A Closer Look at iThemes’ Sync Pro Client Dashboard for WordPress

Sync is a product from iThemes that makes it easy to manage multiple WordPress sites from a central location and is free to use for managing 10 sites or less. Using Sync, you can manage plugins, themes, users, comments, view site analytics, and log files. Similar to other WordPress remote management services, you need to have the Sync plugin installed on each site you want to manage. The plugin acts as a communication bridge between Sync and the site.

Recently, a new feature called Client Dashboard was added to Sync Pro. With Client Dashboard, you can choose which parts of the backend are available to specific users. Hiding parts of the backend usually involves a lot of code, separate plugins, or knowing the proper permission levels for user roles. In Sync, configuring access to menus is as simple as checking a box.

Configuring a Client Dashboard
Configuring a Client Dashboard

The following sections of the backend are able to be hidden from clients: Admin Menu, Admin Bar, Dashboard Widgets, and Admin Notices. One thing to keep in mind is that although you can hide menus, clients can still access hidden sections if they know the URL. By hiding admin notices generated by plugins, you prevent clients from accessing potentially hidden pages.

As part of the client dashboard, you can enable Sync Stylesheet. The Sync Stylesheet adds spacing to items in the admin menu and increases the font size making it easier to read.

Admin Menu with Sync Stylesheet Enabled
Admin Menu with Sync Stylesheet Enabled

Despite WordPress’ reputation as being easy to use, it can be intimidating to first time users. Removing things they don’t need access to in the backend can significantly ease confusion and frustration.

WordPress Simplified
WordPress Simplified

I tested Sync on WordPress 4.0 and it works flawlessly. If you’re looking for a client management portal with the ability to control a client’s experience with WordPress, Sync Pro from iThemes is a great option.

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