Create A Custom WordPress Admin Experience With Adminimize

Over the years, WordPress has added features, menus, and options throughout the backend. I’m constantly reminded of the 80/20 rule of software development where 20% of the software is not used. I’ve noticed I rarely visit some of the links and menus in the backend of WordPress but there is no easy way to remove them from view.

Adminimize by Frank Bültge and Inpsyde GmbH makes it easy to remove items from view based on a user’s role.

User Roles Support In Adminimize
User Roles Support In Adminimize

The first thing you’ll notice on the settings page is the large number of check boxes. The check boxes correspond to the default and custom user roles on the site. On this page, you can control which users see which parts of the WordPress backend. The options are split up into sections and are easily accessible from the top mini menu.

After toying around with the settings, I was able to remove items from view I don’t use very often. The result was a simpler user interface that contained fewer things to look at. If you’re curious, here is what I removed.

  • Contextual help
  • The about menu
  • The add new menu within the admin bar
  • The username and search box on the right hand side of the admin bar

Where this plugin really shines is the options it provides to hide things from users based on their user role. While WordPress naturally hides things from view based on a user’s role, this plugin can override the capabilities assigned to the role, providing more fine grain control. It’s not just tied to WordPress either, bbPress and WordPress multisite are supported as well.

Import Export Of Options
Import Export Of Options

Depending on the level of control you’re exerting, configuring the display options can be an exhaustive chore. Thankfully, Adminimize contains an import/export system so you don’t have to start over from scratch. The files are saved using the .SEQ file extension. This makes it easy to transport settings from one WordPress site to another.

If you decide to deactivate and uninstall the plugin, the database entries will not be removed. In order to completely remove the plugin from your site, you’ll need to check the Delete Options box.

Perfect For Consultants Handing Off Sites To Clients

One of the core philosophies of WordPress development is decisions, not options. In a similar fashion, Adminimize enables consultants to decide whether or not clients should have access to specific parts of the WordPress backend. Crippling the backend is not a good way for clients to learn WordPress but at the same time, I understand how limiting access could help prevent clients from breaking their sites.

The Adminimize Experiment

As a fun experiment, I encourage everyone to try out Adminimize and remove the sections of the dashboard you don’t often use. Then, take a screenshot of the user interface and submit the link in the comments. I’m curious to see which parts of the backend are the most common to be hidden and how the overall interface looks.


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