Refreshed and More Useful WordPress Dashboard Widgets

In our previous post we showed you what the Admin Interface will look like in WordPress 3.8. In this post we’ll show you the newly refreshed WordPress Dashboard.

It’s been described as “slimmer and less bloated” and it certainly is. This clears space for easier customization of the Dashboard for individual sites and also makes the content there more relevant, which is great for both blog owners and developers providing WordPress maintenance and other services. In this post we’ll take a look at what’s changed and why.

The new Dashboard has been developed using another “Features as Plugins” plugin aptly named Dashboard.

Welcome Screen Refresh

wordpress welcome screen
Welcome Screen Refresh

The welcome screen content hasn’t changed in this version, but it has seen a refresh of the fonts and styling to match the new Admin Interface. It’s still a great place for new WordPress users to get an overview of where to start.

Screen Options

WordPress Dashboard Screen Options
WordPress Dashboard Screen Options

The Screen Options choices have been slimmed down to match the changes in the available Widgets. As a reminder, there are different Screen Options that apply to different areas of your WordPress installation that allow you to customize the Widgets and Meta Boxes that are seen.

Choosing what you want to see on your screen in different areas of your site is a really easy way to start tailoring WordPress to meet your specific needs.

Fewer Widgets

Consolidated Dashboard Widgets
Consolidated Dashboard Widgets

Several Widgets have been combined in order to streamline and maximize the available space in your Dashboard. There are now only four Widgets as opposed to eight. This clears the path to better organize Dashboard Widgets created by other plugins or any custom Widgets you may have of your own.

As a reminder, you can also move each Widget around and put them in the order that works best for you and your Admin team.

More Relevant Widgets and Titles

WordPress Site Content Widget
WordPress Site Content Widget
WordPress Activity Widget
WordPress Activity Widget


The consolidation of several Widgets dictated some title changes in order to be more relevant to what those Widgets contained. The best example of this is the Right Now Widget title has been replaced with Site Content and had some items removed or moved to the new Activity Widget.

It makes sense that a user would want to see focused content on one or the other of these and not all mashed together into one Widget.

Quick Draft

WordPress Quick Draft Widget
WordPress Quick Draft Widget

QuickPress and Recent Drafts have been combined into the new QuickDraft Widget. QuickDraft is a useful tool for some writers to quickly get an idea into a draft post in order to come back later and finish it when they have more time.

You also now only have the option to save as a draft and not to publish a post directly from the Dashboard. A welcome addition to those multi-taskers that have accidentally published an unfinished post and had it go out to thousands of email subscribers. Guilty as charged…whoops!

Removed Widget

The Incoming Links Widget has been completely removed. It was reportedly broken since version 3.7 and many users found it unnecessary as links to your site are better found and detailed in tracking solutions like Google Analytics or similar.

Custom Widgets

The process for creating and adding Custom Dashboard Widgets has been updated. If you’re the developer type, you can read more about creating your own Dashboard Widgets here.

New WordPress Dashboard Widgets Video Overview

Newsletter Signup

Laptop on desk

Ready to get started?

Tell us your story.

Let's Talk