Improved Theme Preview, Widgets Management, and a Responsive Dashboard

We’ve launched a number of updates, from visual enhancements to handy admin tools, to improve your overall WordPress.com experience. Here’s a rundown of what’s new:

  • Improved theme preview: A sleeker preview and selection process for themes.
  • Add widgets with one click: An updated panel makes widget management a snap.
  • Refreshed dashboard: A cleaned-up and responsive dashboard area.
  • A more modern look: Introduced over the past several months, your under-the-hood look is simpler and more modern, and served up in eight color schemes.

Improved theme preview

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A more visual experience: sleeker display and bigger theme screenshots.

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A more visual experience: sleeker display and bigger theme screenshots.

In Appearance → Themes, you’ll find an enhanced theme preview and selection process — and a much more visual experience:

  • A sleek, fast-loading display of available themes to try out and activate.
  • Bigger and bolder theme screenshots, showing more of each theme’s details.
  • Options to customize your current theme (displayed at the top left) and preview and activate other themes.
  • Ability to click on a theme for a description and summary of features and quickly flip through theme description pages with navigation (left and right arrow) keys.

Add widgets with one click

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The updated widgets screen makes it even easier to select and manage your widgets.

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The updated widgets screen makes it even easier to select and manage your widgets.

<img loading="lazy" aria-describedby="caption-attachment-21990" data-attachment-id="21990" data-permalink="https://wordpress.com/blog/2013/12/02/theme-widget-improvements/click-and-add-widget/" data-orig-file="https://en-blog.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/click-and-add-widget.jpg" data-orig-size="744,823" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":""}" data-image-title="click-and-add widget" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Select a widget, then add it to your blog with one click.

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Select a widget, then add it to your blog with one click.

In Appearance → Widgets, you’ll find nifty changes that make it easier to manage your widgets. We streamlined the widgets screen, which now emphasizes your sidebars/widget areas and activated widgets.

Now, you can select an available widget and choose which area of your blog you want it to appear — with just one click. The menu options that appear will depend on your current theme, so your widgets screen might look different from the examples above and on the left.

This click-to-add tool is especially handy if you’re on a touch or mobile device — or use a theme with multiple widget areas. And if you prefer, you can still use the drag-and-drop method to activate widgets, too.

Refreshed dashboard

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A cleaned-up dashboard screen (with a pop of color from the Midnight scheme).

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A cleaned-up dashboard screen (with a pop of color from the Midnight scheme).

We’ve streamlined your dashboard screen and consolidated some features. Click on Dashboard and you’ll see changes, including:

  • “Right Now,” which displayed a summary and total numbers for your blog, is now “Site Content,” and is simplified and easier to read.
  • “Recent Comments” has been merged into a new “Activity” box, which now shows your last five published posts and any scheduled posts.
  • “QuickPress” is now “Quick Draft,” and we’ve also added a box for “Recent Drafts.”
  • The dashboard screen is now responsive, showing the appropriate number of columns based on your screen resolution. So, we’ve removed the “Number of Columns” option under Screen Options.

A more modern look

Over the summer, we introduced a redesigned dashboard, featuring better contrast and the lovely and modern Open Sans, a free, open source typeface. We’ve made numerous tweaks to improve your behind-the-scenes experience, from redrawing the icons to making the design responsive and tailored for desktop computers, touch devices, and smartphones.

Last month, we also added options to personalize your dashboard with a splash of color: eight different palettes, including the classic default scheme. You’ll also find a light-grey one, which we designed for our users who are sensitive to light. If you haven’t already, pick your favorite in Users → Personal Settings.

Got a self-hosted WordPress site?

For our self-hosted friends running WordPress.org, these changes will be available soon with the 3.8 release.

We’re constantly tinkering behind the scenes and making updates to make your dashboard experience the best it can be. If you have feedback or questions, chime in on the Forums. For support questions, contact Support.


Posted by WordPress Guru