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How to Create a WordPress Custom Dashboard

Table of Contents

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that allows users to easily create and manage a website. One of the key features of WordPress is its dashboard, which provides a user-friendly interface for managing various aspects of the website, such as content, settings, and plugins. However, the default dashboard provided by WordPress may not always meet the specific needs of a website or user. In this guide, we will show you how to create a custom dashboard in WordPress to better manage your website’s content and functionality.

Understanding the WordPress Dashboard

The WordPress dashboard is the primary interface for managing a WordPress website. It is the first page that appears when a user logs into the backend of their website. The default dashboard includes a variety of widgets and sections that provide an overview of recent activity, upcoming events, and site performance. It also provides quick access to frequently used settings and tools, such as posts, media, pages, and plugins. Before we start creating a custom dashboard, it is important to understand the different elements of the default dashboard and how they can be customized.

Creating a Custom Dashboard using a Plugin

One of the most efficient and straightforward ways to create a custom dashboard in WordPress is by using a plugin. There are several WordPress plugins available that allow you to customize the dashboard and add new features. One such plugin that we recommend is the White Label CMS plugin.

White Label CMS is a powerful plugin that allows you to fully customize the WordPress backend, including the dashboard. With this plugin, you can remove unwanted items, change colors and logos, and create custom dashboards tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, it also allows you to hide specific menus and submenus, rename existing menus and submenus and even create custom menus, this is especially useful for agency’s or freelancer who wants to provide a branded experience to their client.

To install the plugin, you can go to the WordPress plugin repository and search for White Label CMS, or you can download the plugin from the official website and upload it to your WordPress installation. Once the plugin is installed and activated, you can access the settings from the WordPress backend and begin customizing your dashboard. The plugin comes with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate and customize various aspects of the backend.

In summary, White Label CMS is a great option for creating a custom dashboard in WordPress. It offers a wide range of customization options and an easy-to-use interface. By using this plugin, you can easily create a dashboard that is tailored to your specific needs and provides a more efficient and user-friendly experience for managing your website.

Step 1: Install the White Label CMS plugin

  1. To install the White Label CMS plugin, log in to your WordPress backend and go to the “Plugins” section.
  2. Click on the “Add New” button to search for new plugins.
  3. Search for “White Label CMS” and click on the “Install Now” button.
  4. Once the plugin is installed, activate it by clicking on the “Activate” button.

Step 2: Customize the Dashboard

  1. After the plugin is activated, you can access the settings by clicking on the “White Label CMS” menu item on the left sidebar.
  2. The plugin’s settings page allows you to customize various aspects of the WordPress backend, including the dashboard.
  3. From the settings page, you can change the logo, colors, and branding of your backend.
  4. You can also remove unwanted items, and create custom menus, and custom dashboards.

Step 3: Customizing the Menus

  1. White Label CMS allows you to hide specific menus and submenus, rename existing menus and submenus, and create custom menus.
  2. You can access the menu customization options by clicking on the “Menus” tab on the settings page.
  3. Once you have made the necessary changes, click on the “Save Changes” button to apply the changes to your dashboard.

Step 4: Customizing the widgets

  1. The plugin also has the option to customize the widgets that appears in the WordPress dashboard.
  2. You can access the widget customization options by clicking on the “Widgets” tab on the settings page.
  3. Once you have made the necessary changes, click on the “Save Changes” button to apply the changes to your dashboard.

Step 5: Test and refine

  • After you’ve made all the customizations you want, log out of the WordPress backend and log back in to see the changes you’ve made.
  • Test your custom dashboard thoroughly and make any necessary adjustments. Continuously refine and improve it over time to ensure that it stays user-friendly and efficient.

By following these steps, you can easily install and use the White Label CMS plugin to create a custom dashboard in WordPress that is tailored to your specific needs. The plugin offers a wide range of customization options and an easy-to-use interface, making it easy to create a more efficient and user-friendly experience for managing your website.

Creating a Custom Dashboard using Code

Another way to create a custom dashboard in WordPress is by using code. This method is more advanced and requires a good understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP. It gives you full control over the design and functionality of your dashboard and allows you to create something truly unique.

Here’s a basic overview of the steps to create a custom dashboard using code:

  1. Create a new function to register your new dashboard page. This function can be added to your theme’s functions.php file or a plugin.
  2. Use the add_menu_page() function to register the new page with WordPress. This function allows you to create a new top-level menu item in the WordPress admin menu.
  3. Create a new function that will display the content of your custom dashboard page. This function will be called by the add_menu_page() function.
  4. Use the add_submenu_page() function to add your custom dashboard page as a submenu of the main dashboard. This allows you to keep your custom dashboard separate from the default WordPress dashboard.
  5. Create the HTML and display it to the screen. This is where you will define the layout and functionality of your custom dashboard.
  6. Use wp_enqueue_script() and wp_enqueue_style() functions to load any custom CSS and JavaScript that you need to make your custom dashboard looks as you want and interacts as you want.

It’s important to note that when using this method, you need to make sure that your code is properly structured, properly commented and optimized for performance, this will save you the time later when you need to maintain or troubleshoot it.

It’s also recommended to use a child theme to keep your customizations separate from the parent theme, this is especially useful when updating your theme and ensure that your customizations are not overridden by updates.

Keep in mind that creating a custom dashboard from scratch using code requires a good understanding of web development, so if you are not comfortable with coding, it may be best to start with a plugin or work with a professional developer.

Customizing the Look and Feel of Your Dashboard

Custom WordPress Dashboard

Now that you have your custom dashboard functional, the next step is to tailor its appearance to match your website’s design. This can be achieved by using CSS and JavaScript. Customizing the layout, colors, fonts, and other visual elements of your dashboard can help make it more cohesive with the rest of your website, and thus more user-friendly.

To add custom CSS, you can add it directly to your theme’s stylesheet or a child theme’s stylesheet, or you can use a plugin such as Simple Custom CSS that allows you to add custom CSS directly from the WordPress backend. You could also use the Advanced Custom Fields plugin to create custom fields in the backend where you can store your CSS code.

In addition to customizing with CSS, you can also use JavaScript to add interactive features and dynamic effects to your custom dashboard. To include custom JavaScript, you can enqueue it using the wp_enqueue_script() function, the same way you added the CSS. Make sure to enqueue it only on the backend, you can do that by using the admin_enqueue_scripts hook

For example, you can use wp_enqueue_style( 'custom-dashboard', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/custom-dashboard.css' ); to load your custom CSS file and wp_enqueue_script( 'custom-dashboard', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/custom-dashboard.js' ); to load your custom JS file.

You can also use a plugin such as jQuery Updater to update the version of jQuery that is included with WordPress to a newer version, this can be useful if you want to use some recent JavaScript functions or syntax.

Furthermore, you can use custom icons and graphics to make your dashboard more visually appealing. By adding custom icons and graphics, you can make your dashboard more engaging and pleasant to the eyes. For example, you can use the Dashicons which is the official icon font of the WordPress backend, or use an icon library such as FontAwesome to add icons to your dashboard.

In summary, customizing the look and feel of your dashboard is an important step in creating a user-friendly and efficient interface. By using CSS, JavaScript and custom icons and graphics, you can create a dashboard that is visually appealing and cohesive with the rest of your website.

Additional Tips for Optimizing Your Custom Dashboard

When creating a custom dashboard in WordPress, there are a few additional tips that you should keep in mind to optimize its performance and usability:

  • Keep it simple: The goal of a dashboard is to provide an overview of important information and quick access to frequently used features. Keep your dashboard design simple and easy to navigate to avoid overwhelming users with too much information.
  • Prioritize essential information: Show the most important information first and use a clear hierarchy to separate different types of data. This will help users quickly find the information they need.
  • Optimize loading times: The faster your dashboard loads, the better the user experience will be. Optimize images, use a caching plugin, and keep your code clean and organized to minimize loading times.
  • Add a Help section: A help section or tooltips can be very useful for users who are not familiar with your custom dashboard. Provide guidance and explanations for each section of your dashboard to make it easier for users to understand and use.
  • Test and refine: Once your custom dashboard is complete, test it thoroughly and make any necessary adjustments. Continuously refine and improve it over time to ensure that it stays user-friendly and efficient.

Conclusion

Creating a custom dashboard in WordPress can greatly enhance the overall management and functionality of your website. By utilizing plugins, custom code, and design customization, you can create a user-friendly interface that meets the specific needs of your website and users. It’s also essential to optimize it for performance and usability. With a custom dashboard, you can streamline the process of managing your website, providing quick access to important information, and overall making it more pleasant to use.

In this guide, we have provided a step-by-step approach to creating a custom dashboard in WordPress, including tips on understanding the default dashboard, creating a custom dashboard using a plugin or code, and customizing the look and feel of your dashboard. We hope this guide has been helpful and that you will be able to create a custom dashboard that fits the unique needs of your website and users.

Include Images and videos as necessary to help explain better for the readers and if you are referring to any plugin, website or feature, add links to their respective website.

Picture of Katerina Valeria
Katerina Valeria
Hi there! My name is Catherine and I am a professional content creator with a focus on WordPress. I write blog articles for Gloria Themes, sharing my knowledge and expertise on all things related to this popular website platform.

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