Getting started with a simplified admin area for your users

  1. Create a master template user set up the way you want your users
  2. Install and activate the plugin
  3. Configure the plugin
  4. Test it: create or register as a new user and see what happens
  5. Convert /setup any existing users
  6. Problems? check log file

Create a master template user and set the user up

Specify template users

  • Can be an admin or editor user.  Other users can only do what their WordPress capabilities lets them.  It makes it easy because you can use one template user for all other users.
  • Consider the following menu items:
    • dashboard (in case you switch it on, or maybe for your editors?)
    • posts
    • media
    • links
    • pages
    • comments
    • any custom post types (yes you can set them too)
    • categories, tags and taxonomies
  • Consider what you can do with each
    • screen options: switch off fields, columns etc
    • metaboxes: switch off, close, move them

Install the plugin

  1. Same as wordpress usual process.  After activation you should see a settings option on the plugin list.  For multi-site, this will go to network admin settings area.
  2. If you are doing this on  a live site (you brave person you!) go straight to settings, enter your template user in the template user/role settings and save.   As soon as the plugin is activated, new users will immediately start inheriting the template users settings… it’s okay, you can also ‘refresh’ them later if they snuck in while you were having a cuppa tea (or a skim flat white with no sugar)

Configure the plugin

  1. Specify the template users – the users whose settings the plugin will copy for new users.
    1. In normal wp, this can be done by roles.
    2. In multisite users can have different roles in different sites, but they only ever have one set of meta data.  So  this can only be done for all users (except suerpadmins)
  2. Once you have set the template users, you can leave it at that if you like – I suggest you at least test it though.
  3. Optional additional settings:
    • Switch logging on just while testing, switch it off later
    • Switch off the dashboard, and superfluous menus for users  who do not have the specified minimum capability.  If you need a finer level of control see Frank’s adminimize plugin
    • Redirect the login (else will go to profile, or wherever logged in from)
    • Clean up the user profile (switch off colour picker and unused contact methods)
    • Add any extra user meta keys that other plugins or wordpress may have added to provide functionality
  4. Save settings

Test it!

  • Check you have switched the logging function on just for now
  • Add a new user, or register as new user
  • Login as that user – did you see what you expected to see ?

Convert existing users

  • If you have a user base already, there is a section that will allow you to overwrite whatever settings they may have already with the template user settings.   Click “set all users with role”.


Please keep your head straight about

  • which user is your template user
  • if using admin, have you forgotten and switched on bits that you don’t want other users to see? Consider using a non-functional template user.
  • when/whether you ‘personalised’ the template user AFTER the other users you are testing if.  If so you may need to force an update of other users.  This can be done in the settings.
  • else test with a totally new user.  Remember totally new users will pickup settings from the latest personalised settings of your template user.

Log Updates

  • Go to the settings page and view the logs – this may explain what has happened.  Check you pressed Save, not Set users etc
  • Redirect options may clash with other plugins – please check thoroughly with all levels of users
  • The dashboard removal causes ‘notices’ if you have wordpress debug switched on.  This has been logged in WordPress trac.
  • Login to your database tool (phpmyadmin maybe?) and check the template user metakeys and the ‘target’ new user metakeys.  Are they the same?
  • If you really cannot work it out, try posting in the support forum.  Please be as detailed and specific as you can about the sequence of actions.