The Best Admin Themes for WordPress

Everyone who is familiar with WordPress knows that themes determine the way the site looks and functions. But what about the backend? The WordPress Codex states:

“The Administration Screen provides access to the control features of your WordPress installation. Each Administration Screen is presented in sections, the toolbar (and header), the main navigation, the work area, and the footer.”

The WP Login page provides us access to administration screens like the dashboard and the WordPress toolbar. With an admin theme plugin you can customize the backend. Don’t be confused by the term “admin theme.” These are plugins to change the way display of the backend of WordPress. After all, the backend is simply a group of webpages running web applications.

There are lots of benefits to customizing WordPress admin pages. You can personalize the backend to give it a new look and make things run smoother. With an admin theme for WordPress, it’s easy to change the backend of your WordPress installation.

It’s not hard to make little tweaks here and there with code to change the backend, but can be tedious and time consuming, especially if you are doing this for multiple sites. The beauty of WordPress lies in the fact that many problems have already been solved by the community. No need to reinvent the wheel if you want to save some valuable time and effort. The plugins in today’s roundup make it fast and easy to customize the WordPress backend.  There are some useful free and premium plugins on this list to help you accomplish this.

How Can You Customize the WordPress Admin?

If you are building a site for a client, customizing the backend can help in a number of ways. You can tailor the login page and dashboard to match your brand and optimize workflow. When you are setting up a site with multiple users, it’s important to consider things from the user’s perspective. Especially if you have someone who only needs to access certain sections of the dashboard.

By decluttering the backend from functions that a specific user doesn’t need, you can make their work much easier. This is a good idea if you are trying to setup a user account with a limited role. For example, on this site I just post blogs so I don’t really need access to the Appearance > Themes section of the dashboard. When I am logged in, that option on the menu is hidden. This not only makes it easier for me to find the sections I do need, it keeps me from accidentally making changes to the site I shouldn’t.

This is just one example, there are many things you may want to change. With an admin theme plugin you can play around with the admin bar (toolbar), dashboard and login page. Below are some common changes administrators make the backend of WordPress:

  • Disable the admin bar for non-admins
  • Toggle specific menu items on/off
  • Always show admin bar
  • Move the location of the admin bar
  • Clean up user profile page
  • Change the appearance (colors, fonts, layout)

Ultra WordPress Admin ThemeUltra-Admin

Ultra Admin is a top selling admin theme because it’s easy to use and performs well. It comes with 20 pre-designed themes to get you started. You can customize each one or build your own from scratch.With this plugin you can easily control the appearance of the backend. This includes the admin menu, buttons, background colors, content boxes, typography, forms, text, icons and so forth.

Tweak the backend any way you want from the options panel. Rename menu and submenu items, change links in the control top, customize the footer, control plugin access, build a special login page etc.

LTR and RTL modes are fully supported so you can use this plugin for any language. The ultra admin is also multi-site compatible, making it a great option for enterprise level solutions. White label branding is easier than ever with Ultra WordPress Admin Theme, so you can promote your brand while giving your clients a custom backend. This plugin is one of the very best available for WordPress when it comes to admin themes.

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Retina Pressretina-press

Retina press enables you to offer customers, clients or yourself a unique dashboard. Completely change anything you wantThis another top selling admin theme plugin, and it’s no surprise. This plugin is simple to use and addicting. It makes it easy to redesign WordPress admin pages quickly. . This plugin also works with multi-sites.

With Retina Press you can break out of the mold and give your users a better backend experience. Move beyond the basics and match the backend to your brand. Give off just the right impression by adding your own logo to the WordPress display. This can be a big deal when you are managing websites for clients.

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WPShapere gives you the power to customize your admin pages. Get a brand new theme to the backend to impress your clients and improve workflow. Take your backend to another level by changing the layout, styles and permissions. You get a complete solution for custolmizing the dashboard and promoting your brand.

WPShapere has a simple interface to make things easy. With this premium plugin you have a complete set of tools to shape the backend. Manage widgets, hide admin bar elements, white label email notifications, translate to any language, change colors and more. WPShapere is easy to use and if you need assisitance the documentation for this plugin is helpful. It also supports multi-site networks so you can customize all your sites as a super admin, or delegate the task to other your admins on your network.

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Slate ProSlate Pro

Slate Pro is yet another powerful WordPress admin theme plugin. Take the regular WordPress admin and redesign it. White label your installation with custom screens, colors, options and more. Slate pro is also multi-site compatible. Take care of all of your sub-domains from a single place.

Save time and money with this plugin. Speed up the design process by using this tool to create custom admin pages. By rebranding the backend with Slate Pro you will benefit in a number of ways. Besides making things look better and match your style, you can make things easier for your users.

Show, hide or modify anything you want to customize your WordPress installations. It’s translation ready and provides a simple solution for rebranding the backend.

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First – WordPress Admin ThemeFirst Admin Theme

Completely customize the admin bar, menu, login page, logo, typography etc. Redesign anything with a few clicks to white label brand any installation of WordPress. This is a straightforward plugin that offers you an easy way to manage the admin sections of any WordPress installation. It has plenty of options to make the backend unique. The settings panel for this plugin is very user friendly. Like all the previous plugins on this list, this plugin is multi-site compatible.

Get First Screenshots

Free Admin Themes for WordPress

The plugins below are free from While these ones may not have as many premade layouts and advanced functionality, they may have all the options you need for a smaller scale project. If you are looking to experiment and you don’t need something that is guaranteed to work out-of-the-box, a free admin theme plugin fit for your project.

Free Plugin

Admin Management Xtendedadmin management xtended

This is a very nice plugin, especially considering it’s free. While you may not get as much functionality out of it as the paid plugins on this list, it’s useful. You can use it to redesign the backend, making it more efficient to navigate for users. This is very important for those using WordPress as a CMS, which is an area where WordPress really shines.

This plugin makes it easy to manage specific parts of the admin related to the posts/page management panel. You can do things like toggle page visibility for certain users. With this plugin you can also change publication dats without having to enter the page editor, change the order of the pages with drag and drop, manage catagories inline and much more.

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Free Plugin

Admin Page Frameworkadmin page framework

This is a very powerful plugin. This plugin was created to help theme and plugin developers to speed up the development process. This plugin is awesome for organizing the backend. Save valuable hours of coding time by using Admin Page Framework to create reusable code to customize the backend.

Optimize, rebrand and redesign the backend. Developers and power users will enjoy the flexibility and power provided by this framework. The library will handle all the coding to help you customize pages and forms.

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Free Plugin

AG Custom Adminag custom admin

This plugin is free, but there is also a paid version with more functionality. The free version still has lots of options to help you customize the backend of WordPress. Control the display of the admin panel, login page, admin menu and more with a few clicks. This version has lots of options to change free or commercial WordPress themes.

The paid version works offers prebuilt themes you can import with 1-Click, custom icons and other helpful functions not included in the free version.

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Final Words

The default WordPress Admin pages are well-organized already, but there are lots of reasons to customize them. It really depends on your workflow. Branding is a one good reasons, but performance and usability are two others. You can set things up so that editing posts or pages is easier. The default WordPress Admin panel requires that you have to open the HTML page editor to change even something simple like the publishing date. You can use an admin theme plugin to streamline this process.

This kind of customization is especially important when you are using WordPress as a CMS. You want to streamline content management as much as possible. That’s exactly what the plugins on this list help you do. Let us know your favorite admin theme plugins in the comments section. Also feel free to share any tips, stories or tricks for customizing the backend.

Disclosure: This page may contain external affiliate links that may result in us receiving a comission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own. We do not receive payment for positive reviews.
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