12+ Unique and Easy Ways to Create Custom Dashboard for WordPress

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Administrators and web developers often look for ways to customize the default admin dashboard of WordPress. A customized version is generally made for clients who want a simple user interface without complex administration features. WordPress dashboard can be customized programmatically, but a plugin can do the same without messing the hands with code. We're going to see some of the best plugins that can help you easily customize WordPress dashboard within minutes. Each of these plugins can change different parts of the dashboard to give it an entirely new look. In other words, you can combine two or more plugins to get the required custom features and appearance of your WordPress dashboard. As always, I'll suggest you to try these plugins on a demo blog to avoid any mishap. Once you're satisfied with the changes, you can replicate it on the live blog installation. These plugins work seamlessly both on single and multisite WordPress installations. Let's check these useful plugins for making a custom dash.

AG Custom Admin plugin for WordPress
AG Custom Admin - This is an all-in-one solution to modify and change your default WordPress dashboard. With plenty of options, one can easily hide and modify select elements of different parts of the dashboard. I liked its themes and color management options which can completely transform the dash into something new. It has full support to do branding of the dashboard so that your clients feel at home while logging into their site's dashboard. Power users can also use custom CSS and JavaScript to perform advanced customization of the control panel. This dashboard plugin has a large user base.

WP Admin UI Customize plugin
WP Admin UI Customize - This is another powerful and one of my favorites plugin for customizing WordPress dashboard. You can completely customize the default menu through this plugin. Meta boxes and login forms can also be customized through it. The top admin bar can also be customized for quick access to select options to speed up your blogging workflow. It also works seamlessly with BuddyPress and WooCommerce installations. Needless to say, multisite instances also work with this plugin without any issues. I've used this powerful dashboard plugin personally for couple of my excellent clients.

User Admin Simplifier Add-on
User Admin Simplifier - This is a lightweight and immensely useful plugin developers often use to provide custom dashboards to the clients. Administrators running multi-author blogs can also take advantage of this plugin. Essentially, it can customize and change the admin menu based on the user roles. A most common use case is switching off settings and plugins menu for writers or for a technically challenged client. It can easily handle multilevel admin menus and can selectively hide specific entries. It's a life saver plugin while giving dashboard access to large number of unknown users and members.

WP Admin UI plugin
WP Admin UI - This is yet another extremely flexible plugin when it comes to customizing almost everything residing within WordPress dashboard. Apart from regular admin menu and toolbar customization, one can also customize meta boxes and default column views of posts and pages. It can even customize user profiles as well as the interface of popular plugins. Like other similar plugins, this one can also change the dashboard based on user roles. If you want to replicate the same dashboard settings on multiple websites, the plugin allows you to import and export the settings in JSON format.

Client Dash extension for WordPress
Client Dash - The name itself clearly implies that this plugin is made for developers who want to provide custom dashboards to their clients. Apart from hiding the admin menu items, one can also rearrange and customize the look and feel for a personalized experience. Its widget control module allows you to customize all the dashboard widgets without any complex steps. Power users can take advantage of its extensible customization framework to do advanced modification of the dashboard. It can also work on multisite installations. Its role based customization options are pretty impressive.

Adminimize plugin for custom dashboard
Adminimize - This plugin is ideal for WordPress users who love minimalism and don't want to see overwhelmed dashboard with rarely used controls and options. It's ideal for large multi-user blog with different level of privileges. Administrators can fine tune how a custom dashboard should appear to each user on the blog. It can also hide parts of custom post type editing screen to focus only on the important meta boxes. Themes and colors can be configured on user basis. For select users, administrators can completely hide the dashboard. You can also permanently disable HTML mode of the post editor.

Slash Admin dashboard extension
Slash Admin - Whether you're a busy WordPress administrator or an equally devoted editor for a popular blog, this plugin can make your dashboard a much better place to help you do more in less time saving your time and energy. This handy plugin can disable post deletion action after a set period of time so that an editor from a group cannot delete the content, inadvertently. Apart from customizing the login form, it can also modify the admin menu based on user accounts and their privilege. One can also make sure that apart from administrators, no other user gets plugin or theme updates notices on their dash.

Admin Branding and Tweaks plugin
Admin Branding and Tweaks - This is one of the powerful plugins in its category for completely branding a custom WordPress dashboard. Businesses can take advantage of this plugin to turn the default dashboard into a familiar arena. Apart from pruning the dash removing unnecessary meta boxes and widgets, the plugin can be used to customize the look and feel of the all the user interface elements. Power users can freely use custom CSS to fine tune the appearance. You can also select the Google font of your choice to be used in the admin area of the dashboard. It's a must have dash customizing plugin.

Ultimo WP custom dashboard theme
Ultimo WP - This plugin installs a fine tuned and beautiful theme to completely change the overall look and feel of the WordPress dashboard. It has 8 predefined designs which can be activated with a click of a button. It can also change the default login screen as well as footer text to match with your brand. The theme itself is minimal and soothing to eyes allowing you to focus on the primary blogging task. Its flat design matches with modern design trends and gives your dashboard, a professional look. The plugin itself is very lightweight and doesn't slow down the theme based dashboard rendering in any way.

Admin Columns extension
Admin Columns - This powerful dashboard customizing plugin can help you simplify the dashboard within minutes. It can also make the admin screens meaningful. The plugin has a drag and drop support and can be used to rearrange columns of posts, pages, media, comments and almost every listing in the dashboard area. One can also add custom columns within existing listings to add vital information along with the default list. Different types of custom columns are supported to insert almost all of the media types associated with posts and pages. It's an extremely useful column customizing plugin you must use.

Zeus WordPress Admin plugin
Zeus WordPress Admin - Upon activation of this plugin, you'll see a much improved default dashboard (through custom plugin CSS) even before you start applying its options. It has a powerful search option that allows you to find almost anything within your dashboard from a massive archive of posts, pages and media. And the powerful menu editor allows you to create your very own admin menu with custom entries suiting your business needs. It's a handy tool to quickly make subtle changes in your dashboard while keeping the important boxes intact. I've used it on my client's site with good results.

Admin Menu Manager plugin for WordPress
Admin Menu Manager - If you're only interested in customizing the admin menu and want a powerful option to create your own custom menu, then this plugin is made just for you. With full drag and drop support, you can rearrange and reorder the menu items at will. You can even drag a top level menu within child items of other menus. I'll advise to use this plugin in conjunction with the other one that allows you to change the look and feel of the admin menu. Make sure you do not drag and drop the menu items in quick succession on a random basis else you may get confused about the default state.

WP Admin Color Schemes plugin
WP Admin Color Schemes - If you love colors, try this excellent plugin to splash up different color schemes on your WordPress dashboard. With over a dozen different color schemes, one can find and use his favorite one to color up the dashboard. Each color scheme is carefully optimized for proper contrast and text color combination for better legibility. The plugin developer consistently comes up with new color schemes so you're assured of more color goodness on the way. You can change all the color schemes either every day or on a weekly basis to get fresh pimped up dashboard every time you login.


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