->new_item = 'Contact';
        $labels->view_item = 'View Contact';
        $labels->search_items = 'Search Contacts';
        $labels->not_found = 'No Contacts found';
        $labels->not_found_in_trash = 'No Contacts found in Trash';
    add_action( 'init', 'change_post_object_label' );
    add_action( 'admin_menu', 'change_post_menu_label' );

To change the menu order, go with this:

   function custom_menu_order($menu_ord) {
       if (!$menu_ord) return true;
       return array(
        'index.php', // this represents the dashboard link
        'edit.php', //the posts tab
        'upload.php', // the media manager
        'edit.php?post_type=page', //the posts tab
   add_filter('custom_menu_order', 'custom_menu_order');
   add_filter('menu_order', 'custom_menu_order');

I've got code to remove items, but it's globally and not based on user access level

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This is excellent thanks! Now I just need to find a way of moving a sub menu item (ex. Menus) as a main menu button. Any idea on that? – Adam Feb 13 '11 at 0:18
Haven't tested, but see if adding 'nav-menus.php' to the array moves it up. – Norcross Feb 13 '11 at 0:29
Unfortunately no. This has been the one part that has been bugging me. I just want to be able to have the menus and widgets be their own buttons so it is easier for clients. Thank you though for trying – Adam Feb 13 '11 at 0:33
@Norcross This is great, but is it possible to adapt it so that it can include the text-domain for translation purposes? – Phill Healey Nov 12 '14 at 9:37
@PhillHealey this function doesn't contain any data for labeling at all, rather, just the order itself. – Norcross Nov 12 '14 at 13:57

I agree.. The functions.php file gives lots of flexibility. I've needed some of the same functionality that you described with a combination of functions.php filters and this plugin.

From what I can tell..this plugin would accomplish both of your issues and it works well in Multi-Site install situations too. Hope that helps.

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Ooops...shoot, sorry, just saw the bit about not wanting to use a plugin. There are definitely ways to go about translating the tab names and placements with just the Functions.php. For me, after heading down this path (trying to be plugin-free for this) I decided that the extra coding just wasn't worth it...given how easy that plugin was to use. Sorry I missed that criteria before. – Ross Feb 12 '11 at 20:11
No problem Ross, I am going to look into it anyway. Thanks – Adam Feb 13 '11 at 0:34

You might want to look at this question

and the class they mention there on gist

which holds functions that you ara looking for


to rename for instance change Posts to Articles

and you can remove the appearances menu and create you new top page menu item for

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