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Customize the WordPress Admin Toolbar: Why and How to Do It

The WordPress Admin Toolbar: Why Customize It?

Before we get into the specifics of how to customize the toolbar, let’s spend a moment discussing why you might want to go through this effort in the first place. What follows are just a few reasons:

  • You may wish to add shortcuts to frequently accessed parts of your site that aren’t present in the toolbar by default.
  • Sometimes plugins, themes, or other third-party tools add a menu or feature to the toolbar that you don’t want to be there.
  • You may want to add white-labeling to the admin toolbar to create a more branded experience for your team or clients.
  • The location of the toolbar is inconvenient for your personal workflow and you’d like to move it to appear elsewhere.

    If it sounds like these might be useful modifications to make, keep reading.

How to Add Items to the WordPress Admin Toolbar

If you want to add items to the WordPress toolbar, your first order of business is to add markup to the functions.php file in WordPress. Or, you can always download the Code Snippets plugin. It allows you to add code to your theme files without having to dig around in them directly.

Move Items Using Code

Finally, you can also use similar code to add submenu items to existing links. For that, you just need to know the ID of the parent you want to target and include it in the code snippet. For example, here’s how you add a submenu item to the link leading to your site’s front end
You can go about adding items to the WordPress toolbar in a number of ways. The first is to manually add a bit of code to your theme’s functions file.

Use a Plugin to Customize the Toolbar

If you want to skip the code route altogether, there are three plugins we’d like to highlight here that make adding links and menus to the WordPress toolbar a snap. Let’s take a look:

1.Branda

Branda is a full-fledged white labeling plugin that allows you to customize nearly every aspect of your website’s dashboard. It’s also free. The plugin lets you change or remove logos from the toolbar, add toolbar links, remove toolbar links, and more. In addition, it has a variety of other customization features. You can change the dashboard’s look, change the login screen, make new color schemes, modify system emails, and more.

2.Admin Toolbar Menus

Another plugin option is Admin Toolbar Menus, which makes it easy to establish three different WordPress toolbar locations on the dashboard. In addition, you can make custom toolbar menus using the standard WordPress menus page. It includes support for multi-level menus as well. The menu locations are under the Site Name menu dropdown, along the primary toolbar, and under the My Account dropdown. There are also no settings to be configured, just select your menu location, what it should contain, and you’re good to go.

3.Toolbar Publish Button

The last plugin we’d recommend for this section is Toolbar Publish Button. It simply adds the Publish button to the WordPress admin toolbar. This way, you don’t have to scroll down the page to get to the Publish/Save button. Just access it at the top of your site and proceed with your work.

How to Remove Items from the Toolbar

If you’re finding the WordPress toolbar too cluttered, you can remove the items as well. This, again, happens either manually or through the use of a plugin. Let’s look at the code route first.

Remove the WordPress Admin Toolbar Items with Code

Thankfully, manually removing items from the WordPress toolbar is as simple as using the remove_node() function in functions.php. To do this, you need to first locate the toolbar menu item IDs, then use a bit of code to remove them.

We have already covered above how you can find out the IDs with the browser developer tools. It’s the same for removing menu items. For example, here’s what it would look like if you wanted to get rid of the WordPress logo:

Summary: Customizing the WordPress Admin Toolbar

If the WordPress toolbar isn’t serving you in its current form, then it’s just taking up space.

Thankfully, you can make it work for you in a number of ways. By adding or removing items, changing the styling, changing its location, or even removing it entirely. With a few straightforward code snippets or easy-to-use plugins in hand, you can make these changes quickly and get on with the rest of your work.

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