Our website will be down for scheduled maintenance on Thursday, September 18, at 11 p.m. Pacific Time and should be back up by Midnight. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Customizing the Dashboard

From: Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts

Video: Customizing the Dashboard

While the WordPress administration implementation is sophisticated and powerful, it's not carved in stone. In this lesson, I will show you how to remove unwanted features, add new content, and even customize the login screen with your client's brand. Let's start by reducing the clutter on the dashboard. The Dashboard is comprised of a series of widgets, some more informative than others, and some more pertinent than others for the standard client. All of the widgets are divided in two areas, the left, which is referred to as Normal by the WordPress programmers, obviously, all south-paws, and the right, which is known as the Side.

Customizing the Dashboard

While the WordPress administration implementation is sophisticated and powerful, it's not carved in stone. In this lesson, I will show you how to remove unwanted features, add new content, and even customize the login screen with your client's brand. Let's start by reducing the clutter on the dashboard. The Dashboard is comprised of a series of widgets, some more informative than others, and some more pertinent than others for the standard client. All of the widgets are divided in two areas, the left, which is referred to as Normal by the WordPress programmers, obviously, all south-paws, and the right, which is known as the Side.

Now, to remove them, we will need to know which is which, as well as their id names. The ones I am targeting, WordPress Blog and Other WordPress News, are both on the side. Here is a list of the current dashboard widgets and their positions, Normal or Side. You will notice that WordPress Blog is known as dashboard_primary, and it's on the side, and Other News has an id of dashboard_secondary. In this lesson, all the action is in the theme's function file.

So let's head over to Dreamweaver and hone in on the functions.php page that's within the roux theme folder, which is this middle one here. So I am going to go ahead and go into Code view. And as you can see, we just have a couple of functions so far, and now let's go ahead and add one more. To make life a bit simpler, I've prepared a series of snippets for this lesson. Let's go to File > Open and then navigate to the Desktop, in our Exercise Files, open up Chapter 10/10_01 and open custom_dashboard_functions.php.

So this has three different snippets of code. Let's look at the first one initially, which will remove unwanted widgets from the dashboard. So dashboard widgets are all stored in a global variable called wp_meta_boxes, and that's what that first line addresses. Next, you see the unset function on line 4 and 5 here, and this will remove anything that's already there, and it's removing from the wp_meta_boxes on the dashboard side elements, not normal ones, but side, that are part of the core and then their id, dashboard_primary and dashboard_secondary.

Now, after the function ends, there is an add_action which calls that function. All right. So copy this little bit of code, move over to our functions page, and I am going to put it at the end, right after my two existing functions. I like to keep my functions separated by individual lines wherever I can. So once that's pasted in, let's go ahead and save it. Now, let's head back to the dashboard and keep an eye on WordPress Blog and Other WordPress News here, after I click Refresh. And now you see that they are no longer there.

So that's how you remove something from the dashboard, but how do you add something? Let's add a small help widget with some helpful info to illustrate the process. Let's switch back to Dreamweaver and my little snippet file here, and I will scroll down so we can concentrate on the second bit of code where it sets up a function called contact_help, and this is the text that will appear in my little widget. Notice that it has an echo statement, that's a PHP function for printing something out, and I have just some basic text in quotes here.

The next function register_widget actually adds the dashboard widget as the function wp_add_dashboard_widget says. And the first argument you see there, contact help widget is the widget id, Need help? Is the title and contact_help is the function name. Finally, there is the add_action to hook in these functions into the existing WordPress installation. It's going to hook into the dashboard_setup, and the function that will be hooked in is register_widgets.

Okay, let's copy this, and again, paste it at the bottom of our function file. I will save the page, and let's head back to Dashboard and do another Refresh, and we'll scroll down, and there is our Need help? option right there on the left at the bottom, unobtrusive, but available. Finally, let's add a little branding to our WordPress installation. The very first encounter that your clients and their workers will have with the WordPress application is the login screen.

I am going to log out, so we can take a quick look at it. So if I go up to where it says Howdy, admin and then choose Log Out, that will bring me back to the default WordPress login screen. Now, as you can see, WordPress is front in center, but Roux Academy is nowhere to be seen. Let's go back to Dreamweaver and remedy that situation. First, I am going to need to copy an image that I created for the login screen. We'll find that also in the Chapter 10/10_01 folder, and I will use Finder to go get it.

You want to pick up ralogo_admin.png, and we're going to put it in the htdocs/roux_academy/ blog folder, drill down to wp-content/themes/roux/_images. Paste that right in, and you will see it there. Okay, let's close that window, and now we'll go back to Dreamweaver and get the code from my snippet file for this final operation. Here, we have a function called custom_login_logo, and it echoes out a bit of HTML that will replace the existing h1 anchor tag which utilizes the WordPress background image, and we'll change that so that we have our own background image, as you can see, here in _images/ralogo_admin.png.

I am going to go ahead and set !important to make sure that it takes precedence. We'll add_action, we'll hook in this function to the login_head function. So, let's copy that, and in our functions.php page, paste it right in. I will save the page, go back to our browser and click Refresh. Now the logo has been replaced with a Roux Academy specific logo and the clients will be assured that they're in the right place when they first come to log in.

This lesson is really just the start of what's possible in customizing the dashboard. In other lessons in this chapter, you will see how to add new functionality, as well as interactivity.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts
Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts

55 video lessons · 51723 viewers

Joseph Lowery
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 7s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 54s
    3. A word about updates
      1m 15s
  2. 15m 28s
    1. Overview
      1m 51s
    2. Creating the database and the initial site
      3m 45s
    3. Configuring WordPress
      5m 54s
    4. Establishing a Dreamweaver site
      3m 58s
  3. 20m 18s
    1. Accessing dynamically related files
      4m 12s
    2. Filtering files
      4m 20s
    3. Following links
      4m 15s
    4. Employing Live Code
      2m 54s
    5. Enabling site-specific code hinting
      4m 37s
  4. 21m 8s
    1. Adding blog posts
      4m 55s
    2. Editing blog posts
      3m 20s
    3. Adding new pages
      2m 59s
    4. Including images
      6m 59s
    5. Adding videos to posts
      2m 55s
  5. 18m 12s
    1. Understanding WordPress structure
      3m 52s
    2. Activating a theme
      7m 21s
    3. Setting up a child theme
      6m 59s
  6. 1h 29m
    1. Updating the page structure and the background
      12m 53s
    2. Working with web fonts
      4m 3s
    3. Styling a header
      11m 48s
    4. Adding header functions
      7m 40s
    5. Setting up content columns
      10m 9s
    6. Changing the main content
      5m 17s
    7. Managing the content code
      4m 48s
    8. Customizing the sidebar
      10m 32s
    9. Styling search
      7m 8s
    10. Working with search text
      5m 49s
    11. Integrating the footer
      9m 40s
  7. 27m 18s
    1. Setting up media queries
      6m 12s
    2. Customizing for tablets
      12m 19s
    3. Building smartphone layouts
      8m 47s
  8. 23m 28s
    1. Working with categories and posts
      5m 31s
    2. Developing category-driven pages
      11m 22s
    3. Changing headers by category
      6m 35s
  9. 36m 32s
    1. Adding Spry accordion panels
      17m 44s
    2. Working with Spry form validation
      11m 56s
    3. Integrating jQuery functionality
      6m 52s
  10. 11m 7s
    1. Understanding WordPress plugins
      6m 20s
    2. Styling plugin output
      4m 47s
  11. 25m 44s
    1. Customizing the Dashboard
      6m 52s
    2. Working with WordPress functions
      8m 7s
    3. Including administration interactivity
      10m 45s
  12. 13m 10s
    1. Setting up the data in WordPress
      2m 17s
    2. Adding dynamic data from WordPress to your web pages
      10m 53s
  13. 11m 38s
    1. Modifying general settings
      4m 12s
    2. Setting up users
      3m 11s
    3. Restricting access to specific WordPress pages
      4m 15s
  14. 26m 38s
    1. Exporting and importing WordPress files
      7m 9s
    2. Backing up and restoring the database
      8m 10s
    3. Transferring files
      6m 3s
    4. Testing and fine-tuning
      5m 16s
  15. 18s
    1. Next steps
      18s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Dreamweaver and WordPress: Core Concepts.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.