The WordPress.com Dashboard Gets a Beautiful Makeover

Every day, you blog, you create, and you make things with your WordPress.com site. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the code that runs WordPress.com gets updated dozens of times a day, as we deploy improvements. While you can’t see the vast majority of those changes, there is one improvement we can’t wait for you to see: a brand-new, redesigned WordPress.com dashboard featuring better contrast and the lovely Open Sans typeface.

The dashboard's new design features Open Sans -- the free, open source typeface by Steve Matteson offers a pleasing reading experience.

The dashboard’s new design features Open Sans — the free, open source typeface by Steve Matteson offers a pleasing reading experience.

Back in April, I shared our goals for the WordPress.com dashboard redesign:

  • It should have a simple, uncluttered design; free of excessive decoration and focused on your content.
  • It should use webfonts for modern, legible typography that’s consistent in every browser.
  • It should have a responsive design that’s tailored to desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  • It should do all this while retaining the familiar, user-tested dashboard interface that millions of users already understand.

We’ve redrawn all the icons, opened up spacing, moved to Open Sans as our default typeface, and increased contrast to make the dashboard as beautiful on the inside as your blog is on the outside:

Beautiful new icons and stronger contrast are two elements of the dashboard's redesign.

Simplified new icons and stronger contrast are two elements of the dashboard’s redesign.

Opt in to responsive goodness

We’re also hard at work on a responsive design, so you can view and work in your WordPress.com dashboard on your smartphone or tablet. It will be available for everyone later this year, but you can preview it today. To enable the responsive dashboard, go to Users → Personal Settings and click the checkbox next to: Enable experimental responsive design (MP6). If you’ve previously opted in to our design preview, you’ll have this enabled by default.

The responsive dashboard is tailored for smartphones and tablets.

The responsive dashboard is tailored for smartphones and tablets.

We hope the redesign makes creating things with WordPress even more enjoyable.

Special thanks to the early adopters who took the new dashboard design for a spin and took the time to share their feedback — your thoughts and ideas were a big help as we iterated on the design and fixed bugs.


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349 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. David Hoffman

    Or turn it back to blue?

    Like

  2. Jennifer

    I do appreciate the clean look, but, Matt, it’s about 12:40 a.m. here and I have f.lux enabled and it’s at 3400 lumens. The contrast in the new dashboard colors is still too high for my sensitive eyes.

    Like

  3. KolordeCítara

    Muchísimas gracias! Ha mejorado, aún más…

    Like

  4. Uk Vintage Chic

    I’ve been testing this since the day you put it out. The design is much clearer to see. I like it. One thing bugging me – on the ipad when attempting to edit, it’s not in view mode, rather its the code version which seems to be the only option. I find this far too difficult to use. I hope you provide a normal view mode more like editing a word document. Thanks.

    Like

  5. Jhay Rollz

    When might .org users see this released into the stable build?

    Like

  6. Myke

    Thanks for the update! Now just need a usable Windows phone 8 version.

    Like

  7. Lazza

    Ok the font is lovely. I agree with that, and it’s open source so a lot better. But why make it oversized? It make me wonder if I had pushed “Ctrl + Plus” two times by accident! Also, it’s true that it seems like Windows 8, which is kind of offensive. Of course I like WordPress and I will keep using it, there is no top-quality open source competitor in this regard. 😉 You are doing a great job, but it would be really nice to understand why in this case you designed the theme to be too much oversized and cutting away much of valuable screen estate. Thanks. 🙂

    PS: there is no option to subscribe to comments via email, only for new posts, which I don’t want to. This is quite sad. 😦

    Like

  8. David Hoffman

    Thank you for your quick response. Is there no way to change the contrast by the user? I realize that many like the greater contrast but I find it distracting and would prefer a color closer to gray. Perhaps changing the color of the sidebar could be a feature for the user?

    Like

    • Matt Thomas

      We don’t have that capability right now, but we’ll definitely keep it in consideration as we continue refining the details on the new dashboard.

      Like

  9. Caroline Cunningham

    I clicked the responsive button in profile settings…no changes noticed…I don’t have menu options through my Android access..no access to my blog posts.New posts or stats..

    Like

    • Matt Thomas

      Hi Caroline — you should see the new responsive design kick in on smartphones, or on tablets when you’re in the portrait orientation. Some tablets may not be getting the correct styles, though — if you’re having trouble it’ll help us out if you can send us more information about what device and web browser you’re using here: http://wordpress.com/admin-feedback/

      Like

  10. adhmad58

    It’s simple and the type not so bad, but being visually impaired, white letters on black background are no good idea to me. I dislike blue/grey/black combination, looks dull. I’ve to check out how it looks in my tablet, anyway. In short: I don’t like it.

    Like

  11. troy

    One more for the ‘Yea’ department.

    Like

  12. Jason Goroncy

    I seem to have lost the ability to edit widgets. What is the story with that?

    Like

    • Matt Thomas

      Don’t believe that should be related to the new design — but contact support or post in the forums with more details if you continue to have problems. (If you do, it might help to try another browser to see if there’s any difference.)

      Like

  13. lemaik

    I love the new ‘flat style’ design very much! 🙂
    The only thing I don’t like is that all the dark colors tend to make me sad… I want to work (and write!) in a friendly environment, not beside that dark borders. Will there be a light theme in the future? I love flat, but flat does not mean dark and depressing…

    Like

  14. C.B. Wentworth

    Love the new font! So much easier on the eyes. Thank you! 🙂

    Like

  15. wrygrass.com

    Awesome! My 46 year old eyes can see everything much better now! Thanks!

    Like

  16. Foudamour

    Don’t like the black background at all! Can we at least have an option to change it back to white?

    Like

  17. thecuriouskiwi

    I think it is beautiful and very clean, easy on the eye, a nice fresh change. To the commentors who are complain about contrast problems and issues with low res screens need to update their hardware, times change, technology moves on, upgrade and enjoy.

    Like

  18. JacquesandCaro

    Thank you!!! It makes me loving WP even more… I really like this simple but efficient design.

    Like

  19. Stef

    LOVE the new Dashboard design! The contrast makes it a lot easier to read, and the font is beautiful. Terrific work WP team!

    Like

  20. dasarkita5sila17845

    Love this new one. Terima kasih banyak, dari (Thank you very much, from) Indonesia!

    Like

  21. DelightSoul21

    I love the new design. Especially the black bar. It makes it clean and neat. Good job! 😉

    Like

  22. taospirulina

    when I log-in my account, first I embarrassing for a while, but after I read this article, I totally love this feature!

    Like

  23. Thunderground Samurai

    The black color, especially of the bar at the top of the page, is actually quite ugly. Either give us an option to change that color, or, please, return it to the original color. Black just doesn’t work.

    Like

  24. jeeshenlee

    nicely done!

    Like

  25. rant4u

    This is great! keep up the good work WordPress 🙂

    Like

  26. Thunderground Samurai

    A ‘beautiful makeover’? I would recommend that you stick with functionality, and leave the more tasteful stuff to artists. I don’t want to comment on your artistic sense, but the black of the top and sidebars is far too ‘in-your-face’. Sad to see this, because it’s just annoying when people get into areas they don’t understand.

    Like

  27. Liachristo

    Obrigado. Adorei o novo visual.

    Like

  28. Idah Ceris

    Wooooooooow. .. 🙂

    Like

  29. Yurixy

    Hey thanks! The new theme is awesome!!

    Like

  30. dktne

    This is well done! Thank you. The enlarged buttons and relevance of space, the darkened dashboard. Good job.

    Like

  31. Justin Burnell

    Reblogged this on thehiltonburnellfiles.

    Like

  32. czaroentoro

    Reblogged this on Caisar Oentoro and commented:
    WordPress new dashboard!

    Like

  33. Cnu Federer

    Reblogged this on Cnu Federer and commented:
    Wordpress got better look

    Like

  34. gaudetetheology

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m having accessibility issues. Feedback has been submitted.

    Like

  35. David

    The menu options/links in the left sidebar of the dashboard are almost impossible for me to see since the changes you made. There is a similar problem in the header bar at the top. The light grey and dark blue links are not providing any contrast against the black background in my computer/browser, and even the white links are barely visible. I don’t think it will help for me to send a screen shot, since I noticed that your screen shot on this page is showing up with the same visibility problem. You would need to actually sit at my computer to notice the problem.

    You really should change back to the original colors or to a color scheme that will be visible on all browsers/computers. Using dark backgrounds and very light text colors is very risky, since not all computers or browsers display contrast in the same manner, and if a computer/browser has slightly different abilities to present such subtle contrast, some users like myself will not be able to see the sidebar menu links.

    This is such a problem that I don’t know if I can complete the design of my blog, and I’ve been working on it for months! You should at least have an option to change the color scheme in the dashboard. Not everyone has the same kind of eyesight or hardware, and so it is important to make sure everyone can at least see the tools they need to use for their blog. This is very upsetting.

    Like

    • Matt Thomas

      Thanks for the feedback, David. With any redesign there are bound to be some who aren’t fans of what’s new; it’s impossible to make absolutely everyone happy, no matter how much we’d like to. As we’ve said, we’ve taken care in this redesign to increase contrast and readability in the admin. Unfortunately, not everyone’s devices (or eyes) will agree with every change we make. Rest assured that we’re listening to all feedback and will do everything we can to make the new design work for as many users as possible.

      Like

      • David

        Hi Matt,

        I appreciate your response. However, this issue is not about whether users are “fans” of the new color scheme. This is an actual problem with being able to view the dashboard menus, and from what I’ve read, many users are having this problem. Some parts of my menu are almost 100 percent invisible now. So, this is a serious issue. Light grey/dark blue/light white against a black background is generally a very poor contrast scheme for many computers/browsers/eyes, unless a person’s computer has a monitor with high contrast functionality, and many don’t. I think you will find that a lot of users have problems with this.

        How am I supposed to use WordPress if I cannot see the dashboard menu options?

        The focus should be on enabling the maximum amount of users to easily view the dashboard features, rather than trying to create a more beautiful design. It looked fine before. I don’t understand why a change was even necessary.

        Like

        • Matt Thomas

          David — enabling the most users to easily use the dashboard is absolutely our focus. We’ve heard from many users who told us that the new fonts and increased contrast makes the dashboard easier to read — you can see some of those comments right in this thread. Any time we adopt a new technology like web fonts, it will frustrate some users whose hardware or OS does not support it. That’s always a difficult decision for us to make, but we believe there are important reasons to make these changes beyond just aesthetics. As I’ve said we’ll continue to keep all of your feedback in mind as we continue to refine our work.

          Like

          • David

            Well, I will probably need to leave your service as a result, unless it is viewable when I acquire another computer. I’ve spent months working on my blog, getting it ready for the public, and now I might need to redesign it somewhere else because I cannot view the tools anymore. This is a disaster for me. You should at least include an option for users to adjust the dashboard colors, and do this soon. This way, if someone has a problem viewing their critically important tools, they can adjust it.

            Like

  36. Kristan

    The new dashboard design is gorgeous, I love it! Good job WordPress.com!

    Like

  37. Kristan

    Reblogged this on Kristan Kenney's Blog and commented:
    The new WordPress.com dashboard looks beautiful, excellent improvement over the previous version.

    Like

  38. Jean

    Change is fine. \

    As for some commenters reminding folks that not everyone has sharp eyesight: remember an older blogger (meaning over 25 or so) and the older they get, they have lots of interesting stuff to blog: they’ve experienced stuff in life they wish to share and have learned to write in full sentences. 🙂

    Like

    • Matt Thomas

      We’re “older bloggers” ourselves, Jean — the larger fonts across the admin are intended to increase readability wherever possible. 🙂

      Like

  39. Joan Advincula (@iamMJae)

    Yup! Definitely beautiful. Thanks for the update.

    Although, I must admit, I was a bit shocked the first time I saw everything so much bigger.

    Like

  40. Delores L. Adams, The Aunt Jemimah Post

    Really don’t care for the black, very depressing. Black is colorless thus should be used sparingly or give us the option of an alternate color at least.

    Like

  41. Sasphire

    love it

    Like

  42. Janet

    Unfortunately there are those who do have vision problems, and it is much harder for some of us to read.

    Like

  43. Sanjay Mandavia

    I was using a form on blog and revert of the same was coming on feedback section. With the above updates, the spacing has increased between items and lines between items have gone missing. Can these two changes be reversed.

    Like

  44. Neeraj Bhushan

    luv’n it :). thnx WP, thnx Matt

    Like

  45. schnabeline

    Hate it. Especially the black mourning edge and poor contrast. Please make it an option to change back to the old design.

    Like

  46. sophiemorore

    i really like the new makeover, so cool an chic !
    thank you

    Like

  47. Paul

    It’s very pretty. I like it a lot. Thank you!

    Like

  48. Anurag Rathod

    One of the most beautiful dashboard…

    Like

  49. suparmart93

    good…

    Like

  50. sphinx

    Just feel something are not so perfect

    Like

  51. Irfan Hussain

    Ummm honestly the dark frame is not working for me. The moment I logged into my dash board today I wasn’t feeling “oh my!! what a nice make over” but I was more like, “oh my!! a make over!?” Call me old fashioned but I liked the previous dash board. I’ve been blogging on wp since a year now, and my experience with the previous make over was good, I liked it. But not this one. I read other bloggers as well having this same opinion in the comments. Probably you let bloggers chose their color scheme? Just a thought.

    Like

  52. thehelpmate

    Everything I’m asked to do involves reading something, adhering to someone else’s guidelines, and not straying from what your developers want to see. I like the new typeface. It’s extremely legible, easy to read even without my glasses. I know I’ve probably abridged ten or fifteen of your guidelines by saying what’s written here. Sorry, I’m not used to curtailing my praise, or making it conform to another’s guidelines. You can’t expect me to be creative in my blogs, yet constrained in my praises. I’m either unfettered, and you like me that way, or constrained, and I don’t like me that way. Sorry I can’t live up to your constraints. The Helpmate, Robert C. Visconti

    Like

  53. ChirimoyaToursPeru

    dont like the design, get back the old please!

    Like

  54. theforestscribe

    Thanks guys, love the new design – totally works for me!

    Like

  55. RoniLynn

    Absolutely love the new design. I’ve not yet reviewed all of the features, but aesthetically, it looks great! Cool!

    Like

  56. SUPERNU

    The new changes look nice! Good job, guys.

    Like

  57. Frau Huhn

    the icons are nice, everything looks good – without the sidebar. sorry, but the black sidebar is ugly – it makes me depressive. it is too dark. looks unfriendly. It would be great to customize it…

    Like

  58. Aurelian Păun

    danke, danke schoen!
    (for Android: Notifications also…)

    Like

  59. RD/ Kreative

    Like and liked function jumps out the dashboard. Could be a browser related glitch. Im surfing on Chrome 🙂

    Like

  60. Ian Gardner

    There have been quite a few good improvement of late and for these I thank all concerned.

    Like

  61. Алексей Петров
  62. kasenyigamesafaris

    Reblogged this on kasenyi game safaris and commented:
    This is fantastic!

    Like

  63. Awan12

    I really love the new design dashboard.

    Like

  64. Stéphane Kapitaniuk

    I’m surprised at how mixed the comments are. Keep up the good work WP. Sure there are a few bugs, but I know you’ll have it all ironed out soon.

    Like

  65. merylizam

    I really like it ! Simple yet beautiful.Lovin’ wordpress.com even more…:) Thank you!

    Like

  66. Dementia and Elderly Care News (an online adjunct to Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence)

    I’m sorry to mention that you’ve ruined it for me. This new interface is really buggy, with imperfect screen displays and refreshes; meaning that I have to guess where the editing tools are found. I’m a WordPress fan, generally, but this enhancement has gone awry. Perhaps it is my browser or theme? I use IE and the 2010 theme.

    Like

    • Matt Thomas

      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble — it sounds like you may be having trouble caused by an out-of-date browser; if you’re not using IE 9 or IE 10 I’d recommend updating, or trying Chrome or Firefox. If you continue to have trouble, let us know by contacting support or leaving more details in a forum post.

      Like

  67. pochp

    Thanks for the great design.

    Like

  68. Thunderground Samurai

    Thanks for listening to feedback. The black is now toned down in the dashboard menu to softer and/or grey. If the top bar, that’s always visible (!), could get the treatment all is well again. The top bar still stands out as extremely dark, and therefore out of touch with the rest of the page. Thanks.

    Like

  69. Godot

    Poco leggibile! Come ho scritto qui:

    (Very difficult to read! As I’ve written here: )

    http://dailygodot.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/whats-up-mr-wordpress-ossia-quando-la-dashboard-e-a-lutto/

    Like

  70. Bill Hodgson

    My “Press This” pop up window now has fonts which are too large, the overall arrangement is broken. Is this related to the dashboard changes? Bill.

    Like

    • Matt Thomas

      Hi Bill — we’ve tested Press This in the new design and haven’t come across that problem yet, but we’ll take a look at this to try and reproduce it.

      Like

  71. catezapp

    i like the new dashboard.one thing though Im not sure where the country stats are now

    Like

  72. niki

    I love it and works great !

    Like

  73. jasteriou

    As a beginner, I Thank you for your information.

    Like

  74. Thunderground Samurai

    Scratch that earlier comment. I’m working at night without light, so it doesn’t seem as dark. Nothing has changed.

    Like

  75. jinyoungid

    i love new design >,< OMG~ wordpress thank you so much ^^

    Like

  76. Godot

    I see that my former comment is still awaiting moderation… if the porblem it’s the link you can delete it and post this one instead.
    I actually find the new dashboard unreadable, the contrast is too light (and you have to think of the visual handicapped too… it is only correct to permit to them to see and read their own site)
    And then it is so 80’s … fashionable yes, handy? Absolutely not!

    Like

  77. victorworang

    I like the sharpen menu fonts and the black n blue thing. it’s just the icons still doesn’t load.

    Like

  78. Kiran bantawa

    liked the New update, hope to see a better update with redesigned UI.Good Job!
    https://meroblogging.wordpress.com

    Like

  79. sv

    Like the new design ‘n’ all , but why is the like button not loading , when i visit the blogs of people i follow ?

    Like

  80. Ajaytao2010

    Its really wonderful dear
    and clutter free thank you

    Like

  81. Paula Cappa

    Very clean looking. I like it a lot. There’s a sharpness but it’s not harsh. Great work. Thanks!

    Like

  82. youngestrichkid

    Reblogged this on youngest rich kid.

    Like

  83. Professional Swimming Pools

    Just logged on and saw the new dashboard. Great design, well done.

    Like

  84. dhyll

    Muito bom, Gostei!

    Like

  85. NekoJonez

    Is it my screensize or browser but when I click a button in the editor, the symbol isn’t exactly in it like before.

    Like the “B” for bold is more down on the button instead of centered.

    I use the latest version of Chrome Dev.

    Like

  86. Knapsack Heart

    These changes look nice, although I find it less restful to the eyes. However, I do believe that for people like my husband, who is color blind, the new look may actually be easier to read. At any rate, I appreciate all the hard work that went into it, and wouldn’t ever want to complain…WordPress offers such a great service for free. So what have I got to complain about?!

    Like

  87. CretanPatriot
  88. philosophermouseofthehedge

    Making the sidebar phrases (like those under “Dashboard”) highlight blue is a good idea.

    Like

  89. Valarie

    I LOVE the new look! It looks fresh and clean to me! Thanks for thinking about us! keep up the good work and God bless!

    Like

  90. kingintraining

    I LOVE it, its awesome!

    Like

  91. Foreign Islander

    Thanks wordpress… Made a good choice reverting back to wordpress.com a couple of days ago from being self hosted. woohoo

    Like

  92. malineechelsy

    That’s really cool, we are loving it 🙂

    Like

  93. arip

    Reblogged this on Arip Blog.

    Like

  94. BostonPeng

    I have to say I don’t like the new design one bit. “Beautiful” isn’t a word I’d use for it and it’s not just because I find the word’s been so overused it’s lost it’s meaning. I’m not big on the black border and the new font is going to have to grow on me because I’m not at all thrilled with it. I agree with corkystclaire that I wish the new design hadn’t been forced on us and I wish there was a way to opt out, but I suspect that option went into the bit bucket with the old design.

    I am noticing one major problem with the dashboard this morning and that’s the fact that it takes entirely too long to load in. I’m on a very fast ‘net connection and I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to ask DuckDuckGo.com if the site was even up. I suspect part of that may be the fact that the server for the web font is getting hammered this morning with so many people needing to get it (just one more reason I dislike using web fonts) and I hope my site’s visitors aren’t getting the lag. Going straight to my site’s home page took longer than it was yesterday and I hope it’s not making people want to pass on loading our sites.

    With any luck this is just the first day blues but it doesn’t fill me with joy at the newest change from an online service I use. Too many companies lately have been giving me the fuzzy end of the lollipop and I really hate that WP is joining that group.

    Like

  95. Iñigo

    i love this new improvement 🙂

    Like

  96. lairdglencairn

    If that is ‘beautiful’ I would hate to see your idea of “ugly” Far too much black !

    Like

  97. Ellexiz Diamond

    Heh, this actually happened while I was updating a post and I thought it was a glitch for a quick second lol. Well Im all up for changes that improve our overall experience, so thanks folks working on the coding! Good work!

    Like

  98. gpcox

    Don’t like it – bring back the old one.

    Like

  99. MIFTAHUL HUDA

    Reblogged this on miftahulhuda234.

    Like

  100. blastedgoat

    I usually like the upgrades but this one is drastic and I found myself confused a bit. I will get used to it but I’m OCD and changing a whole font on a person is rude 😉 I think everything looks “bigger” and a bit cheesy, probably because everyone uses smart phones. Well, I refuse. I like the romantic glow of a computer screen at 3am. I’m staying with WordPress but I wish some of these improvements weren’t ALL about mobile bloggers. Just Sayin’.

    Like

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