As a freelance web developer and owner of WPCustomization, I’ve used WordPress with many clients – and they love it. WordPress is easy to learn and its back-end is easy enough to customize for certain situations. Not many visitors ever see the back-end of a WordPress-powered site, but it’s always nice to brand the admin a bit – whether it’s a structural overhaul or simple color changes. With that said, we’ve decided to collect six plugins that are quite useful when branding the WordPress administrator area. Check it out.
The next few plugins let you customize the login screen. Some are simple and let you change the logo, others extend to color schemes and page structure.
Login and Logos
Looking for simple? We have simple. The Login Logo plugin lets you change the logo on the login screen (what else?). Simply upload the file, paste the URL into a textbox, save, and you’re done. See it in action.
Pressing Pixels’s Custom Admin Branding plugin has two main features: a custom login screen and branded headers and footers in the admin area. The plugin comes with Photoshop templates so you can design your own login screen. When your images are finished, upload them to the server and your login screen is instantly changed.
You can also upload a logo to the site that will display in the header in lieu of the standard site title in the Georgia typeface. The Custom Admin Branding plugin also lets you add your logo to the admin’s footer along with a link to your website. This plugin also comes with support for Ozh’s famed Admin Drop Down Menu plugin.
Kerry Webster has put out two awesome branding plugins for WordPress – one for the login screen and one for the rest. I’m not sure if he has plans to combine the two, but they’re both certainly worth a mention in this article.
Similar to the Custom Admin Branding plugin, Kerry’s version comes with some Photoshop templates that set you up for creating a custom login screen. Upload the files to the server and you’re ready to go. No messing around with options pages here!
Kerry’s Branded Admin plugin is basically the other half of the previous Pressing Pixels plugin. You can upload your site’s logo to replace the title text in the header and swap out your own icon for the default WordPress icon in the footer.
James Dimick really went all out with this one. He took advantage of the new color schemes feature and created this plugin to help you create your own custom color schemes from scratch.
First, you create a new color scheme through an options page. From there you can set four primary colors, which will then be automatically added to the scheme’s CSS. You can also directly edit the CSS if there are any particulars you want to take care of. Additionally, the options page offers a live preview of the new admin so you can easily play with the new admin’s look. There is also the option to import colors from a CSS file. Importing and exporting tools are available as well.
Ozh decided to mix in COLOURlovers integration with this plugin. It uses COLOURlovers.com’s new API to let you scan through palettes and pick a good color scheme for your blog. The Admin CSS Designer Tool also allows you to use a standard color picker to choose your own colors or randomize the selection. Read our full review
WordPress is becoming an increasingly popular CMS to use with clients. It’s easy to learn and customize, and with these plugins, you can even brand the admin to match the company’s existing identity.