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!

  • 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
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 15:39

6 Answers 6


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

  • 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
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 0:18
  • Haven't tested, but see if adding 'nav-menus.php' to the array moves it up.
    – Norcross
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 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
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 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? Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 9:37
  • @PhillHealey this function doesn't contain any data for labeling at all, rather, just the order itself.
    – Norcross
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 13:57

To rename default post type (or any other for that matter) just use filter post_type_labels_{$post_type}. For default post it will be post_type_labels_post. In the code below is the full list of labels (WP 4.7.1). You do not have to change everything.

add_filter( 'post_type_labels_post', 'news_rename_labels' );

* Rename default post type to news
* @param object $labels
* @hooked post_type_labels_post
* @return object $labels
function news_rename_labels( $labels )
    # Labels
    $labels->name = 'News';
    $labels->singular_name = 'News';
    $labels->add_new = 'Add News';
    $labels->add_new_item = 'Add News';
    $labels->edit_item = 'Edit News';
    $labels->new_item = 'New News';
    $labels->view_item = 'View News';
    $labels->view_items = 'View News';
    $labels->search_items = 'Search News';
    $labels->not_found = 'No news found.';
    $labels->not_found_in_trash = 'No news found in Trash.';
    $labels->parent_item_colon = 'Parent news'; // Not for "post"
    $labels->archives = 'News Archives';
    $labels->attributes = 'News Attributes';
    $labels->insert_into_item = 'Insert into news';
    $labels->uploaded_to_this_item = 'Uploaded to this news';
    $labels->featured_image = 'Featured Image';
    $labels->set_featured_image = 'Set featured image';
    $labels->remove_featured_image = 'Remove featured image';
    $labels->use_featured_image = 'Use as featured image';
    $labels->filter_items_list = 'Filter news list';
    $labels->items_list_navigation = 'News list navigation';
    $labels->items_list = 'News list';

    # Menu
    $labels->menu_name = 'News';
    $labels->all_items = 'All News';
    $labels->name_admin_bar = 'News';

    return $labels;

If you want internationalization support, just use __( $text, $textdomain ) like:

$labels->name = __( 'News', 'textdomain' );

I found the filter in function: get_post_type_labels() from a file wp-includes/post.php:

 * Filter the labels of a specific post type.
 * The dynamic portion of the hook name, `$post_type`, refers to
 * the post type slug.
 * @since 3.5.0
 * @see get_post_type_labels() for the full list of labels.
 * @param object $labels Object with labels for the post type as member variables.
$labels = apply_filters( "post_type_labels_{$post_type}", $labels );
  • 4
    Norcross's answer may have been the best at the time it was written, but this is a far cleaner approach that uses a native filter to accomplish the same outcome.
    – Ryan
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 17:18
  • 3
    Having written the original, I agree this filter is much better.
    – Norcross
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 0:49

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


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.

  • 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
    Commented Feb 12, 2011 at 20:11
  • No problem Ross, I am going to look into it anyway. Thanks
    – Adam
    Commented Feb 13, 2011 at 0:34

Norcross's example above is right on, but I needed the possibility of internationalization. If I had the reputation, this would be a comment under Norcross's answer, but since I don't, i'll just put the modified code here. 'i18n_context' is an arbitrary namespace for the translation context, this could be the name of your plugin or theme for example.

function change_post_menu_label() {
  global $menu;
  global $submenu;
  $menu[5][0] = __('Contacts', 'i18n_context');
  $submenu['edit.php'][5][0] = __('Contacts', 'i18n_context');
  $submenu['edit.php'][10][0] = __('Add Contacts', 'i18n_context');
  $submenu['edit.php'][15][0] = __('Status', 'i18n_context'); // Change name for categories
  $submenu['edit.php'][16][0] = __('Labels', 'i18n_context'); // Change name for tags
  echo '';

function change_post_object_label() {
  global $wp_post_types;
  $labels = &$wp_post_types['post']->labels;
  $labels->name = __('Contacts', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->singular_name = __('Contact', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->add_new = __('Add Contact', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->add_new_item = __('Add Contact', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->edit_item = __('Edit Contacts', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->new_item = __('Contact', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->view_item = __('View Contact', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->search_items = __('Search Contacts', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->not_found = __('No Contacts found', 'i18n_context');
  $labels->not_found_in_trash = __('No Contacts found in Trash', 'i18n_context');
add_action( 'init', 'change_post_object_label' );
add_action( 'admin_menu', 'change_post_menu_label' );
  • Why didn't you suggest an edit to the other answer?
    – fuxia
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 8:35
  • well i can't comment yet... also i thought a cut and paste could be useful in the case Norcross does want to edit it.
    – nimmolo
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 10:16

I know I'm kinda late to this party but I feel there is an issue with this approach that needs to be spoken.

When any of the above codes are used together with WP 6.4.2, the title field disappears in the block editor when in edit mode, making it impossible to change or even see.

Since no one mentions this in the older posts above I figure this is either a problem of mine or something changed in Wordpress after the introduction of the block editor.

Can someone please clarify if this is an actual problem now or I have some other issue causing this?

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