Two Approaches For Optimizing WordPress Backend For Clients

You will find WordPress back end highly useful if you're used to working with it. But, in case you're new to working on WordPress, then you will most likely find the back end dashboard hard to use. The same is the case with other users. In case, you are developing a WordPress website for a client, a lot of things can go wrong, especially when your client does not know much about the WordPress back end dashboard.
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You will find WordPress back end highly useful if you’re used to working with it. But, in case you’re new to working on WordPress, then you will most likely find the back end dashboard hard to use. The same is the case with other users. In case, you are developing a WordPress website for a client, a lot of things can go wrong, especially when your client does not know much about the WordPress back end dashboard.

Keep in mind that for most of your clients, the WordPress dashboard is just a web page that they see after logging into the admin panel of the WordPress site. But, the dashboard will soon become a nuisance for the clients, once it gets packed with useless widgets.

Besides, often when fiddling with the WordPress theme files, widgets and other essential components clients often causes unintentional harm to the site. For instance, a client may unwittingly delete some important data, or might open the site to security holes and so on. And so, apart from making your back end dashboard client-friendly, it is also very important that you can protect your website from accidental security issues.

Through this post, I would like to make you aware of the two simple yet effective approaches, following which, you can optimize your WordPress back end for client use.

#Approach 1: Some Basic, Yet Best Security Measures To Keep Your Site Safe

When building a site for any client, your primary goal should be to provide them complete satisfaction; this may require giving your client scope to get actively involved with the process of modifying the website. Of course, your customers may feel the need to make a few tweaks in their site at some point.

While the idea of restricting users from making changes may leave them frustrated, but you can’t deny the fact that amateur users can pose risk to website security. However, taking into account the following security measures will definitely help in keeping your WP clients’ website safe:

  1. Define User Roles and Capabilities: There are some areas in a WordPress back end that novices shouldn’t be allowed to access. Thankfully, WordPress enables a website owner or a developer to decide on tasks that a user can manage or not, by allowing to handle roles and capabilities of a user. This means, you can ensure that the administrator role is handled only by you, instead of any other user.

However, you can encourage customers to use any other account having different privileges. Also, you can assign various roles to clients that helps them perform important functions on their site.

Let us quickly view some of the WordPress user roles and their capabilities:

  • When running multi-site WordPress installation, the “SuperAdmin” possesses complete access to the website network.
  • The website “administrator” can access all the features of a single site.
  • User that is being assigned the role of an “Editor” can handle tasks such as publishing and managing the posts and pages on a website.
  • An “Author” is allowed to manage his own posts, allowing him to publish and edit the posts, etc.

In order to change the default role of any new user, simply go to Settings → General from the admin dashboard screen. And, in case you are being assigned the role of administrator, then you can see and change all of the user roles, by browsing to All Users→ Users.

  1. Best Practices To Ensure Website Security: Below are some of the commonly followed best practices that help strengthen the security of the WordPress site:
  • Make sure to substitute the “admin” username with anything you like.
  • Change the URL of default WordPress login page (i.e. wp-login.php).
  • Use methods to protect your login page against brute force attack, and so on.
  1. Create a Backup Of Your Site For The Unexpected Events: Unexpected situation can happen anytime, and so it is important for you to stay ready to face the challenges and unlooked-for events (such as loss of data). However, keeping a backup of your site before making any changes and updates can help you restore it to its original form. Every WordPress install contains plenty of files, however, the most important ones that you must backup are:
  • Your theme’s functions.php and style.css files.
  • Premium plugins you have downloaded from other online sources rather than the WordPress repository.
  • Lastly, create a backup of any other custom and core WordPress files. 

#Approach 2: Tips to Streamline Your WordPress Backend Dashboard

In this approach, you’ll get to know about a few tips that will help in making your website dashboard a lot simpler to use for clients.

  1. Get Rid Of Menu Items That Makes Navigation Cluttered

The WordPress admin dashboard screen’s sidebar on the left features many menu items, which not just make the menu look cluttered, but also make it difficult for the clients to find the most important menu items easily. There are two different methods that can be used to remove menu items from the WordPress dashboard.

You can get rid of the items in the dashboard menu, by assigning “Editor Roles” to your clients. Doing so, will enable them to remove settings, items under the plugin menu, etc. from view.

Another great way to remove menu items is to write code, using WordPress default functions: “remove_menu_page()” and “remove_submenu_page()”. Below is an example, illustrating the use of remove_menu_page() function that helps in removing tools from the menu:

// Helps in getting rid of specific menu items

function remove_menus_items(){

if ( !current_user_can( 'manage_options' ) ) {

remove_menu_page( 'tools.php' );

}

}

add_action( 'admin_menu', 'remove_menus_items' );
  1. Add Help Text to Guide Users in Finding Information

Whenever a client access the WordPress dashboard screen for the first time, they might encounter difficulty in finding even basic information from the dashboard screen. However, you can guide users in finding the right information, by adding help text within the “help” section placed at the top of each screen.

There is a tab in the dashboard corresponding to the screen options that helps in opening the help section. The section contains some information that can be replaced with your own content or custom text for your posts or pages using the add_help_tab() function, as follows:

function guidelines_for_post() {

$screen = get_current_screen();

if ( 'post' != $screen->post_type )

return;

$args = array(

   'id'     => 'guide_for_website',

   'title'   => 'Rules For Content',

   'content' => '

           <h3>Guidelines For Website Content</h3>

           <p>Enter your website content here</p>

       ',

);

// Your help tab will be added here.

$screen->add_help_tab( $args );

}

add_action('admin_head', 'guidelines_for_post');

Output:

Output

  1. Use Plugins To Make WordPress Dashboard Simplified

With so many useful plugins available online, you can easily find the ones that help make WordPress dashboard simple for clients. Below are two of the best plugins you should consider for simplifying the back end are:

  • Client Dash

The plugin takes out the pain in making the WordPress admin interface simple and customized for clients. It will give you full control of your site’s admin area to help you improve the client’s user experience. With Client dash, you can customize your dashboard menu and make it more intuitive for clients. In addition, it helps in customizing the dashboard widgets, allows to create several pages, etc. The plugin can be downloaded for free from the official WP plugins repository.

  • Ultimate Branding

This is a premium plugin that helps in making changes to the appearance of the dashboard interface based on your preferences, which means you can customize the back end to make it easy to understand for clients. For instance, your client might not want to see any entry that is of less or no importance in your site, such as a logo belonging to third parties. What’s more? This plugin helps in removing default WordPress branding from the login page without writing any code.

Conclusion

Any novice using WordPress back end can easily become overwhelmed with the number of options available in it. And so, it becomes needful to make WordPress back end optimized for client’s use. Reading this post, will help you understand some easy to follow ways to make the back end of any WP site simplified and secure for your clients.

Alyona Galea
Alyona Galea
Alyona is a WordPress enthusiast, focused on sharing interesting things she comes across during her work with this great CMS. She loves exploring new destinations and maintains a travel blog at www.alyonatravels.com

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