Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Changing the appearance of WordPress admin pages

15th October 2007

There seems to be a percolation of plugins that aim to change the appearance of WordPress administration pages from their day-glow blue to something more pleasing; Earthtones is the one that I use for this blog but I have also been known to use WP Tiger Administration as well. Both options work well, though the latter needs some adjustments to work as well with WordPress 2.3 as it does with the 2.2 line. One area that they both fail to influence is the appearance of the upload screen. It doesn’t help that upload.php, the underlying PHP script, is a dual purpose animal: used in an iframe in the post editing page and standalone for upload management. Curiously, you can only upload files on the post editing page and not on the upload management screen, a definite quirk. The thing that really stops these admin theme plugins gaining any sort of purchase with upload.php is that it also uses an auxiliary stylesheet, upload.css, that is called after the WordPress function hook has been defined; if it came before this, then the styles in upload.css could be overridden. You could edit upload.php and edit the replacement stylesheet but the former activity would require repeating at every WordPress upgrade. I chose to edit upload.css and will keep that is a safe place so that I can replace the file following an upgrade. If upload.php was treated like every other admin script, then this would be unnecessary. A useful suggestion for Automattic, perhaps?

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