So I have a Wordpress 3.3.2 installation with around 8k pages in it now. I seemed to have gotten past a threshold that causes edit.php and the page listing in the admin to take about 20 minutes to load. I've tried multiple server setups, one with a 1GB memory limit, and nothing helped, this is also on a development server so there is no user traffic.

I submitted this as a bug, and a developer said that as I could "turn off hierarchical display in edit.php. A filter in wp_edit_posts_query() might be able to accommodate this" as a potential workaround until they fix it in an update. Does anyone know how this can be done?

Kind of a repost of Too many pages causes Wordpress admin to be unusable but I narrowed down a possible solution and was hoping to get feedback on that specifically.

  • I ended up using remove_meta_box() in my functions.php to remove the Page Parent attribute box and that fixed the problem. Now, I just need to come up with my own custom meta box that will assign a parent page and not use Wordpress' shoddy hierarchical code.
    – joren
    May 13, 2012 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


I don't think it can be done that way, in class-wp-posts-list-table.php I found this line

$this->hierarchical_display = ( $post_type_object->hierarchical && 'menu_order title' == $wp_query->query['orderby'] );

It's not filtered and it directly depends on the unfilterable attribute "is hierarchical" and the post order set in the admin interface (edit.php).

What you can do is to try this: change the pages order in the admin page, order them by date. If it solves your problem, that is a simple solution to your problem; If it doesn't, I'd say that the hierarchical display doesn't have anything to do with the speed in this case.

  • Well, I've definitely narrowed it down to that Attributes meta box, most likely the select dropdown for assigning the parent page that is causing the edit screen to break. I commented the whole box out of the code, and the edit screen loaded perfectly.
    – joren
    May 13, 2012 at 0:43
  • Also installed "CMS Tree Page View" plugin and can now view all pages just fine that way. So I just need to find a way to change how that Parent assigning select dropdown is populated.
    – joren
    May 13, 2012 at 0:46

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