Cleanup WordPress Dashboard to Make Life Easier for Clients

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WordPress dashboard is packed with so many default functions, but many of them aren’t actually required by normal websites. These functions don’t serve much value and give screens and panels a messy appearance. They not only look crowded, but can also hinder the performance of a website, if not used wisely. So, to keep things neat and clean, it is recommended to hide or remove those options or items which are not needed by you or by your clients. Getting rid of these unnecessary items will help your clients feel more confident while using their website, and prevent them unknowingly create irksome problems, which ultimately disturb the work flow of a site.

There are several ways and approach to streamline WordPress database and improve performance. In this post, we will discuss about all these approaches to not to overwhelm your clients or anyone using WordPress.

1. Organizing Menu Tabs

Cleaning up and organize menu columns will make things appear less intimating and untidy to the user. By default, there are a number of tabs available on the left side of the menu bar along with a list of plugins that you’ve installed for your use. This makes a menu column appear confusing, as it lacks an intuitive flow. So, it make the things comprehensive, it is recommended to install plugins like Admin Menu Editor to make things move around easily. You can do a number of things with this plugin such as hiding unnecessary items, grouping similar things , renaming menu items and so on. Using this plugin, you can create a menu that looks well-organized and sensible. It also has some nice features that let you unleash your skills to plan out an intuitive menu bar.

2. Getting Rid of Default Widgets

The widget page comes with a plethora of default widgets, and there are times when they can easily puzzle your clients. So, it’s recommended to remove them all using some handful set of code.

To do so, simply insert the below mentioned code in your functions.php file. The list can be increased or decreased as per your choice.

function pc_unregister_default_widgets() {

unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Pages');

unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Calendar');

unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Archives');

unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Links');

unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Categories');

unregister_widget('WP_Widget_RSS');

unregister_widget('WP_Widget_Tag_Cloud');

unregister_widget('Twenty_Eleven_Ephemera_Widget');

}

add_action( 'widgets_init', 'pc_unregister_default_widgets', 11 );
  

3. Dashboard Widgets

Just like the default one, WordPress also provides us options to remove dashboard widgets to make things appear clean and clear. The following code should be added to your functions.php file.

// --------------------------------

// -- REMOVE DASHBOARD WIDGETS --

// --------------------------------

function pc_remove_dashboard_widgets(){

global$wp_meta_boxes;

unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_plugins']);

unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_primary']);

unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_incoming_links']);

unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_right_now']);

unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_recent_drafts']);

unset($wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_secondary']);

}

add_action( 'wp_dashboard_setup', 'pc_remove_dashboard_widgets', 11 );


4. Clearing All Posts/ All Pages Screens

In WordPress, by default there is a feature, when you click on Posts> All Posts, you’ll be provided with a screen that has a number of columns showing some information which may or may not be relevant for you. Take the comments section for instance. Not every needs it. In fact there are sites which do not have commenting capabilities. So, it is easy to get rid of it to give administration area a clutter free look. In fact, there are so many plugins which also add their own columns, which can easily leave your client bewildered. However, the situation can be rectified easily with a very nice plugin called Admin Columns .

The plugin provides an easy way to control the way your columns appear upon All Posts, All Pages, Users, Comments Screen, Media Library etc. Admin Columns also has the ability to help you define the columns for custom post types. Using this plugin, you can easily remove those columns which you don’t need and keep the ones which are useful for you. You can also re-order the columns using drag-and-drop interface.

5. Remove Items from Page and Post Columns

WordPress admin area has some tables which can be helpful to give you a quick overview of listing content. However, if you don’t need them, here’s a what you can do.

We can make use of add_filter () WordPress function to add a filter instead of an action. A filter function will help you to plan out the data you want to call from the database. As soon as it detects that we want to add, remove, or modify anything, it executes the filter before presenting the data on the web page.

Look at the example below, here we have removed comments from all the Edit Pages and Edit Post Pages.

function custom_post_columns($defaults) {

unset($defaults['comments']);

return $defaults;
}

add_filter('manage_posts_columns', 'custom_post_columns');

function custom_pages_columns($defaults) {
unset($defaults['comments']);
return $defaults;
}

add_filter('manage_pages_columns', 'custom_pages_columns');
 

6. Hiding Meta Boxes

Another area which you can explore to streamline your admin area is the content editing screen. While the section offers plenty of ways to remove boxes with the help of screen options, but there are some more tools which you can consider to make things better. Here we are talking about those boxes that are added by WordPress itself, along with those added by themes and plugins. We have a solution for this available in the form of a plugin known as IM8 Box Hide. The plugin is useful for a variety of reasons such as:

  • It lets you customize screen options as per the user role
  • It gives you more freedom to define meta boxes added by themes and plugins

Conclusion

Simplifying the admin area will help your clients to provide a more enriched and meaningful experience to their visitors. This way they can focus more on content and handle their site better.

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About Author

A Programmer by profession, Amanda Cline has already helped several enterprises scale new heights of success with each passing day. If you need to hire PHP developer then simply get in touch with Amanda via Twitter. She has also written interesting and informative articles on Custom Software Development, Web Application Development etc.