I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think back on the first time I logged in and opened the WordPress dashboard. It was 11 years ago, but I remember that I was taken aback.
We know how it goes. So many pages we end up on show us more than we need to know. And as we add more plugins and themes, stuff piles up in the dashboard. Even the smallest details can drive us nuts.
And how about the order the pages are listed in? No matter if you are the sole admin or you have several others, it can be overwhelming. It makes no difference if you are running a blog, a business site or an online store. Sometimes there’s just too much stuff.
So I’d like to help you clean up your site and give it a solid, running start.
Screen Options Are Like Magic
In a significant number of the screen views in your admin, you will find something in the upper right-hand corner called screen options. If you have been using WordPress for any length of time, you may already know this. But it’s not obvious and over the years I have found plenty of people who never discovered them, even though they had been using WordPress for months, years even.
On our site here, if I were to open the dashboard > home, I find a slew of stuff staring me in the face. That’s because I have clicked on the screen options tab at the top of the page and toggled it all. You will notice that for some of them I have the window closed. Still, that’s a heck of a lot of stuff.
By simply toggling off all the crap I don’t need to see, it’s much cleaner. I can also drag and drop them where I want to.
Another example of this is your posts page. As you see, there are quite a few columns here. The plugin Yoast SEO adds a lot of them. My eyes go crossed whenever I look at them. In fact. because there is so much, some of it is impossible to read.
When I’m looking at this page, there are only a few of these I need to see. And of course, it makes it so much easier on the eyes. You might want to view different stuff, but that’s what is so nice about screen options.
So make sure you see what pages you might want to clean up and if they have the screen options available to you (hint: single posts is another good one).
Minimize Your Admin
One of the examples I shared was all the stuff that gathers in your admin. There are many instances where you don’t use certain stuff, or perhaps what shows and doesn’t show when you assign someone to a user role. Maybe you want to edit what those user roles can access. Well, the free plugin called Adminimize lets you show or hide a lot of stuff based on the user roles.
As you can see, there is a lot you can do. I won’t give you examples because obvious what you can do. Note: this was on a minimum install with very few plugins or extras.
Keep Your WordPress Pages in an Orderly Fashion
Lastly, this one can be an area that drives people nuts. And that is the listing order of the pages in your dashboard. For a large site, or a huge eCommerce store, this can be overwhelming.
Your pages are listed alphabetically by default. But you also have these two options:
- Sort them by date, newest to oldest, or by month.
- Order them with the Order number field in quick edit view.
On the other hand, it might be nice to organize them the way you want. You know, what works for you and your workflow. It could be that you want the most edited pages at the top, or another way that will help you with access.
This is where the free plugin Simple Page Ordering comes in. These are my pages on a demo site, sorted by date. I don’t have a lot here, but it gives you an idea of what this plugin can do.
With the plugin activated, I can drag and drop the order of my page. Watch this video.
And the results are something that works for me.
These are just three of the ways to keep your dashboard a bit more clean and organized. You will probably find other ways. However you do it, you will make your workspace and workflow better.
One Final Thought
If you are doing a site for someone else, you may think it is helpful to use one of these methods or another to clean up the site before you hand it over. You might assume they don’t need certain things. But remember, never assume. Let them know what you have done in case they need to change it themselves down the road. You will save both your client and yourself some headaches.