Create a Custom WordPress Dashboard

If you’re building websites for clients, you want them to have the best experience possible. And beyond building a great-looking site for them on the front-end, that also means creating a user-friendly backend dashboard experience for them, too.

WP Admin Pages Pro is a plugin that helps you do just that, giving you a variety of ways to create an improved, custom dashboard for your clients (or for your own website, too!).

In this WP Admin Pages Pro review, I’ll share more about the plugin’s feature list and then take you hands-on and show you how it works.

WP Admin Pages Pro Review: The Feature List

As the name suggests, WP Admin Pages Pro helps you add new pages to the WordPress admin dashboard.

To design these pages, you have a few options.

First off, you can use the default WordPress editor.

You can also choose from a few different page builders, including:

These work by choosing a template from the page builder.

Or, you can also use an HTML editor or embed an external link inside an iframe (or just link people to the external page).

For each page, you can control exactly where to put it. You can add it as a new top-level menu item or as a sub-menu item to an existing menu. Or, you can also replace an existing menu page, or append your custom content above or below an existing page.

For example, you could replace the default Dashboard page with your own custom dashboard page.

If you don’t want to create a full page, you can also create a custom dashboard widget instead.

You can also choose to only make your dashboard page available to specific WordPress user roles or even specific WordPress user accounts. And you get the option to bring in your own custom CSS and JavaScript as well.

Finally, WP Admin Pages Pro supports WordPress Multisite, so you can use it to create custom dashboard pages for your Multisite network, as well.

What Can You Use This Functionality For?

Obviously, the big use case for WP Admin Pages Pro is creating custom dashboard content for client sites.

For example, if you build a site for a client, you could:

  • Add custom dashboard pages to explain how to work with important areas, like the plugins and themes areas.
  • Create a custom welcome page.
  • Insert helpful tutorial videos.
  • Etc.

This isn’t just for the client, either. If you do it right, you can cut down on the support queries that you get from new clients, which will save you time.

Beyond that, I think there’s a use case even if you’re only working on your own site. For example, if you have other authors at your site, you could create a dedicated page that lists important editorial guidelines that they need to know.

WP Admin Pages Pro Pricing

WP Admin Pages Pro comes in four different plans.

First, there are three different plans that come with one year of support and updates. All of them have the same features – the only difference is the number of sites you can use them on:

  • 1 site – $29
  • 3 sites – $49
  • Unlimited sites – $79

Or, there’s also a lifetime option that lets you use it on unlimited sites for $149. I know developers love a lifetime plan for client projects, so this is an attractive option.

All the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’re not risking anything.

Hands-On with WP Admin Pages Pro

Now that you know the features, let’s go hands-on and I’ll show you how WP Admin Pages Pro works.

Once you install and activate the plugin, you’ll get a new Admin Pages area in your dashboard where you can control all your admin pages.

To get started, you go to Admin Pages → Add New Admin Page to create your first admin page.

Then, here’s how it works…

Choose Dashboard Page Content

To get started, you can give your dashboard page a title. Then, you can choose where to pull its content from.

Here, you can see all the available content sources:

Content sources

For example, if you wanted to use a template from the Brizy page builder for your dashboard page, you could select Brizy and then choose any template that you’ve already created:

WP Admin Pages pro Brizy template

Or, another option would be to use an external URL, either by linking people to that page or embedding the page in an iframe. You can see that you get a few different options:

Embed external link

Or, if you’re tech savvy, you could just use the built-in HTML editor to add your own code:

Configure the General Options

Once you’ve chosen the content for your dashboard page, you can hop over to the sidebar to configure the General Options.

Most importantly, this is where you’ll choose where to place your new dashboard content. The Type drop-down gives you five different options:

  1. Top-level Menu – add it as an always-visible top-level menu. Like Appearance, Media, Plugins, etc.
  2. Submenu – add it underneath an existing top-level menu. For example, you could put it inside the Appearance or Plugins sections.
  3. Replace Existing Page – replace one of the existing top-level menus. You can either completely replace the content, or just append the new content above/below the existing content.
  4. Replace Existing Sub Page – replace one of the existing submenus. You can either completely replace the content, or just append the new content above/below the existing content.
  5. Dashboard Widget – create a new dashboard widget that you can display on the Dashboard page.

WP Admin Pages pro general options

The “type” that you choose will affect the other options. For example, if you choose a new top-level menu, you’ll be able to choose the text and icon.

Or, if you choose to replace an existing page, you can use drop-downs to select the page to replace and where to add the content:

Content placement

Below the General Options, you’ll also get another Display Options box in the sidebar where you can configure some other basic settings, like whether or not to show admin notices on this custom page.

Configure Advanced Options

Finally, the last step in the setup is the Advanced Options meta box.

One of the most notable things that you can do here is restrict who can see your new dashboard page using WordPress user roles.

You can either display your page to all users. Or, you can choose specific user roles or even specific user accounts:

Per-role restrictons

For example, you could create a special dashboard just for your client’s account without affecting any of the other users at their site.

The Separator tab lets you add a separator before or after your menu item.

And finally, the CSS and JavaScript tabs let you add your own custom CSS and JavaScript, respectively. You can either add the code itself or import an external stylesheet or JavaScript file (or both):

Custom CSS

Checking Out Some Examples of New Admin Pages

Next, let’s go and check out some examples of the end product. For these examples, I created a simple template with the Brizy page builder plugin.

First, here’s what it looks like to create a new top-level page:

New top menu

Or, you could put it as a submenu:

New submenu

Or, another option would be to add it below the content of an existing page. For example, here’s what it looks like to add my Brizy template right underneath the default Dashboard page:

WP Admin Pages pro example

Finally, here’s an example of embedding the WP Mayor homepage as an iframe. You can, of course, embed any URL that you want:

WP Admin Pages pro embed html

So basically, you have a lot of flexibility for where and how you display your custom dashboard pages.

Import and Export via Regular WordPress Importer Tool

While WP Admin Pages Pro doesn’t offer its own import/export tool, it does use regular WordPress custom post types to manage the dashboard pages/additions.

That means you can use the regular WordPress importer tool to import and export your dashboard pages as needed (Tools –> Import).

Final Thoughts on WP Admin Pages Pro

While there are other plugins that help you create a custom WordPress dashboard, I think WP Admin Pages has gone a step further in the level of detail when it comes to the content you can add and where you add it.

Being able to use so many content sources, including page builders, is convenient, and I also like the options you get for inserting your content.

All in all, if you want to add custom content to your WordPress dashboard – either for yourself or client sites – give WP Admin Pages Pro a look.

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