Don’t like the look of the WordPress Administration Panels? Then change them with a WordPress Plugin.
Admin Themes can be designed manually by changing the
/wp-admin/wp-admin.css stylesheet with changes ranging from complex to simple colors, or by using a WordPress Plugin called an Admin Theme Plugin. Some just change the look of the Admin Panels (the “skin”), while others add more options and features.
Here are some WordPress Admin Themes to try out on your WordPress blog, and I’ve also included some WordPress Plugins to add drop down menus and other features to your Administration Panels.
WordPress Admin Themes
The most popular Administration Panel Plugin is WP-Tiger-Admin Plugin. It creates a clean and simple layout for the Admin Panels with easy tab navigation on the side not the top, and everything is in an easy to read format and structure.
SpotMilk, Admin Theme for WordPress features an interesting and clean look with a new WordPress logo design and spotlight-styled header image. There are new main and sub-menus, helping to put like items together. The boxy look is gone and there are new forms and fancy buttons.
Yellow Sword Fish created WP Admin Drop Down Menus for the SpotMilk Theme to add true drop down menus.
Based upon the SpotMilk Admin Theme, JS has developed the Js Style Admin + Drop Menus Plugin which makes some changes on the CSS and adds some pretty drop down menus based upon the Spotmilk Admin Drop Down Menus.
Yellow Sword Fish also created the WP Admin ‘Autumn’ Theme with drop down menus and an interface in fall colors.
WP Barunio Administration Plugin changes the Admin Panels to a yellow and orange gentle landscape. The menu of tabs is moved onto the left side and it uses the Custom Admin Menu Plugin for the sub-menus. Unfortunately, there are some problems with using this Admin Theme in IE.
Red and Black Admin Panel Plugin turns your WordPress Admin Panels into a black background with red and white letters. (Note: Might not style everything in WordPress 2.1)
Earthtones Admin Theme Plugin for WordPress colorizes the Admin Panels in greens and browns, creating a soft, natural look.
WordPress Admin CSS-Reboot is another Admin Theme which uses gray tones with teal for the colors on the interface.
The X-Dashboard for WordPress was very popular. It allowed you to customize how your WordPress Admin Panels and Dashboard section from within itself or by adding new X-Dashboard Modules. I’m not sure if it works with the latest version of WordPress.
WordPress Administration Panel Enhancements
Don’t want to change your Admin Panels totally? There are some other options you can add to enhance your WordPress Administration Panels.
For those who like the blue admin bar that registered WordPress.com bloggers see, you can host your own admin bar on your blog, viewable only by registered users and contributors.
The following WordPress Plugins create Admin Bars, putting the key admin panel tabs right at the top of your screen for easy access and control. Most of these are also customizable, allowing you to set which menu tabs you want in the bar.
- Oceia Bar for WordPress
- WP Admin Bar WordPress Plugin by Matts Googly Site
- Semiologic’s Admin Menu Plugin for WordPress
Hate clicking through the tabs to get to what you want? The WordPress Plugin Admin Drop Down Menu creates a drop down menu so you can slide your mouse from a tab to a sub tab and then choose which one you want. Instead of three clicks to get to somewhere, it now takes a little mouse movement and one click.
Want an even cleaner Admin Panel interface? Mark Jaquith’s Clutter Free WordPress Plugin allows you to choose which elements of the Write Post panel you want to see or not see, streamlining the look.
Semiologic’s Admin Simplified also allows you to remove much of the unwanted or often unused elements in the WordPress Administration Panels, including the excerpts, custom fields, and more.
And if you want the Post Preview feature gone, you can use Kafkaesqui’s Hide Post Preview WordPress Plugin (downloadable file) and it will take that away, making the reloading of posts for editing faster.
The Custom Admin Menu Plugin gives you control over how the WordPress Admin Panel tags are set and ordered. You can change the label name of any menu itme, create nested sub-menus, and move any panel to a top-level page or child-level, rearranging as you want and need.
Yellow Swordfish has created a variety of drop down admin panel menus to enhance any WordPress blog. WP Admin Drop Down Menus – Native Theme is another drop down menu option for WordPress Themes, but instead of a hover effect over the actual tags, this Plugin actually turns subtabs into drop down menus. You can also try WP Admin Drop Down Menus – SpotMilk Theme, and an WP ‘Advanced’ Admin Drop Down Menus for even faster access to various menus.
Do you have any favorite WordPress Plugins that change or enhance your Administration Panels? What do you use?
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network