WordPress is blowing up, as the kids say, these days. It’s no wonder; the open-source authoring platform is super-powerful, flexible and – most importantly – customizable. We use WordPress here at Paper Leaf to power our client sites, and we use it on our own blog of course. The more we use the platform, the more we learn about it. Just like anything, you pick up little tips and tricks to make the experience get better each time.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled 7 tools/plugins/tips we use on the regular when it comes to implementing WordPress as a content management system (CMS). If you have experience using WordPress and are looking for a few little tweaks to maximize your clients’ experience with it, look no further!
Let’s start at the beginning of your client’s user experience: the WordPress log-in screen. You can stick with the tried-and-tested WordPress-branded log-in and admin screens – but if your client is a small business or service, why not custom brand it for them? It looks slick, your clients will love it, it lets them know they’re in the right place, and it’s super easy to do with the Custom Admin Branding plugin.
This (stable) plugin has a very simple user interface to adjust colors and such; but the best part is that it comes with a PSD template so you can make sure your client’s logo won’t be cut off, etc. Follow the simple steps provided by the plugin author after you activate Custom Admin Branding, and you’ll have custom log-in and admin screens for your client in no time.
So your clients have logged in to through their custom-branded log-in page. Now they’re at their custom-branded Dashboard. While WordPress is well-known for its ease-of-use, it can still be a little intimidating for your not-so-tech-savvy clients. Plus, there are areas that are much better left untouched by the non-tech-savvy – areas like Appearance, Settings, Plugins, even Posts if there’s no Post functionality being used in the website. A very simple way to remove some/any/all of these features is by using the Adminimize plugin.
This (stable) plugin is really quite robust; a basic row/column system allows the administrator (you, preferably) to show/hide elements of the WordPress admin side. The best part: it’s role-specific. What I mean by this is that you can allow “Editors” to see one set of elements, “Authors” to see another, and so forth. This is great for small businesses who might have multiple people handling content on their website – they can be given a login and a role that only allows them to see – and thus edit – elements of the website that the administrator deems fit. Pretty slick for a plugin, I’d say.
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