The admin menu is what logged-in users can see from the left sidebar of WordPress dashboard, and you can leverage more control over the backend menu to improve the experience for users and yourself. In addition to the inbuilt menu functions, it is also possible to reorder the menu items, create custom menus and even hide certain menus for specific users.
Note that, this beginners’ guide will mainly explain how you can take advantage of a plugin named as Admin Menu Editor to customize and improve the admin sidebar. Now, let’s scroll down and get straight to the point.
About Admin Menu Editor
In a nutshell, this “Admin Menu Editor” would make managing and improving your backend menu an absolute cinch. To be fair, this WP plugin is quite useful especially when you’re running a multi-author website but don’t have a good command of development skills to create custom menus.
In the further, “Admin Menu Editor” can make your unwieldy admin menu much cleaner with a rich set of features included. For instance, you are empowered to rearrange menu items through the drag-and-drop and set menu permissions for specified users. Beware that, this well-maintained plugin requires WordPress 3.8v or higher versions, and it is free to download via the following URL.
Download URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/admin-menu-editor/
How to Manage Your WordPress Admin Sidebar Menu?
In this section, we’d like to illustrate how to make good use of the “Admin Menu Editor” to set up a more streamlined user interface that makes sense to your own way of thinking. As this WP plugin is totally free to use, you can get it installed directly from your WordPress plugin directory. Below are more installation and customization details.
Step 1 – Initialize Admin Menu Editor
As usual, the first important thing that you must implement is to enable the mentioned “Admin Menu Editor.” As is discussed in this plugin installation tutorial, there are a couple of ways you can go about achieving this objective. Perhaps the most simple and effective way is to “Install” and “Activate” this plugin from the plugin repository.
Assuming that you’ve logged into the admin area and planned to add it through dashboard, all you need to do is follow the given instructions. If implemented properly, this newly-added plugin will show up within this “Installed Plugins” tab.
Step 2 – Edit Your Menu Items
To proceed, navigate to “Settings” > “Menu Editor” as follows. From the following screencast, you are provided with the ability to personalize the current menu layout for your WordPress website. Throughout the interface, you can simply drag and drop any menu items to new locations as you wish. If you make a hit on any menu item, there will be a sub-item in the column.
Taking the example of “Dashboard” here, there are several options within the expanded column, including “Menu Title”, “Target Page”, “URL” and “Required Capability.” Note that, all those offered options can be edited to your liking except the URL. By clicking this “See advanced options” link, you will be able to create window title and re-configure CSS classes, hook name and icon URL for this individual “Dashboard” menu.
Step 3 – Add a Custom Menu Item
Meanwhile, it is also possible to add custom menu items by clicking this “New Menu” icon at the top. If you are dissatisfied with one menu, then you can hit the next “Delete Menu” button. Beware that, the default menus cannot be removed even if you’ve saved all changes. It is not a bad idea to hide certain menus for some users.
As is noted, you can also decide who would see a menu item by adjusting the required capability. The good thing of this plugin is that you can restrict visibility by “Roles” or “Capabilities.” If you prefer to hide the comments menu from “Roles”, you can choose “Editor” from the drop-down list.
Step 4 – Show/Hide Menu Items
Apart from that, this powerful admin menu plugin also allows you to show or hide menu items for whatever reasons. To do so, click on the top “Show/Hide” button and a grey icon will appear on the menu that you’re editing. Just double-click this button will make this menu item visible again.
If you wrongly delete an important menu or make serious mistakes, then you can quickly restore to the default admin menu by clicking on this “Load Default Menu” button. If you are disallowed to enter the plugin settings page, you can still reset the default menu items by typing in http://www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin/?reset_admin_menu=1 in any web browser.
Important to Note: If needed, you can get a hold of the premium version of this “Admin Menu Editor” plugin. The biggest joy in this Pro version is exporting and importing custom menu configurations between multiple websites. Other provided features enable you to use shortcodes in menu fields and create menus that are only available to certain users. Pay attention that, there are three optional commercial plans, which are starting at 19 bucks.
Top Admin Menu Plugins to Improve Backend Menu
The instanced “Admin Menu Editor” plugin is indeed a simple-yet-effective tool to reorganize and manage WordPress admin menus. To be frank, there are various admin menu plugins in the online market, and below are some recommendable alternatives that help you build a far more navigable admin menu. Note that, all those listed solutions are available for free download through www.wordpress.org.
- Notifications for Collapsed Admin Menu – It enables you to highlight the plugin icons and comments in your collapsed WordPress sidebar. In the further, its enhanced sidebar menu makes use of different coloured background as well as a visual indication where the comments are still in moderation.
- Admin Menu Tree Page View– It enables you to have a tree view of all posts/pages directly from the admin menu. More than that, you can also add links to all posts/pages and change the display order of them with built-in drag-and-drop.
- Ultimate Admin Bar – It enables you to move the existing admin menu from the left sidebar to be incorporated with your admin bar. As the admin menu is set to be fixed, it will always stay in your view no matter how far you’ve scrolled down.
- Remove Tools Menu – It enables you to remove the unused Tools menu from your WordPress admin. If you want to export, import or have the bookmarklet once more, you can simply deactivate and re-enable this plugin as is required.