alex sysoef
expert wordpress

Enhancing Your WordPress Admin Interface

When people think about WordPress plugins first things come to mind is functionality, styling, interactivity. All come in different forms and shapes and each need to be evaluated to see if it would fit your needs.

But did you know you can enhance your WordPress Admin interface by simply installing a plugin? I have found several but out of the bunch tried 2 that I liked and here I want to provide you with quick overview of good and bad that comes with these plugins…

According to official information posted by WordPress developers we can expect in March a new version of the core (v. 2.5) with Admin interface being one of the biggest changes. But while we are waiting, perhaps it is worth having a look at enhancing your existing functionality and style!

Admin Drop Down Menus

admin-drop-down-menus.jpg

The Good: This plugin modifies CSS style for rendering all menus in WordPress admin. Very functional and reduces number of clicks you have to make to get to the option you need. Tested on my blog with WordPress 2.3.2 with no issues with core functionality or plugins compatibility. Excellent time saver and click reducer and I love the clean look and functionality it presents but unfortunately it has one issue that prevented me from using it…

The Bad: If you have plugins installed that add their own tabs to admin interface instead of using Option sub-menu and they spread into more then one row (as is the case on my blog) – drop down stops functioning correctly and overlapping tabs become non-functional. One solution I can think is removing offending plugins (not an option for me) or using a screen with resolution that allows all tabs to be in single row.

Unfortunately I use my laptop quite often for writing posts while sitting in my lazy-boy with default resolution of 1024×768, this option is not going to work for me. But I can highly recommend this plugin if it fits your screen.

Visit Yellow Swordfish for plugin download and some technical details.

WordPress Tiger Style Administration

tiger_admin.jpg

The Good: This plugin completely changes layout of your WordPress admin interface and even though I’m not sure how – it makes it seem faster and more responsive. Nice clean look but what is even more important it separates menus and sub-menus into easily accessible navigation bars. Main options always present on your left hand side with top menu becoming available for each main tab and represents sub-menus. Once again fully tested and proven to work without any issues on WordPress 2.3.2.

The Bad: Actually I didn’t find anything to say here. If you have been using WordPress for a while, it might be a bit awkward at first to use this Admin layout but once you get used to – you should be flying. I did think that style looked a bit smallish in Firefox, my main browser.

If looking to change your admin layout and functionality this plugin is highly recommended!

Visit OrderedList.com to get your plugin and for additional screenshots.

While there are a few other plugins that change WordPress Admin interface I have found , presented above to be the most reliable and functional. And one I seen that shows a great promise is not even mentioned here simply because there is no download option.

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About The Blog Author

Alex Sysoef is an IT Consultant, Internet Marketer and ProBlogger who shares his passion and knowledge of WordPress, SEO, Social Media and traffic strategies on his blog WordPress Howto Spotter. Connect on Twitter or Facebook

14 Responses to “Enhancing Your WordPress Admin Interface”

  1. Mike says:

    This is the first time I have ever herd of a plugin designed to help the wordpress admin interface. I’m downloading it now to see how it works.

    Mike’s last blog post..MTX Square Subwoofers

    • TheSpot-er says:

      Yeah…

      Many times we ignore it simply because it is not seen by anyone lese but in my opinion if this enhances our productivity – it is well worth investigation :)

  2. Alex Leonard says:

    I’m liking the potential of these, especially the Tiger admin.

    I’ve been meaning to rework the CSS of the admin interface for a long while, especially when it comes to using word press for a client web site.

    Unfortunately the tiger admin is not really an option for me due to it not supporting IE. I wish that I could just do that, drop IE support being that it make everything so difficult, but some clients just aren’t going to know what I’m talking about when it comes to there being alternative browsers out there. Failing me actually going round to their offices and homes and installing firefox and insisting on them using it I’m going to have to work out an alternative style sheet myself…

    Alex Leonard’s last blog post..Privacy Policy

    • TheSpot-er says:

      Yeah, that could be a problem …. I hear IE8 supposedly offers a better support of CSS standards. But then again – wp2.5 will include some big changes to Admin interface :D. I guess we can only wait and see. I have seen one mod – perhaps the best of them all, that was never released to the public and developers were talking about it possibly making into official WP release. I can only hope it will be part of the core ….

      Alex

  3. Alex Leonard says:

    I should perhaps bide my time on making a new interface if they admin screens are going to undergo a major change. No point doing a load of CSS styling work and then finding out that the whole thing has to be reworked!

    IE8 is sounding fairly good all right, although there are a few issues that some people have brought up regarding needing to specify browser standards mode in a meta tag or something.

    However, they apparently have passed the ACID2 test, which is great news.

    Alex Leonard’s last blog post..Breaking News: Microsoft offer to buy Yahoo!

  4. Alex Leonard says:

    Aye, however the new Gecko rendering engine that’s being used for Firefox 3 passes the test without any worry, so at least by the time IE8 comes out, Firefox will be ahead of the game.

    I can’t imagine switching away from Firefox, I’ve tried Opera, Flock, Safari, but none of them cut the mustard really. IE will never get my usage other than testing web designs. However I’m still thrilled to see new versions of IE coming out as it will slowly push the usage of IE6 lower and lower – which is a great thing.

    The amount of time wasted trying to get things to work in IE6 is insane.

    Alex Leonard’s last blog post..Breaking News: Microsoft offer to buy Yahoo!

  5. Hi,

    I’ve also used the tiger admin plugin and find it a great difference to the normal blue boring admin area, the only thing I’d say is the sometimes some of the buttons are very far down the screen and can be hard to click to save your setting’s.

    Maybe this is down to using firefox I don’t know I’ve never checked in IE but I’d highly recommend tiger admin

  6. Sorry

    I’m back again but the problems I’ve had in the past with my blog (my feed not showing up) have been corrected since I ungraded to wordpress 2.3.

    Also I see they have a microsoft word button to import your posts for your blog maybe this will do away with formatting problems in the future.

  7. TheSpot-er says:

    @ Alex – I agree IE6 sucks :) I generally use it same way as you – testing only to ensure that it displays the content properly.

    @ Barry – I ALWAYS copy text first to text editor like Notepad or my favorite Chrimson Editor and only then transfer text to WordPress. It take extra 3 seconds but ensures that I never have issues with formating :D

    Alex

  8. Mark Myszak says:

    Am I the only one using IE7???
    I tried the dropdown menu plugin last year… In theory it is a great idea, but it was a bit buggy.

    I’ll definatly try tiger style…

    Thanks again for making the wordpress experiance easier

    Mark Myszak’s last blog post..5 Tips for Leveling your Resources

  9. Mark Myszak says:

    I guess I’ll have to be a FireFox convert before it’s all over.

    OrderedList
    Browser Compatibility
    Currently this design is compatible with Safari and Firefox. Until Internet Explorer complies with CSS2 specifications, this plugin will default back to the original WordPress administration design. The plugin does this automagically, without the need for browser sniffing. If the browser is incapable of displaying CSS2, it will not display the updated design.

    Mark Myszak’s last blog post..5 Tips for Leveling your Resources

  10. Sajid Latif says:

    It really does have some nice features. Great work!
    This is the first time I have ever herd of a plugin designed to help the wordpress admin interface.

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