If you are a blogger, you must be familiar with the Admin Dashboard. In fact, the WordPress Admin Dashboard is your Home when it comes to your WordPress site. But, does it really feel like Home? If you are thinking of customising your WordPress Admin Dashboard, we would be helping you in your endeavor. Are you still using the default WordPress Admin Dashboard? Let us list out the ways to customizing WordPress Admin Dashboard. There are several ways to you can change the functionality, themes and other aspects of your Admin Dashboard.
Why would you need customizing WordPress Admin Dashboard?
Good question, actually. Before we embark on our journey to explore the top plugins for customizing WordPress Admin Dashboard, it would be apt to list out the major reasons for customizing the dashboard.
WordPress Admin Dashboard is one of the most important elements of your WordPress backend. Unfortunately, we just pay attention to the front end of the site. We just forget that the backend too needs attention. The dashboard is where all the details of your website reside. It is here that the webmasters take care of the administration needs. So, taking care of the WordPress Admin area is one of the most important considerations you need to take care of.
Some of the reasons that you would want to customize your WordPress Admin Dashboard can be summed up as
- Enhanced Security – Customizing the admin dashboard will help you build an extra layer of security to your site. Changed settings will make it difficult for the hackers to gain entry into your backend.
- Added Functionality – You have several plugins to customize WordPress Admin Dashboard that will let you change, remove or add different elements into your admin area. These changes are bound to improve your workflow.
- Improved Appearance – Your WordPress Admin dashboard will look good from an aesthetics point of view. Though it may not be something important from productivity sense, yet it gives a pleasant feeling.
WordPress has several plugins that would help you customize your Admin area. You should get a host of plugins in the plugins repository on WordPress. We have handpicked a few of them for letting you familiarise with the concept and usability of these plugins.
We would concentrate on those plugins that would help you customizing WordPress Admin area of your WordPress installation.
#1. Admin Bar Button
Admin Bar Button is a plugin that hides your Admin Area from the active dashboard. The entire area on your screen will be dominated by your site content.
To display the admin bar, you will either need to click on or hover over the Admin Bar Button. The plugin is available in the Plugin repository of WordPress. You just need to install the plugin and activate it. There is no further user intervention needed.
The Plugin simplifies the admin target bar. The plugin will turn the bar into a button. You can configure the behaviour of the button through Settings -> Admin Bar Button. The most important functionality of the plugin is it gives a cleaner look to your dashboard.
However, you can customise the text, the color, and other aspects through settings. The Plugin is quite easy to set up and should easily be restored to your default settings if you are not happy with the plugin.
Admin Color Schemer is the best ever plugin that can be used to customize WordPress Admin Plugin. It lets you create and preview different color schemes for your needs.
In fact, the plugin has brought up a new look to the dashboard with the version 3.8. The dashboard is designed through SCSS. However, not all of us are familiar with SCSS. Admin Color Schemer is the perfect plugins for those who would love to automate the color schemes.
The plugin comes with over 30 different options for editing your color schemes for the Admin area. Admin Color Schemer can be a perfect option if you are building your website for the third party clients. You can match their product colors so as to provide a personalized experience.
You can install the plugin from WordPress Plugin Repository. However, a word of caution – the plugin has not been updated since long. If you are using the latest versions of WordPress, it may have compatibility issues. We are not sure of whether the plugin is still maintained or supported.
#3. Admin Columns
Admin Columns on your Dashboard may be too distracting. Gathering the required information without being too cluttery is made easy by this plugin.
The Admin Columns Plugin helps you manage and organize the columns in your posts, users, comments and media lists. By default, WordPress lists the tables thereby giving you an overview of the information about your site. You can use Admin Columns Plugin to customise them further. It lets you manage the columns that are displayed in each of these overviews. You can add the needed ones while removing the unneeded columns.
Admin Columns supports all kinds of taxonomies. It can help you out with the overview of blog posts, pages, categories, tags, users, comments, and media. If you want to have complete control over the displayed items, this is your best bet.
Admin columns plugin improves the WordPress installation in a lot of respects. They have an excellent support mechanism that should let you use it effectively on any kind of site – whether you are running a regular blog or a full fledged business website.
WordPress Admin dashboard is quite functional and easy to use. However, it does come with a few inherent shortcomings. Admin Management Xtended attempts to sort out some of them.
Managing and editing your posts is rendered easy through Admin Management Xtended Plugin. It adds up a few additional features to your Posts and Pages Management. These additional settings let you edit, delete, comment and show or hide content. And yes, the changes you make to the pages or the posts will be updated through AJAX and as such you do not need to wait for the page to reload for the changes to take effect.
The plugin works faster enough. You can perform a huge list of tasks quite easily. And the list includes changing author title, toggling comments on or off and editing categories.
It improves your productivity by adding icons to your posts/pages management panel. That way you do not need to open the entire post to edit it. The Plugin is available under GPL license and can be used for free.
As the name itself should indicate, Admin Menu Editor lets you edit the Admin Dashboard menu. It lets you customise the Admin Menu completely to suit your needs. This is your best way to customizing WordPress Admin area.
This should be an extremely useful plugin to unclutter your Admin area. If you have installed a few plugins to your WordPress installation, we are sure your admin area has been nothing less than a mess. While a few Plugin developers add the settings for their plugins within the tools menu, most of them are not considerate enough. In such a scenario, you will have a lot of items added to your Menu in the admin area.
Admin Menu Editor should help you in clearing up the clutter. You can reorder the menu structure or create a few new sub menu structures so that you can tuck away several settings under one head.
The Pro version lets you assign per role configuration while the free version does not have the provision. It is a simple, yet effective means of organizing your Menu area.
#6. Admin Tweaks
The plugins above offer you a nice degree of customisation in your Admin Area. However, if you are still longing for more and looking for a high degree customisation, Admin Tweaks is your best choice by any standard.
Admin Tweaks help you achieve what the developer calls Deep Customizations to your admin area. The plugin offers an all round customisation of your WordPress backend. It has over 80 different tweaks that would make working with your WordPress installation a breezy affair.
Incidentally, the plugin was known before as Many Tips Together. It used to be in the form of snippets that you could install onto your WordPress theme coding. However, with the advent of technology, the snippets were grouped together and developed as a plugin.
This plugin can be best suited for those bloggers or website owners, who have multiple authors on their sites. The site should also suit for those who develop sites for clients.
When you have multiple users in your admin area, the dashboard gets cluttered for most of your users. That is precisely because most of the users on your site do not need access to all those features and menu items. Adminimize helps you hide and remove the unneeded items and menu structures from your admin dashboard based on a user specified criteria.
The plugin is used to change the administrative plugin and thereby gives you control over changing the rights on some parts of the admin area. You, as an Admin, can activate or deactivate some parts or sections of a menu item based on what you would want the particular user to have access to. In fact, the plugin even lets you activate or deactivate items on a sub menu.
The plugin is free of everyone to use, as it has been distributed vide the GPL license. One of the best additions to customizing WordPress Admin dashboard on your WordPress installation.
#8. AG Custom Admin
AG Custom Admin is an all in one tool for everything you want to do with your WordPress Admin area. You can use it to customise a host of aspects on your Admin area including admin panel, login page, admin bar, admin footer, and admin menu.
If you are creating websites for clients, it can be a perfect plugin that would let you provide branding to the admin panel through custom data and images. The plugin lets you use commercial Admin themes as well. AG custom Admin should work on all versions of WordPress. However, if you are using an older version of WordPress, we would advise you to check the version that works with your WordPress installation. You can install an older version of AG Custom Admin that is compatible with your WordPress version.
Some of the customisation options you would get with AG Custom Admin can be summed up as
- Admin Menu/Bar – You can easily change admin bar items or change the color options. You can also brand it with custom colors if you so wish.
- Custom Themes – This is one of the best features that sets it apart.
- Coloriser – This option will let you change the colors of the admin panel. This can help you apply branding to your website.
That is just a representative list of a huge range of features that AG Custom Admin brings at your service.
White labeling your sites is the advantage that AG Custom Admin offers you. White Labelling is a way of branding your websites to suit the requirements of your clients.
#9. Client Dash
This is yet another popular plugin for WordPress Admin area. True to its name, it lets you edit a client’s menu and customise it to you your liking.
You can easily reorder, manage or delete the menu items as per the preferences set by your client. Moreover, you can also use the plugin to customise your WordPress Dashboard. Just change your Widget Manager and check how does the admin area look like. Rearranging the menu items is quite easy with the plugin. If you are a developer yourself, Clent Dash offers a better and higher level of customisation for different aspects of your site.
The plugin is an effective means of customizing WordPress Admin dashboard. If you are a WordPress admin, you would love this plugin that can be used to edit the clients’ menu with ease.
If you are developing sites for clients, this can be the best plugin you can opt for. Your clients would be able to get a cleaner and well-organized Dashboard. In fact, the plugin can be the best way to attract and retain clients. It can indeed go a long way in improving the user experience for the clients.
As you might have guessed it right, Custom Dashboard Widget lets you customise your widgets to something that you would like to see on your dashboard. You can remove default widgets and replace them with custom widgets.
What makes it an awesome plugin is the fact that it is easy to use. In addition to the better functionality, it also adds up aesthetics to your Admin Dashboard. The widget pack consists of all the widgets that would come with a WordPress installation. You can add up the additional widgets, or remove a few of them if you do not want to see them in Admin area. Adding different links is quite easy.
You can add your own icons to the widgets you have added to the menu. Adding and deleting the widgets and links is quite handy. Another added advantage is it will allow you to add different links to different users. The Plugin has a Multilingual support as well. The plugin is indeed the best for customizing your WordPress Admin dashboard.
#11. Dashboard Notes
If you are working with multiple users on a website, this can be a good plugin for making notes. In fact, the plugin can be considered to be a note taking app for your WordPress Dashboard.
In essence, Dashboard Notes helps you make notes of anything that comes up in your mind, right on your dashboard. Some of the added advantages of the plugin include the option to add colored notes, public or private notes, or sticky notes with ease. The notes can be edited right on the dashboard. There is practically no limit on adding notes to the dashboard.
It may not be tough in any way to create a note. Just go to Appearance -> Widgets and create a note with ease. The notes created have a great looking appearance.
A WordPress blog has two types of widgets. Website Widgets can be added throughAppearance. If, however, you want to add a widget to the dashboard, you may need to use a dedicated plugin for the purpose.
That is precisely what a Dashboard Widget Sidebar does. You can use the plugin to enable the regular widgets that you want to be shown on your dashboard. You should be able to add any widget to your dashboard with simple steps. The Plugin offers you a drag and drop functionality.
A word of caution would be essential here. The Plugin does not seem to have been updated for over two years. You may have some compatibility issues with your WordPress installation. However, the plugin will continue to work with older WordPress versions.
If you are using a website with high end customisation, you may need to load the page editor each time you want to check the template that a page is using. Page Template Dashboard helps you in this scenario.
Yes, you do not need to load the page editor anymore. The Page Template Dashboard is the simple plugin that lets you check out the template that each of the pages is using. The plugin displays the template file used for the page under consideration. If the page has no template assigned to it, the page will be rendered in the default template.
The Plugin is much useful for the developers who need to keep track of their templates. Though it comes with a single application – it offers a valuable functionality to your website. Page Template Dashboard is completely free to use and is updated on a regular basis.
In fact, it can come quite handy when you have a page that has a template no more available in the current theme. Moreover, it has multilingual functionality that makes it suitable for international usage.
Well, as you have guessed it right. The plugin is a way to limit access to the dashboard based on several scenarios and user specifications.
Remove Dashboard Access is the best option if you want to control the access to your dashboard for the non-administrative users. You can install the plugin if you are of the opinion that the user access should not be given to all clients. There are several options that the plugin offers you – Admin Only, Admin and Editors, Admin and Authors or several other such combinations. The plugin lets you designate your own redirect URL.You can use the
You can use the plugin to grant partial access to the users to the dashboard or even decide to give no access at all to some users. Do whatever you want to, it would be your call.
Apart from different scenarios mentioned above, you can also allow access to your dashboard based on capability. In fact, the plugin is under ongoing development on GitHub. You can place your recommendations and requests for improvement.
#15. Simple History
Simple History is a WordPress Plugin that shows up the history. Maybe it does not add any outstanding functionality to your WordPress dashboard, even then, it is helpful nevertheless.
Why? Because it makes your task easier. The Plugin shows up the recent changes made to the site right on the dashboard. Simple History works as a log/history or version history of all the important actions that happen within your WordPress installation. You can add the widget to your dashboard and get complete information whenever a user updates or adds a post. The plugin can also alert you when new images are uploaded to the media gallery.
The plugin works with almost all the changes on posts and pages, attachments, comments, widgets, plugins and user profiles. Simple History does support a host of third party plugins. Any changes done to these plugins is immediately brought to your attention. Some of the plugins supported include User Switching, Redirection, Duplicate Post and Limit Login Attempts.
#16. WP Help
If you are not aware of the finer things in WordPress, but still using WordPress – this would be the best plugin that you can go for. The WP Help is a plugin that helps you learn more about WordPress.
The WordPress Plugin adds a new menu item just below your Dashboard menu. The Help sections have complete details on WordPress and other aspects of its backend functionality. The tutorials are arranged in a hierarchical order. In fact, you can create help files for your clients, editors, authors, and anyone associated with your WordPress site.
The plugin is best suited for the sites with customised clients. You can use it to offer customised tutorials to your clients and other users on your site. Customizing WordPress Admin area is quite simplified through WP Help plugin.
The Final Thoughts
Those were our top picks for the plugins for customizing WordPress Admin Dashboard. In fact, no matter what kind of changes to your WordPress dashboard that you are looking forward to, there is a plugin for almost all those requirements. Actually, the plugins can help you in more ways than one. Some of the areas that these plugins can be helpful include getting rid of malicious codes, having a restricted access to the sites or some of the features, or managing multi authored sites.
We are sure the plugins featured above have been useful for you in customizing the WordPress Admin Dashboard for your sites. If you have used any of the plugins we have featured in this article, you can share your experiences with us through the comments section here below. If you have any of your favourite WordPress plugin that you think should be on the list, you can share them as well. We do look forward to your feedback.