WordPress administrator control panel has hundreds of default settings. In addition, your theme and installed plugins can add custom menu items in the panel. One important section of the admin panel is the top sticky bar that contains shortcuts to quick access menu items. Unfortunately, this top admin bar is least looked by WordPress users and developers. In this article, we will explore more on how to make use of this top admin bar in WordPress admin panel and customize as per your need.
What is Top Bar or Admin Bar?
Top bar, toolbar or admin bar? – well, you can call with any name or let’s call it as admin bar in this article 😀. Admin bar is the top toolbar shown on the WordPress admin panel. By default, it has quick links to the following items:
- Your site’s home page
- About WordPress page and WordPress.org documentation links
- Quick access to comments and updates
- Link to creating new items like post, page, media and user
- On the right corner, you can find the username and options to edit profile and logout.
In addition to the default links, there will be custom links from installed plugins and theme. Admin bar by default is shown on the admin panel as well as when you view the published content. It will look like below on desktops:
The admin bar will responsively adjust to the width when viewed on smaller screens.
Adding Custom Links in Admin Bar
Unfortunately, there are no options available in the admin panel to add custom links to the bar. However, plugins and commercial themes can create custom navigation on the top admin bar that will be useful when working in the panel. Below is the admin bar on multi-network site with a custom link. The “Purge SG Cache” option is added by SG Optimizer plugin from SiteGround hosting. You can click on this to simply clear the caching of the entire site without navigating through the plugin’s settings page.
Below is an example of single site admin bar with custom links from maintenance mode and coupon plugins.
As you can see, instead of navigating through menu items, you can quickly put the site into maintenance mode or purge the cache straight from the admin bar shortcuts. In addition, the options available with custom links may change accordingly when you are editing content or on the dashboard. For example, WP Rocket plugin will show an option to clear cache for this post when you are editing the content.
Note: Some plugins like TablePress allow you to choose the location of quick access menu. You can either add the link in top admin bar or add under settings / tools section as per your convenient.
Admin Bar Not Visible
The admin bar will not be available when you work in fullscreen mode in Gutenberg editor. You will see other options for adding blocks and editing tools instead. You can click on the three dots button icon and disable “Fullscreen mode” to view the admin bar again.
The distraction free writing mode in classic editor will still show the admin bar on the top. It will be dimmed when you are typing and shown normal when you navigate outside the editing area.
Disable Admin Bar When Viewing Published Content
Though you can not disable admin bar in the dashboard, you can disable admin bar when viewing published content from settings page. By default, WordPress will show admin toolbar when viewing published content if you are logged in to your account. Though this will be useful to edit the post or go to customizer settings, many users feel this is distracting them when viewing content.
If you want to disable the admin bar, go to “Users > Your Profile” section. Disable the checkbox against the option “Show Toolbar when viewing site”. This will remove the admin toolbar when viewing your content.
Custom Admin Bar Plugins
Go to “Plugins > Add New” section and type admin bar in the search box. You will be surprised to see a big list of plugins available for customizing the admin bar. In general, you can do the following with different plugins:
- Hide the admin bar permanently from admin panel
- Hide only for non-admin users
- Show or hide on mouse hover
- Add additional quick access links
- Change the text like “Howdy” and customize the color and other options
Unfortunately, many admin bar related plugins do not work with Gutenberg and you can try Absolute Glamorous Custom Admin plugin.
This plugin offers numerous options to customize the entire admin panel including WordPress login page. After installing the plugin, go to “Tools > AGCA > Admin Bar” section to start customizing your admin bar. You can change the WordPress logo in the bar, remove links, change site name and customize every single item available on the bar.
You can also simply hide the bar to work distraction free and customize other admin panel sections like footer, dashboard and menus.
WordPress shows this admin bar as a sticky menu with many useful options. However, users still go to “Posts > Add New” to create new post instead of simply selecting “+ New > Post” option from the admin bar. We have published this article to create some awareness for readers to make use of the admin bar options. In addition, you can use plugins to customize the options to have a personalized feeling when working in admin panel.