Support » Requests and Feedback » Three Column Dashboard?

  • Resolved Princess_Giggles


    Why is a three column dashboard no longer an option with the latest version of WordPress? Is there a way to hack that back?

Viewing 15 replies - 31 through 45 (of 47 total)
  • Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    On 800×600 I get one column.

    On 1280×1024 I get two.

    On my 1600something monitor I get four.

    So yes, something changed. No it’s not broken. It’s a functionality design choice. At that small a screen, the content becomes unreadable (I forced it to show two columns, it was overlapping).

    It is not plug-ins. I have upgraded my dev site, which was working with 3.3.2, to 3.4.1 and I am now limited to 2 columns, even when all plug-ins are disabled.

    It’s asinine. When in doubt, and there’s no security issue at stake, let the user do what the osk he wants, rather than trying to second guess him. If we were happy with it being 3 columns before, we’d happy with it now, regardless of whether or not some deem it to be too dense. To remove such functionality without documentation or override is galling. Two columns in 1100px is ridiculously wasteful, but resize up to 1101px and whoaa! now WordPress deems you worthy of 3 or even 4 columns.

    Among other oversights, nobody seems to have considered that users might have collapsed the left hand menu to hide lots of extraneous text and gain some room to display many columns; although I still maintain this whole issue is due to somebody being too clever by half. I can get 3 columns with a 1021px wide #dashboard-widgets-wrap if the side menu is *not* collapsed, but if it is the container must be 1134px in order for there to be 3 columns. (FF 10.0.5). More room is needed to show less stuff, brilliant! See for screenshots of this mangled mess.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    I’ve passed this thread on to one of the UI leads so she can weigh in on it.

    Moderator Helen Hou-Sandi


    4.0 and 4.7 Release Lead

    Howdy everybody,

    I wasn’t directly involved in this change, but I’ll speak to as much as I can and try to clear up some confusion.

    There was indeed a change in 3.4 involving making the Dashboard and Write/Edit screens responsive, that is, adaptive based on the screen size (it seems that those of you posting here know what that means, but I just wanted to be thorough). If you’re interested in how that came to be, you might take a look here: Note that this ticket is closed on a released version, so please don’t re-open it.

    What I’m seeing is that it jumps directly from 4 columns to 2 and does this on all browsers based on the window width, which is of course what responsive media queries in CSS do. There is no middle ground where you can have up to 3, and it does not take the collapsed or uncollapsed state of the admin menu into account. It’s worth noting that currently the admin menu will collapse itself and doesn’t have an option to expand again at a certain width. These are all impartial statements of observation – I am not passing judgment one way or the other.

    WordPress is an actively developed software, which means that we have the ability to keep making improvements/enhancements as we find things to improve upon, in addition to adding features and fixing bugs. For example, I know that I’ve already seen a request from a lead that the admin menu be able to un-collapse even if it’s been auto-collapsed by CSS, which sounds reasonable enough and can be worked on by anybody who wants to contribute back to the software project on the development front.

    So what are our real options here? I see the following:

    • That there be a middle ground where 3 columns can show on the Dashboard instead, and perhaps also some refining to account for the state of the admin menu.
    • That the columns still auto-arrange if you haven’t selected a particular option yet, e.g. an auto option, but allow you to choose another if you so desire and remember your selection. This was actually tried in 3.3 and had some really funky side effects, if I remember correctly. Maybe worth another shot, maybe not. I foresee issues where somebody generally likes 4 columns at home but then has to switch to 1 on their mobile, and then has to keep switching every time they change devices and loses placement of their various widgets/boxes. It’s hard to balance, and WordPress’s core philosophy does tend toward making decisions rather than giving too many options and building for the majority, while trying to listen to what some might call the “vocal minority”.
    • Making a plugin that reverts back to old behavior, or even tweaks existing behavior for now. Advantages here are being able to use it sooner than a new version of WordPress would come out and that it would get more widespread testing and could actually inform how the core software ends up behaving. Disadvantage is, of course, that you have to install a plugin. But sometimes for a smaller percentage of users, it’s a better way to go.

    All of that said, I don’t think we need to treat these changes as though they are a personal affront or get too agitated about them. I understand that things are (very) frustrating when they don’t act as expected, and since forums are all volunteer- and fellow-user-based, sometimes folks don’t have all the information. I don’t have all the information, either 🙂 What I can do is try to figure out whether or not there’s something we can do to make this better for the majority of people.

    Hi Helen,

    Thanks for some details, with the patch in the ticket I see how I can implement some workarounds until/if this is not addressed in core.
    Given that WordPress now has an official app, the column situation on phones would seem to be a non-issue/dealt with already, so that’s one group appeased 😛 An intermediate step with 3 columns could potentially work, depending on what the hard-coded cut-off is.

    I think part of the problem with the current implementation (other than being obscure, and having no middle-ground for 3 columns) is that it looks like the values chosen were simply selected from common screen dimensions, rather than figuring out what a reasonable size is actually needed e.g; ~240px per column, and therefore 3 columns at 750 px for the wrapper; although CSS proper only lets you detect the size of the viewport, and the currently selected values do not seem to allow for windowing systems decorations/borders either. Users might also elect to not devote their whole screen to a browser just to have a clean dashboard layout 😉

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Plugin Review Team Rep

    Speaking for the iPhone app, it’s aces for posting and reviewing comments. I can’t use it for custom post types, though, nor plugin tweaks or bbPress (which is a CPT) so sadly, it’s a null factor in here. We still need the regular dashboard.

    Same situation for the Android app really. It’s handy for minor things, but any real work is going to be through the browser

    I am experiencing a problem with Dashboard Columns on all 3 of my WP sites (all self hosted).

    It just started today.

    I have a 2560×1600 monitor (30″) and even with the browser set to full screen the problem persists.

    Under “Screen Options” The option for Number of Columns is still 1, 2, 3, or 4. I set it to 3 (which contrary to what someone wrote above – does not include the left side bar and never has, the 3 columns are separate to the actual sidebar panel).

    The columns load fine but when the Jet Pack Site Stats part loads up the columns then revert to 2 columns only and nothing will change that.

    Clearing cookies, Setting columns to 4, enlarging screen etc. Nothing fixes it.

    Very odd as it has only just started and I updated on release on all 3 sites. I have not changed anything at all.

    Would be interested to see if the devs have any further insights on this.

    Related to Jet Pack maybe?

    I just checked out my sites, all of them use the jetpack site stats…

    Same issue, start loading at 3 columns, then flick over to 2 when the chart comes up.

    I think that is a recent problem – perhaps with the WP 3.4 upgrade, I’ve never had that issue before

    Thanks Voodoo, looks like my guess may have been at least on the right lines then.

    But… This problem has only just appeared here and I did update to 3.4.1 on the day of release.

    I suppose there is a chance that I have gone since then without noticing this but I am pretty sure it has only just happened.

    Anyway, at least there may be something useful there for the devs to look in to.

    Thanks again. 🙂

    Yeah, I can’t pinpoint when it happened unfortunately…. I updated my sites remotely, and haven’t paid attention unfortunately

    Same problem here: if I put the number of column of the Dashboard to three or four, I get two columns with weird artifacts.

    The strange thing is, it was working OK until a couple days ago and I had done no updates since then. And as it loads, it appears as three columns, then switches to two as it finishes.

    I thought its could be a Flash issue, so I removed the two stats widgets (Jetpack and Google Analytics), but still no go.

    Hello all,

    I have the exact same issue as xiexiema described above. I believe it started just yesterday. My screen resolution goes above 1600 width, so that cannot be the issue.

    But it is very annoying 🙁

    Hope someone will find what caused this and how to solve it.

    Thank you.

Viewing 15 replies - 31 through 45 (of 47 total)
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