Book update: Customizing WordPress Admin

If you came here for pictures, there aren’t many yet :) However, I’ll be sending out updates and a launch deal for those that sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the post.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a lot of fun putting together a book on customizing the WordPress Admin. It’s a sought after topic, yet rarely documented. Customizing the interfaces we use to interact with WordPress is becoming a bigger topic day by day. Be it within the enterprise or for SaaS solutions, WordPress has long since graduated from the blog moniker. This book will tackle the topic of customizing WordPress to meet those ever-growing needs.

Customizing WordPress Admin


For those that have been following the tweets, I wanted to share an outline of the book:

  • Introduction
  • Destroy – The book kicks off with a chapter that tackles the overwhelming UI that is presented to the end-user as they log in for the first time. There will be a number of easy wins in this chapter, hopefully resulting in fewer support tickets and a less intimidating experience for your clients.
  • Rebuild – Writing this next part has been a lot of fun (and I’m also assuming it will be most useful to you). Beyond what you already know with regards to custom post types, this chapter will delve into creating your own interfaces within WP-Admin, discussing various design patterns as well as the general ins and outs of customizing it for specific needs or user types. It will focus heavily on getting your end-users to become happier and more productive.
  • Conquer – At this point, we’ll be breaking out of WP-Admin and discussing the various methods one can use to create entirely new interfaces for WordPress. Beyond the back-end code, we’ll also talk about front-end best practices and how you can get the most out of your user experience there too. This will be more product focused, so you can also expect some case studies.
  • Summary
  • Resources – In addition, there’s some bonus content I’m looking to throw in there to really help this make for a more practical book. Specifically a plugin that implements the code we discuss, as well as video interviews with people that have done similar work.


The structure follows the same style to my initial article in .NET (which you can download below). That article is essentially an ultra-light version of what the book will be. As it stands, the book will also be self-published and DRM free (.pdf, .epub & .mobi).

Launch Date

This isn’t set yet, but it’s a few weeks off. Sign up for the newsletter below to get updates of the progress and be informed when the launch deal comes out.

With all that said, I’m really excited to getting this book out there. It’s really meant to be a tool that you can apply to your business or agency, with the hopes of delivering value from day one.

  • Product People

    This looks awesome! We did a couple of shows on using WordPress for your app’s MVP here:

  • Bob Orchard

    I’m looking forward to it!

  • Privy

    Waiting for this desperately. I’ve been working on changing the wp admin by creating “mega”-plugins that would make it much more useful & appealing to my otherwise code-agnostic target audience.

    I’ve seen what you’ve done with happytables & i’m really looking forward to reading about how you’ve approached the whole admin customization.

  • adam

    when will it be published?

  • Vincent Reboul

    Any update on the release date of the book?

  • Bai Wei

    Really fantastic topic. CAN’T wait. When is the release date?

  • limecanvaswil

    Sounds awesome!

  • Rick

    Any update on release? Also, will your book delve into your process or technique used with Happy Tables and Clickbank Powered or is it more of a general “Customizing the Admin” book? I’m excited.

  • Trisha Salas

    So glad you’re doing this. I’ve recently begun to explore customizing the admin area because of all the negative comments I get from my clients. You’re right that there’s so little documentation on this, I didn’t even find your site until after #wcsf. I planning a few plugins both WordPress admin related and more specifically BuddyPress admin related so this is timely! (I also just picked up Design for Hackers per your recommendation.) Carry on!

  • Is the book still in the works? I’d be willing to pay an arm and a leg for this.

  • Marco Galasso

    It’s about time Noel. Really!

  • Ronson

    Wheres de book? I need de book.

  • Any news on the release date? maybe even a paid beta of the book ;)

  • Any chance this will be ready by February?

  • Cédric

    Hi Noel,

    I need this book too :p !

  • Balls dude, at least let us know whether-or-not you still plan on releasing it.

  • Margrethe Moxnes

    Awesome! I’ll buy this as soon it is published! :D

  • Carlos Flores Escamilla

    The PDf article mentions a zip file named WP-240. I clicked on the link but it is no longer available. By chance do you have the file zip?

  • fredrik

    How the book going?