How To: Customize and Whitelabel the WordPress Admin Dashboard
If you’re using WordPress as your CMS of choice when building websites for clients, customizing or white labeling the WordPress admin dashboard is an essential element of getting ready to turn over the website to your client.
See, you already put in the hard work to give your client a fully customized front-end website. Why not apply a little bit of effort to the WordPress dashboard to give your client a fully customized experience?
White labeling the WordPress admin area is surprisingly simple to do and will make your clients:
- Feel like they’re getting a truly customized website
- Have an easier time using the WordPress interface because extraneous options are removed
But you probably don’t want to add hours to your docket just to white label the WordPress admin. So to help save you some time, I’m going to spend this post discussing some of the plugins you can use to white label the WordPress dashboard for your clients (or your own projects) without needing to code up something from scratch.
What All Can You Change About the WordPress Dashboard?
What do I mean by white labeling the WordPress dashboard? And how much control do you actually have over how the dashboard looks?
Basically, you’ll want to do four things:
- Add custom branding like colors and logos
- Remove unnecessary references to WordPress
- Add custom dashboard widgets, footers, or menu items
- Remove or hide extraneous menu items
So a common approach might be to add your client’s logo inside the dashboard, add some custom dashboard widgets with links to support resources, and then hide complex menu items like the WordPress Tools tab and others.
Additionally, you’ll also want to extend these customizations to the WordPress login page to provide a fully branded experience.
In the following sections, I’ll dig into plugins that can help you make all of these white label tweaks.
WordPress White Label and Admin Customization Plugins
While you can tweak the WordPress admin dashboard manually, it’s probably not a process you want to go through for every single client. So, if you want to speed up your development process, or if you’re trying to customize your own site, these plugins offer ready-made solutions to white label the WordPress dashboard.
Tesla Login Customizer
Let’s start with the entrance to the WordPress dashboard:
The WordPress login page.
As you’re probably well aware, the default WordPress login page is about as far from white labeling as you can get. It includes a prominent WordPress logo as well as a direct link to WordPress.org. Not great if you’re trying to create a custom experience!
- Quickly reskin the login page with pre-made templates
- Change font sizes and colors
- Add a custom logo
- Change background colors or images
- Add CAPTCHA
And you can even redirect users after they log in, which is a powerful feature that’s usually locked behind premium plugins.
While there are plenty of plugins to help you customize the WordPress login page, Tesla Login Customizer is a great option specifically because of the pre-made templates. Those templates offer the quickest way to radically redesign the WordPress login page for you or your clients.
WPShapere – WordPress Admin Theme
While it’s called an admin theme, WPShapere is actually a plugin.
It aims to be one-stop shopping for white labeling the WordPress admin. To that end, here’s everything it helps you do:
- Choose from 16+ admin themes or manually customize with unlimited colors
- Add a custom logo to the WordPress dashboard in the top left corner
- Rearrange and/or hide items from the dashboard sidebar menu
- Add custom labels and icons
- Manage the floating admin bar
- Add custom dashboard widgets
- Customize the WordPress login page
Best of all? You can make all of these tweaks without needing to know a single line of code.
WPShapere is an awesome solution because it puts everything into one neat package. And I’m definitely not the only person who’s a fan – WPShapere boasts an impressive 4.73-star rating on its 1,600+ sales at Code Canyon.
WPShapere is not free, unfortunately. But it’s still pretty dang affordable at just $19.
White Label CMS
White Label CMS is a free solution from Video User Manuals that’s listed at WordPress.org. It lets you easily add custom styling and functionality to the WordPress admin dashboard.
With the plugin, you can:
- Add a custom logo to the header, footer, and login page
- Add custom dashboard widgets
- Rearrange menu items and/or hide them from certain user roles
One nice thing about the plugin is that it includes something called CMS profiles.
Depending on the CMS Profile that you choose, White Label CMS can automatically hide certain menu items to make the dashboard fit your chosen profile.
Currently, you can choose from:
White Label CMS isn’t as feature rich as something like WPShapere. But if you just want a basic free option, it’s a popular choice.
Admin Menu Tweaker for WordPress
Admin Menu Tweaker is a plugin that I’ve previously reviewed for WPLift. Unlike the previous two plugins, it’s not a full-service white label solution.
But it is really good at one aspect of white labeling WordPress. Can you guess what it is? The name kinda gives it away!
Admin Menu Tweaker is all about giving you detailed control over every aspect of your, or your client’s, WordPress admin menu.
To accomplish that, you can:
- Add custom menu items
- Reorder menu items via simple drag and drop
- Hide menu items
- Add menu separators to divide your menu
- Change icons and colors
And my favorite part of the plugin is that you can make all of these tweaks for individual user roles. So you could create one menu for Admins and a different menu for Editors. Or whatever combination you’d like!
At just $14, Admin Menu Tweaker is an affordable solution for customizing every aspect of your WordPress admin menu.
White Label Branding for WordPress
White Label Branding is another popular white label solution for WordPress. Like WPShapere, it aims to be an all-in-one solution for fully customizing everything about the WordPress admin dashboard.
That includes the normal stuff like:
- Custom logos and styling
- Add/remove custom dashboard widgets
- White label WordPress transactional emails
- Rearrange the WordPress menu
- Hide the admin bar
But in addition to the standards, it also includes a nifty Role and Capability Manager that lets you create custom user roles with custom capabilities.
This tool is especially helpful because it allows you to quickly create a custom user role specifically for your client that has all the capabilities they need…and none that they don’t. That means fewer chances for your client to accidently break something!
And I also like that you can enable or disable different modules in the plugin as needed. So if you don’t want to use a certain feature, you can easily disable that entire module.
At $29, White Label Branding is a bit more expensive than WPShapere. But its 5,300+ sales and 4.63-star demonstrate that it still offers good value for the money.
Wrapping Things Up
If you’re handing WordPress sites over to clients, you should definitely consider white labeling the WordPress dashboard before turning over the keys to offer your clients a more customized and personalized experience.
It’s also not just about aesthetics – you can add functionality that truly makes your clients’ lives easier.
And even if you’re working on your own site, customizing the WordPress admin dashboard can let you create a dashboard that better fits your workflows. And that can make you more productive!
Now over to you – do you like to white label the WordPress dashboard or are you happy to go through life using the default WordPress admin?