Customizing the Heck out of WordPress, Part 1 (Admin Dashboard)

One of the greatest tasks one can take on in developing a WordPress site for end users, is customizing it. You see, customization adds a very professional touch to your work and takes it above the notch from just being a site you built a fancy front-end for. With the right customizations you can make your clients feel they truly bought a custom application (well, they really did) and make it a great experience for all involved.

The place we are starting today with is the Dashboard. The steps are:

  • Install AG Custom Admin plugin
  • Customize the Dashboard
  • Export for future usage

Installation

Installation is pretty straightforward, it’s easiest to install it from the dashboard. You can also manually install it by downloading the plugin from the Repository and uploading  via FTP.

Customizing the Dashboard

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Once the plugin is installed, you’ll notice an Admin Themes link in your admin bar. Clicking that will take you to a page where you can buy or download existing themes. NOTE: You do NOT have to purchase any themes or use premade themes to use this plugin!!!

There are other menu options, such as Admin Bar, Login Page, and Colorizer, that you can use to tweak various aspects of your dashboard.

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This is an example of one I created for use with my own clients. It matches the corporate colors and is easy on the eyes.

Exporting The Theme (saving it for later)

Once you’ve tweaked everything to your heart’s content, you can save the file to your computer for future use! This way you don’t have to do this over and over to apply your custom panel.

From the AG Custom Admin page, you will see an Import/Export tab. Go ahead and click on that and look to the bottom of the page for an export button. It will download your theme. Pay attention to the import button too, thats where you’ll go to upload this file again in future WordPress installations.

UPDATE 1.27.16: It appears that AGCA plugin can’t use files that were renamed, so you’ll need to retain the auto-generated file name to import.

Next post I will cover more customization topics, so I hope you enjoyed this!

Happy Surfing!

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