How to Create a Client Dashboard in WordPress

Comments Off on How to Create a Client Dashboard in WordPress    August 1, 2017 13:25

Do you want to create a client dashboard in WordPress? A custom dashboard in WordPress can help your clients with resources and shortcuts they need to get started. In this article, we will show you how to create a client dashboard in WordPress without writing any code or affecting client’s ability to update their websites.

Creating a client dashboard in WordPress

Why Create a Client Dashboard in WordPress?

As WordPress solutions provider, you’ll come across clients who haven’t used WordPress before, and they are not familiar with HTML, CSS, or WordPress terminology.

By creating a custom dashboard for clients, you can provide them with a lean WordPress interface and improved usability.

It will improve client satisfaction which leads to more repeat work. Your clients will need less support which will also save you time.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily create a client dashboard in WordPress.

We will walk you through different steps in the process. You can decide how much you want to customize depending on your client’s requirements.

1. Hide Unnecessary Admin Menus

While building a website for your clients, you may use different WordPress plugins, custom post types, WordPress page builders, and other tools. Many of these tools will add their own menu items in the WordPress admin bar, create custom widgets in the admin dashboard, and add links in the toolbar.

The end result looks a bit messy. For a client who has never used WordPress these additional items make the dashboard look more complicated than it needs to.

WordPress dashboard

Let’s start creating a client dashboard by cleaning up the clutter.

To do that you will need to install and activate the Adminimize plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Adminimize page to configure the plugin.

Adminimize settings

You will see different admin sections listed on the settings page. Clicking on a section will expand it, and you will see the options for that particular section.

Settings for a section in Adminimize

You can show or hide any item listed under a section for different user roles. Carefully review each item before hiding it as this may affect your client’s ability to use their website.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to hide unnecessary menu items in WordPress with Adminimize.

2. White Label WordPress Dashboard

The Adminimize plugin covers a lot of options to control the appearance of your WordPress admin dashboard. However, it does not have options to hide the WordPress branding and white labeling the admin area.

White labeling includes replacing the WordPress logo with a custom logo, changing the admin area footer, show or hide items from menus, and more.

First, you need to install and activate the White Label CMS plugin. Upon activation, head over to Settings » White Label CMS page to configure plugin settings.

White Label CMS settings

The settings page is divided into different sections. You can click on a section to expand and view its settings.

Some options in the plugin are also available in Adminimize. If you have already hidden those options, then you can skip them.

For detailed instructions about each section, take a look at our article on how to white label your WordPress admin dashboard.

3. Change The WordPress Dashboard Appearance

WordPress comes with a handful of admin color schemes that users can change from their profiles. You can set a color scheme as default for new users. You can also create a custom color scheme of your own.

Admin color schemer

Want to take it to the next level? Try WordPress admin themes. These themes are available as plugins that you can install to change the appearance of your WordPress admin area.

WordPress admin theme

Here are some free WordPress admin themes and plugins that you can try.

4. Add Helpful Resources to Client Dashboard

When delivering projects to your clients, you will notice that many of them have similar questions. Adding a help or resource section in WordPress client dashboard can help you answer those questions and save time spent on providing support.

The best way to add a help section is by installing and activating the WP Help plugin. Upon activation, the plugin adds a new ‘Publishing Help’ menu item in your WordPress admin bar. Clicking on it will take you to the settings page.

Publishing help

This area will be empty since you haven’t created any help resources yet. Go ahead and click on the ‘Add New’ button to create one.

On the next page, you can create your help document just like you would create a WordPress post or page.

New help document

WP Help uses custom post type for documents, and they are hierarchical like pages. You can create parent and child documents to organize them.

Managing docs

You can also sync documents from another WordPress site. This allows you to use the same documentation for all your client projects.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to add a help / resource section in WordPress admin.

5. Creating Custom Dashboard Widgets

Dashboard widgets is the first things user see when they log into the WordPress admin area. This is the best place to point your clients into right direction by adding your own custom dashboard widgets.

Here is a simple dashboard widget code that you can use as a starting point.

You will need to add this code into your theme’s functions.php file or in a site-specific plugin.

add_action('wp_dashboard_setup', 'my_custom_dashboard_widgets');
 
function my_custom_dashboard_widgets() {
global $wp_meta_boxes;

wp_add_dashboard_widget('custom_help_widget', 'Theme Support', 'custom_dashboard_help');
}

function custom_dashboard_help() {

// Content you want to show inside the widget

echo '<p>Welcome to Custom Blog Theme! Need help? Contact the developer <a href="mailto:yourusername@gmail.com">here</a>. For WordPress Tutorials visit: <a href="http://www.wpbeginner.com" target="_blank">WPBeginner</a></p>';
}

Don’t forget to change the content part with your own message. You can use plain HTML for formatting and styling.

Here is how it looked on our demo website.

Custom dashboard widget

For more information, take a look at our article on how to add custom dashboard widgets in WordPress.

That’s all for now.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create a client dashboard in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to boost WordPress speed and performance.

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