The All New WordPress 3.8 Dashboard

With the release of WordPress 3.8 the dashboard got a major facelift in terms of color; the components stay largely the same however. You will find a quick before and after comparison down below.

The dashboard prior to WordPress 3.8:

WordPress 3.6 Dashboard

The brand new WordPress 3.8 dashboard:

WordPress 3.8 Updated Dashboard

I remember when I updated to WordPress 3.8, initially I found the all black left hand menu a bit jarring, but gotta say that it has grown on me these last couple of weeks. In fact, now in comparison the older dashboard looks somewhat dated (I guess it is!) and somewhat dowdy.

But dowdy ain’t always bad. Especially when it spells comfort! So if you are resisting the new look and prefer the familiarity and comfort of the WordPress 3.6 dashboard, you can actually go back!

No time travel needed.

What is needed is the WP Admin Classic plugin.

Note: This tutorial lays out how to retain the look of the 3.6 dashboard while running WordPress 3.8. That is to say we aren’t touching the WordPress version, that stays at 3.8 (as it should). Just thought I’d point that out to avoid any confusion.

And here are the steps:

(1) Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins>Add New
(2) In the search box, type in “WP Admin Classic” and click on the search button
(3) Click on “Install Now” for the wp-admin classic plugin (author: Mindo Mobile)
(4) Once installed, activate the plugin and your dashboard will magically go back to what it used to look like before WordPress 3.8
Note: You can always deactivate the plugin if and when you want to switch to the new look.

But there’s another option. Did you know that WordPress 3.8 gives you several color choices for the admin panel? If you go to Users>Your Profile, you will find various options under “Admin Color Scheme”. If you select the “Light” scheme your dashboard will look a lot like the 3.6 days. Take a look:

Color Options in WordPress 3.8

And here’s what the menu panel will look like with the “Light” theme:

The Light color scheme for the admin panel in WordPress 3.8

Pretty close to 3.6, I’d say!

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