If you read our recent article about the new features in WordPress 3.8, it’s no surprise that the admin UI is getting a facelift. Let’s cover the following topics related to the new admin design:
- What’s changing
- What’s staying the same
- Color schemes
- Responsive design
- Theme selection
- Dashboard changes
- Password Generator
You can also take a look at our WordPress 3.8 admin UI photo gallery »
From a design standpoint, you’ll notice:
- flatter elements, less gradients & shadows, more solid colors, etc.
- a new font (Open Sans)
- more contrast & whitespace
- responsive design for phones & tablets
Most will agree that it’s an improvement, but nothing revolutionary. We’ll highlight a few of the key changes being made below, and explain them in further detail.
What’s Staying the Same
Most of the placement of things remains untouched. Your admin bar is still fixed at the top of the page. The menu on the left. Publish button in the top-right metabox. Your settings pages have not changed. Installing & activating plugins is as easy as it’s always been.
New Admin Color Schemes
There are now 8 admin color schemes to choose from. My personal favorite is Midnight. Give them a try by navigating to “Users” > “Your Profile”.
If you’re looking for additional color schemes, install the Admin Color Schemes plugin (by the WordPress Core Team) to add even more options.
The new WordPress admin responsive design includes some nice improvements for mobile devices.
- Improved navigation for the main menu options on the left, similar to Facebook’s mobile app & the sidr plugin.
- Everything condensed into a single column layout
- Larger relative font sizes throughout
- Larger checkboxes
- Larger pagination for listings of posts, pages, comments, media & users
- Sub-menu items no longer open in a flyout. On click, they appear directly below the parent menu item. This is very similar to the desktop experience when you are already viewing a parent page.
- The Open Sans font looks fantastic on mobile devices
Browsing, previewing & activating new themes is now a little easier. The “Appearance” > “Themes” page has a new design. To learn more about a theme, simply click on its image (an “i” will appear on hover). This brings up a modal window with the full description, along with previous & next navigation so you can scroll right through all of your installed themes.
The “Appearance” > “Widgets” screen functions the same as you’re used to, but the design has changed. You still drag & drop widgets from the left side to the appropriate sidebar on the right, and edit them the same as before. Here’s what the new widgets design looks like:
WordPress 3.8 Dashboard
There are quite a few changes being made to the dashboard (the first screen you see when you login to the WordPress admin). We’ve created a separate article that outlines all WordPress 3.8 dashboard updates.
New Password Generator
WordPress 3.8 has added a new “Generate Password” button to the “Users” > “Add New” screen. Previously, you had to make up your own password when creating new users. Now WordPress gives you the option to automatically create a strong one.
This password can still be emailed to the user (in plain text, if their email program doesn’t use SSL), and you can still create your own if you’d like. Also keep in mind, the user can go to their profile page & change their password whenever they’d like, and there are no strength requirements when they do so.
I see where WordPress is going with this, but if you want to read more, check out my article on why a password generator is a bad idea.
Trouble Finding Something?
Can’t find something? Not sure where something went? Struggling with the new design? Leave us a comment & we’ll try to help you get back on track.