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November 30, 2021

WordPress offers a default dashboard when you sign up for a WordPress website. It comes with all the basic functions and features you may need to get started.

But you can definitely benefit from some customization. If you find the default dashboard bland, you can implement your brand style to spice it up. If you find it cluttered, you can eliminate distractions.

To sum it up, a customized WordPress dashboard will improve your experience with WordPress.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why Should You Customize a WordPress Dashboard?
  • WordPress Admin Customization
  • The Best Plugins To Create a Custom WordPress Dashboard
  • Issues With Making a Custom WordPress Dashboard
  • How Do WordPress Updates Affect Your Custom Dashboard?
  • Final Thoughts: 5 Ways To Customize Your WordPress Dashboard

Why Should You Customize a WordPress Dashboard?

A custom WordPress dashboard has several benefits:

  • It makes the dashboard lighter. You make your WordPress dashboard load quicker by decluttering and removing unnecessary widgets.
  • It improves productivity and usability. You find the desired functions faster.
  • It personalizes your dashboard. You can use your logo and branding to personalize your WordPress admin panel to appear professional.
All in one WordPress solutions

WordPress Admin Customization

  1. Customize the login page.
  2. Remove widgets from the WordPress dashboard.
  3. Edit the dashboard menu.
  4. Change the dashboard look.
  5. Install a WordPress admin theme.

1. Customize the Login Page.

The login page is the first thing users see before accessing the WordPress admin area. The default WordPress login page includes the default login form and WordPress logo above it.

You can leave a professional impression on other users by customizing this login screen according to your brand.

Customize your WordPress admin page

You can do so using login customizer plugins. You can:

  • Change color schemes and button appearances.
  • Add new background images and custom logos.
  • Modify login forms and contact forms.
  • Add custom CSS.

2. Remove Widgets From the WordPress Dashboard.

When you log in to your website for the first time, you see several preloaded WordPress dashboard widgets — including WordPress News, Activity, and At a Glance.

You can use Screen Options to remove unnecessary widgets and declutter your website.

In the WordPress dashboard, click Screen Options at the top-right corner of the page to reveal a panel.

Check/uncheck the box beside a widget to enable/disable it.

Customize your WordPress dashboard on your WordPress site by removing widgets


3. Edit the Dashboard Menu.

Do you have multiple people handling your website? You can improve your productivity by modifying WordPress admin menus according to specific user roles.

You can use Admin Menu Editor plugin to:

  • Rearrange and remove items from the WordPress admin menu.
  • Add or hide menu items.
  • Organize custom menu items via a drag-and-drop interface.

4. Customize the Dashboard Look.

WordPress lets you change the WordPress dashboard appearance without any plugin:

  1. Hover over your profile icon in the top-right corner and click Edit Profile.
  2. Under Personal Options, find Admin Color Scheme.
  3. Click one of the color schemes to customize the colors.

You can also get additional color schemes using the WP Admin Colors website or a color scheme plugin like Admin Color Scheme. The former lets you create custom color schemes.

Check out WPBeginner’s tutorial on WP Admin Colors.

Customize your WordPress dashboard with WordPress Admin Colors

5. Install a WordPress Admin Theme.

If you want additional customization, install a WordPress admin theme.

Admin themes are plugins that modify your website’s backend and admin area, similar to how the usual WordPress themes change your website’s frontend.

Check out the best WordPress admin themes and make your choice.

The Best Plugins To Create a Custom WordPress Dashboard

You can use the following plugins to create a customized WordPress dashboard.

1. White Label CMS Plugin

Create a customized WordPress dashboard with the White Label CMS plugin

With 200,000+ active installs, White Label CMS is a popular plugin that helps developers create a customized WordPress dashboard.

White Label CMS comes with three preset CMS profiles — Website, Blog, and Custom — that let you configure the admin menu quickly. If you're creating the website for a client, the plugin also enables you to create a custom welcome widget.

Other features include:

  • Customization of the WordPress login page.
  • Disabling the WordPress toolbar.
  • Hiding menu items from the sidebar and top toolbar.

2. Custom Login Page Customizer

Create a customized WordPress dashboard with the Custom Login Page Customizer plugin

Custom Login Page Customizer is another popular WordPress plugin with 200,000+ installs. It helps you change the look and feel of a login page.

Custom Login Page Customizer shows a live preview of the page you’re modifying. You can drag and drop blocks on it to edit the page visually.

3. AGCA Custom Dashboard and Login Page

Create a customized WordPress dashboard with the AGCA Custom Dashboard and Login Page

AGCA (Absolutely Glamorous Custom Admin) is a free plugin with over 40,000 installs. It helps you make minor customizations to the WordPress admin panel, login page, admin menu, and admin bar.

Users can:

  • Hide or change admin bar and menu items.
  • Remove traces of WordPress from the admin bar.
  • Brand the admin bar and menu with custom colors.

Issues With Making a Custom WordPress Dashboard

A custom WordPress dashboard risks some additional problems you need to take care of.

  • Unreliable plugins — Out-of-date and unknown plugins have a risk of backdoors and security vulnerabilities. Make sure you use trusted and up-to-date plugins to avoid it.
  • WordPress update resetting customization — WordPress updates can undo changes to your custom dashboard, so you always need to keep a backup of your website.

How Do WordPress Updates Affect Your Custom Dashboard?

WordPress core, theme, and plugin developers regularly release software updates to introduce new features and address vulnerabilities.

These updates reset functions.php file and CSS customization. So your customizations done through CSS and functions.php are reverted.

On the other hand, the changes you make through theme changes and WordPress screen options stay.

You can prepare for WordPress updates by creating a child theme. A child’s theme ensures that any tweaks made to your website do not affect the live version.

For additional protection, create a complete backup of your website. A backup ensures that there’s always a copy of your website’s latest version in case something goes wrong.

Final Thoughts: 5 Ways To Customize Your WordPress Dashboard

Whether you're building a website for yourself or a client, customizing your WordPress backend can help improve productivity and dashboard loading time.

Follow these tips to give your website a customized WordPress dashboard.

Complete your admin dashboard makeover by ensuring your website’s backend runs smoothly. Sign up for Nexcess’ managed WordPress hosting plan today.

Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman

Maddy Osman is a WordPress expert and WordCamp US speaker. She is a WordCamp Denver organizer and also operates The Blogsmith, an SEO content agency for B2B tech companies that works with clients like HubSpot, Automattic, and Sprout Social. Learn more about The Blogsmith's process and get in touch to talk content strategy: www.TheBlogsmith.com