Naturally, there are a lot of different purposes for a website and with WordPress you can do just about anything. So for some people, creating different types of experiences – all the way down to how users, readers, and contributors login – can be of varying degrees of importance. If you happen to be someone looking to completely brand the login experience on your WordPress website then you may be interested in a plugin I came across recently named, aptly enough, Theme My Login.
This WordPress plugin overrides the wp-login.php page with a page created using whatever WordPress theme is currently activated on your site. What this means is that using this plugin you can maintain continuity between your website’s branding and the portal through which people log into it.
Installing Theme My Login
To install Theme My Login and try it out you’ll first need to go to the WordPress.org plugin directory and download the Theme My Login zipped file. Once you have the zipped file, open up your WordPress Admin and go to Plugins > Add New > Upload and install the zipped file you downloaded from the directory.
Upon activating the newly installed plugin you will notice a new option under the Settings Menu in your sidebar. This is where you will be able to configure the plugin.
Configuring Theme My Login
The first section we see is the Basic sub tab of the main General tab for the Theme My Login settings. On this sub tab you are able to change the page ID, decide whether or not to show the new login page in the page list, enable automatic storing of the “theme-my-login.css” file in your current theme directory.
The Module sub tab however is where things become a little more advanced. I say “a little” because there’s nothing truly complex about this plugin but if fully enabled there are quite a few options to choose from. On this sub tab you are basically able to enable a number of different full tabs (besides general) that each require configuration.
If the email checkbox on the Module sub tab is selected they the Email Tab will appear next to the General Tab. In this tab you are able to compose a number of different emails to be sent to new users, to retrieve forgotten passwords, to reset a password, for user activation, user approval, and user denial.
If in the Module sub tab you select Enable Custom Redirection then the Redirection Tab will appear. In the Redirection tab you are able to choose where specific login and logout actions will send different users. For some that may be the WordPress Dashboard, others to a specific page within your website.
If you enable Custom User Links in the Module sub tab then the User Links tab will appear. In this tab you can decide which link will be associated with different types of users’ login pages and what the titles of those options will appear as.
In the Security tab you can require users to be logged in to view your website and determine the number of login attempts you will allow within a given time period.
Under the Themed Profiles tab you can select which roles (Admin, Editor, Author, etc.) will see the themed version of your login. You can also use this tab to restrict admin access by roles.
And finally we have the Moderation tab. In this tab you are able to decide whether or not you want new users to have to confirm via email or if they require admin approval. You can also choose to have no moderation or approval process.
So what does this look like on the front end? Well, at first, it will probably look a lot like the image below. This plugin simply creates a new page on your site with a login box and the controls mentioned above. In the same way that you would customize any specific page on your site you are able to customize this page and create the user experience you desire.
Like most highly rated plugins in the WordPress directory the Theme My Login plugin is easy to install and configure. I would say that if there’s a challenge with this plugin it would be that implementing it will require extra design and customization on your part – branding or theming the new login page – before you are able to achieve the desired effect. But I suppose that is to be expected. However, I think a killer feature that could be implemented here in the future is a library of login page templates or some other type of design assistance. Other than that is plugin has a lot of really powerful features that give you the means to design a very unique experience for those who visit your WordPress website.