Client Dash

Documentation

If you are upgrading to Client Dash 2.0 from a previous version, please read the upgrade notes.

The Customize Admin Tool

Client Dash comes with a powerful tool for customizing the admin experience for your users and clients. You can present your users with a tailored experience of the administrative portion of your website by removing, moving, modifying, or adding both menu items and dashboard widgets. We will cover this later.

Note: By “admin experience”, we mean how your users experience the “back end”, or “administrative portion” of your website. In other words, what your users see when they log into your website and visit /wp-admin/.

To open the Customize Admin Tool, simply click “Client Dash” in the admin menu, or click the Client Dash -> Customize Admin link in the submenu.

 

The Customize Admin Tool is separated into two main components on the screen.

Tool Area

On the left side of the screen is the tool area. This contains all tools used to customize the admin experience.

Preview Area

On the right side of the screen is the preview area. This is where you can see a live preview of your customizations. This is only a preview and your changes will not be viewable to anyone else until you click “Save”.

Roles

The most important thing to understand about how this tool works is that you are customizing the experience for each role individually. This means you can customize how an Editor will view your website, and then separately customize how a Contributor or Administrator will view your website. You may want to hide some menu items for an Editor, but then leave them for an Author. Or you may want to rename a dashboard widget for your Contributor, but leave it for an Administrator.

Note: To learn more about WordPress Roles, and how they work, visit this page.

When you open the Customize Admin Tool, you will be editing the experience for site Administrators by default. To change which role you are customizing, use the “role switcher” at the bottom of the Tool Area. Once you switch to a new role, all changes you make will apply only to that role. You can edit the experience for as many or few roles as you need.

Menus

The “administrative menu” refers to the menu a user sees on the left side of the screen when logged into your website. Each role, by default, already has a unique menu for them. Client Dash allows you to customize them even further.

 

In order to edit a role’s administrative menu, simply click on “Menu” in the tool area. You will then see a customizable admin menu in the tool area for that role.

Note: You can go back anytime by clicking the back arrow in the tool area.

Re-Ordering Menu Items

You can re-order the menu items by dragging and dropping them. Click and hold over any menu item, drag the item to the desired location, then release the mouse to place the item in the new location.

Editing Menu Items

In order to edit a menu item, click the downward facing arrow on the right side of a menu item. This brings up a new area under the menu item where you can edit the menu item. You can modify the text of the menu item (or “Title”) and also modify the icon that shows to the left of the menu item.

Deleting Menu Items

Any menu item can be deleted so it does not appear in the user’s admin menu. To do so, begin editing the menu item by clicking the downward area (as explained above) and then click “Delete”. The item will be removed from the admin menu. This item can be added back to the menu at any time; this will be explained below.

Note: Some menu items deleted by simply clicking the trash can icon on the right side of the menu item, where the down arrow would normally be. Menu separators are an example of this.

Adding Menu Items

Any menu items you delete will now appear in the “Add Items” tool area screen. To access this screen, click the “Add Items” button above the admin menu editor. You will then see a list of items you can add. Any items you deleted will appear here.

There can also be re-usable menu items you can add from here including Separator and Custom Link. You can add as many of these as you like. Separators add space between menu items in the admin menu and the Custom Link may contain any link you enter when editing the menu item.

Modifying Submenus

Some menu items have submenus that are visible either when hovering over the menu item in the admin menu, or when visiting the page itself. You can edit these submenus. In order to do so, click the down arrow to edit the menu item, as explained above, and then click the “Submenu” button.

 

This will take you to an editor for the submenu, which will look and function identically to the menu editor. From here, interact with the submenu exactly as you would with the top-level menu. Note that these items do not have icons, as submenu items do not have icons.

Dashboard Widgets

“Dashboard widgets” refer to the “boxes” or “widgets” that appear on the administrative dashboard. The “administrative dashboard” is the page you are taken to immediately after logging into the website or when clicking “Dashboard” in the admin menu.

Each of these widgets can be further modified, removed, and new widgets can be added for each role. To open the Dashboard editor, click the “Dashboard” button in the tool area.

Note: You can go back anytime by clicking the back arrow in the tool area.

Modifying Widgets

You can edit each dashboard widget. For widgets added by WordPress and other plugins, you can only edit the title. To do so, click the down arrow to the right of the widget title in the list. Some widgets may offer more customization tools.

Note: There may be add-ons available to Client Dash that allow further customization of the widgets.

Deleting Widgets

Any widget can be deleted so it does not appear in the user’s dashboard. To do so, begin editing the dashboard by clicking the downward area (as explained above) and then click “Delete”. The item will be removed from the dashboard. This item can be added back to the dashboard at any time; this will be explained below.

Adding Widgets

Any widgets you delete will now appear in the “Add Items” tool area screen. To access this screen, click the “Add Items” button above the dashboard widgets editor. You will then see a list of widgets you can add. Any widgets you deleted will appear here.

There can also be re-usable widgets you can add from here including the Text Widget. You can add as many of these as you like. The Text Widget allows custom text or HTML to be displayed in the widget.


Note on the Customize Admin Tool Tutorial

When you first use this tool, you will be presented with a quick tutorial on how to use it. Once you finish the tutorial, or if you close it, you can always view the tutorial again by visiting Client Dash -> Settings and clicking the “Enable” button next to “Enable Customize Admin Tutorial”.

Helper Pages

Client Dash Helper Pages are a few extra administrative pages that are added to your website. Each page contains some useful information for the user. By default, they are viewable to a few pre-defined roles. For example, there is an Account page that is viewable for almost every role. There is also a “Reports” page only viewable to Editors and Authors. This can be customized, which we will cover later.

The Helper Pages

Account

Provides some quick, helpful information on the user’s account.

Reports

Provides information about the current website and setup.

Help

Provides quick reports on the website’s content.

Admin Page

Customizable admin page to benefit your users. Note that this page is unique in that you can fully customize the content.

Customize Helper Pages

There are a few customization tools available for each Helper Page. In order to customize them, visit the “Helper Pages” screen under Client Dash -> Helper Pages.

 

Here you can customize a few different things for each page. You may also notice there are some items underneath each page. These represent tabs for each page. This means you have even more granular control of what your users see. You can modify or hide individual tabs within helper pages.

Helper Page Title

You are given the ability to customize each page and tab title. This is what will appear in the admin menu, dashboard widgets, and on the pages themselves.

Helper Page Icon

Each page, but not each tab, has a customizable icon. By clicking on the icon to the left of the title, you are presented with a tooltip of icons that you can click. These icons are used both on the pages themselves and in each dashboard icon.

Helper Page Roles

Each helper page should be viewable to only specific roles. Some of the information in each page is sensitive information that you may want an Editor to see, but not a Contributor. By default, we have customized each helper page to be viewable to roles that we find is best, but you are empowered to modify this if you wish. By removing all roles from a page’s tabs means it will be viewable to no one and effectively be disabled.

To modify the roles that can view a helper page, simply click on the “Select Roles” button next to each tab. You will then see a tooltip containing a list of roles. You can click on a role to enable or disable it. If a role cannot view any of the helper page’s tabs, the page itself will not be visible to the user.

Admin Page

The Client Dash Admin Page is a powerful tool that allows you to create a hand-tailored, customized page for your users to see. You can add any content to the page you like and customize who can and can not see it.

Customizing the Admin Page

In order to customize your admin page, visit the Client Dash -> Admin Page screen.

From here you can customize the content of the admin page. You customize this just like you would any other page. You can add as much content as you like, including media and some shortcodes.

In order to customize the admin page title and icon, visit the Helper Pages screen.

Upgrading to version 2.0

If you are upgrading Client Dash from a previous version to 2.0, please read the following.

Version 2.0 of Client Dash is a major release and presents an entirely new experience for Client Dash. There is an upgrade tool built into Client Dash so that you can, as seamlessly as is possible, migrate your current Client Dash settings into 2.0. This tool will migrate your custom menus, dashboard widget settings, helper page settings, and webmaster page (now called “admin page”).

After installing version 2.0 of Client Dash, you should see a notice at the top of the screen telling you to upgrade the plugin. You are given the option of migrating your previous settings, as mentioned above, or not migrating your settings and start over. Click one or the other in order to complete the upgrade and activate Client Dash 2.0. The plugin will not function until you do this.

Migrating Menus

The upgrade process will attempt to migrate your customized admin menus into the new Customize Admin tool introduced in version 2.0. It should be identical to your current customized menus, with a few exceptions.

In previous versions of Client Dash, you were allowed to add submenu items as top-level menu items. You were also allowed to move submenu items into other submenus. This is no longer possible in version 2.0. The ability to do this in previous versions caused a lot of problems and has been deemed inappropriate for WordPress going forward. We apologize if this causes any inconveniences, but we believe it is for the best.

Any submenu items you have moved to another submenu will be gone. Any submenu items you have as top-level items will be highlighted in red and declared “missing”. You will need to delete these.

Migrating Dashboard Widgets

The upgrade process will attempt to migrate your dashboard widget settings into the new Customize Admin tool introduced in version 2.0. All settings should be preserved, which should only be widget titles and deleted widgets.

The one thing to note is that in previous versions of Client Dash, you could not customize the dashboard widgets individually for each role. Any changes you made would apply to all roles. In Client Dash 2.0, you can customize the dashboard widgets for each role. This means that the upgrade process will apply your settings to all roles invidually. In order to make changes to each role, you will need to customize each role individually or reset each role individually, from the Customize Admin tool.

Webmaster Page

In previous versions of Client Dash, there was a customizable “Webmaster Page”. This still exists in 2.0, but is now called “Admin Page”. Your settings for this page will all be migrated. This includes the icon, page title, tab title, page content, and feed settings. In order to edit this page, you will now need to refer to the documentation for “Admin Page”.