Proposal: Making the relationship between pages and menus clearer [Update]

A common issue I encountered when I freelanced was a disconnect clients experienced when customizing menus. They would add a page, it would show up in the menu, they would delete the page, it wouldn’t disappear from the menu. My hypothesis is that this page/menu relationship can be clarified and improved by merging the Pages and Appearance > Menus section into one, then testing configurations of this thoroughly.

See also mockups by myself and Shaun Andrews.

Update: Please see new mockups based on feedback.


  • How does this scale to hundreds of pages/menu items?
  • How can it be made clearer that you can also add links or categories to a menu?
  • If we are able to merge, how do we best communicate the change in the admin-sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme., a pointer?
  • What happens if a theme doesn’t use menus at all?
  • Are there other ways to improve the relationship between pages & menus, without merging the two sections into one?


Pages arguably do more than any other feature to make WordPress viable as a CMS, especially when combined with a static frontpage and a customized menu. Having to visit three disparate admin locations to set this up, however, is not necessarily intuitive. While the scope of this project is to simply merge the two and see if that tests better, if this succeeds it would give us a bunch of future opportunities for iteration, such as:

  • reducing duplicate functionality (no need for a duplicate page-list on the Menus section)
  • revisit the “Page Attributes” box, perhaps subsume it by integrating parent/sort order features directly into the menu management
  • integrate the “static frontpage” feature directly in the page-management section

Please share your ideas, questions and concerns, and let’s discuss whether this is worth moving forward with.

#3-8, #menus