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Optimizing The WordPress Admin For Users


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My 2018 WordCamp Sacramento session. At first glance, the WordPress admin can be pretty daunting, especially if it’s your first experience with a content management system (CMS), let alone WordPress. This talk will give designers and developers tips and tricks on ways they can customize the admin to create a better experience for their clients and create peace-of-mind for themselves. We’ll cover things like how to customize the Dashboard widgets, hiding menu items, defining roles and capabilities, creating an Options page, and a variety of plugins that can help.

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Optimizing The WordPress Admin For Users

  1. 1. Optimizing The WordPress Admin For Users Creating a Better User Experience for Clients
  2. 2. Cristina Robinson UI/UX Designer at Three29 Blogger at @LovelyGeek #wcsac @TheLovelyGeek #wcsac
  3. 3. Optimizing the WordPress Admin For Users 1. Value the importance of customizing the admin 2. Take the time to define user roles and capabilities 3. Streamline the Dashboard 4. Utilize the Advanced Custom Fields plugin 5. Make WordPress Easier to Use 6. Anticipate Future Errors 7. Train Your Client Before Giving Them Access 8. Putting it All Together
  4. 4. Why should I care?
  5. 5. WordPress Can Be Intimidating • Clients aren’t used to WordPress • Information overload • Put what matters in front of them • You’re the pro, not them
  6. 6. They Can Break Things • Run updates • Mess with settings • Break the theme • Fixes can be frustrating • Do you want to fix it now or later? “With great power comes great responsibility.” - Uncle Ben
  7. 7. Put Your Best Foot Forward • Reduce emails • Client satisfaction • Provide value • Enhance your reputation
  8. 8. Define User Roles and Capabilities
  9. 9. Get Organized • Determine who should have access to the admin • Create a spreadsheet • Document name, username, password, email, and roles
  10. 10. Plugin: User Role Editor • Create a new role called Client • Base it off Administrator role • Assign your clients to this role • Determine what they can/ cannot do
  11. 11. Plugin: Adminimize • Hide sections of the admin based on role • Restrict access to areas that can get them into trouble • Hide Dashboard widgets • Tip: do this after all needed plugins have been installed
  12. 12. Plugin: User Switching • Allows you to switch to different users without having to log out • Test your custom roles • Verify they see what they’re supposed to see • Handy for troubleshooting
  13. 13. Streamline the Dashboard widgets
  14. 14. Hide Unnecessary Dashboard Widgets • At a Glance • Quick Draft • WordPress Events & News • Plugin-related widgets (e.g. Yoast SEO) • Do this through code or Adminimize plugin
  15. 15. Personalized Custom Widget • Theme notes • Image sizes • Documentation (cheat sheets) • Resources • Do this through code • Build this into your default theme
  16. 16. Plugin: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP • Overview of Google Analytics in your Dashboard • Easy for clients to see their stats • Google Analytics tracking code is automatically inserted
  17. 17. Optional Plugin: Search Meter • See what visitors are searching for on your site • Great for content strategy
  18. 18. Optional Plugin: JetPack • All-in-one plugin by the makers of • Includes traffic tools and stats • See top posts, searches, referrers, and geographic locations • Get insights about most popular content and times
  19. 19. Utilize the Advanced Custom Fields plugin
  20. 20. Create an Options Page • Logo • Contact information • Social media • Tracking pixels • Typekit/Font Awesome
  21. 21. Create Notes and Reminders • Image sizes, formats • Guide your user • Hide unneeded sections on a page/post
  22. 22. Make WordPress Easier to Use
  23. 23. Style the Visual Editor • add_editor_style function to functions.php • Create separate stylesheet dedicated to editor styles •
  24. 24. User Friendly Editing • Theme Customizer • Widgets • Custom Fields • Assume the client should be able to edit the site without knowing code
  25. 25. Anticipate Future Errors
  26. 26. Monitor via an Activity Log Plugin • Handy for troubleshooting • Can see who is doing what • Recommend: Stream, WP Security Audit Log or Simple History • Tip: use Adminimize to hide access from client • Activate after training
  27. 27. Train Your Client Before Giving Them Access
  28. 28. WordPress Training • Show them how to login with the credentials you’ve created for them • Set expectations • Educate on best practices • Documentation for reference
  29. 29. Documentation • Create cheat sheets on the basics and brand them • Create Google Docs and revisit whenever there’s a major WordPress release • Link to them in the Dashboard • Remember this is new to them
  30. 30. Putting It All Together
  31. 31. Create An Admin You Can Be Proud Of
  32. 32. Thank you!