How to Customize Your WordPress Administration Area

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems out there. Thousands of bloggers use WordPress to power their blogs, websites, forums and other online publications. The best thing regarding WordPress is it’s rich inventory of useful plugins – there are different types of plugins available for customizing your requirements.

Do you know that the WordPress administration area can be customized according to your needs? You can hide the features you never use, change the logo in your WordPress login screen and do a lot more creative things right inside your WordPress blog’s backend.

There are some advantages of customizing WordPress’s admin section. First, you can remove the features that are not at all required and get rid of unnecessary UI clutter. Second, you can handle permissions and access of sections more easily, if you have more than one user associated with the blog (multi-authored blogs are a good example).

Here are some useful WordPress plugins which can be used to customize your WordPress’s blog’s backend:

The problem with WordPress’s default navigation structure is that the links are not quickly accessible. You have to click through the small arrow beside each section to expand it and then click the link of the page you want to go to.

If you prefer simple things and want a minimalist navigation in WordPress admin area, install the Ozh Admin menu WordPress plugin. This plugin changes WordPress navigation structure such that all admin links are available in a neat horizontal drop down menu. Saves a lot of screen space !

ozh Admin Menu WordPress Plugin for Better Navigation

If you are the administrator of a multi-authored blog, there are some sections which you may want to hide from specific users or authors. For example: You might want to hide the Post URL slug in the Write Post panel for all authors. The Adminimize plugin let’s you completely customize which sections, widgets and panels are available to specific users of your blog.

Adminimize Plugin Options - Hide panels from specific users

There are 5 different roles available e.g Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber. You can select the required checkbox against any link of the WordPress admin area and choose to hide or show it to that specific user role. Should you create new roles later, the selection checkbox for that specific user role will appear in the Adminimize option panel.

Overall, this is a great plugin to customize which functions are available to different users of your blog.

Admin Quick Menu

The Admin Quick Menu plugin lets you add external links within your WordPress dashboard. You can define a set of custom URL’s which you want to access without having to leave your WordPress blog’s backend. Typical examples may be Google Analytics, Google Webmaster tools, Feedburner, Twitter and so on.

Wordpress admin Menu Settings

The best thing regarding this plugin is that you can choose which user levels have the ability to access the custom external links. For example: You can choose to let only the administrator have access to the external links, pretty handy when you want to keep an eye on external services directly within your WordPress administration area.

The Pre publish reminder plugin adds a sleek reminder column in WordPress “Write Post” panel. This can be used to notify blog authors about important points, notes that they should follow before publishing an article. You can always edit the reminders and format the reminders from “Manage reminders” section of WordPress admin area

Pre Publish Reminders in WordPress

The first thing which users notice after logging in to WordPress admin area are the dashboard widgets. Although, a user can hide a widget from “Screen options” but you can use the following functions to completely remove dashboard widgets within WordPress admin area:

function remove_dashboard_widgets(){
global$wp_meta_boxes;
unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_plugins']);
unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_recent_comments']);
unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_primary']);
unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_incoming_links']);
unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_right_now']);
unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_secondary']);
}
add_action('wp_dashboard_setup', 'remove_dashboard_widgets');

Just paste the above code in your theme’s function.php file and the dashboard widgets will be hidden from all users of your blog. You can refer to WordPress’s official documentation article for more information.

If you want more branding options, it’s a good idea to replace the WordPress logo with a custom logo of your site. Simply paste the following code in your theme’s functions.php file:

add_action('admin_head', 'my_custom_logo');
 
function my_custom_logo() {
echo '<style type="text/css">;
#header-logo { background-image:url('.get_bloginfo('template_directory').'/images/custom-logo.gif)!important; }
</style>';
}

Remember to save your custom logo image in the theme’s image folder e.g wp-content/themes/theme-name/images and name it it custom-logo.gif.

Further reading on WordPress customizations:

Do let us know your favorite WordPress admin customization in the comments section.

Image credit: [lee]