How To Customize Your WordPress Dashboard Color Scheme

Are you looking for a simple way to personalize your WordPress dashboard? Learn how to customize your WordPress dashboard color scheme with free plugins.

How To Customize Your WordPress Dashboard Color SchemeFrom WordPress version 3.8, a range of new features aimed at helping to create a better user experience.

Some of the new features introduced in WP 3.8 include a new WordPress admin interface redesign, and the ability to select a color scheme for the admin area.

Although the benefits of being able to choose a different color scheme for your WordPress admin area are mostly aesthetic, there may be practical uses to being able to set your own admin color schemes, such as allowing you to “brand” your website’s admin area with your own company colors (useful if you have a corporate blog, a sports club website, or membership site, for example), or if keeping a certain visual theme consistent both externally and internally is important for the way you communicate with others about your business.

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to customize your WordPress dashboard color scheme.

How To Customize Your WordPress Admin Color Scheme

From version 3.8 WordPress introduced a new admin interface redesign. If you are using WordPress version 3.8, or newer, then your default admin interface should look like the screenshot below when you log into your WordPress Dashboard

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

You can customize the look of your WordPress admin interface by going to Users > Your Profile

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

And selecting a new global color scheme …

Edit WordPress Profile

help To learn more about the User Profile section, see the tutorial below:

redarrow How To Edit Your WordPress User Profile

By default, WordPress gives you a limited number of color scheme options to choose from …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

If you don’t like the color design palettes that are available with your default WordPress installation, then you have a couple of options available.

Your WordPress Admin Interface Options: Go With The New Or Revert To The Old

Prior to WP v3.8, the WordPress admin interface looked like this …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

You may recognize the interface above from the screenshots used throughout our training tutorials.

Although the “classic” WordPress pre-v3.8 interface design is simpler and uses a single color scheme that cannot be customized, you may prefer it to the newer, bolder, post v3.8 interface …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

If you aren’t happy with the default options for customizing the visual aspects of your WordPress admin interface, you can choose to either use the ‘classic’ pre-v3.8 WordPress interface or expand your v3.8 color scheme range using custom color schemes.

Both of these options can be easily achieved using plugins.

Change Your WP Admin Look To Pre v3.8 WordPress Interface Design

To revert your WordPress admin area interface to the pre v3.8 “classic” WordPress interface design, you will want to install the plugin below.

WP-Admin Classic

WP-Admin Classic

(WP-Admin Classic WordPress Plugin)

Plugin URL

Go here to download the plugin:

http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-admin-classic/

Plugin Description

WP Admin Classic plugin disables the new WordPress admin theme and re-enables the prior 3.8 looks to your WP admin panel.

Plugin Installation

In your WP admin area, go to Plugins > Add New

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Enter “wp-admin classic” into the Search field and click the ‘Search Plugins’ button …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Locate ‘wp-admin classic’ in the search results and click on ‘Install Now’ …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

After the plugin has been installed, click on ‘Activate‘ …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Plugin Configuration & Usage

Once the plugin has been installed and activated, there is nothing further to configure or do. Your WordPress admin area will revert to the “classic” WordPress interface look prior to version 3.8 …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Note: If you are using WordPress version 3.8 or above and deactivate the plugin, your WordPress admin interface will simply revert to the default WP v 3.8 interface …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

help To download this plugin, or contact the plugin developer for support, visit the site below:

redarrow WP-Admin Classic

Create A Custom WordPress Admin Color Scheme

To expand your WordPress admin area interface’s default color scheme options and add the ability to create your own custom color schemes, you will want to install the plugin below.

Admin Color Schemer

Admin Color Schemer Plugin For WordPress

(Admin Color Schemer Plugin)

Plugin URL

Go here to download the plugin:

http://wordpress.org/plugins/admin-color-schemer/

Plugin Description

Admin Color Schemers lets you create your own custom admin color scheme. You can either do this simply by specifying four basic colors, or create a detailed, customized color scheme by specifying colors for every aspect of the interface’s design areas.

Plugin Installation

In your WP admin area, go to Plugins > Add New

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Enter “admin color schemer” into the ‘Search’ field and click the ‘Search Plugins’ button …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Locate ‘Admin Color Schemer’ in the search results and click on ‘Install Now’ …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

After the plugin has been installed, click on ‘Activate‘ …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Plugin Configuration

Once the plugin has been installed and activated, go to Tools > Admin Colors

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

This brings you to the ‘Admin Color Schemer’ settings screen …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

To create your own custom color scheme quickly, simply select colors for the four basic options displayed in this section (Base, Icon, Highlight, Notification) …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Note: You can select colors by clicking on the ‘Current Color’ button and choosing a color from the color palette feature, or typing in an HTML (‘Hex’) color code into the field next to the ‘Current Color’ button.

Tip

Useful Tips

If you need help identifying HTML color codes, there are many great FREE online tools that you can access …

HTML Color Picker

help For a free online tool that lets you identify HTML (Hex) color codes, visit the site below:

redarrow HTML Color Picker

Additionally, if you want to create color schemes using color theory, you can use a free online tool like the Color Scheme Designer shown below …

Color Scheme Designer

help To access the Color Scheme Designer tool, visit the site below:

redarrow Color Scheme Designer

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After you have specified colors for each of the four basic options, click on the ‘Preview’ button …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Your WordPress admin area color scheme will change immediately to reflect your color options …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

If you’re not happy with your color choices, continue selecting new colors for each of the options and clicking on the ‘Preview’ button …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

The plugin also gives you precise control over all aspects of your interface color scheme. To access additional options, click on the ‘Show advanced options’ link below the basic options …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

This brings up a detailed list of all the elements you can specify a color for …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Once you are happy with your color choices, click on ‘Save and use’ to make the color scheme permanent …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Your WordPress admin interface color settings will be updated …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Additional Plugin Notes

The plugin adds your new custom color theme to the WordPress default color palettes.

To view your new custom color theme, go to Users > Your Profile

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Typically, without the Admin Color Schemer plugin installed, only the default color schemes are displayed …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

As you can see, your new custom color scheme has now been added to the Profile section …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Just like the default WordPress settings, whatever custom color scheme you create and specify as the new default will be used on all of your WordPress admin screens …

Customize Your WP Admin Color Scheme

Your custom color scheme also displays in the Edit Profile area of your site’s users, allowing them to select your new custom color scheme …

Customize Your WP Admin Color Scheme

Important

Note: Non-admin users cannot create a new custom color scheme, they can only select it as the new default for their own WP dashboards. Also, setting a new default color scheme for your own WP admin area doesn’t automatically update the default color scheme of your users’ WP admin areas.

Keep in mind that if you deactivate the Admin Color Schemer plugin in your Plugin settings screen …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

Your WordPress dashboard will automatically revert to the default WordPress admin color scheme …

Customize WordPress Admin Color Scheme

help To download this plugin, or contact the plugin developer for support, visit the site below:

redarrow Admin Color Schemer

Congratulations! Now you know how to customize your WordPress administration color scheme.

How To Customize Your WordPress Dashboard Color Scheme

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!

Originally published as How To Customize Your WordPress Dashboard Color Scheme.