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How to Improve the WordPress Admin User Interface

Initially WordPress was just for blogs. But now WordPress commands roughly half of the website content management market, taking over market share from Joomla and Drupal and other content management systems. This is mainly because WordPress is so easy to use and administer. The one drawback – and a significant reason why many still use Joomla – is the admin user interface. The admin area is the heart of any WordPress-powered site – it’s where everything is controlled – posts, pages, media, comments, etc. – A site with more than 10 pages and galleries can be difficult to manage in WordPress. Difficult, that is, without adding some of the following plugins. Plugins allow you to customize only what you need.

For example, suppose you have someone on your staff composing blogs for you. The out-of-the-box WordPress admin interface does not have a robust feature for editorial control and review.

Today, we will introduce you to a number of fantastic plugins that will enhance your WordPress website in some way. These admin plugins are all free to download from the official WordPress plugin directory and will help protect your website, give you more control over users or automate the editorial process. As always, we recommend that you consult with your website administrator prior to installing any new plugins since they can occasionally conflict with each other and break your website.

Post Scheduling & Management

1. Editorial Calendar

This is the perfect plugin for managing the scheduling of your posts. Editorial Calendar adds a calendar page to the post section of your admin area. Each day shows the posts that are scheduled for that day. Multiple posts are listed in chronological order.

Watch the Video to learn more

Editorial Calendar: Download

2. Peter’s Collaboration Emails

This is a great plugin for managing the editorial flow of blog posts. When a contributor submits a post for review, the plugin emails the specified users to let them know there is a post to review. Once the post is approved, the contributor gets an email letting them know it has been accepted. If the post is changed back to “Draft,” the contributor is advised that it has not been accepted and is sent a link to edit the article.

Peter’s Collaboration Emails: Download

3. Peter’s Post Notes

On its own, this plugin adds a panel to the sidebar of the add and edit post / page screens so that users can add notes for themselves or others and keep track of these notes. Whenever you save a post, you can type a note to be displayed along with the post in the edit view. When used with Peter’s Collaboration E-mails 1.2 and up, the notes are sent along with the e-mails in the collaboration workflow. There is also a general and private notes system on the dashboard.

On the dashboard, there’s also a summary of the most recent notes. By default this shows notes by all people on relevant posts / pages. There is also a general and private notes system.

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Peter’s Post Notes: Download

4. Content Audit

Content Audit lets you and your staff easily review old content and determine if it’s still relevant. The plugin works with posts, pages and media. You can automatically set content as outdated after a set period of time and notify post authors about it. Content can be marked as redundant, outdated or trivial. You can also mark content as needing a review of SEO or style.

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Content Audit: Download

5. Edit Flow

Edit Flow empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress. It’s feature rich and comes with a calendar, custom statuses, editorial comments, notifications, story budget, and user groups.

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Edit Flow: Download

General Admin

6. Adminimize

This is a great plugin that let’s you hide parts of the admin dashboard that you deem “unnecessary”.  You can change back-end options; global options; dashboard options; write options for posts, pages and custom page types; link options; and menu options.

Adminimize: Download

Security

7. WordFence Security

This is an incredibly valuable plugin that is completely free. WordFence includes a firewall, anti-virus scanning, cellphone sign-in (two factor authentication), malicious URL scanning and live traffic including crawlers. Wordfence is the only WordPress security plugin that can verify and repair your core, theme and plugin files, even if you don’t have backups.

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WordFence Security: Download

Summary

The great thing about WordPress is that the default installation doesn’t overwhelm you with options. This allows users to choose the plugins that best meet our particular needs and disregard those that don’t.

You might find that some of these plugins can be disabled after you use them. I recommend reviewing your situation every month or so and remove any plugins that aren’t being used regularly. Also it’s a best practice to remove any plugins that have not been updated (by the plugin developer) in at least a year. Old plugins increase the chance that someone can hack into your site. Update plugins regularly and delete plugins that you don’t use.