Change the Width of WordPress Dashboard Columns

Most users are aware of the new 3.8 update. With this update, came a brand new admin interface! I personally love the change. It makes WordPress feel so much more modern. The admin interface has been the same for many years, and it was long overdue for an upgrade!

But one change that probably has a few people annoyed is the sudden lack of flexibility with the number of columns on the admin dashboard. I always had mine set to use a two column layout (excluding the navigation). But suddenly, on my PC, I’m forced to use four columns, but each of those columns are super small and they squish the contents of the widget.

Luckily, this can be changed!

I’ve created a super simple plugin that will force the number of columns to be 2. But if you edit the plugin, you can adjust this to however you want.

Before (4 columns)

WordPress Dashboard: Four Columns

After (2 columns)

WordPress Dashboard: Two Columns

Download the Plugin

How to Edit the Plugin

Without any editing, the plugin will give your dashboard a two-column layout. If you want a different number of columns, you’ll have to edit it to suit your needs.

Downloading the plugin will give you a .zip file. Unzip the file and open up the dashboard-column-width.php file in a text editor. Look for this line:

width:50% !important;

This sets the column width to 50%, which means there will be two columns (because 100 / 50 = 2). You can edit this value to whatever you want! So if you want three columns, set it to 33.3% (because 100 / 3 = 33.3%).

When you’re done, save the file and make sure you re-save it as a .php file. Then, zip the folder back up so that you have the file again.

How to Install the Plugin

Make sure you have your file. Then navigate to Plugins » Add New then click Upload. Select the zip file and press “Install Now”. Once it’s installed, activate it, and you’re done!

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  1. Interesting! I was just sitting here thinking that I’m using 3.8 but my dashboard still only has 2 columns… then I maximized my browser and saw two empty columns to the right. How annoying! (Yes, my work computer is widescreen, but I keep my browser window smaller. My monitor at home is pretty old, so it’s still got a small enough ratio to not notice the missing columns.) You’re awesome to building this plugin and sharing it with us!

    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted: End of the Year Book Survey – 2013
  2. Hi, unfortunately, no change after I installed the plugin. Still 3 columns on my desktop.
    Is it compatible with the latest WordPress versions?

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