When the web team took on management of the University’s WordPress multi site installation we actually inherited two instances: live and test.
Working with two almost identical installations I discovered a sense of mild anxiety whenever I had both installations open side by side: which version was I currently working with? Was I just about to do something that could potentially break the live site?
I found the answer in admin colour schemes.
New feature blindness
Having used WordPress since version 0.7.1 in 2003 there are certain aspects that I take for granted and am more or less blind to. One is timezone. It was only when the clocks went forward in the spring that I discovered that there was an option to set the timezone as London, UK which automatically updates when the clocks change. Prior to that, for I don’t know how many versions of WordPress I had been using the default value of UTC+0 and had to manually change it every time the clocks went back or forward.
Admin colour schemes
Another feature that I realised that I was blind to was admin colour schemes. When I first started using WordPress in 2003 it had only one interface colour scheme, in later versions it went up to two, but I always stuck to the default.
It was literally only a couple of weeks ago (about six months after it was introduced) that I realised that as of WordPress 3.8 the software shipped with eight colour schemes:
As soon as I realised this I updated my user profile on our test installation and changed it from ‘default’ to ‘sunrise’.
This bright red interface (below, right) gives me immediate feedback that I am currently working in the test installation.
I certainly recommend that if you are working with multiple installations of WordPress (not just live v test, perhaps but different locations or clients) and you are not already making use of admin colour schemes: do look into it.