WordPress backend menu is the main navigation for the website admin area that has different menu items based on the user capabilities.
With AAM plugin you can manage access to each menu item for any role or individual user. You cannot manage access to backend menu for visitors as they do not have access to the admin area.
The list of menu items on the Backend Menu tab vary based on currently managing role or user. This is due to the fact that each menu has a capability assigned to it and if role or user does not have this capability, then the menu is not going to be listed. Try to switch between different roles and you will notice that the menu list changes.
Note! Always remember that each menu item has a capability assigned to it. Make sure that your user or role has it in order to get access to the menu item.
It is important to emphasize two exceptional scenarios when it gets harder to manage access to the backend menu.
Scenario 1. Menu item has administrator capability assigned. This is quite common for a lot of custom menus and it means that user has to have the Administrator role in order to get access to it.
If you do not want to assign a user to the Administrator role, then simply create a custom capability administrator and make sure that it is checked for desired role or user. This is not a recommended solution but rather a “hack”. In order to create a custom capability go to the Capabilities tab and click on the + Create button.
Scenario 2. Menu item is not listed even for the Administrator role. Some plugins register custom menu with “dynamic capability” (e.g. Contact Form 7, Gravity Forms). This type of capability is not assigned to any role and is dynamically added to the currently logged in user, so the only way to manage access to the Backend Menu is on the user level. Try to switch to your admin user and it is most certainly you will see missing menu items.
Important! Do not restrict access to the Dashboard Home or Profile menus as these two are the most common pages each user lands after successful login. Since AAM 4.6 release, you are no longer allowed to restrict the Dashboard Home menu.
When you restrict access to any admin area, also take in consideration the access denied flow. Do you need to show “Access Denied” message or redirect user elsewhere? With AAM Access Denied feature you have different options to customize the access denied behavior. For more information check How to redirect WordPress user when access is denied.