How to Change Your WordPress Dashboard Layout - dummies

How to Change Your WordPress Dashboard Layout

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

You can arrange the order of the modules on your Dashboard to suit your tastes. WordPress places a great deal of emphasis on user experience, and a big part of that effort results in your ability to create a Dashboard that you find most useful.

Here’s how to move the Activity module so that it displays on the right side of your Dashboard page:

  1. Hover your mouse pointer over the title bar of the Activity module.

    When hovering over the box title, your mouse pointer changes to the Move cursor (a cross with arrows on a PC or the hand cursor on a Mac).

  2. Click and hold your mouse button and drag the Activity module to the right side of the screen.

    As you drag the box, a light gray box with a dotted border appears on the right side of your screen. That gray box is a guide that shows you where you should drop the module.

  3. Release the mouse button when you have the Activity module in place.

    The Activity module is now positioned on the right side of your Dashboard page, at the top.

    The other modules on the left shift up to fill the space left by the Activity module, and the modules on the right side shift down to make room for the Activity module.

  4. (Optional) Click once on the title bar of the Activity module.

    The module collapses. Click the title bar again, and the module expands. You can keep that module opened or closed based on your preference.

Repeat these steps with each module you see on the Dashboard by dragging and dropping them so that they appear in the order you prefer.

When you navigate away from the Dashboard, WordPress remembers the changes you’ve made. When you return, you still see your customized Dashboard and you don’t need to redo these changes.

If you find that your Dashboard contains a few modules you just never use, you can get rid of them by following these steps:

  1. Click the Screen Options button at the top of the Dashboard.

    The Screen Options menu opens, displaying the title of each module with check boxes to the left of each title.

  2. Deselect the module you want to hide on your Dashboard.

    The check mark is removed from the box, and the module disappears from your Dashboard.

If you remove a module in the Screen Options and later find that you want it back, you can always revisit the Screen Options panel and re-enable the module by selecting the check box next to the name of the module you want to show on your Dashboard.

Customizing the Dashboard layout

Throughout the different pages of your WordPress Dashboard, you can apply the customization features to the Dashboard in order to create your own work space. Every section of the WordPress Dashboard is customizable with drag-and-drop modules, screen options, and inline help and documentation.

For example, on the Add New Post page on the WordPress Dashboard to the top right, you see the Screen Options menu that gives you options for customization, including the following:

  • Check boxes that you can select to display the Author, Categories, Tags, Comments, and Date of the posts listed on the Posts page

  • A text field for you to input the number of posts you want displayed on the Posts page

  • Screen layout options to display this page in one or two columns.

Every page in the WordPress Dashboard has the Screen Options menu, and each page has unique Screen Options features that enable you to customize your Dashboard, WordPress allows you to create an individualized work space that works best for you, based on how you use WordPress. With these features, everyone can customize their own WordPress experience, and it’s possible that no two WordPress user experiences are the same — like snowflakes!

Finding inline documentation and Help

One thing users really appreciate about the WordPress software is the time and effort developers put in to provide users with tons of inline documentation that shares tips and hints right inside the Dashboard. You can generally find inline documentation for just about every WordPress feature you use.

Inline documentation refers to those short sentences and/or phrases that you see alongside, or underneath, a feature in WordPress. They give a short but helpful explanation of what the feature is and serve as guiding tips that correspond with each feature. These tips sometimes even provide basic, recommended settings.

You’ll also find a helpful tab in the upper-right corner of your Dashboard labeled Help. Click this tab, and a panel drops down that contains documentation relevant to the page you are currently viewing on your Dashboard. For example, if you’re viewing the General Settings page, clicking the Help tab drops down documentation relevant to the General Settings page.

Likewise, if you’re viewing the Add New Post page, clicking the Help tab drops down documentation with topics relevant to the settings and features you find on the Add New Post page within your Dashboard. When you are done reading the text, just click the Help tab again to close the Help panel.

The inline documentation and the topics and text you find under the Help tab are there to assist and support you as you experience the WordPress platform to help make it as easy to understand as possible. Other places on the web where you can find help and support for WordPress include the WordPress Support Forums.