The look of your website is determined by its wp theme theme, and if you use WordPress, you are required to choose a theme for each website you run, or WP platform automatically places you on a default theme, which is currently Twenty Sixteen. Luckily a huge ecosystem of WordPress Themes is available on both free and premium websites, so anyone can find the design that the suits your needs best. I came to realize though, that it’s a less known fact, and many users are completely clueless about it, is that it’s also possible to install a custom theme for the backend, wp-admin area of a website.
Why Customize the WP-admin?
An admin theme can give a specific visual aspect and appear to your website, which is not only essential aesthetically, but likewise affects the aspect of user-friendliness, because admin panel theme can be more intuitive and therefore easy to use. This is particularly important for websites that have multiple authors and writers, who all use the same dashboard. If you are creating a WordPress site for a client you may also want to choose to alter the dashboard to make it easier to utilize.
How WordPress Admin Themes Work?
First of all, it’s important to note, that admin themes cannot be found in the WordPress Theme Directory among the regular front-end wp themes, as they are not actual themes (websites designs) but plugins, and therefore need to be installed on top of any existing website’s themes and plugins.
Due to that fact, if you are not cautious, you might make the mistake of activating and running more than one admin theme at the same time, so be careful with that.
Before you install an admin theme, you need to set the Admin Color Scheme to default under the
Users > Your Profile admin menu.
Each admin theme has its own color scheme, that’s why it may happen that an admin theme doesn’t work well with another predefined color scheme (light, coffee, etc.).
It may seem like this one was designed for Dutch people and those who are big fan of the orange-themed designs, but… The OT Admin Theme offers you the option to change the colors of the WordPress dashboard on your own. It adds a new menu item to your dashboard where you can customize the color of the dashboard interface, the admin menu text in default and active states, and the background color of the active menu item. After active the plugin , just go to “OT Admin Theme” from the left menu bar of Admin Area. However, please do bear in mind that The OT Admin Theme doesn’t add a different design to the dashboard, it only makes it easy to change the 8 predefined admin color schemes to anything of your choice.
If you are a fan of Google’s new Material Design, the Material Admin Theme is an excellent pick for you. It is modern, fresh, and offers a better contrast than the default WP dashboard, so you get better accessibility.
The main idea of the Slate Admin Theme is to modify and better the content writing experience, so if you run a multi-author blog, it can be a good idea to give this theme a go. It also makes the Admin Bar simpler, and visibly distincts it from the vertical admin menu on the left-hand side.
The Tamed Admin Theme intends to “tame” the WordPress admin panel by reducing visual clutter, raising the contrast, and using a calm and pleasant color scheme. As Tamed is responsive, which we personally big fans of, it can also be used on mobile devices on the go.
The SHIFT Short WP Admin Theme totally gets rid the Admin Bar on the top of the dashboard, and moves the profile-related “Howdy” section to the left-hand side. This method my seem unusual at first, but is wise, because if you click on the little house icon left to the profile picture, you jump directly to the front-end, where admin bar re-appears.
If you are a fan of bright, eye-slashing colors and experimental design, you’ll going to like the Reimagined Admin Theme. It has its own, additional custom options under the Appearance > Reimagined menu where you can set the icons and the background of the admin area, change the logo and the background of the login page. It’s highly customizable and if you feel bored with your current theme, you will definitely appreciate the change. On top of these features, you can also add a custom logo to the Admin Bar, get rid of the per-defined admin bar links pointing to WordPress.org, and completely remove the copyright text and the version from the footer. So if you are searching for white-labelled dashboard, it’s definitely worth to consider this admin theme.
8. Blue Admin
This one very much reminds me of Facebook’s classic and iconic design. The Blue Admin dashboard theme uses a clean white and blue color scheme, and a sweet drop-down effect in the admin bar. Moreover, you will be able to add custom navigation menus to the admin bar.
The Fix Admin Contrast plugin doesn’t alter too much about the dashboard area, however, it improves the visibility of form fields ( text areas, input fields, checkboxes) and tables by increasing the contrast where it’s necessary. You can take a look at the difference on the two screenshots below, the first one was taken with the plugin activated, and the second one without it.
If you are okay with the look of the WordPress admin area, but the lack of contrast and low visibility frustrates you, it may be worth to check out the Fix Admin Contrast plugin on your site.
10. Ultra Admin
If nothing of the above mentioned admin panels seems to be worth the hassle, check out this premium Ultra WP Admin theme, which allows you to customize every pixel of your admin panel. Ultra Admin brings your WordPress Admin Panel to LIFE.
Along with White Label Branding features, It comes with 30 Awesome Inbuilt themes and gives you an option to Create your own theme. You can also control appearance of Admin Menu, Top Bar, Buttons, Content Boxes, Typography, Forms, Text and background colors, logo and so on… Ultra Admin is compatible with both LTR and RTL modes so can be used for any language. Ultra admin is also Multisite compatible. White Label Branding features are part of the plugin now.
Also Rename plus Rearrange menu and sub-menu items, Change menu icons, Control Top bar links, Customize Footer, Plugin access permissions, Login page customizing options etc. features help you to design web project (in WordPress) for your clients with your own company branding. You can also get a test drive before purchasing.