Create Custom Admin Color Schemes Directly Within WordPress

The new WordPress admin design released in 3.8 was created in such a way that it’s easy for developers to extend the feature and write their own color schemes. But for your average user who doesn’t know how to work with Sass, creating color schemes is probably not going to happen. Fortunately, someone has created a plugin that makes custom admin color schemes available to everyone.

HS Custom Admin Theme is a new free plugin that lets you create your own admin color schemes in its settings panel via a user-friendly color picker. Up until now, the only way to get alternative color schemes was to use a plugin or go through the process of rolling your own.

The HS Custom Admin Theme plugin makes it easy to design your own color palettes for the WordPress admin area, without knowing any CSS. Here’s an example of a custom color scheme I created on a test site:

customcolors

The plugin records all of the color schemes you create and test so that you can always return to one made previously. You can essentially create a library of your favorite color palettes and change the admin according to your mood.

A few suggestions

There are a few things I would change about how this plugin works. The most important one is the non-native placement of its settings panel. I would prefer the plugin placed its settings under the “Edit My Profile” screen where users are already trained to look for admin color schemes. It would also be really cool if each color selection updated live while editing. Other than that, the plugin works well for allowing users to make their own color selections and store them as a custom theme.

HS Custom Admin Theme is the first plugin of its kind, but I anticipate there will be many more like it hitting the repository soon.

11 Comments


  1. Nice!! Now we can create our custom color schemes! :D

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  2. Hi Sarah
    Love your purple interface… shall we call it “purple haze”

    Sounds like a useful plugin for those who like to personalise the backend.

    I rather liked your suggestion “The most important one is the non-native placement of its settings panel.”

    I’ve noticed that with a few plugins. You have to hunt around to find the settings.

    “It would also be really cool if each color selection updated live while editing.”
    Agreed – that would be cool.

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  3. Unfortunately I had to delete the HS Custom Admin theme plugin as soon as I installed it – load on my server increased about 6x due to the calls to admin-ajax.php. It’s a good idea but doesn’t seem ready for prime time just yet.

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      1. Works great, thanks for sharing!

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    1. The plugin doesn’t seem to be in the repository at all ATM… perhaps because of the issue Andrea reported?

      It is funny to be thinking about the part of your site that no one sees! But if YOU spend more time on the backend than the frontend, then these “MP6” improvements are refreshing.

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  4. I just put Brad’s generator to the test and it worked perfectly:)

    Create the .zip, upload and activate as plugin, visit your profile and your new color scheme is listed.

    Slick!

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    1. It worked for you Adam? When I try to activate it I keep getting “can’t activate, parse error on line 13”

      And meanwhile, I can’t even find HS Custom Admin Theme in the plugin repository, perhaps because of the issue Andrea reported?

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      1. I received an error as well when I had a period or a space in the name but after removing the period or space and trying again with no spaces the plugin works great just as Adam advised.

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  5. @Sarah

    Thanks a lot for writing review of our plugin. Unfortunately It is temporary pulled by wordpress, I already updated fix there but it seems delay due to holidays for new review.

    However People can take latest copy at HS Custom Admin Theme

    It will be available soon at WP.

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