WordPress.com is in the process of rolling out a single, unified navigation that replaces the two existing ones: Calypso, the exclusively WordPress.com dashboard at
wordpress.com/home/yoursite.wordpress.com that was introduced in 2015, and WP Admin, the original WordPress dashboard, at
yoursite.wordpress.com/wp-admin/ (For background see this post.)
If your account has been flipped to unified navigation, when you access My Site you’ll see a mashup of both the WPcom Calypso dashboard and WP Admin depending on which screen you are in. For example, when in the Posts dashboard you’ll see the WPcom dashboard version, but if you click “Categories” or “Tags” the WP Admin dashboard version displays.
For those who are using it, the switch to unified navigation also means losing access to the Classic Editor in WP Admin’s Posts dashboard. In order to recover access for now (see Note 1 below), you’ll first need to enable Advanced Dashboard Pages in your Account Settings.
If you do not see that option, the unified navigation is not yet available on your account and you can carry on working directly in the WP Admin dashboard until it is (see Note 2 below).
As far as I can tell, changing this setting will mostly flip your unified dashboard pages to the WP Admin versions, with the following exceptions:
- Stats (without access to Sharing Stats or Akismet Stats)
- Plans and Purchases
- your site’s Activity log
- Plugins (if you have them)
- Tools (without access to PressThis), Marketing and Integrations
I’m still exploring, so this list may be partial or inaccurate. Once my own account has been flipped, I’ll add more screenshots here.
Regardless, the direct link to WP Admin, which previously appeared at the bottom of your site dashboard sidebar, has disappeared (yet again for some of us). The link can now be found under Manage Blogs in your Account Profile. This is the same link as the Global Dashboard and we still need access to that dashboard in order to accomplish some tasks.
Personally speaking, I am accustomed to constantly flipping between the two full dashboards depending on what I’m doing and it really makes no difference to me which one I’m in because I’m comfortable in either. That does not mean everyone is nor does it make me happy that my onsite work flow is about to change yet again. From a visual viewpoint, having separate dashboards made it easy for me to identify where I was. Now, however, I might need a map.
As with every change on the platform, users have begun posting to the community forums that features in the WP Admin dashboard, like the Link Manager* or being able to find posts by author in the User dashboard, are no longer available to them even in advanced dashboard pages. However, these features can be accessed via direct link (if you know it, but apparently not all of them). *Noting that the Links menu has returned to the sidebar as of 24 March 2021, regardless which dashboard you use-but apparently NOT for everyone.
If your account has been flipped to the unified navigation and you want to leave feedback for WordPress.com you can do so in this forum thread. Also note what Support Staff have mentioned there:
We’ll be gathering feedback on any friction you’re running into, so if something feels off, please add details to this thread: let us know what you clicked on, what you expected, and what happened instead. If you can share a bit about your typical use, too, that would be helpful.
However, if you have encountered a bug, please don’t post it there, but instead head to the support contact form if you have an upgrade, or post a new forum thread and make sure to add the “modlook” tag (without quote marks) to get Staff attention.
Note 1: Staff have been advising users recently that the Classic Editor is no longer available, in spite of the above. If you need some help transitioning to the Classic Block or the full Block Editor, check out my earlier posts:
Note 2: Alternatively, to create a new post in the Classic Editor, you can add
/wp-admin/post-new.php?classic-editor to your WordPress.com site address. However, this will not give you access to edit posts in the Classic Editor.
As always, the information in this post is correct as of today’s date. Changes are inevitable.
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