Treat Yourself: Tips and Tool for Customizing a WordPress Admin Area

Much is written for WordPress site owners and designers on the best way to create a unique and customized site for visitors. From inventive layouts to simple insights to create more traffic through an intuitive user interface to choosing the best colors, handiest plugins and the like, the lion’s share of attention is certainly devoted to user.

But what about the needs and wants of the person editing and updating the site on a regular basis? What can they do to make their lives easier and more seamless? How can they work smarter rather than harder to keep their site looking and operating at its very best? In short, think about customizing an admin area to suit an individual’s tastes and to make the experience of having a WordPress site at their fingertips as rewarding for themselves as it is for their users.

Read on for a handful of tips, tricks and tools that can make the admin experience more pleasurable, easier to manage and, hopefully, infinitely more fun for the person behind the scenes.

  • For those bored of looking at the same default colors in their admin area, go to “Users, Your Profile” and select from one of eight built-in color schemes. And if you don’t like the choices there, create your own custom colors by installing and activating the Admin Color Scheme via “Tools, Admin Colors.” Here you can also build a standard color scheme that all users (who have the proper permissions) will see when accessing the admin area, or stop said users from changing the colors at their whim.
  • To make a wholesale transformation of the admin area, install a WordPress admin theme plugin that modifies the section and changes the overall appearance of the various screens. Blue Admin and Tamed Admin are great choices as they both provide soothing and calming colors—blues, browns and agreeable white space—while providing a clean, simple and minimalist look.
  • Ditch all those items in the admin area that you just don’t use by hiding them. Install and activate the Adminimize plugin by visiting the “Setting, Adminimize” page to configure the program. Here you can deactivate any parts of the menu and submenu you want as well as administer posts and pages separately, and you can choose how to optimize the backend to make it more logically situated for your needs.
  • Who doesn’t like a good secret? Well, there’s actually a “Secret Options” Page in WordPress admin where the program stores lots of settings for the database. And thankfully some of these settings can be changed by going to the “Settings” menu of your admin area. Type in and replace “” with your domain name. Here you’ll see a nice list of secret options that you can alter to your liking. For example, widgets are wonderful, and the default WordPress dashboard screen come with lots of them. However it’s likely that some of them aren’t important for you, so hide them by clicking on the Screen Options button and unchecking the various boxes.
  • Those who build or administer multi-user sites can answer frequently asked questions easily by adding a help section in the admin area. Install the WP Help plugin and configure it to create a customized resource center. Here you can stack and edit documentation to assist users in tackling common problems without having to constantly respond to queries via email or text or over the phone.

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