Introducing Zen Dash

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zen-treeIt is my pleasure to share with you my latest WordPress Plugin: Zen Dash. It allows you to selectively hide those Dashboard Widgets, Menu Items, Update Notifications and even Footer Links.

Inspired by Joseph Lowery and my recent post about how to do this in code, I wanted to create the same functionality without users having to use code.

After a few days of coding I really got into it and added several other features, including some nice jQuery UI tabs.

Under the hood is the same code I’ve described in my aforementioned article, coupled with a gorgeous interface made of custom styled CSS checkboxes. This is what it looks like:


hide Menu Items
hide Menu Items
and Update Notifications
and Update Notifications

Thanks to Kushagara Agarwal for the beautiful style sheet I found on CSS Deck.

Installation and Usage

  • upload the zip file in your WordPress back end under Plugins – Add New – Install
  • activate it (under Plugins)
  • head over to Dashboard – Zen Dash and find those switches, grouped by functions
  • save your changes, then check out your de-cluttered dashboard

You can also enable or disable some of the groups all at once.

Note that certain plugins and themes provide their own widgets. Those are custom and Zen Dash can’t disable those yet. As soon as I find out how, I’ll write an update.

Shortcut Link in Admin Footer

Since I’ve added the ability to remove menu items, it is possible to hide the “Dashboard” and hence the link to the Zen Dash options. Therefore I’ve added a small link at the bottom of the admin interface, right next to the default text that reads “Thanks for creating with WordPress”.

I have also introduced the ability to remove links in the footer, including the Shortcut Link to Zen Dash. Please be careful not to remove both the Dashboard AND the Zen Dash footer link, otherwise you won’t be able to bring back anything you’ve hidden.

Should this have happened by accident, you have two options:

  • either uninstall the plugin, which will reset all your options; then re-install and start again
  • or navigate to the Zen Dash options page directly

The latter can be achieved by adding “index.php?page=zendash” to your admin URL in the browser bar. So for example, if your admin area is at then Zen Dash will be located at

Hope this makes sense πŸ˜‰

Watch the video

In this video I’ll demonstrate how to use Zen Dash v1.3:


Version 1.5 – 19/11/2015

  • the option to hide the Jetpack menu only appears when Jetpack is active
  • verified compatibility with WordPress 4.4
  • added funky bamboo artwork

Version 1.4 – 26/03/2014

  • added option to hide Jetpack menu item

Version 1.2 / 1.3 – 16/03/2014

  • renamed Dashbaord Widgets in accordance with WordPress 3.8/3.9
  • fixed a small bug that did not show the correct state for Appearance menu item
  • changed the way update notifications are hidden
  • verified compatibility with WordPress 3.9

Version 1.1 – 27/09/2013

  • added options to remove Menu Items
  • added options to remove Update Notifications
  • added options to remove Admin Footer Items
  • added shortcut to Zen Dash options in Admin Footer
  • modified presentation and option tabs

Version 1.0 – 24/09/2013

  • initial release

Download Zen Dash

I’ve made the source code available on Github from where you’re more than welcome to download it. Find the “download zip” option, that’s ready to be installed in WordPress.

You can also download Zen Dash from the official repository, or simply search for “zen dash” from within WordPress.

On behalf of the Dharma Initiative, Namaste. And good luck.

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5 thoughts on “Introducing Zen Dash”

  1. Hey Jay!

    I just ran across your Zen Dash and can’t believe you haven’t had more praise for your work. I think it’s quite handy and even though you haven’t upgraded it for awhile, it works just fine in WP 4.3. Well, at least nothing is broken yet πŸ˜‰

    Wish you the best,

  2. Hi Dave,

    that’s very kind of you to say, thank you! Glad to hear you like Zen Dash πŸ™‚ Good to hear it’s working under WordPress 4.3, I’ll do a quick test at my end and will update the “tested up to” value (I keep forgetting to do that when a new version of WordPress is released).

    All the best!

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