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April 10, 2015

White Labeling WordPress For Cohesive Branding And Improved User Experience

White Labeling WordPressMost WordPress users don’t care about WordPress. The name of the content management system, the majority of its functionality, its community, and the underlying framework don’t matter one whit to them. They care deeply about publishing content, about making sales, about generating leads — WordPress is just the tool they use achieve those goals. The details of WordPress matter about as much to them as the mechanism that makes their laptop’s keyboard work.

To most WordPress users, their site isn’t a WordPress site, it’s simply my site.

As our recent survey revealed, successful WordPress professionals understand that their clients don’t want to think much about WordPress; they want to run their businesses and write their blogs, which is why many of the best developers offer a site that hides most of the WordPress branding and some of its functionality.

Branding WordPress

Providing a consistent branding experience can help reduce user confusion by replacing elements that commonly appear in the default WordPress dashboard with bespoke elements that relate either to the WordPress development agency that created and maintains the site or the client.

Key targets for removal are widgets like the WordPress news widget and the welcome widget, which add nothing useful for most WordPress users. The login screen is another focus of rebranding efforts: why should your client’s site carry WordPress branding? Far better that it be personalized to reflect their own branding.

One of my favorite WordPress branding tools is Ultimate Branding from WPMU DEV.
Ultimate Branding allows WordPress professionals to rebrand a WordPress installation, including the login screen, admin toolbar, instances of the WordPress name in the interface, and dashboard widgets.

The WordPress Admin Menu

The admin dashboard and menu are familiar friends to anyone who knows WordPress well. For those unfamiliar with WordPress, they’re a confusing mess of gnomic headings and arcane functions.

As I’ve already said, WordPress professionals say that the default admin interface should simplified to provide just the functionality that users require.

Admin Menu Editor allows WordPress pros to change the sidebar menu to suit the requirements of specific clients. Among the tasks the Admin Menu Editor makes simple are changing menu titles, reorganizing menu items, hiding menu items, creating custom menu items, and moving menu entries between submenus. In short, it lets users radically modify and simplify the admin menu, allowing the creation of WordPress sites the present only the necessary functionality without many of the potentially confusing and unhelpful defaults.

If you’ve had some experience with WordPress, you might be thinking: “What’s the point of all this? WordPress is easy to use.” WordPress is easy to use if you’re willing to spend time getting to know it, and it’s certainly easier to use than most of its competitors, but for non-technical users who prefer to concentrate on writing or running a business, the full power of WordPress creates unnecessary cognitive overload and opportunities for user error. Simplification and white labeling offers a more elegant and task-focused user experience.

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