WordPress is pretty easy to use and customize, what with all the themes and plugins and widgets available at one’s fingertips. But is that all? What about the admin interface? How customizable is that?
A lot actually. WordPress admin interface, known around the web for its user friendliness can also be customized to fit your specifications and that too without a single line of code. By customizing your WordPress admin dashboard you can streamline your workflow and eliminate the tabs for those settings that you rarely (if ever) use at all.
In order to customize your dashboard/ WordPress admin interface/ or WordPress backend (all these terms can be used interchangeably), all you need is to go through the following guide.
Here’s how to personalize and customize your WordPress admin dashboard:
1. Picking out Menus
It’s highly unlikely that the average Joe who is the administrator of a business website on WordPress (that’s not related to web development) will have need or knowledge required to use some of the more advanced settings available in the WordPress admin dashboard. In order to remove those from the admin screen, all you need to do is go to the ‘Screen Options’ (on the top right side of your screen) and remove all the menus that you or your client/ intended admin is not going to use.
This brings you to a drop down menu which lists all the configuration control screens that can be accessed through the admin dashboard – tags and categories screen, comment moderation screen, permalinks and other SEO related settings, post formats, and many more. You can enable or disable appearance of any of these on the admin dashboard by selecting or unselecting them. Don’t worry, it’s a reversible process.
2. Organizing tabs
A truly personalized WordPress backend will have the settings tabs ordered in a way that makes sense to you or your client and is ordered in way that reflects that. To order your selected settings on the admin panel, all you need to do is drag and drop the items in the intended order.
3. Comment Count
A WordPress website or blog which has an active and/or opinionated readership along with a healthy (or just plain chaotic) comment section will need a way to moderate comments quickly in real time to keep things interesting. To make it happen, you can increase the number of comments per screen that are visible at a time in the comment moderation section of your WordPress admin dashboard.
To increase the number of comments from the default 20 per screen, go to Screen options and then to comments page; click on Author, click on In response to, and edit the number of items per page to the amount of comments per screen that you want and can handle in your moderation queue.
4. User Roles and Capabilities (Access Control)
WordPress user hierarchy is an easy to understand and comprehensive way to control who sees and does what on your WordPress website/ multisite network. For instance, users with ‘contributor’ role can add comments but can’t publish. ‘Admin’ role can see and do everything, from installing new plugins and themes to removing capabilities and stripping roles from users, and make other global site changes, etc.
Make sure to install the User role plugin to be able to easily edit and customize the various user roles and their capabilities from WordPress default to your specifications.
5. WordPress Admin Dashboard Customization Plugins
Where there is a need (pick a need, any need), there is a plugin on WordPress. Dashboard customization is not exempt from that statement. Here are some plugins you can check out for yourself, picked from WordPress.org Plugin Repository:
R3DF Dashboard Language Switcher
This free, simple plugin will let others who can access WordPress dashboard to switch the interface into a language of their choice. The plugin is multi site compatible and simply adds a language switching toolbar to the dashboard, login pages, and individual user profile pages as well.
Once you have added the translations manually for WordPress core (available in General Site settings section) and have similarly translated themes and plugins, the R3DF plugin will make switching easier. The plugin itself does not translate anything, keep in mind.
Mojo Admin Toolbox
This is another free plugin that will let you customize your WordPress admin dashboard features like hiding the comments (and the queues that may baffle novice clients), login page logo customization (with a URL), add or remove the dashboard widgets for selected or all users, hide certain settings (theme/ plugins/ etc.) from specific users, customize dashboard footers, etc.
WPBizPlugins Custom Admin Help Boxes
This plugin is intended for freelance theme developers/ WordPress customization service providers and such. The plugin will let your content team create a specific set of instructions for each WordPress admin by letting them edit the default instructions and helpbox text. You can also add custom tutorials and help material along with images, videos, lightbox, etc., and display links to support forum and contact info for premium support.