How to Customize WordPress Admin Theme?

How to Customize WordPress Admin Theme?

Though WordPress has become the most popular content management system around, its admin user interface still lacks flexibility for those running a multi-author website. Generally there are two ways of styling the WordPress admin themes, and in this example, we’d like to introduce the much easier plugin method.

Based on operability and popularity, the White Label CMS plugin is instanced. To start, let’s have a quick look at the differences between WordPress admin themes and color themes.

Differences Existing Between WordPress Admin Themes & Color Themes

Although sharing some characteristics in common, WordPress admin themes are different from admin color themes. Often times, WordPress users can visit the user profile page and choose a preferred color scheme for their admin areas. This kind of color scheme won’t alter the height, width, spacing or padding of WordPress admin interface.

WordPress Color Schemes

WordPress admin themes, on the other hand, will go one step further and change the margin, width, borders and padding of WordPress admin UI. Meanwhile, they can modify the appearance of those elements, including menus, links, buttons and typography inside your WordPress backend. In the following, let’s go through the simple steps to customize admin themes using “White Label CMS plugin”.

How to Use White Label CMS to Modify WordPress Admin Theme?

This “White Label CMS” plugin comes bundled with hundreds of customization options, which are divided into five main categories – “Branding”,” Login”, “Dashboard Panels”, “Admin Settings” and “Modification Menus”. Before carrying out any modifications, you shall install and activate this plugin just as you’d install any WordPress plugins.

Add White Label CMS

Now that this plugin has been installed, you can go to “Settings” > “White Label CMS” to start customizing your admin themes.


At the beginning, this WP plugin will prompt you to brand admin area. As shown, it’s possible to re-design admin favicon, replace header logo as well as change footer logo. All those options there (including WordPress “Messages” and “Help” options) can be switched off. Note that, the WordPress logo from “Admin Bar” should be 16px x 16px.

Branding Options


The login background and logo can be customized within the same settings area. You are allowed to have a login page with white background. If needed, you can “Upload” another login logo that is about 300px by 80px. There is another option to add “Custom Login CSS”, which surely requires above-average technical knowledge.

Login Options

Dashboard Panels

Below is the “Dashboard Panels” section where you can hide various panels, such as “At a Glance”, “Activity”, “Recent Comments” and other dashboard panels alike. A good thing of this plugin is that all the hidden dashboards will be shown to the site administrator only. To use a “Welcome Panel”, you shall set the panel “Visibility”, “Title” as well as “Description” as below. There are several “Second Panel Settings” underneath it.

Welcome Panel Settings

Note: Plus, an RSS dashboard panel will be added if you choose “Yes”. Within the “RSS Settings”, you should create RSS title, add a logo, fill in RSS feed as well as specify the number of RSS items to display.

RSS Settings

Amin Settings

The “Admin Settings” options allow you to enable/disable “Login URL Redirect”, “Nag Update” and” Help Box”. At the same time, you have an option to hide both post and page meta boxes. As for the “Post Meta Boxes”, there are many boxes to be removed from the “Edit Post” panel, such as “Slug”, “Author”, “Custom Fields”, “Revisions”, “Tags” and “Author”, etc.

Hide Post Meta Boxes

Modification Menus

From here, it is also possible to choose a CMS profile and hide many menus for people with user role of “Editor”. Even though you set the “Access to Appearance Menu” to “Yes”, only the “Menus”, “Widgets”, “Header” as well as “Background” options will appear for users with the role of “Editor”. After done with all settings above, remember to click “Save Changes”.

Modify Menus

Note: To import your settings from another installation of the “White Label CMS” plugin, just click the “Import” link and then upload the setting file. If you choose the next “Export” button, then all the images added from external websites, the path to the images and the filename of any images will be exported. If you are not completely satisfied with the current settings, just click to “Reset the Plugin”.

Import & Export Your Settings

Top Free Plugins for Customizing WordPress Admin Themes

WordPress admin themes will definitely provide a better user experience for site administrators and users, and they can be further customized using other customization plugins. In below, we’ve listed the top free options to transform your WordPress admin area.

  • Bootstrap Admin – that is a minimalistic admin theme that is built on Twitter’s Bootstrap. It is multisite compatible and also features general styling of admin menu, admin area as well as bootstrap icons.
  • Blue Admin – that is a clean admin design that lets your WordPress admin area more relaxed and clear than before. This plugin uses blue as the primary color and includes custom navigation menus for WordPress toolbar.
  • Slate Admin Theme – that is a simple admin plugin for your WordPress backend. Its admin bar is dark brown with blue color for buttons, menus and links.