Posted on 2016-03-21
WordPress is a powerful tool right out of the box, but there are many ways in which you can tweak, modify or extend the standard WordPress admin interface to increase productivity, functionality, ease of use and general aesthetics.
Show The Featured Image in The List Layout
The lists that show on the Posts and Pages dashboards are clean from the get go, but it’s often nice to introduce some colour and imagery to your dashboard. This isn’t something that WordPress offers out of the box, but you can download a free plugin called “Featured Image Column” which was developed by Austin Passy. This simple plugin introduces a new column on the Posts, Pages, Attachment and Project pages. It creates a thumbnail for the featured image of that content type (if you added one) to spruce up your list.
You can also choose to hide it from any of the aforementioned pages. For example, I only display it on the Posts page.
Add Your Own Widget To The Dashboard
The Dashboard has got some pretty nifty widgets which are useful if you want an overview to your website. However, many people would like to be able to add their own widget. This can be useful if you have a team of authors and can serve as a notice to them, or maybe if you developed a website for a client it could be used to link to training materials and resources.
It’s very simple to add your own - simply open the functions.php file and add the code found here.
Just change the text to whatever you desire and add any links using the a tag.
Customise any page with Screen Options
This isn’t necessarily something that’s well hidden or something not made by WordPress, because it’s actually been there all along, albeit tucked away a little. In the top right corner of each screen is a dropdown option called “Screen Options”. Here you can tweak what that particular page looks like, whether it be hiding widgets on the Dashboard, removing columns on the Pages list or choosing to hide the sections for Revisions, Categories and Excerpts on posts for a cleaner view.
This can be really useful if you don’t use all of WordPress’ features and want to hide them from your display. It’s worth noting that these changes only apply to your user account, so if you’re wanting to make the changes to all of your editors/authors too, you’ll either need to login to each account and do it, or look for a plugin to handle the task in bulk.
White Label the Whole WordPress CMS
Whether it be for your own gratification or if it’s for a client, it’s a good idea to white label your CMS. If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘white labelling’ is essentially (legally) rebranding a product with your own. This is a neat plugin from “Video User Manuals” called “White Label CMS”.
There are a bunch of different areas in which you can customise, such as the WordPress logo when logging in, logos on the Dashboard, footer and more. You can also edit which items show on the menu for Editors and Authors to hide anything unnecessary.
This is a handy plugin for making the CMS seem a little less “samey” and adding your own flavour to it.
Did we miss any? Let us know if you use any other methods to modify WordPress to make it work better for you.
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