Custom Admin User Pages

A lot of people who use multisite as membership sites or as a point for professional services probably go through changing the header, changing the footer, taking out menu options by user level. What would be ah-maaa-zing though is if there were an option to have your own custom user admin pages totally outside the wordpress panel.

OR, perhaps a slightly easier option, some sort of admin theming plugin that allows for some highly customizable CSS and admin template options. You can kind of get there by patching different plugins together now, but if there were a single one that did it all would be great.

  • ymousley

    Not quite. Ideally I'd be looking for a way to make the members area look more similar to the front end of my site. I'll primarily be using the membership plugin to show/hide certain content by member level, and I want them to be able to view things like subscription details, etc., but almost none of the other things in the WP dashboard.

    And for that purpose, it would be nice to have the option of more control over the look and feel of the user panel so that it's not one lonely little box on the left, fonts that don't match the front end, etc. For anyone using the site not exactly as a blog platform, it would be really helpful to be able to make your own UI.

    I've styled the admin CSS before, but when there are upgrades, it's a pain to keep up with.

  • Mason

    Hiya ymousley,

    As you've noted admin styling can be a real pain. There are some plugins out there to help out, but none that do so well by user role. It's an area of weakness for WordPress and one that we've looked into a couple times - but not one that's been a huge request here.

    Still, I agree it would be cool to have something in this space. Maybe something similar to our Easy Blogging plugin - but with loads of customization ability built in?

    Anyone else?

  • wecreateyou

    +1 and I have some ideas about what would be awesome. I also have been working on this and it's really important to me. The thing is I'm really nice with CSS so starting with a simple stylesheet editor (with roles and works across multisite) would be a great start.

    One tip I have for some is that clients don't seems to like full width admin. On widescreen monitors the admin tend to look dis-jointed to a newbie. hard to take in. So the first thing I do is adjust the width and center.

    body.wp-admin {
    min-width: 960px;
    width: 960px;
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;
    }

    Some might prefer to do this on some wrapper div... works fine either way. It's a good start to getting a backend that feels a little better.

    I'm working on a post that will list the plugins I've found that have helped me either style the backend successfully and in the best of cases allow me to skip the backend altogether for simple usage. but for now...

    My plugin idea...

    The best plugin to me would allow us to create admin pages using shortcodes or drag and drop in regular WordPress fashion. I call it "admin page types". All admin pages could even be transformed into ajax forms to keep things neat and orderly. Then whichever admin pages you wanted to mimic on the front-end would available (by roles of course) and pressing save or submit would be an ajaxy experience! Perfectly styled to your site.

    Then add options for all admin pages appear on one designated page available in a tabbed interface as well as a vertical collapsable menu style. Each tab or panel would be a different admin page. (again save is ajax)

    So add to that a CMS editor for that front-end admin section. It should override defaults. for the admin section page by page.

    Don't forget about profiles, and making it work with other plugins. If I install Gravity Forms, Pods, Supporter, Membership, Marketpress, or any plugin I desire, I should be able to make an admin page for it! with a simple shortcode system or drag and drop. Optionally including each field goes on the list as well (but maybe down a bit), Also theme picking includes thumbnail and author info as well and the dashboard I guess goes without saying...

    And it all works with multisite so all sites on network see the "front-end admin" ...but they can still make css tweaks somehow. These changes would be located in a separate css file that isn't overwritten when updates on the network occur.

    Finally... I just thought that it should not conflict with plugins that hide parts of the admin. If it's hidden in the back-end that does NOT mean it should be hidden in the front-end. This way you can pick and choose what gets seen on the back-end vs. front-end. Make it all front end admin or partial. So any incompatible plugin could still be used if you wanted to reveal them in the back-end. But most should work darn it!

    I'm just using my imagination again. I hope that's not frowned upon here... if so I do apologize.

    WPMUdev, That's what's up!

  • wecreateyou

    Here's the admin width css applied to admin using Firebug with a little height added to the header. For most website this is a basic structure that people are familiar with. I'm also using Ozh Admin bar to get the horizontal menu. I could have used another plugin to only show certain menu items in the admin menu. It's easy to add color, background images and little more style to specific elements and make a passable admin area. I've seen clients "get it" quicker with this layout for whatever reason.

    I'm not satisfied but it does seem to help. I still want front-end admin...

  • ymousley

    The best plugin to me would allow us to create admin pages using shortcodes or drag and drop in regular WordPress fashion. I call it "admin page types". All admin pages could even be transformed into ajax forms to keep things neat and orderly. Then whichever admin pages you wanted to mimic on the front-end would available (by roles of course) and pressing save or submit would be an ajaxy experience! Perfectly styled to your site.

    I like this idea a lot. I think anyone who wants to change the way the backend looks is probably willing to get their hands dirty on the CSS, but separating the functionality by PHP tags, shortcodes or something similar that allows people to build granular pages would be awesome.

  • ymousley

    Also, I wouldn't even need drag and drop or anything fancy. Just something that could be switched on in the super admin that lets you edit admin templates in the same way you can edit blog themes. Maybe the super admin could default to the regular wordpress admin, but there would be an admin theme gallery that could be enabled for blogs in the network (all of them, not thinking of separate admin themes for separate blogs just yet).

    As Wordpress moves more to a CMS, I think that's the one thing that would really make it awesome. Think about all the possibilities that would open up for people using Wordpress for really specific purposes.

  • wecreateyou

    FLY CSS is what I was looking for. It gives you 2 text-boxes... one for the front-end and one for the back-end. Plugin Manager deploys it network-wide. Next I'll try to using the Site Template and create a template for new blogs that has predefined CSS for the back-end. From there it's all about custom admin menu plugins and which one works best in this situation I notice that my favorite (Admin Menu Manager) doesn't list custom items...

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.