What is the purpose of changing your WordPress Admin/Administration dashboard Theme appearance?
Aside from making your place of work a little easier on the eyes, sometimes these themes can speed up your workflow. For example, you can change the layout of your dashboard or make shortcuts to certain sections, so you spend less time navigating through WordPress. Some of the themes even come with the features that do a lot more than you expected.
There is also an instance where you are making a site for a client, making the dashboard more pleasing to look at can add to their experience. In addition, you can remove some of the menu items you don’t want your clients messing with.
How To Install An WordPress Admin Dashboard Theme
Let’s get something clear, WordPress admin theme is not actually a theme. Admin themes are dashboard plugins that change your admin UI. Hence, you need to install them like you would any other plugins.
To install a custom admin theme you need to:
- After you download a theme, go to Plugins > Add New.
- Click on “Upload Plugin” next to the “Add plugins” label.
- Choose a file to install.
- Wait for the installation to finish and click on “Activate Plugin”.
You can also go to Plugins > Add New and in the “Search Plugins” field enter desirable plugin, install and activate it.
Best WordPress Admin Themes – The List
Before we start, it is important to note that we will be listing two types of WordPress admin dashboard themes here:
- Ones that only change the appearance of the WordPress dashboard. (First Category)
- And ones that add new features. (Second Category)
First Category – Appearance Changing WordPress Admin Themes
This minimalistic admin theme somewhat resembles Facebook’s palette, making it very recognizable and therefore welcoming to your clients. It comes with a couple of different color schemes, all very calm and pleasing to the eye.
This theme will make your WordPress admin dashboard both very clean and modern, perfect for clients from business fields. The colors are dark, and closely follow the contrast of the default WordPress administration theme.
This one brings a new option to the table, a dashboard background image. It also changes the default icons. You can customize the WordPress administration dashboard with those extra options and make it look just the way you like it.
Fancy Admin UI changes the standard look of your UI into a brighter and rather open dashboard. Similar to the Blue Admin, this theme has that familiar feel.
If you are tired of the old WordPress administration dashboard, this one can freshen things a bit. It offers a more modern and expressive look, with different icons and blue-ish colors.
Admin color schemer isn’t actually a theme per se, it is a color changer tool. You can rather easily change your dashboard into any color scheme you desire.
You can change the color of the following elements:
- Base – this is basically the side and the top toolbar.
- Icon – the color of all icons.
- Highlight – the color of the selected tool.
- Notification – the color of the recent notifications.
Second Category – Features Adding WordPress Admin Theme
Apart from having options to alter the look of the login page and changing a couple of icons, this tool also has several distinct possibilities. In the “Dashboard” section, you can add your own welcome panels with custom HTML, or RSS panel to keep your client in touch. You can hide whole menus from certain clients by using the “Menus” panel, too. There is also a “Live Preview” option while editing, so you can see exactly what you are doing.
As the name suggests, this plugin really is rather glamorous. It has similar options to the previous one, but also a couple of new ones. You can hide any dashboard widget with ease, add a custom dashboard content, and it even has its own colorizer. There is also a hide admin bar option if you want a more compact workspace.
Ultimate Dashboard seems like a simple tool but has the best widget making system on this list. In a couple of easy steps, you can have a perfect shortcut to any WordPress option, right there on your dashboard. There is also the ability to export WordPress administration dashboard templates and import them on different sites.
This plugin also falls into the premium themes category with its pro version. Ultimate Dashboard Pro gives you the ability to:
- Remove 3rd party widgets, with the free version you can only hide standard widgets.
- Create video widgets, to help your clients navigate through their workspace.
- Configure multisite support.
- Create a contact form widget.
- Make widgets with features like HTML templates and custom CSS.
- And finally, white labeling options.
Pro version costs $48 for 3 sites license and $98 for unlimited sites.
Almost everything you will ever need to change your WordPress admin dashboard, in one plugin. Most of the customization options are standard for this kind of tool, but there are few special ones too. For example, there is both a cookie law consent message customization and compatibility warning. You can also:
- Limit the number of post revisions, which is one of the database cleanup methods.
- Enable maintenance mode.
- Make a custom login screen.
- Redirect users to the homepage instead of the profile page.
- Disable Admin Bar for all clients.
- Hide menus from users that aren’t admins. You can even use CSS to exclude specific elements from the admin menu.
- There is also a white label option where you can customize the admin panel’s texts.
The question that comes to mind is, wait, this is free? This plugin adds so many features that it definitely deserves to be one of the premium WordPress administration themes. Furthermore, it is not just a theme, it is a whole WordPress management system.
Let’s list some of the features:
- MainWP lets you control multiple WordPress sites. This alone is a big advantage to all of the others.
- It keeps the record of all plugins and themes that need to be updated. (and you can do so in one click)
- You can manage everything from your dashboard (themes, plugins, posts, and pages).
- The theme alerts you if there is a plugin that did not have updates in quite some time. This usually means the developers abandoned it.
- It offers backup options.
- And lastly, it gives you the ability to post on multiple sites at once.
Now here comes one of the premium-only admin WordPress themes. With 16+ pro admin templates and limitless customization possibilities, you can do almost anything. The default dashboard templates come with both a professional and flat design.
With this premium WordPress plugin, you get to:
- Put a custom logo, icons, and admin bar.
- Customize admin menu items, widgets, and footer.
- Make your own login page.
- Hide menus from certain users, or show them to specific admins only.
- Use one of the 16+ theme collections to create the perfect look.
- Rebrand your WordPress dashboard.
- Import and export all of the changes you make.
- Add custom links in the admin bar.
- Connect to a multi-site network.
- Redirect users to a specific page after login.
The price of this plugin is $23.
This one also falls into the premium admin WordPress themes category. Forest provides an easy way to configure a client’s dashboard in no time.
It comes with:
- 2 admin styles
- Fullwidth background
- Background darkness level
- Ability to customize admin color schemes
- A special quick panel with several shortcuts and management options.
- A font selection for all your admin website templates.
- Unlimited admin color choices.
- 6 free backgrounds and more.
All in all, the cost of this one is a little lower, and it is $19.
Ultra WordPress theme also comes with a lot of great looks, right out of the box. It can be an awesome solution for people not willing to waste any time designing. The designs are mostly elegant with a touch of vibrant colors.
When it comes to the features this plugin:
- can reorder both your menu and submenu items.
- includes 34 admin wp themes templates.
- gives you the power to change your dashboard colors into any you desire.
- includes Page Loader.
- can help you create a perfect login page, and add a custom logo.
- comes with an advanced control panel.
Ultra WordPress administration theme costs $23.
A complete WordPress design system for both you and your clients. If the default WordPress admin theme dashboard confuses your clients, this premium plugin can certainly help you change it entirely with no effort.
With ClientSide you can control UI elements with role system. This means that the layout can be made different for specific users. In addition, it comes with optional widgets and white labeling system. There is the ability to import and export settings, too. You also get the optional performance and security improvements.
The code also follows all of the modern WordPress coding standards. You can use multisite support, and it is responsive on all of the devices.
Both Client Dash and Material WP – Material Design Dashboard Theme have great reviews and features but lack in some other aspects. That is why they aren’t on our list. Still, they are among the best ones on the market so we had to at least mention them.
WordPress Admin Theme – Conclusion
Now that you have your WordPress admin theme dashboard all set, it’s time to make some great content. Good luck with your WordPress site development journey!