Administering WordPress websites has been made relatively easy for webmasters in recent years. Quite a wide-range of dashboard improvements have been made to many of the administrative elements we regularly make use of. With several released updates throughout 2016 alone. Even with all of these enhancements being made to the WordPress landscape, administering a website is not always as straight-forward as you may like and there are lots of things to keep track of.

Admin UI Improvement Tools
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Regardless of the size of your WordPress website, whether it’s a small personal blog, a mid-range online magazine / blog or a high-traffic content publisher, implementing enhancements to the WordPress administration user interface (Admin UI) is a great way to save time and generally improve laborious tasks regularly undertaken by your administrators.

Selected admin UI WordPress plugins

Let’s round-up a series of plugins that will make enhancements to the WordPress admin UI and that you can make use of to help administer your site on a daily basis. These plugins make visible changes to the administrative UI in some way and add essential improvements if you like. The plugins also have been tested with our popular MH Magazine WordPress theme. This ensures consistency regardless of which plugin you choose to implement into your WordPress environment.

Admin Category Tree (Free)

Admin Category Tree
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Assigning posts to multiple categories, in particular their multiple children, can be a painful task to endure for each of your posts if you have lots of content categories. The Admin Category Tree plugin aims to reduce the amount of work required to locate sub-categories when writing a new post in WordPress. This WordPress plugin to enhance the admin UI makes your post subcategory selection a breeze by inserting toggles to display all child elements of a category. This allows you to quickly add any of your posts to the correct sub-categories in no time at all.

Dashboard Widget Sidebar (Free)

Dashboard Widget Sidebar
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The Dashboard Widget Sidebar plugin simply adds a new sidebar to your Appearance => Widgets page. You can make use of this sidebar to add any widget you like to your dashboard widgets. This additional sidebar affords you the ability to completely customize your dashboard widgets in any way you like. This makes it an invaluable WordPress plugin for client sites and self-promotion.

Admin Content Labels (Free)

Admin Content Labels
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The Admin Content Labels plugin lets you rename any page or post for use within the admin dashboard. This allows for a clearer indication of the content without having to first decipher the actual title, invaluable for websites with lots of content. A good example of this is a contact page being named Shoot us an email, which isn’t instantly recognisable as being a Contact Page. Adding a Contact Page label to this awkwardly named page will effectively aesthetically rename the page so it’s easier to find when searching through an endless list of content.

Admin Columns (Free & Premium)

Admin Columns
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The Admin Columns plugin enables you to completely customize a variety of columns within your administration pages, including: Posts, Post Types, Pages, Comments, Media Library, Users. The plugin also works nicely with 3rd party plugins such as WooCommerce, BuddyPress, and bbPress.

Reordering columns is made easy using a drag & drop interface, just drag the column names into the position you prefer and hit the save button. Additional enhancements can be purchased with prices starting from $119. This includes integration with the Advanced Custom Fields plugin, and further enhancements to WooCommerce integration, as well as plugin support and updates.

Admin Filter Posts by Year (Free)

Admin Filter Posts
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This accurately named plugin simply adds the functionality of being able to list your posts by year. Default functionality only allows for viewing of posts on a monthly basis within the WordPress dashboard. With the Admin Filter Posts by Year WordPress plugin installed you’ll be able to select and view posts from any specific year too! This is great if you’re running your website for many years.

Admin Management Xtended (Free)

Admin Management Xtended
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With WordPress extraordinary ability to be much more than just a blogging software, the Admin Management Xtended plugin takes this one step further. The plugin will supercharge your admin pages by adding a series of useful and handy management buttons alongside your content items. They allow you to quickly modify elements on-the-fly.

Upon installing this plugin, you’ll immediately notice its presence once you start visiting your post and page lists. You’re able to quickly modify almost every element of a post or page without having to open any dedicated editing page. Trusted by over 20,000 WordPress users, this plugin is a necessity if you’re making frequent post edits, such as news publishers and the like.

Reveal IDs (Free)

Plugin Reveal IDs
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Prior to the release of WordPress v2.5, all admin pages displayed an ID column. This was particularly useful to developers who needed access to this information, but not so much to regular WordPress users. Since its removal, we’ve relied on the assistance of a plugin to reveal this information once again: The Reveal IDs plugin.

Installing the plugin will once again reveal those ID numbers, in a sortable column, for a wide-range of WordPress elements. As well as the standard Posts, Pages, Tags, Categories, Comments and Users, the plugin also considers ID numbers for many other elements, including Post Types, Custom Taxonomies, WooCommerce, BuddyPress, bbPress, Contact Form 7.

In fact, this helpful WordPress plugin will reveal the ID number of anything that has been assigned a particular ID within your WordPress environment, like a simple category ID. This makes it an essential part of any administrator’s toolkit who is responsible for development duties and website management, but it also comes handy for regular WordPress users.

Admin Bookmarks (Free)

Admin Bookmarks
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The Admin Bookmarks plugin adds the ability for you to favour any post, page or post type for easier access in the future. Your favourite content will be conveniently accessible via the appropriate administration menu. Any favoured pages will be added to the Pages menu for example, likewise with your posts and post types. You can add or remove your most favourite content simply by clicking the star icon that resides alongside each of your content items.

Featured Image Admin Thumb
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Changing the featured image of your posts can easily be done with the use of the Featured Image Admin Thumb plugin. The plugin adds a new column to your list of content that not only allows you to change the featured image without needing to reload the page, but also displays the currently saved featured image for easier navigation around your posts.

Conclusion: Admin UI plugins for WordPress

If you are a big fan of customizing the WordPress dashboard to suit your needs, then these plugins are worth a try. Subtle changes can make such a big difference if you’re faced with laborious tasks on a regular basis. Perhaps you have been tasked to administer a large growing network with large amounts of content. Making use of a handful of admin UI enhancing plugins can not only be a time-saver, but an improvement to the whole user experience for yourself and your users.