WordPress changed the way writers publish, WordPress helped small businesses and startups to establish solid content marketing foundations using integrated publishing features, WordPress has helped millions of bloggers and visionaries all around the world to create, publish, work together, and sustain a solid foundation of creative flow that has forever changed the way people consume content online. WordPress is the number one content management system, and a blogging platform, for various good reasons, but above all it has stood out as a platform that’s easy to manage, optimize, and externalize. Writing online wouldn’t be the same without WordPress.
Colorlib understands this concept fully, we are publishers of several famous free WordPress themes ourselves, which have accumulated many millions of downloads and are admired by the community, we are also curators for the best premium WordPress themes, helping WordPress bloggers to make the right choice about choosing a template for their next project. There’s so much more that we offer on our platform, we recommend that you check it out, and do let us know what you think!
There’s more to WordPress
Speaking of themes, WordPress is a known blogging platform that offers easy, very easy, customization options in the form of themes and plugins, hardly any other publishing platform can come close to what WordPress has to offer, from changing the overall look of your blog, to being able to customize separate parts of your blog, such as the administrator dashboard.
That’s right. WordPress also allows you to fully customize the place where all the magic actually happens, the admin dashboard. With themes and plugin extensions, the admin dashboard can be quickly transformed to look better, to feel more flexible, to have more features, and generally to reflect your own personality in a way that doesn’t bother the users who only get to experience the front-end aspects of your blog. We will be continuing this post with a rundown of the most popular and possibly the best WordPress admin dashboard themes and plugins that you can quickly install through your normal WordPress Plugins Manager. These are one-step installations that take only moments, and some of the plugins we will be showcasing offer numerous ways of optimizing, adjusting, and extending your admin dashboard for whatever reason you want to do it.
WordPress Admin Dashboard Themes
We will be splitting this post in two parts: first part for admin dashboard themes, and the second part for admin dashboard plugins to improve functionality and overall settings availability. Admin dashboard themes are not a new thing, and some plugins have been around for years, while some are new to the market, hoping to offer WordPress bloggers more exciting ways to improve the UI and UX of their dashboards. Let us know if we missed out on your favorite plugin, we will compensate by quickly including in the list, thanks!
Slate Admin Theme makes the WordPress admin dashboard a much more compact experience. An experience that focuses on the aspect of writing content, rather than doing external things like managing plugins and themes. With Slate, the focus switches from a ‘cluttered’ dashboard, to one that emphasizes writing and editing within the editor. This theme is being used by more than two thousand bloggers already, and provides two different color schemes to begin with.
Short adds a more minimalist technical feel to your blog, as a technology blogger — you might really enjoy this! This open-source dashboard theme is really all about keeping your dashboard clean, and accordingly focused on the important things. It gives focus on content and ease of management.
Tamed, the plugin has since gone into a PRO version and is no longer maintained (still serves a purpose though), offers WordPress bloggers a modern looking admin theme that doesn’t do so much on the first view, but actually incorporates some sleek looking color patterns into the sidebar of the dashboard, and also within the native elements that WordPress installation provides, making the overall experience feel less techy, and more modern instead.
Many would argue about the modern design of the default WordPress dashboard style, while it’s completely fine and functional, the design might not be the most appropriate choice for those with a design oriented character, which was one of the reasons “chmln” decided to build his own dashboard theme that uses the most modern design standard of them all, Material Design by Google. This eye-watering theme is a perfect example of how flexible WordPress can be when it comes to changing things up, even internally. All you need is some patience and the necessary skillset to make the changes, everything else is history.
AG Custom Admin
AG Custom Admin, unlike some of the other styles, offers a more full-customization feature package that will be truly appealing to bloggers that want to brand their admin dashboard, whether for media purposes, or because they wish to invite more bloggers to their blog and offer them a different experience. Whereas a traditional admin style will help you change the colors of your admin dashboard, with AG Custom Admin you can do much more than that — you can customize the admin bar to hide, change items, to eliminate any official WordPress branding and instead use your own colors and icons.
You can easily change the administrator menu by removing and extending available items on the menu, and once again; change the colors to your own liking. A ‘colorizing’ plugin will let you customize colors of nearly every available page within the WordPress dashboard, giving you that much more freedom to make the dashboard look like your own personal playground. Plenty of other features to optimize the UX and UI of your dashboard, all free of cost.
When you name your product Ultimate Dashboard, there must be something extremely good about it. And that is the exact case with this leading WordPress admin dashboard plugin. It is a simple and uncomplicated to use plugin which does not bloat and over crowd your WordPress dashboard. In short, what Ultimate Dashboard does, it lets you replace the default WordPress dashboard widgets with your custom ones.
If you need a better and more appealing to the eye overview of your WordPress admin, Ultimate Dashboard is the tool you need. This comes especially helpful when you work with clients and let other users access the admin. Not only will they find it all a lot cleaner, but it will also be a lot more fun completing different tasks and other whatnots. For your information, Ultimate Dashboard comes both as a free and a pro version. You can test the waters first and fully commit later. Do what feels right to you, but most importantly, improve that boring default WordPress dashboard widgets once and for all.
Fancy Admin UI
Over a thousand bloggers are actively using Fancy Admin UI to magnify their dashboard experience, and all it takes is only a change in the coloring style and alignment of the default elements, the simple blue on white color scheme is doing a great job for this plugin, and the results deliver a desirable UI experience you won’t find from any other theme or template out there. The author, Bob Orchard, recommends that you get in touch with him if you’d like to see custom features, or other additions to the plugin.
Blue is a soothing color, it works great in both dark and full of light environments, and there’s a reason so many plugin developers have chosen blue as their default color scheme for this dashboard templates, and so has Linesh Jose who is the publisher of the Blue Admin style for all your WordPress dashboard needs. The design is soothing, clean, simple and actually quite modern compared to some other choices. It might be the design you need within your dashboard to help you regain the inspiration motivation by changing (spicing up?) up the environment a little bit.
WP Admin Color Schemes
WP Admin Color Schemes has only one agenda, to help you choose between different color scheme styles to apply to your WordPress admin dashboard. Think of colors like red, blue, green, black, orange and others that can quickly transform the experience of your dashboard, and even the way you interact with it perhaps. Install, activate and you’re set to go.
Slash Admin does just a tiny bit more than any other plugin in this list, Slash Admin is the ultimate plugin to use to add all the little tricks to your website that would otherwise require of you to install third-party plugins. As far as the front-end features are concerned, Slash will add things like an automated EU Cookie Law popup, a simple ‘Loading’ widget for pages that haven’t been fully loaded yet, allow you to change the default font of the content text from the choice of hundreds of fonts provided by Google Fonts, and also display a polite warning message for those visitors who are still using old-school outdated browsers; all of which possess serious security risks.
Moving on to the dashboard, Slash will let you specify your Google Analytics code to enable tracking, enable a limit on the number of post revisions that are saved each time you manage the content, in turn saving you database space and generally keeping it more clean. Will allow you to set a specific timer that will automatically limit post update and delete functions after the timer has expired, particularly useful for sites with many authors and editors where issues may arise when someone wants to edit content after two months of its publish date. Another cool feature is the option to enable maintenance mode, something that would otherwise require an external plugin, where users won’t be able to see the front-end while you’re doing all the cool modifications to the site.
The list of features continues to go on and on, and we recommend to check in with the Download page to learn more about Slash Admin, and how it can help your admin dashboard to become a tad bit more exciting.
WordPress Admin Dashboard Plugins
Styling your dashboard is quite straightforward, as proved by the numerous amazing styles we covered, but what about extending your dashboard, even modifying it to better suit your needs? Yes, that is also possible, through the use of admin dashboard plugins such as the ones we will talk about next. Please enjoy.
Admin Guide Dashboard Widget
Admin Guide Dashboard Widget will greatly enhance the administration needs for sites with multiple administrators and editors, where leaving notes and organizing post categories is essential. With this plugin you can quickly create widget boxes for all of your blogs categories to list their available posts within a widget, and then this widget allows you to modify content, to leave notes, and to generally leave any important information that the rest of the admin team should know about.
Erident Custom Login and Dashboard
There’s nothing more pleasant than opening your WordPress dashboard and be greeted with a style of your own creation, we couldn’t agree more. Erident Custom Login and Dashboard is all about helping administrators to change the color scheme, background images, forms styles, and other tiny settings that make all the difference in how branding is conveyed through your WordPress dashboard. Take some time to explore the Erident plugin and see how it speaks to you.
Admin Trim Interface
Want a more concise admin management experience? Look no further than Admin Trim Interface, whereas many bloggers would want to add extra stuff to their dashboards, the Admin Trim Interface plugin helps you remove all the unnecessary fat to make the admin management experience more fluid, more simple, definitely much more clean.
R3DF Dashboard Language Switcher
Language is important, not just for sites who are operating with multiple authors, editors and admins, but for those who aren’t native English speakers too! R3DF Dashboard Language Switcher adds a little widget to your admin bar that helps you to switch between available WordPress languages.
The Mojo Admin Toolbox
The Mojo Admin Toolbox is Will Wilson’s personal project that turned public due to the growth of its features.
Few hundred WordPress bloggers are actively utilizing The Mojo Admin Toolbox to help themselves and their clients. This toolbox optimizes and configures the WordPress dashboard and the blog itself. It also helps the blog to be less cluttered, and more tailored for a brand experience. You can use Mojo to hide the commenting system, to change up the login page, to create default avatars, to remove any dashboard widgets for all existing WordPress users, disable the theme editor to avoid any complications when clients are trying to be brave, change footer texts, remove any meta tags to avoid automatic blog scanning by robots, and many others features that you will find extraordinarily simple, yet useful.
MainWP Dashboard has more than seven thousand active users for a good reason. It’s the most famous open-source WordPress management plugin known to man! MainWP Dashboard can make you manage and customize all sites within your own, or even outside of our network. If you are a multiple WordPress site owner, then getting the MainWP Dashboard plugin is a no-brainer! It makes your life tens times easier than it was previously.
Have you ever wished you could customize the WordPress dashboard a little more?
Well if you’re capable of using the built in WordPress widget manager than with Client Dash you’ve found your solution. Client Dash implements a powerful dashboard widget control feature which works exactly the same as the familiar WordPress widget manager. So now, adding, removing, rearranging and customizing WP dashboard widgets is easier than ever before. Your customers will love you, even if unknowingly, for giving them a more relaxed admin experience.
Premium WordPress Admin Dashboard Templates
It wouldn’t be a proper Colorlib post without the mention of some premium resources, would it now? Colorlib admires developers and designers who work long hours to deliver quality plugins and themes at a reasonable cost. With that thought in mind, we would like to expose interesting admin dashboard templates that come from the premium market. All of the themes will be affordable to anyone serious about branding their WordPress dashboard.
WPShapere is a powerful WordPress admin dashboard theme. It is extremely customizable and easy to craft. You will get it with tons of custom widgets that you can show or hide at will. WPShapere is focused on providing options for admin menu at all users’ level. It also has white label branding and an upload section for logos. Layout related features are creative and joyful with unlimited colors and pre-built pro themes. WPShapere comes with compatibilities for Visual Composer, Contact Form 7, WooCommerce and more. Thus, you get to customize without coding, set log-in or e-mail systems or build shops.
It also offers a delicate admin bar with the possibility to add custom links. WPShapere brings a beautiful minimalistic concept that aims to expand your creativiy. It is an admin theme that lets you stretch the possibilities of your user experience. Tasks and users priorities and or acess are also very intuitive. You will find customisations for menu management that include renaming elements. Even personalized icons for each setting are available! Try setting its custom menu icons from Dash icons and FontAwesome. Get it now with detailed documentation and highly committed support team. Come and try this incredible Acme design! Come try WP Shapere!
We love material design, and we love what developers are trying to achieve with it. Here’s a spectacular execution of Material Design within WordPress with a theme by the name of Material WP. This style will completely change the way your admin dashboard looks, especially all of the user interface aspects. This includes the ability to reorder items using drag and drop, it’s responsive and has a feature called Parallax Block; unique to material design. Is compatible with multi-sites, and also has a number of styles to use for the login page.
Forest? It must be green! And sure it is. Forest is a green color scheme admin style that functions much more than just a style. There’s a custom menu for colors, fonts, content appearances, and logo management. Its features include custom CSS for the admin dashboard and Quick Panel for dashboard management. This theme also uses a modern, flat and retina optimized web design.
Want more than 30 unique admin themes in one single plugin? Then go for Ultra, a magnificent WordPress plugin that gives your WordPress dashboard a new meaning. All styles look modern, and allow for administrators to reorganize the positioning of each element within the dashboard. This function makes it much more personalized, and much more accessible.
First uses flat web design that allows you to fully customize the theme to your own liking. Customization includes the admin bar, admin menu, login page, style, and footer. It has accumulated more than 400 sales, indicating it’s professional position within the market of admin dashboard themes.
Clientside is all about the simplicity between the client and the dashboard, or the user and the dashboard. This theme gets rid of all the clutter we are so used to seeing in our admin dashboard. It brings full attention to what matters the most, and that is writing content in a productive environment.