The WordPress administration area (aka the Dashboard) can be customized in a number of ways. Menu items can be added, hidden or rearranged. Access to settings can be set for specific user roles. Custom widgets can be added to help guide or pass important information on to users.
No matter what kind of tweaks you’re looking to make, there is most likely a WordPress plugin available to make it a reality. Let’s explore 10 WordPress plugins you can use to personalize the Dashboard to meet your needs.
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When handing off a WordPress site to a client, it’s a nice touch to add your company contact information to the dashboard. That’s exactly what Custom Dashboard Widget & Dashboard Contact Form does.
Add content to a custom widget via a WYSIWYG editor and then enter a contact email address. From there, the widget (with a simple contact form) can be displayed on the dashboard home page.
Adminimize is one of those plugins I find myself recommending again and again. Why? This plugin helps clean up the mess that is the WordPress admin menu. Plus it’s incredibly easy to use. You can hide items based on a user’s role – so it’s great for multi-author websites. It’s good for both security and ease of use.
Admin Tweaks is meant for those looking for an easy way to customize various areas of the dashboard. You can hide/remove/change items listed in the admin bar, menu, user profile, login screen and general WordPress settings.
Customize the rows and columns shown in posts, pages and media. The ability to tweak just about anything you want is found here in one single plugin.
Admin Columns is a commercial plugin (with a free version) that enables to you add custom columns to page /post listings and more.
There are over 160 columns to choose from. For example, you can easily add a featured image column to the post listing. Not only can you display various columns, you can sort and filter posts by them as well. It works with all content types and can integrate with lots of plugins, including Advanced Custom Fields and WooCommerce.
Simple History doesn’t add some major functionality to the WordPress dashboard. But it sure is helpful. A widget is added to the dashboard home page that shows you which users recently added or updated posts, when a widget has been added or removed or even uploaded an image to the Media Gallery.
It also tracks things like plugin activations, user profile updates, logins and more. Very useful for administrators who want to stay on top of whom is doing what.
While somewhat similar to Adminimize, Admin Menu Editor Pro does have some unique features worth checking out. For instance, not only can you hide dashboard menu items in general or by user role, you can create your own items as well.
Those custom menu items can point to any internal or external URL. The plugin also lets you move individual items to different submenus, change titles and even icons. A free version is also available.
The WordPress dashboard can get a little cluttered. Custom Dashboard Widgets helps alleviate some of that clutter by allowing you to replace all the standard home page widgets with simpler versions.
Consisting of a label and a FontAwesome icon, each widget can be displayed or hidden based on a user’s role. You can also add your own custom links as well.
When you’re working on a website with a highly-customized theme, it’s good to know which template a particular page is using. While you can click into the page editor to find out, Page Template Dashboard is a much more convenient solution. It displays the template file used for each page as a column in the page listing. A real timesaver on large sites.
Ultimate Dashboard Pro lets you take control of the WordPress dashboard homepage. You can easily disable any and all default widgets, as well as those from third-parties. Create your own simplified widgets with either text-only or icon-based options. The plugin is compatible with WordPress Multisite. A free version is also available.
A seemingly ignored part of WordPress is the cumbersome approach to managing large amounts of pages or posts. Nested Pages is a plugin that aims to fix this by turning listings into interactive tree-style menus.
It also allows you to add pages in bulk, right from within the page listing. The slick drag-and-drop interface helps to make repositioning content less stressful. A native WordPress menu is also created and updated to match your nested structure.
Make it Your Dashboard
The main idea behind tweaking the WordPress administration area is to improve your workflow. By adding helpful information and streamlining what gets displayed (and to whom it’s displayed), we’re making site management that much easier. The plugins above feature creative and practical ideas for lessening the learning curve for new users and saving administrators loads of time.
If these plugins don’t help, you could try these 20 Snippets & Hacks to Help Make WordPress Easier for Your Clients.