Did you know you can customise the WordPress login page? Doing so is a great way to personalise this page and help create a cohesive look and feel across your site. If you are giving a website a design overhaul, either your own, or on behalf of a client, then failure to address the appearance of the default WordPress login page can give the impression that the job isn’t finished.
While the default login page for WordPress is functional, the design isn’t very appealing, especially in contrast to an eye catching WordPress theme. If you want your login page to stand out for all the right reasons, then giving it a custom design is the best way to do so. You can make the customisations by delving into the WordPress code, but for those without the skills or the inclination, there are thankfully a few good free plugins available that make the job very quick and painless.
Why Create a Custom Login Page?
If the default login page works so well why change it? Well the best reason is to ensure that all pages on your site have a uniform look and help convey the identity of the site or brand. While most of your readers probably won’t see the login page for your website, there are a number of occasions when it will be accessed.
If you are building a site for a client then giving the login page a custom look, even if it’s just adding the client’s logo will help create a seamless user experience that they will surely appreciate. Switching from a well-designed WordPress theme to the standard login page can be a bit of a contrasting experience and might lead clients to question your thoroughness in the task of giving their site a visual upgrade.
If you run a multi-author WordPress site then applying your own design to the login page can help your contributors feel at home on the blog and become familiar with the brand as they are logging in to write a post.
The same can be said for membership sites which use the standard login functionality of WordPress to provide access to their members. By customising the login page, you can make the user experience more cohesive and help negate the feeling that paid members are simply logging into a WordPress site. By giving the login page a custom look you can create a fluid login process that helps keep the personality of the site on display at all times. When customising the login page, it is also possible to add your own links and custom text which can provide useful information for those logging in, or visitors that have ‘accidentally’ stumbled across your login.php page.
Some of the custom login page plugins featured here also include other features that allow you to do a lot more with your login page and the other related pages, such as the registration page and password recovery pages and emails. Whether you want to simply add a custom logo to the existing login page or give the page a total refresh, doing so with WordPress and one of these plugins is not a problem.
My WordPress Login Logo
This plugin is pretty basic and only really lets you add a custom logo to the login page. So if this is as far as you want to go with customising the default WordPress login page then this plugin is a great choice. There aren’t pages of settings and options to wade through and you can make the chances very quickly.
At its most basic, with My WordPress Login Logo, it’s just a case of uploading the image you want to use and then hitting ‘Update’. The plugin also has the ability to add some fade effects to the login form should you so desire.
If you just want the ability to add your own logo, or that of your client’s when building a new WordPress site, then this plugin is a great choice.
This plugin not only allows you to add your own logo or that of your client to the login page, but it gives you the ability to give the page a total redesign. It’s a popular free plugin too, with almost 250,000 downloads and a respectable user rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars.
There is also a pro version which is advertised as a completely separate entity to this free version and gives you many more options for modifying the WordPress login page.
With the Custom Login plugin you can go about changing your login page by using the visual editor and without the need to edit any code. Although for users with the relevant skills, the ability to add your own HTML, CSS & jQuery is there for advanced customisation. One neat feature of the Custom Logo plugin is that you can easily add a fullscreen background image to your login page for a stunning visual effect.
There are also extensions available for the free Custom Login plugin, including Custom Login – Stealth Login. This extension allows you to hide and protect the URL of the login page of your site, to prevent people trying to illegitimately gain access to your WordPress site.
Custom Login Pro
This is the pro or premium version of the above plugin. From a user perspective it works in a similar way, but it has been ‘rewritten from the ground up’ according to the developer. This version uses custom post types for the login pages, which allows you to create as many different designs as you want. This pro version also writes the CSS to a file, instead of saving the customisation to the database, making it faster loading than the free version.
For the extra functionality and performance you will have to part with $30, but you also get access to four designs to use out of the box or customise to meet your needs. If site speed is important to you, then this pro plugin might be worth the investment.
Theme My Login
This is another free option for giving your login page a custom design. It’s also a popular choice with close to 750,000 downloads and a solid 4 out of 5 star rating.
Theme My Login goes beyond simply allowing you to customise the login page and gives you plenty of other options for modifying the user experience related to logging into your WordPress site. The core functionality though is concerned with allowing you to modify the login page to match the WordPress theme you have chosen for your site.
If you are allowing users to register accounts on your site, perhaps as a membership site, or for those who wish to contribute to your blog, then this plugin will allow you to customise the registration page too. The password recovery pages can also be modified to allow you to ensure all the pages on your site have a common appearance.
Additional features of this login plugin allow you to redirect users to a specific page depending on their role, once they’ve logged in. For example, you can send those with the author role directly to the ‘add new post’ page in WordPress, bypassing the admin dashboard which would contain very little they could use. Another feature is the ability to customise the user emails for registration and/or password recovery, helping to give all areas of your site a uniform look and feel.
This is a very versatile plugin that makes customising your login page and more, very straightforward. It also comes with some templates in order to help you get started.
Branded Login Screen
If you just want a way to add a fullscreen background image to the WordPress login page then this could be your best option. However, it’s worth pointing out that this plugin has received a few negative reviews due to its lack of a settings page. This means that in order to use this plugin, you will have to edit some code.
However, full details can be found here, covering how to edit the plugin code and add your own images to the login page. You can also use this plugin to easily change the position of the login form, so that it doesn’t obstruct a key part of your background image.
If you don’t mind doing a bit of work this plugin is a great way to add a repeating or fullscreen image to the background of your login page.
With these plugins you can easily bring the design of your site’s login page inline with the rest of the content on your WordPress site. With most of them being free, there is now no reason why you can’t stamp your own identity on the gateway to your admin dashboard.
Have you come across or implemented any customised login pages for WordPress?