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WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook by Yannick Lefebvre

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Formatting admin pages using meta boxes

As a plugin's administration page becomes longer and more complex, it becomes very important to divide its contents into multiple sections. While standard HTML headers or fieldset tags could be used for this task, they lack the usefulness and nice visual appearance of meta boxes. Meta boxes are the containers that show up in most default WordPress content editors, as well as on the main administration Dashboard page.

Beyond visually organizing content, meta boxes are very powerful since they allow site administrators to collapse configuration sections that they don't use, re-order sections based on their needs, and even hide elements that they don't use.

This recipe explains how to convert the HTML-based ...

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