The developers of WordPress are planning an update to the admin interface in the upcoming months. While WordPress is currently at version 6.3, the admin interface hasn’t seen any major updates since version 2.7, which was released back in 2008 – about 15 years ago! In this article, we will see whether this update will finally solve the issue with the admin interface being overloaded with banners, ads, and various not-so-useful notices.

Yes, this interface saw light for the first place in 2008!

Yes, this interface saw light for the first time in 2008!

The abuse of the admin interface banner feature

What we want to talk about in this article is a problem that many WordPress administrators have experienced – the issue with plugin banners, most of which are actually ads.

Plugin authors typically place upsell banners in the admin interface, which largely go ignored, but pollute the main interface, and it may become more or less unusable. While some notices may be actually useful, having many of them stacked one over another is of no use.

Although there is a guideline against placing advertising in the admin dashboard, it is rarely followed by plugin authors:

11. Plugins should not hijack the admin dashboard.

Users prefer and expect plugins to feel like part of WordPress. Constant nags and overwhelming the admin dashboard with unnecessary alerts detract from this experience.

Upgrade prompts, notices, alerts, and the like must be limited in scope and used sparingly, be that contextually or only on the plugin’s setting page.

Advertising within the WordPress dashboard should be avoided, as it is generally ineffective.

Take a look at this picture – this is a functioning WordPress site, but the amount of notifications is quite overwhelming:

And this is not even the worst we have seen! Once you start adding plugins to your site, and sometimes this really is necessary, the banners just start piling up.

As a hosting service provider, we must say that you should really try keeping the number of plugins you use to the bare minimum – having a lot of plugins can cause site speed and compatibility issues. Additionally, each additional plugin increases the attack surface for your website, therefore decreasing the overall security of your website.

Will the new WordPress admin interface solve this?

An admin refresh is being planned for upcoming WordPress versions. Here at ICDSoft, we are often at the admin side of WordPress sites, and we must say that it is long overdue – many aspects of the admin interface haven't kept up well with the times.

We will cover some changes here, but if you are interested in all the planned changes, you can read more at the official WordPress development board.  

The new admin interface is set to follow the design of the new theme editor, which is the default editing experience for full-site-edit-enabled themes. This should bring some long needed visual cohesion between the new editor and the admin interface.

You can view a design mockup here:

What improvements can we expect?

While the new admin look sets the design, the notification system should also get an overhaul. The most advanced project proposal for managing the various types of notifications is the WordPress feature notifications system. This is an official plugin by the team that is likely to be integrated in the new admin refresh.

It is going to function like most notification sidebars – it will unite all notifications in a single drop-down menu, as shown on the image on the right.

The plugin is under active development, but there are two releases which you may try. They are available at the Releases section in Github - the latest one is from April. We do not recommend using this plugin on live sites.

This new notification system is a huge improvement over the current situation where notifications are dispersed all over the interface - sometimes they are in the sidebar, sometimes on the admin dashboard, and sometimes inside the plugin page.

This plugin also brings a convenient way to control the notifications - you can configure whether you want them over email, or only in the admin panel:

Will this improvement solve the issue of plugin banners, though?

Unfortunately, it is hard to say. It depends on plugin authors - whether they would decide to stop abusing the extensibility of WordPress to display ads and comply with the guidelines, or not.

So, is there a solution?

Yes, while we are waiting to see whether the admin refresh and notification system will resolve the pollution of the admin dashboard with banners, there are already existing solutions.

In general, there are two ways to tackle the problem – hide all the notices and hope that you won’t miss some important one, or move them to separate a tab/notification section. 

The easiest way, as always with WordPress, is to use a plugin 🙂. It is a little ironic that in order to solve a problem initially caused by plugins, you need yet another plugin. But after all, this extensibility and plugin ecosystem is what has given WordPress the popularity and dominance over the internet it currently has. 

For those that don’t want another plugin, at the end, we have a couple of hand coding ways to solve this problem. 

The plugin solution

Organize Admin Notices

The first plugin we will recommend is the “Organize Admin Notices” plugin. It is an open source plugin hosted at GitHub, and is quite a simple one – just one PHP file. It can be found here:

To install this plugin, you have to click the green "Code" button and choose the "Download ZIP" option. You can then install this ZIP file as any other plugin on WordPress. More information on how to install and manage WordPress plugins is available in the following tutorial from the ICDSoft Knowledge Base:

Managing WordPress plugins

Here is a demonstration of the features of this plugin:

Source -

Admin Site Enchancements

Another popular plugin is Admin Site Enhancements”. Contrary to the plugin mentioned above, this one has lots of features, including some useful security modifications.

The plugin has features for managing site content, security improvements, control over core WordPress features, and finally – admin interface modifications. 

Some of the more interesting features are:

  • Disable Dashboard Widgets
  • Hide Admin Notices.
  • Clean Up Admin Bar
  • Content Duplication
  • SVG Upload.
  • Open All External Links in New Tab

The following security and performance features are also quite useful:

  • Change Login URL
  • Limit Login Attempts.
  • Disable XML-RPC. (although xmlrpc.php is already disabled by default on our servers). 
  • Heartbeat Control - we have seen sites that the Heartbeat function causes tremendous server load. Thus, this feature may be useful for you, especially, if you spend lots of time with the admin interface loaded in a browser. 
  • Revisions Control – this is also a problem we have seen on some WordPress installations – the revisions overload the database storage and cause most queries to be extremely slow, resulting in a slow website.

Many of the features included by the plugin often come as separate plugins, so if you find yourself needing them, keeping them in one plugin may be the better option. The plugin is open-source, well-supported, and completely free.

We must say that it is the best plugin for the task at hand, as it was able to handle all the annoying notices and keep them well-organized.

A plugin-free way to solve the problem

If you don’t want to install another plugin, there are some tricks you can try to hide the notices by using your own code in your WordPress installation. 

The first method uses a CSS trick to hide the notices from your screen. You can add this code via the "Theme File Editor" in the Appearance section (if your theme supports it).

// Add this code to your theme's functions.php file or a custom plugin.
function hide_annoying_plugin_banners() {
    echo '<style>.notice .notice-success .is-dismissible.plugin-install-php { display: none; }</style>';
add_action('admin_head', 'hide_annoying_plugin_banners');

While this is a simple hack, it has several drawbacks – it may hide from you some important notice and there won't be any easy way to view it. Additionally, plugin developers may use other classes for their notices, so you may need to adjust the code in order to hide them all.

The second code snippet tries to prevent the notices from being displayed. It also has a check of the user type, thus hiding the notices only for non-admin users:

function dismiss_admin_notices() {
	// Check if the current user is not an administrator.
	if ( ! current_user_can( 'administrator' ) ) {
		// Dismiss all admin notices.
		remove_all_actions( 'admin_notices' );
add_action( 'admin_init', 'dismiss_admin_notices' );

This may be more useful if you are building sites for clients and giving them editor access, as they won’t be annoyed by plugin banners which they don’t need, but the site administrator will still be able to check the notices for important actions that need to be completed. The original code can be found here.

Both code snippets require that you create a child theme first, and may not work reliably, due to the variety of classes plugin authors use for their notices.

The alternative solution

Finally, you can simply "vote with your wallet" and stop using plugins that are abusing the dashboard, if this bothers you too much.

The banners are usually a way for plugin developers to monetize their work. The most annoying banners we have seen come from "free", or "freemium" plugins, so seeing a few banners may actually be a fair price to pay for a useful functionality.


All in all, if you live in the WordPress admin, and are annoyed by the plugin banners overloading the dashboard, there are a few solutions - install a plugin to configure the admin panel to your taste (we recommend the “Admin Site Enhancements plugin for this task), or stop using the most annoying plugins.


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