A Better Administration Theme for Drupal!

Want to learn how you can give your content editors a better experience with a better administration theme for Drupal? Well you are in the right place!

We want to share a theme with you that, despite it being the third most popular theme by number of installs, it is not used often. It is called the Gin Administration Theme. It has some useful features for content editors, but we want to focus on the administration themes.

Those familiar with Drupal know there are some really great administration themes available; however these administration themes are not always installed. “At Minimal” has been a longstanding administration theme and is the number two Drupal 9 theme by installations. Gin Administration Theme is number three.

So, let’s dive in!

Gin Administration Theme: A Better Administration Theme for Drupal

Below you will see the project page for Gin Admin Theme. It can be found at drupal.org/project/gin.

A feature that many people enjoy is the dark mode.

A Better Administration Theme for Drupal
Gin Administration Theme: A better administration theme for Drupal!

Additional Modules

For a better experience, you can use the following modules:

  • Gin Toolbar
  • Gin Login
  • Gin Dashboard
  • Gin Layout Builder
  • Gin Gutenberg

Gin Administration Theme Overview

This can be installed the same way as any other project and we recommend composer. You will notice right away, the overall look is cleaner. You’ll see the blue button along the top of the Content page that reads +Add content. This button will float along the page as you work.

If you select the blue +Add content, you will then see two new buttons labeled Save and Preview. Just like the +Add content button, the Preview and Save buttons will float along the page as navigate it. This creates a more user-friendly experience.

You will see that by selecting the Media tab, there is a slightly different layout and view. It still maintains a clean and user-friendly look.

Administration Toolbar

Gin Administration Theme supports the administration toolbar, as well an administration sub toolbar below it. This allows you to navigate between pages more easily, as well as search the Admin Toolbar. This is just another useful feature for content editors.

Appearance Settings

You can find these settings by selecting Appearance from the administration toolbar. You can then scroll down the page to find Gin 8.x-3.0-beta3 (administration theme) and selecting Settings.

Here you will find ways to adjust many appearance settings:

  • Appearance (BETA) – You can choose from Light, Dark or Auto.
  • Accent colors
  • Focus color
  • Navigation (Drupal Toolbar) – You can choose from Sidebar, Vertical Toolbar (Default), Horizontal, Modern Toolbar or Legacy, Classic Drupal Toolbar

There is also an option to toggle on or off the following:

  • Show Secondary Toolbar in Frontend
  • Enable form description toggle
  • Users can override Gin settings

Some other settings you can adjust are:

  • Logo image
    • Use the logo supplied by the theme
  • Favicon
  • Page element display
    • User pictures in posts
    • User pictures in comments
    • User verification status in comments
    • Shortcut icon

Layout Builder

To access this, you will select Structure from the administration toolbar, select Content types, select Article and lastly select Manage display.

Along the top you will see a Regions and Preview toggle. Regions is generally turned off and Preview is typically on. Turning Regions on will allow you to see all the regions for the various areas in the sections and blocks. Preview gives you a visual aid to show you where your blocks will go on the page. You can make adjustments based on your personal preference.

Example of both Regions and Preview turned on.

By clicking Add Block you will see the additional module for Layout Builder in the Gin Administration Theme provides a clear look at block layout and section layout.

In Conclusion

That was a brief overview of the Gin Administration Theme for Drupal. It features some great add-ons, like the Layout Builder, as well as the additional administration toolbar. The overall look of it can make for a better user experience for content editors in the backend. This is why we find this to be a better administration theme for Drupal!

For a more in depth and personal tutorial be sure to watch the video version below! 


  • Rod Martin

    Rod holds two masters degrees and has been training people how to do "things" for over 25 years. Originally from Australia, he grew up in Canada and now resides just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. He has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit worlds, in small companies and large corporations. His extensive open source experience includes WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and he really knows how to help you get the most out of the system you chose. Rod plays ice hockey a couple of times a week and rides his Goldwing motorcycle pretty much everywhere he can.

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