7 Awesome WordPress Plugins To Give Your Dashboard A New Look

If you are a regular user of WordPress like me then you might get bored of the default user interface of WordPress. Although the User Interface of WordPress is good but there is always room for improvement. Automattic the company behind WordPress has decided to go for Open Source Design Contests to make the User Interface of WordPress even better.

Are you ready to give it a try?

Default WordPress Dashboard

In the article we will take a look on some awesome plugins that can alternate the user interface of WordPress to make it more users friendly.

1. Ozh’s Admin Drop Down Menu

Admin Drop down Menu is one of the best WordPress plugins to change the default user interface of WordPress admin area. The plugin replaces all the admin links with super charged and beautiful horizontal CSS drop down menu. The plugin also saves you from unnecessary clicks to expand the menu and enhances your productivity.

Admin Drop Down Dashboard

The plugin comes with a comprehensive options page. You can change the color schemes of drop down menu and to make the plugin faster, you can also disable the supported icons for each admin link.

Admin Drop Down Options

An interesting feature is compact mode which only shows icons for top links and saves space in the drop down menu. The following screen shot elaborates this feature.

Compact Mode

2. Fluency Admin 2.2

Give your WordPress an attractive look with Fluency Admin. The plugin replaces all the admin links with splendid vertical CSS drop down menu. Fluency also adds support of Keyboard shortcuts to your admin links hence enables you to control your WordPress with keyboard only. You can switch between full menu view and icon-only view to save the space of your dashboard area with a single click.

Fluency WordPress Dashboard

Fluency comes bundled with login page theme too which can be enabled from plugin options panel. For custom branding you can also use your own logo at the top of dashboard area and login theme.

Fluency option panel

Fluency Options Menu

Fluency Login Theme

3. Easy Admin Color Schemes

The default WordPress installation comes with two color schemes, grey and blue. This plugin adds two more color schemes for your admin panel. Moreover it also grants you to create your own color schemes. You can also export your custom color scheme to use it on other blogs. Depending upon the settings, each user can have its own customized color scheme. Have a look at the Green color scheme and the plugin’s option panel.

WordPress dashboard green color scheme

WordPress dashboard green color scheme

Easy admin color scheme options

4. Qwerty Admin Panel Theme

Qwerty Admin Panel Theme is a nice looking Admin Panel theme. The permits you to style the admin panel and login screen for all users. The WordPress logos can be swapped the with your own logo images for custom branding.

Qwerty WordPress admin panel theme

Qwerty WordPress admin panel options

A distinct feature of this plugin is ”

Limited Interface

” capability that helps you in hiding different admin panels from different users of your WordPress installation.

Qwerty Login theme

5. Pop Menus for WP-Admin

This simple plugin will be saving you time by creating quick and easy to use pop menus for your WP-Admin sidebar. Popup menus uses jQuery and CSS to popup animated admin-sidebar links. Moreover it makes the admin sidebar sticking with scrollable page that makes it a real time saver with the help of jQuery.

Pop menus WordPress dashboard

Pop-Menus Dashboard

6. Adminimize

Adminimize is a very comprehensive and advanced WordPress plugin that comes with a lot of features to customize your WordPress backend. The plugin has a lot of options to hide unnecessary items from the WordPress administration menu, submenu and even the ‘Dashboard’, with forwarding to the Manage-page. The plugin has more than 50 options to tweak the backend of your WordPress installation. The following screenshot shows the admin option panel of Adminimize.

Adminimize Option Panel

Adminimize Option Panel

7. My Brand

Customizing your WordPress login page can’t be easier than this. Simply install this plugin and with the help of my brand option page you can select the background color or background image for your WordPress login page. You can also upload the custom logo for your login page with the help of my brand. The plugin is very useful for multi-author blogs and user contributed websites.

My Brand Options Page

My Brand Options Panel

If you know more beautiful WordPress dashboard themes or ways to customize the admin panel of WordPress please share them with us.

Saad Bassi

Saad Bassi is a 20 years old web developer from Pakistan who loves to create beautiful websites with great user experience. He is co-editor at CrispyTech and 1stWebDesigner and blogs about the next Windows at Windows8Geek. He also loves to make new friends so don't forget to say him a hello on Twitter. Last but not least, make sure that you check out my latest project, Addictive Fonts which focuses on free high quality font downloads.

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Comments

  1. Glen says

    My blog dashboard look cool with these plugins ;) Nice plugin list to customize the dashboard

  2. Alaa says

    Hi,

    I came to this post while searching something else, and hopefully that anyone could help me out.
    I want to creat a custom “Add new post” page for WP?

    To make it clear, let’s say that I’m an admin.. I want to make a page that allows authors to add new post, from an external page, without needing to go to the dashboard..

    I guess it has something to do with “post.php” function, but i don’t know where to start or how to do it.

  3. hiren says

    I want to add plugins to my site. But my dashboard does not contain any plugin options as you show in above pics.
    So, how should i get the plugin option BELOW APPEARANCE.

    PLEASE HELP ME..

  4. Sam says

    Good Post. I am using Fluency Admin 3.2. Its awesome, but if you have lots of plugin in settings, then it may cause little bit problem..

  5. Olaf says

    Great plugins. Thanks very much for sharing. I’m using Fluency Admin 2.2 ant it’s very cool.

  6. says

    Great post, I use Fluency Admin 3.2, and I´m going to test the others you refered.
    Do you know some plugins for costum post Types?
    Thanks in advance.
    Alfredo

  7. Khaled says

    thank you for this explain
    I will use some of these plugins
    I like this one Ozh’s Admin Drop Down Menu

  8. Tim K says

    Thanks for this article!!!! 4 of these things were EXACTLY things I have been hunting for for days!! Perfect!! Saved me scads of hours and hair-pulling.

    T

  9. simon says

    I am a bit bored with the wp dashboard style so i was looking for a good list of plugins..thanks to your blog..I have found the right one for me…

  10. Mizan says

    Hello I have a question. I am new in wordpress designing . I want to show all image of my site with similar effect in this page.. how it is possible?

    Thanks in advance

  11. Suneel says

    Awesome list of plugins and that too when my client had asked one in particular. Never thought of so many options for the boring admin screen.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. says

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve been designing a WPMU site and really need to alter the backend for my users. I found just the right plugins I need from your list!

  13. says

    I’m going to install the drop down menu plugin today. I get the feeling this will be one of those “how did I live without this” moments. After seeing these admin plugins, it makes me think that someone could design a plugin that would let you edit a page or post without having to visit the dashboard… like a wiki, I suppose.

    I plan on sharing this with my #apu520 students. Thank you.

    • says

      I’m writing a plugin now that will let you jump to edit any page from a quick popup menu right from the admin menu. Let me know if you’re interested in it.

  14. says

    The drop-down menu’s are a fantastic addition to the dashboard, should hopefully make life much easier for me in the future.

  15. Omer Greenwald says

    No doubt Ozh’s Admin Drop Down Menu is one of the greatest plugins.
    I wonder why it’s not a built in feature in WordPress?
    I thinks most people find horizontal menus more comfortable to use than vertical and that’s why most websites and Apps use them.

  16. Cahbagus says

    Thats great, I dont know that there are such plugin to redesign the dashboard, thanks for this great post

  17. Kris Jay says

    @Saad Bassi
    Hey, great to see you put the ‘My Brand’ login plugin that I made on your list. Thanks!

    ….I’m adding you to my rss feed list :)

  18. says

    Nice list! I used to user Ohz’s plugin before wordpress 2.7 came out. it was surely worth using then. But with 2.9 it has to be Fluency Admin plugin for me.

  19. Michael -Make Paper Easy says

    Great list! There are a few on here that caught my eye so I’m going to have to try them out; fluency and the branding one in particular.

  20. says

    Nice, the more I’m using WordPress as a CMS for my clients the more relevant tweaking the admin / dashboard is. Personalising is a great idea, and anything to make moving around the admin area easier is a good thing.

  21. Brow says

    Good post. I’ve recently started using WP and am looking for ways to tweak the admin…this will help!

  22. says

    Terrific resources. I just started using the Ozh Admin bar recently and I’m highly impressed with it. I only wish that it would put some padding on the left side where the sidebar used to be so that it looks the same as the right side. There is about 10px or so of padding on that side. And of course, that is a very minor issue.

    • says

      Totally agreed with you. But I last night after writing this article, switched to Fluency and M loving it. Now my wordpress dashboard and mac looks the same.:)

  23. New York Web Design says

    Really Nice Collection. Am have to try # 4. Qwerty Admin Panel Theme. Its awesome.

  24. Johnny Rocket says

    I use Fluency Admin, and I think it’s great. It definitely helps streamline the admin interface.

  25. says

    Hi Saad

    Good looking post, how to give your WordPress dash board sparkle.

    I’m using Fluency Admin and remember how I was blown away when I first activated the plugin. Fell in love with it and still am.

    Now I’m off looking over Adminimize as you’ve sparked my curiosity – looks very interesting.
    Thanks – Cheers Jim

    • says

      Yes Jim Fluency Admin is great. Gives a mac look. I am using ozh’s admin drop down.am thinking of switching.:).Yes you should give a try to adminimize but its very comprehensive. You will have to spend time to understand it.

  26. Frank Stallone says

    I could never get too attached to a admin theme change because if the interface changes drastically in a .5 rendition I would be stuck with either a broken interface or one what doesn’t look right and needs to be reverted.

    That being said this the most elaborate collection of them I have ever seen. =)