Customizing the WordPress Admin Panel
Posted on March 12, 2010 in Wordpress
If you’re creating a website for a client you will normally find they don’t want to learn how to use everything in the WordPress admin panel. They probably hired you so that they didn’t have to learn loads of new stuff and I’m sure what they wanted was a simple admin panel that made updating their site easy.
Unfortunately, as brilliant as WordPress is, if you simply gave them a login and left them to it the chances are they’d look at the admin panel, get scared and never go there again, or start changing all of the settings until they broke something. Luckily, there are a ton of different ways we can modify the WordPress admin panel to make it quicker and easier for our clients to use.
Hiding stuff they don’t need
This one is obvious, if they can’t see a button to click, then they can’t click it! I normally hide things to do with automated site backups (which you should be doing on all of your sites!), settings (for the site and plugins) etc. Basically stuff they wouldn’t normally need to use.
For this I use WPLite. Once installed WPLite gives you a list of all the options on the left menu in WordPress with a checkbox next to it. Simply select the ones you want to hide from the menu and that’s it! There is no editing any of WPs files and if in the future they need to see an option that they currently can’t, it’s as simple as logging in and changing some options.
Just don’t forget not to hide the WPLite link from yourself! There is an option to show everything to admin users so it’s advisable to do that and set yourself up as admin and the other users as something else if possible.
A similar plugin to this that I haven’t tested is the Hide Admin Panels plugin which says it will let you hide certain admin options from specific users. This could come in very hand for some sites.
Everybody wants to know how much traffic they’re getting on their new website but giving a user some login credentials and a link to update their website and then some more credentials and another link for their web statistics can be a little overwhelming for them. Luckily there is a nice plugin for WordPress that allows you to easily integrate Google Analytics into the WordPress dashboard. No more links, no more login details, it just works! Have a look at Google Analyticator.
Custom WordPress Option Panels
If you’ve made a custom theme for a client. It might be a good idea to add some custom options to that theme to make it a better fit for the users. I wrote a post a little while back on Custom WordPress Option Panels that rounded up some tutorials.