Theme

Hi - via the Ultimate-Branding plugin can we theme the backend? we don't want the admin area to look like a wordpress admin to our users. Thanks

  • Gabe

    Not entirely, although you can use it to change most aspects of the backend. You can even add your own CSS to significantly change it. However, overall it may still 'feel' like WordPress more than you want.

    If the custom CSS doesn't change it enough for your needs, you can always try WPMU's Easy Blogging plugin, which completely changes the backend. Check it out: https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/easy-blogging/

    Hope this helps.

  • aheart

    Thanks Gabe and Joe! Much appreciated. A few questions:

    1) Via the Easy Blogging plugin, can we do things like edit the look/feel and available options of the admin interface?

    2) Can we use Ultimate Branding in conjunction with Easy Blogging? It seems like there are features in Ultimate Branding that aren't in Easy Blogging that would be useful.

    3) Would building a "front-end" admin panel for users be a better solution and provide more flexibility?

    As mentioned, we want to provide an admin interface for our users which looks good, doesn't look like a WP admin, and provides us with control to the user's workflow, options, and the layout of the admin interface.

    Thanks in advance

  • Gabe

    1) Via the Easy Blogging plugin, can we do things like edit the look/feel and available options of the admin interface?

    You can make some customizations with the built-in options (see the Usage section at https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/easy-blogging/). For further customization you'd have to make custom changes to the plugin. If you have a development server running it shouldn't take too long to play with the CSS and add/remove a few menu hooks, based on your needs.

    2) Can we use Ultimate Branding in conjunction with Easy Blogging? It seems like there are features in Ultimate Branding that aren't in Easy Blogging that would be useful.

    You can to some extent, but remember that Easy Blogging entirely removes some aspects that Ultimate Branding changes. Some changes will still apply though.

    3) Would building a "front-end" admin panel for users be a better solution and provide more flexibility?

    It really depends. An admin panel implies that users have some sort of control and the ability to make things happen. To secure this area, a user should login, which *sometimes* defeats the purpose of making anything front-end. For example, some submission sites allow front-end submissions to make it easier for users and increase participation, but those posts are often held for moderation and don't allow any sort of control.

    I guess it is possible to have users login then use a front-end custom admin panel, but in my opinion you're better off using one of WPMU's plugins and just compromise. I say this because you can spend a lot of time/money developing a slick custom solution, but when WordPress rolls out an update you have to spend more time/money to become compatible or just not upgrade, which contributes to increased security risk. The benefit of WPMU's Dev team is that they do this for you. Sure it doesn't fill every need or every edge case, but its 'good enough' until your budget can support your own team.

    As mentioned, we want to provide an admin interface for our users which looks good, doesn't look like a WP admin, and provides us with control to the user's workflow, options, and the layout of the admin interface.

    Personally, I'd recommend sticking with Easy Blogging or Ultimate Branding unless your budget supports custom development that can be kept current. It's best to take a look at why you're asking for this, what you *really need* it to do and just compromise. 9 times out of 10 one of WPMU's solutions is 'good enough' for now, maybe add a few customizations, and put the money and time you save on development into customers service or improving the value you deliver.

    In the past I've spent a lot of time on money on getting stuff perfect that, in the end, really doesn't matter. Especially if you're new and still developing your product, your needs will change as you learn what works and what your customer wants. Maybe something you spend 20 hours or $1,000 will become irrelevant (multiply it by 5 and it's happened to me multiple times...). You can always come back to that stuff later, but improving customer service and value delivery always pay off.

    Always focus on putting time and money into the things that won't change (i.e. customers will always want a faster application, better customer service, lower costs, more value, etc.). I apologize if you already know this, I just don't want you to make the same mistakes I've made...make different ones :slight_smile:

    Hope this helps.

  • aecnu

    Greetings aheart,

    Thank you for your additional questions.

    Gabe's input was once again spot on, but I would like to add a little bit to that.

    Apply yourself. Try it out. Do it!

    Not only will you find that this may or may not meet your needs, but you will certainly learn by doing it and the ins and outs which no book or text can compare.

    There are those that learn in college etc. but when they try to apply that book stuff in the real world they get in most cases a rude awakening real fast.

    I certainly read and I am not saying books are useless by any means, but experience is the real teacher and books etc. I use as a guideline only.

    Just some friendly advice which if most people applied it there would be a lot less frustration when they run up against the unexpected and Mr. Murphy and his primary law - If something can go wrong, it will.

    Cheers, Joe