WP Plugin Review: Fluency Admin
Some of the most popular posts here on JaypeeOnline are the ones that were part of the Pimp My WP Dashboard series. I’m sure those of you who have been long time readers are familiar with these posts. In that series, I’ve featured and reviewed four different WordPress admin themes – WP Tiger Admin, Spot Milk, Nice Admin and the WordTunes Terminal.
When WordPress 2.5 was released, all these admin themes became obsolete because of the changes done to the WordPress dashboard design and layout. Fortunately for me and those who use admin themes, a new compatible theme was released by Dean J Robinson, called the Fluency Admin. Since then, I’ve been using it as my WP dashboard theme.
I’ve been wanting to do a review of this awesome theme/plugin for a long time now but somehow, I’ve always put it on hold. A few days back, I decided to sit down and start writing the review. Then a couple days later, I found out that Dean released a newer version of the Fluency Admin and that motivated me to finish this review.
Here are the new features found in Fluency Admin 2.1:
- Fluency Admin Options page
- Disable/Enable Fluency style on login page
- Use custom logo on login page
- Classic/Blue color scheme
- Collapsible menu
- Better hover menu
New Hover Menu (items are now split into 2 columns)
New Classic/Blue color scheme
- All menus have to be expanded before activating the Fluency Admin theme.
- Does not support Internet Explorer 6
- Color scheme depends on the scheme selected on your user profile
*To change between the grey or blue color scheme, go to Users > Authors & Users. Click Edit on your profile and look for it under Admin Color Scheme options.
The Fluency Admin theme is a neat plugin. It is not something that you really need to have or install on your WordPress blog, but if you like a better looking dashboard and want to have easier and quicker access to sub-menus, then you should give it a try. Fluency Admin is now hosted in the WordPress plugins directory which means that you can use WordPress’ built-in plugin installer and auto-update feature whenever a new version is released.
I’ve been using the grey-based theme for a long time so for a change, I’ve switched to the Classic/Blue scheme. I really like how the new hover menu splits multiple items into 2 columns, which solves the issue when you have lots of items in the Settings page. I had that problem with the previous version where I couldn’t access some items because they were way up too high or too low and become hidden. I also like that Dean included support for minimizing the menu. I’m glad that Dean is continuing support for this plugin and I hope he doesn’t get tired of it. As far as I know, Fluency Admin is the only admin theme that’s compatible to the latest versions of WordPress.
If you want to switch from the standard menu to the minimized menu or vice versa, just click on the “Hide Menu” icon found at the left side, below the other icons. Btw, the Fluency Admin Options page lets you configure whether you want to enable or disable the Fluency style on the login page and whether you want to use a custom logo on the login page.
Check out or Download the latest version of Fluency Admin theme for WordPress.
Anyone currently using or have tried the Fluency Admin theme? What other admin themes have you tried before? Do you know of any admin themes that work with newer versions of WordPress?