Once you’ve got the hang of using the WordPress administrator dashboard for doing most tasks you’re going to change or expand that functionality. There are an astonishing number of plugins available that can take care of much of the dirty work of administering your site directly from the same interface you already use. We’ll take a look at some plugins that extend the functionality of the administration panel in WordPress to save you some work and simplify some of your responsibilities. Keeping administrative stuff in hand is one of the better ways to make sure that you have enough time to keep creative stuff flowing out of it.
1. Dashboard Editor. The Dashboard Editor plugin allows you to change the actual content of the administration interface to better suit what you need to do with it. You can wipe all of the links to other WordPress blogs and replace them with your own widgets or plugin output that is most useful for you. This can also help with the lag that sometimes occurs when all of the RSS/Atoms feeds are polled as the dashboard loads.
2. Admin Drop Down Menu. This plugin substitutes drop down menus for the less convenient tabs that are built in to the admin interface. This can really help you sort through the options you’ll need without clicking all the way through. It makes any of the admin options available with a single click. You can also easily modify the message that greets people when they attempt to load the site and adjust the retry delay for automated readers.
3. WordPress Instant Upgrade. This one is also a great time saver for those who want to stay current with new WP releases but avoid going through the legwork each time a bug fix or security update is released. After you install this plugin, upgrades are a single click affair. This is more appropriate if you haven’t done any customization to the actual WordPress files as it will overwrite modified versions. This is a great addition for those who haven’t modified their install (other than the addition of plugins or themes) and want to keep it secure and up to date with a minimum of hassle and keystrokes.
4. Site Unavailable. If you want to make some major changes to your site or play around with something before it becomes visible to the world then this plugin is a single click method of temporarily disabling the visibility of your site and giving people an idea of when it should be available again. The nice part is that everything will be available to you as an administrator so you can get the dirty work done unimpeded.
5. PlugInstaller. This makes your administrator interface into a plugin installer as long as your WordPress site resides on a Linux or Unix server. PlugInstaller basically makes the installation of new plugins a single click affair and when used in conjunction with the notification about new versions of plugins built right into the 2.3 series of WordPress can keep you effortlessly on top of all the add-ons that you’ve installed in the past as well as making new additions very easy. It also works in reverse and allows the removal of plugins you no longer need or want to be done in a single step.
6. Fix Database is a quick way to examine or optimize your database from within the administration panel without having to log in to an external resource. This is great for quick troubleshooting and giving your databases a periodic analysis to make sure that nothing has gone awry.