Customizing the WordPress Admin for Clients

WordPress has become the most used Content Management System around. The WordPress community supplies us with thousands of themes and plugins, enriching the experience for both website owners and users. Themes for WordPress are a huge business. But all of those themes are for the front-end, what about the backend?

When WordPress 3.8 was released it did take a step closer to allowing users to customize the admin interface, but hasn’t quite given us complete freedom as yet. So, in this post we take a deeper look at some of the best WordPress admin themes currently available. These themes are packaged as plugins, making them very easy to install, and will give you the ability to offer your clients a completely new and customized dashboard that will not only match their brand, but also make it easier for new WordPress users to navigate around.


Contrary to most themes, WPShapere offers a complete interface dedicated to customizing your admin theme without having to touch any code. It is jam-packed with features. There are also options to hide certain menus, sort the menu items, rename them, edit the icons, and much more. Another great thing is, it will support multi-site functionality, so you can easily take control over the appearance of your network of blogs. Definitely worth a look.

If you’re looking for the perfect base to fully customize the WordPress’ admin section, then WPShapere is the theme to get.

Retina Press

Retina Press sticks to the typical WordPress Admin structure and is great for clients with previous WordPress experience. With Retina Press you can overwrite WordPress’ custom theme colors and pick your own to match a brand. For additional customization you are able to upload your own company logo to display on the WordPress login page.

This plugin will also support multi-site functionality. And best of all, it works on mobile!

Blue Press

Blue Press will give your WordPress Admin Panel a Facebook-inspired look making it a great option for socially powered sites. It comes packaged with multiple color schemes (Blue, Turquoise, YellowGreen, DarkOrange, Violet, FireBrick) to match your brand, supports custom login pages, and you can also change the icons in the admin menus.

Blue Press will also support multi-site functionality.

Modern Admin

Modern Admin is flat-retina ready template for transforming your WordPress admin area. It is clearly inspired by Windows, and ticks all the boxes when it comes to the current design trends.

It comes packaged with 5 color schemes, custom login form, configurable menus and customizable dashboard icons. It also comes with multi-language support.

Micropanel 2

The classy Micropanel 2 is probably the most minimalistic, or even futuristic, admin theme currently available. It’s a fantastic alternative to the boring administration theme that comes with WordPress by default.

Micropanel 2 is responsive and does support multi-site functionality.

Helios Solutions

Helios Solutions is a free alternative to the premium admin themes above. While this plugin doesn’t offer the same level of customisation as the others, it does offer a bundle of preset themes, and does allow you to change font colors, the navigation menu colors, and the post and page form colors.

Helios Solutions is a great option to start out with, but limited.


As more and more developers use WordPress as their system of choice for building client websites, the backend interface becomes an often over-looked crucial element. You have to not only impress your clients visitors, but also the client themselves. A custom Admin Theme for WordPress will help you do just that.

Next Steps

Tuts+ have a comprehensive learning guide, written by Rachel McCollin, that will teach you how to customize the WordPress login screen, dashboard, post editing screens and also how to add styling and branding. And if you’re in a hurry, they also have a tutorial that will quickly show you how to build a WordPress plugin that will hide certain parts of the WordPress admin area from your clients.

Taking things further, you could browse CodeCanyon for some moreWordPress admin themes and plugins, or you could even take a look at some amazing Bootstrap Admin Templates.

Browse WordPress Admin Themes and Plugins on CodeCanyon →