If you are building websites for clients, then something you might want to start doing, or be asked to do, is customize the WordPress admin interface in order to white label the backend of a WordPress site. Today we will take a look at some tools which can help you do this, after we’ve given you some examples of why you might want to do this.
Customizing or white labelling the WordPress admin area often involves removing references to WordPress, editing the default text, reconfiguring the admin menus, and changing the appearance in terms of colours, logos, and icons.
Why Customize the WordPress Admin Pages?
There are a number of reasons why you might want or need to do this, with one popular reason being to improve usability. Although regular WordPress users might consider the user friendliness of the software to be one of key selling points, this isn’t an opinion that is always shared by new users.
It’s difficult to try and experience the admin interface as a new user would, making it easy to overlooking some of the more confusing aspects of the backend. Elements such as the welcome messages, the dashboard widgets, and the many menu options and settings, can all be a distraction and potential source of confusion for new users.
Other reasons for white labelling the admin area include adding your own branding as a designer. This can allow you to put your mark on the site and remind clients that you built their site. By adding links to your online content, you can provide easy access to support material and documentation.
Another scenario where rebranding WordPress, including replacing the default logos, and messages might be a requirement is if a client wants their logos and identity to be featured. This can often be the case when the site is used by multiple authors or users, and the company want to ensure their frontend branding is consistent throughout the admin area of the site.
A final reason might be that you want to make the admin area more useful for yourself or other users. By adding custom dashboard widgets that display helpful notices and links, and removing unused default elements, you can make the admin area a more inviting and useful environment.
Whatever your reason, for rebranding or while labelling the WordPress admin area, there are lots of elements you can change and customise.
What You Can Change
By installing a white label or admin customisation plugin you can make a lot of changes to how the admin area of a WordPress site looks and functions.
One popular procedure that users often undertake when doing this is to remove references to WordPress. If you are building a site for a client, they might not even be aware of what WordPress is, so seeing the term may confuse them.
Another option is to add custom dashboard widgets or remove the defauly existing ones. This can be used to display your details and a link to your design studio or freelance portfolio so you can easily be contacted again.
A further option is to simplify the menus, and remove or restrict access to some of the settings. This could include the ability to change the permalinks structure, or switch themes, which could in effect break the site if misused.
You could also insert links to your own custom support materials which you clients could access when they have problems, rather than contacting you directory in the first instance.
If you are managing the site for a client on an on-going basis, by using a WordPress management service such as ManageWP or MainWP, then you can safely turn off the upgrade notices for the WordPress core and plugins. This allows you to take care of the upgrades remotely, without worrying or concerning your clients.
Some items that can be changed, added, or removed when branding the admin interface:
- WordPress login page logo
- Admin footer text
- Add a custom widget to the dashboard
- Admin custom menus and icons
- WordPress ‘Howdy’ greeting
- Help content
One great idea is to add a custom widget to the admin dashboard that users will see when they log in. If you are building a website for a client, one good example of a practical application of this is to add your contact details to the dashboard via a widget.
By adding a widget like this, clients get easily get in touch with you if they have any future jobs or require additional support.
WordPress White Label and Admin Customization Plugins
Now that you know what you can change and why you might want to, here some are some plugins that allow you to customize the admin area of WordPress.
Modern Admin – Flat WordPress Admin Theme
This is a WordPress admin theme for giving your dashboard area a contemporary makeover. The flat retina-ready design ensures the login pages and admin dashboard has an up to date look that will appeal to clients and co-authors on your site.
As well as coming with five colours schemes, this WordPress admin theme also includes a custom login form, a configurable menu, and a choice of menu items. This all makes this a great choice for anyone who wants to totally change the appearance of the WordPress dashboard and admin pages.
White Label CMS
This free plugin is a great choice for anyone who wants to simplify, brand, and customise the admin area of a WordPress site. Whether you want to restrict access to certain menus and settings, or streamline the interface, White Label CMS can help you out.
One of the great features of this plugin is that it comes with three pre-set CMS profiles: website, blog, or custom. This means you can easily set the White Label CMS plugin to only show the settings and menus appropriate for those types of WordPress installation.
Adding your own branding is straightforward too and will help ensure your clients never forget you.
White Label Branding
This is a premium option for branding the admin area of a WordPress site. This plugin contains all the features you would expect from a tool of this type, plus a whole lot more.
These features include advanced customization of the admin screen colour schemes, the ability to create multiple admin dashboard widgets with custom content and user-group based visibility settings.
White Label Branding also comes with a role and capability manager. This feature allows you to edit the capabilities available to the default user roles in WordPress, and even add some new user roles of your own.
If you’ve ever been frustrated, or found it hard to explain to a client, that a user with the contributor role cannot upload images for their posts, or that a user with the author role can delete or publish their own posts, then the role manager of the White Label Branding will come in handy, especially when handing a site over to a client.
This is a feature packed plugin that is ideal for anyone who wants total control over how users interact with the admin area of a WordPress site and what capabilities each role has access to.
This premium plugin from WPMU Dev is available on its own for $19 or as a package with over 350 plugins and themes for just $39 a month.
Pricing aside however, Ultimate Branding is a great plugin. It allows you to change the WordPress default branding options for your site, or those you are creating for clients.
This allows you to remove any references to the platform, and replace them with your own choice of text, logos, and widgets, plus a lot more. There is no need to edit any of the WordPress code in order to make your changes once this plugin is installed on your site.
As you can see there are many reasons why you might want to customize or white label the WordPress admin area and dashboard. There are plenty of good tools out there too, both free and premium, which can make it easy to do so.