For a while now I have been using the excellent user switching plugin from John Blackbourn to easily switch between user accounts in WordPress. I have extended the plugin to produce Admin Bar User Switching.
User Switching provides an easy Switch to link in the users profile page when logged in as an administrator. This easily allows you to login as a user and see what they would be seeing. I found this particularly useful when building an Intranet for a school. As there was over 200 users of the system, all with different roles and capabilities it meant that I could easily test the different user levels without having to login and out all the time.
However it was when developing a Support Hub for Pixel Junction that I thought that there could be an easier way if switching between users than having to go to their profile screen each time. I then thought of using the admin bar as this is on the screen all the time, front and back end.
Admin Bar User Switching was born, which is an extension to the User Switching plugin which must be installed and activated before using Admin Bar User Switching. The plugin adds a “Switch To User” link in the admin bar which, when hovered displays a dropdown list of the sites user. Clicking a user switches to that user. The link then changes to “Switch Back” to allow you to go back to your own user. This is probably only useful for sites where there are less than 20 users or the list would just be too long. Maybe in the future I can categorise the users into their roles in the menu – or maybe A – Z on surname or something.