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4 steps to make an effective Joomla admin area for client

4 steps to make an effective Joomla admin area for client

A different Joomla administrator area, which is exclusively built for the client’s user experience in managing the website will bring many benefits to developers as well as the client themselves. A Joomla's user experience (JUX) team has worked very hard to build a very friendly administrator area to give users huge benefits: 

  • You can avoid fixing error issue due to client’s mistake.
  • You can save much time on explaining the features that customer won’t use.
  • You can save much time on guiding clients to edit the content.
  • Your project looks more professional with your own style in the back-end.
  • The client will highly recommend you to other people when they feel easy & comfortable to work with you.

To sum up, a client backend will save you a lot of time working with clients and increase your quality of work. Remember these 2 rules to make your client's experience less frustrating:

  • Simple is the best
  • Present content in your client’s words

So just spend a few hours now to start building the Joomla admin area for your beloved client. I will walk you through these 4 main steps:

  1. Define which items your client needs to access
  2. Customize the Joomla admin template
  3. Install useful  extensions to make Joomla admin easier to use
  4. Create the user group & set up permission for your client

Let’s go into details.

1. Define which items your client needs to access

Almost all clients are non-techies. They even might not know what Joomla is and how Joomla works. If you save the Joomla menu by default, your client might not understand what they should and should not do when looking at an admin panel. Besides that, there are some sections such as Global Configuration or Module manager which are better to disallow clients to access.

Define which items your client need to access

So, let's work carefully with your client and list down things they have permission to do within the website. For example, a client who is the webmaster of an eCommerce website might need to:

  • Manage products & product categories --> Create Menu “Products”
  • Manage orders --> Create Menu “Orders”
  • Upload & create image gallery --> Create Menu “Image Gallery”
  • Write blog posts to share News or tips related to products --> Create Menu “News”
  • Check and manage comment and contact form --> Create Menu “Feedbacks”
  • Use sections for SEO purpose & other marketing activities --> Create Menu “Marketing”

2. Customize the Joomla admin panel

The current Joomla admin template Isis allows you to customize the admin panel a little bit, such as changing the logo, changing the colour of Nav Bar, Header, Sidebar & Link, etc. You can customize the Joomla admin panel for a client based on it or some other Joomla admin templates compatible with Joomla 3.x in the current Joomla market, such as:

  • JIsrael exclusively for RTL language
  • Client a perfect blank Joomla admin template

Customize the Joomla backend

To customize theJoomla back-end template or make the admin template unique and personal, you can follow the checklist below:

  • Add information module in control panel: With Joomla, you are allowed to create new custom HTML module with your information and set it as published in the control panel. Please read this article for detailed guideline.
  • Customize all admin quick icons: You can use KC Admin QuickIcons (Free) to upload new icon sets and arrange them in the admin manager module.
  • Customize the admin menu:  Admin menu manager (Free) allows you to replace the original Joomla admin menu with your desired menu, based on the result from step 1.
  • Rebrand the admin panel:  To make Joomla back-end personalized with logos and match the style of your client’s brand, you can use KL Admin Skin (Premium - 19€). Or if you want to save money and you enjoy coding by yourself, you can use Admin Custom CSS (Free).

3. Install useful extensions to make Joomla easier to use

Joomla is still a bit difficult for end-users to find suitable elements to edit information. Imagine that your website has a box of content “Our office” to show the address of the company and your customer wants to update a new address.  This is no big deal for experienced Joomla users like you and me, but it might be a big problem for a client who doesn’t know where to edit it.  What should you do?

  • Let him call you to ask where he can edit the box “Our office”?
  • Let him find that module and edit by himself

I can tell that you don’t want the option A, right? I recommend you to install JSN PowerAdmin (Free) and guide your client to use it. JSN PowerAdmin can be a great assistant to help you guide your client to update simple things such as editing module, changing menu or hiding some modules with just clicks.

Search element to edit

4. Create user group & set up permission for the client

After improving the Joomla admin panel, the dashboard now seems easier and quicker to navigate. Now it’s time to limit what clients can see and things they can do with Joomla ACL. Create a new group “Client” and select a suitable setting based on the result from step 1.

That’s all

So, above are my experiences of making an effective Joomla admin area for clients. Hope that it will be helpful, for every Joomla developer, especially for Joomla freelancer to boost their project’s quality. If you have an any better idea or any questions, please leave a comment below. I am eager to discuss with you more about this topic to improve my Joomla skill and make Joomla easier for any users at any levels.

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