Project: Dashboard Organizer for WordPress

Introduction and Business Problem

The WordPress administration dashboard can be a mess. Granting access to it to the end user is simply asking for trouble. There are many tools that allow you to control what shows up on the dashboard, but none of them allow you to control the ORDER in which the widgets show up on the dashboard. This makes it hard for a programmer or system administrator to be able to provide a consistent user experience to the end user. What we need is a plugin that can help the administrator control the order in which dashboard elements are created.

Engineering Challenge

This was one of those plugins where we were blazing new trails. As far as we could tell, no one had created anything like this before. Therefore, we ended up selecting a couple of very high-end developer/developers with a ton of experience in WordPress. Overall, it took about 6 weeks to complete, including the beta-testing period.

The Final Product

The final plugin is fully featured:

  • It allows each site administrator (yes, it is multisite aware) to create multiple layouts — one for each role.
  • A layout can apply to multiple roles.
  • The layout is created via drag-and-drop. The administrator can see exactly what the end user will see.
  • A full-featured backup and restore module is included to move layouts between installations.

Take a look at the layout definition screen below:


End Notes

The combination of this plugin with the Dashboard Notifier and a 3rd party Dashboard Widgets Permission-by-role plugin allows you to provide the end user with a completely customized experience. At first glance, no one would even know that they were working inside of WordPress until they got to the data entry screens.


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