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You may wish to customise the WordPress admin dashboard for many reasons such as for clients to match their web site, if you are providing WordPress as a service (SAAS), to hide the fact the site is running on WordPress or maybe just because you like hacking interfaces. In this article we will discuss methods and plugins that will help you customize and brand the login area, the admin area itself and the admin bar. This post was inspired by Noel Tock‘s HappyTables which has a lovely-looking branded admin area.

Customizing the Login Page

My Brand Login

My Brand Login is a WordPress Plugin that lets you create a custom Log in, Register and Lost Password Page with ease. You don’t need to know any code. Features :

  • Add Image/Color Backgrounds.
  • Add Login Form Background Image/Color.
  • Change the Login Font Color.
  • Replace the WordPress Logo on the Login + Admin/User Pannel
  • Redirects the Login Logo to Your Websites URL
  • Uses jQuery Fade Features (custom) For a Unique Touch.

My Brand Login »

WP Login

The WP Login allows a user to create a custom login page or insert the default login form into the currently activated theme. It includes the ability to upload a custom logo, change the colors, disable elements, and it contains a theme editor specifically for the login form. This theme editor gives maximum control over the login form while still maintaining the default WordPress functionality such as login validation.

WP Login »

Uber Login Logo

Uber Login Logo is a simple plugin I made so that I could customise the login screen on my own website by utilising in-built WordPress functions and the WordPress media uploader. Considering all the bloated plugins and resource intensive implementations floating around, I thought this lightweight codebase and clean UI could be of similar benefit to other WordPress users/developers. Don’t expect too many fancy bells and whistles, this plugin does one thing, and does it well.

My Brand Login »

Custom Login Logo Lite

This plugin is intended to allow you to change your login logo easily. You just need to upload it to any place and tell the system where it is. It differs from other plugins in its options and weight. It is intended to be lite and only change the logo.

Custom Login Logo Lite »

Login Logo

This plugin allows you to customize the logo on the WordPress login screen. There is zero configuration. You just drop the logo file into your WordPress content directory, named login-logo.png and this plugin takes over.

Login Logo »

Memphis WordPress Custom Login

A simple way to control your WordPress Login Page. After installation goto the ‘Tools’ menu on the dashboard to customize your Login Page. You have the ability to change the look and feel of your WordPress blog, giving the login screen more of a personal touch. Features include:

  • Google Analytics Support for all page of your site including or not including login, admin and pages
  • Password Protected Blog
  • Custom Redirect after login
  • Full customizable Login Screen, with the ability to
  • Add Custom Logo
  • Change Background Colour
  • Change Text color
  • Change Link colours
  • Change Form Form background color, border color, border radius, shadow and more….
  • Hide Messaging
  • Hide back to blog link
  • hide register link/ forgot password link

Memphis WordPress Custom Login »

BuddyPress Sliding Login Panel

BuddyPress Sliding Login Panel delivers a fancy, smooth AJAX login experience for BuddyPress users. It also includes an account center with a full user menu.

BuddyPress Sliding Login Panel »

Customizing the Admin Area

Creating Admin Themes

WordPress’ flexible nature allows for almost every part of it to be easily changed. Creating a custom WordPress Admin Panel Theme is no different. There are essentially two ways of making a WordPress Admin theme: with a Plugin or by simply changing the CSS. The Plugin method is the easier of the two methods, allowing you to install WordPress Admin Themes quickly and easily. You literally “plug it in” and it works.

Creating Admin Themes »

AG Custom Admin

With this plugin you can hide or change unwanted items in admin and login pages (like admin bar or footer text, remove Screen options, Help options or Favorites dropdown menu etc). You can also completely change or hide buttons from admin menu, or add new customized buttons. With Colorizer you can completely customize background and text colors in admin and login page.

AG Custom Admin »

Custom Admin Branding

The Custom Admin Branding Plugin allows you to brand and customize the WordPress administration area for clients or for personal use. You can display custom images and styles for the login screen, admin header and footer.

Custom Admin Branding »

Easy Admin Color Schemes

The Easy Admin Color Schemes plugin allows users to easily customize the colors of the administration interface for WordPress. It works by adding a new interface to the WordPress admin that allows you to add, edit, import, and export custom admin color schemes. Without the plugin you would need to know how to create your own WordPress plugins or customize WordPress code in order to add your own custom admin color schemes.

Easy Admin Color Schemes »

Fluency Admin

Fluency Admin give the WordPress admin interface a boost, with a new style and some cool features. Features:

  • Stylish dark-on-light colours
  • Hover activated sub-menus
  • Custom colour schemes
  • Customise WordPress with your logo
  • Access menus using ‘hot keys’

Fluency Admin »

Custom Dashboard Widget

This is a simple WordPress plugin that I wrote which will enable you to add a widget to your admin dashboard and display any custom HTML content you provide it. I like to put my phpMyAdmin and Webmail links here for easy access. The plugin is designed to be extremely simple to use.

My Brand Login »

Admin Customization

Admin Customization allows you to change the appearance of your WordPress backend. The plugin allows you to:

  • change the backend favicon.
  • change the backend logo.
  • hide the admin logo text and / or logo image.
  • change the logo text font size.
  • change the login page logo with a logo of any width.
  • change the admin footer text.
  • disable dashboard widgets.
  • hide update notices and plugin update count.
  • turn on redirection to homepage on administration panels logout.

Admin Customization  »

Custom Welcome Messages

This plugin will allow you to add a custom welcome message to your login/register screens. It will also allow you to add a separate custom message for your logout screen. The admin page allows you to add HTML code into the message boxes, so you can include images, links, videos, or any other HTML code.

Custom Welcome Messages »

Customizing the Admin Bar

WP Custom Admin Bar

A really simple and easy to use plugin to help gain control of the new Admin Bar. This gives you options to change who sees the Admin Bar based on their user role, change or override the default styling or remove the Admin Bar altogether. It adds a menu to the Admin Bar which gives you the ability to disable it on a single page or sitewide for a single browser session.

WP Custom Admin Bar »

Custom Admin Bar

Easily add your own link or logo to the WordPress Admin Bar. Then highlight important links for your users through a simple drop-down menu. The drag-and-drop ordering makes it easy to create a unique list of important links for your site.

Custom Admin Bar »


Author:

Oliver Dale is the founder of Kooc Media, a small internet company based in the UK. Kooc Media runs several high-profile websites including WPLift, ThemeFurnace and DesignersTalk.

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21 Comments

  1. vamsi krishna

    My brand login is not working for New wordpress….:(

  2. Lee Rickler

    One plugin that covers a fair few of the above:
    Point and Stare CMS FUnctions plugin:http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/point-and-stare-cms-functions/

  3. Very easy methods of customising wordpress for clients!

  4. I used to do this, I think its most valuable from a brand recognition perspective, where you may have x number of people logging into the website daily. Then it is a good idea. Otherwise, im quite happy with the way WordPress is already.

  5. Dan

    Excellent. Thanks for this. I didn’t know this was possible. The standard WP admin is so boring.

  6. Thanks, interesting   wordpress customizing technique 

  7. Thank you for posting. I am amazed, I didn’t know it was possible.

  8. Thanks for this new update. Very easy to integrate. Effective way to impress clients.

  9. James Bestkreatives

    I like all of the collection thanks

  10. That was a piece of cake

  11. This was exactly what I was looking for — Thanks!

  12. Affordable Web Design

    wow really fantastic post thanks for sharing

  13. Clera

    nice site…really very informative!!!

  14. Great write up – I’d like to put in a vote for the White Label CMS plugin too – yes I’m one of the devs. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/white-label-cms/

  15. Dee

    someone else ‘designed’ a wordpress website and now I simply need to remove the street address in the header…however there is no “Appearance” tab. Where is it? How do I get it back so that I can go in and remove one line of text in the header

  16. Thanks for the list. However I tried hard to find a premium admin theme instead of using the plugins to customize here and there. There was one theme but it only support up to 3.0.1 If you know a premium admin theme that i can just setup with few clicks let me know. I’m looking for a completely customized look and feel like they have in themeforest. But almost all of them are HTML. Not wordpressed.

  17. I’m no longer positive where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or working out more. Thanks for great info I was on the lookout for this information for my mission. by Natasha see my site Joanna

  18. Amazing piece of information, very helpful. Thanks

  19. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I
    think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is
    fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  20. What about “theme my login” plugin.

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