Comparing WordPress Dashboard sidebars

An old Dashboard

Below are the Dashboard sidebars. On the left is WordPress.com new, in the middle is WordPress.com old, and on the right is WordPress.org:

Dashboard sidebars

I will be concentrating on those from WordPress.com, but I wanted to show you my WordPress.org sidebar as an example. This is the one I grew up with, so it is the most familiar to me.

Now if you want to know how to get to the WordPress.com old Dashboard sidebar, it's via here:

How to get to the old Dashboard

And did you know that the old Dashboard sidebar has a secondary sidebar? If you mouse over 'My Sites' at the top, this will come up:

Secondary WPCom Dashboard sidebar

Which looks a lot like the new sidebar as well.

Now these are all very confusing if you aren't used to them. So this series of posts will explore the sidebars, compare them to each other, see how they work, what features they contain, any new additions and which one I think is easiest to use.

Why is there a new Dashboard sidebar?

I can see why – WordPress wanted to make it more understandable. And if you are starting from new, then this could be more helpful.

One thing I have noticed is that the new sidebar uses action buttons, which is obvious what you need to do. The old sidebar requires you to mouse over the link to get an additional menu to appear, which is not always as intuitive:

Showing the moused menus

However the additional menu shows all the associated options available to you, whereas if you just click the new sidebar Blog Posts link, it just goes to a list of published posts with far less detail (I will cover this in another post).

I note the new sidebar isn't totally independent from the old sidebar. Some items still require access to the old pages, and you can tell by the little icon on the right:

Access to old Dashboard pages

And some links only go to the new sidebar pages, made more obvious on the new sidebar, of course:

Domain links on both sidebars

Especially if this will make money for WordPress!

My next post will focus on the Posts area of the sidebars, and the differences of the Post edit menus.

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Alice Elliott writes the Beginner Bloggers blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She specialises in simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Why not also visit her award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog to learn some more.

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