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The FutureProof Blog

Custom WordPress Dashboard – Website Admin Made Easy

Our clients are small business owners like you, not website developers. When we build a website we have to have two people in mind. Obviously, the users of the website, giving them what they need, and hopefully turning them into customers. But equally important, you (hopefully) the client, the person who has to run the website.

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In this post we’re going to look at the Custom WordPress Dashboard we deliver to our small business web design clients. Whether the website costs €600 or €6000, our clients need a hassle free, quick and easy experience. They need to spend their time running their business, making more sales, not spending their time running a complicated website.

Custom WordPress Dashboard - Website Admin Made Easy

Customise the WordPress Admin

So many believe that you have to use WordPress as it is “out of the box” but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s one of the questions we get asked the most by clients, “will I be able to manage and update the website myself?” and our answer is always YES !! Some clients don’t have the time or the interest in doing it themselves, and we off those clients management packages, but they could absolutely run everything themselves if they wanted to.

This is what WordPress looks like when first installed…

Default WordPress Dashboard

Dashboard Widgets

As you can see above, WordPress comes with a default admin and a set of widgets to help you run your website. Some plugins add a widget to this screen. Over the years we’ve found these to be limited, or even useless. You can add custom dashboard widgets to this screen, but it’s a complicated process, we’ll learn the best way to do it below.

WordPress Admin Themes

In a similar way to standard WordPress themes, with an admin theme you can change the design of your WordPress dashboard, the colour scheme for example. But this doesn’t make the admin more functional, or easier to use.

click here to learn more about admin themes…

Elementor Pro & White Label CMS

We use a combination of two plugins to build custom WordPress dashboards for our clients; Elementor Pro (which we use to design every website) and White Label CMS, which allows use to use Elementor for backend design, as well as customising the admin menus and the login screen.

Customise the WordPress Menu

For a business owner without WordPress or website admin experience, the endless menu items in WordPress can be a little overwhelming. Our websites have (at least) two WordPress admin accounts; the full dashboard, for our login and emergencies only, as well as their login with a super simple menu structure for editing purposes.

Custom WordPress Menu

The menu above comes from a site with hundreds of admins, but all they would ever need to do would be add and edit posts, as well as updating their profile information, so that’s all they get. This method also reduces the risk of mistakes, especially when multiple admins or users are required.

Customise the WordPress Login Screen

A custom login screen is purely for aesthetic purposes, but if you have a number of admin users, staff for example, or you allow customers to login to an account, in an E-Commerce context for example, it’s good for brand perception. Below is an example from a client in 2020.

Custom WordPress Login Screen

Coming Soon Page

When your website is in development it’s important to put up what’s called a “Coming Soon” page. First, it tells Google what to expect, and if you submit your site to Google Search Console you may rank in the search results earlier. Second, it gives customers a way to contact you even before your website is complete, if you include email, phone number etc. The Coming Soon page below is for a dog rescue charity based in the UK, looks good right ?…

WordPress Coming Soon Page

Custom Admin Dashboard Examples

Below are some examples of custom WordPress dashboards we’ve delivered to clients over recent years; our clients love them, allowing them to easily update their website themselves, hugely reducing maintenance and outside agency costs.

They are custom built for the needs and requirements of each client; each client is different and so each website admin is different.

Custom Membership Dashboard

This dashboard is at the high end of what we can deliver. It looks nothing like WordPress at all, in fact you wouldn’t know you were looking at a WordPress website at all. The visuals, the buttons, the input fields everything, are all custom developed and the user can only edit information specified by the client.

Wanderly Wagon Custom Admin Dashboard

Just because a website does a lot doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated, it means we have to work harder to make it easy for the client. The dashboard above, for Wanderly Wagon, a tourism business in Galway, there are 12 video guides detailing every aspect of the website.

E-Commerce Admin Dashboard

Many of our clients sell products, as well provide services, so they need different links and different instructions. The admin dashboard above features orders, products and sales stats. as does the video guide. It also features a more detailed instruction manual.

WordPress Admin featuring image gallery e1716476846438

Whatever the business needs we can give them. This face painting business in Roscommon uses an image gallery to promote what they do, so this dashboard features their latest images and links to the edit screens, as well as some standard admin tools.

Google Site Kit

Accessing website analytics can be confusing. One of the most important aspects of our WordPress admin set-up is Google Site Kit; a simplified version of Google Analytics and Google Search Console. This is how we register our clients with Google and the client gets this analytics report on their WordPress Dashboard. It’s one of the first things we do with a new client.

Wanderly Wagon - Google Site Kit

Custom Analytics Reports

For our Small Business SEO clients we take this analytics set up a step further. Using Google Data Studio we set up custom reports, emailed to the client each month, and featuring all the key statistics they need. If they require a specific metric we can customise and tailor these reports for each client.

Custom Analytics Dashboard

WordPress Video Guide

The final piece in the puzzle is the FutureProof Digital video guide. In this guide, contained within the WordPress Dashboard, we walk our clients through everything they need to know, and everything they’ll need to do, to keep their website up to date and performing at its best. 

Below is an example for a carpentry business based in the UK…

Create Your Custom WordPress Dashboard

You might think that the WordPress admin is boring, why are we talking about this? If you run a business, and you run a website, then these aspects of the design and development save you time, and also money. If a Custom WordPress Dashboard saves you 10 minutes a day, that could be as much as 40 hours a year; you can earn real money in that time !!

If you want an easier life running your website, choose FutureProof Digital for your website, or a redesign, we can build one for your existing site too. Click here to give us a call or send us an email…

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About Adam Bermingham
This blog is dedicated to helping you stay ahead of the curve, with insights into the latest trends, tools, and best practices. Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or web designer, we have something for everyone. We bring you expert advice, tutorials, and case studies to help you optimise your online presence.

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