How to clean up a WordPress dashboard (Show only the Plugins You Want)

Using WordPress is an excellent way to build a website, as it gives you more control without needing to know code. But while working on your WordPress site, it’s possible to clutter your WordPress dashboard with widgets you don’t need right away. Here’s how to customize your dashboard so that you have instant access to the dashboard widgets you need.

How to Customize Screen Options

The pull down menu on WordPress called “Screen Options” appears at the top right corner of the dashboard on your admin page. This feature allows you to de-clutter your dashboards by picking and choosing what appears on them such as plugins, links, pages, posts and comments. You’ll see a list of dashboard widgets with check boxes next to them, making it easy to select the widgets you want to use.

Customizing your screen layout can be achieved just by using your built-in Screen Options. Some WordPress users disable all widgets except the ones with the most immediate relevance, such as Incoming Links or Recent Comments. It’s up to you how many widgets you set to display. Many WordPress users get bored using the same interface all the time, which is why the platform provides options to mix things up. You can change the color and the theme, for example, of your admin dashboard.

Prioritize Dashboard Widgets

The menu tab in WordPress allows you to easily build customized menus with drag and drop tools. As you select elements for your menu, focus on projects you want to work on in the near future. For maximum customization, consider adding advanced options to your various menus using a variety of plugins. Ask yourself if you need any of the following five default widgets that display on a WordPress dashboard:

1. At a Glance – This widget gives you summary data on number of posts, pages and comments on your website.
2. Activity – Use this widget to review your upcoming scheduled blog posts and recently published content.
3. QuickDraft – Write drafts quickly with this widget.
4. WordPress Events and News – Current WordPress-related news is updated on this official WordPress blog. It connects you with events in your area.
5. Welcome – This widget displays links to typical tasks for setting up a website.

You are not restricted to using these defaults, as you can completely customize your widgets and links. Be aware there are different screen options available for different WordPress screens. The dashboard, for example, has different screen options than the Add New / Edit page. You can use the WordPress SEO plugin to hide or show items on your various WordPress pages.

Expand Capabilities with Plugins

Consider eliminating dashboard items that take up space such as banners, ads and anything else that looks like an annoying eyesore. Make room a for WordPress plugin that empowers your content development over a plugin you won’t be using. Plugins such as Dashboard Widgets Suite give you more control of cleaning up your dashboard and managing profiles. Some of the different types of plugins to display on your dashboard may include:

• Feed Box – Display podcast feeds
• Social Box – Showcase social media links
• Custom Links Box – Show a list of your most important links
• User Notes – Add or edit notes quickly
• Error Log – Reveal system errors

Selecting a WordPress theme identifies what your project is about visually. Shapely is one of many free apps that can help you customize WordPress themes for your web pages and your admin page. Using a plugin for customizing your dashboard is particularly important if you have a niche business and you cannot find a theme your like from your collection of WordPress templates.

Add Snippets of Code

If you write code for your WordPress admin page, you can do a few things to clean up your dashboard, such as change the standard greeting, remove sidebar menu items and change the footer. Not only can you remove unwanted widgets, you can add custom widgets with simple short code. You may also want to remove screen options and disable update reminders.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Up a WordPress Dashboard

• Delete irrelevant or spammy comments.
• Choose a visual theme that inspires you to keep posting fresh content.
• Make it a priority to fix broken links, which can impact the site’s reputation.
• Clean out media you don’t need from your uploads folder periodically.
• Organize sidebars with useful links.
• Empty your trash bin periodically.


Your site and your web production will benefit from a customized WordPress database and WordPress dashboard. The more you arrange your dashboard in an organized manner, the easier it will be for you to think ahead about your content development goals for your WordPress site. Placing dashboard widgets strategically for each project is essential for moving forward with crafting inspired and confident web content.

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