Joost de Valk was one of the first to start the trend and now, he’s on pace to reverse it. Joost announced that he has decided to remove the dashboard widget which shows the most recent posts on his site from his SEO plugin.
Joost provided some interesting statistics that show where most of his visitors are coming from. As it turns out, the dashboard news are did provide additional traffic but very little in the way of conversions which is one of the reasons for the removal. Looking at the reactions of those that use the plugin, some applaud Joost for this action while others wanted the ability to choose whether to hide or display the news widget. While not mentioned, I think it’s a little humorous as well that within the Plugin UI Guide published by WPCandy recently, they featured the Dashboard News Widget of Joost De Valks SEO Plugin as what not to do.
While I want to see the results of the poll question I asked, I’ll pose a few more questions for you to answer. When is it ok to have a dashboard widget such as the one that used to be within the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast? Is the dashboard considered sacred real estate reserved for only the most important information?
Personally, I like the trend of removing dashboard widgets generated by plugins. In this case, I think less is more.
I think plugins that use dashboard widgets can be useful. Ones like Joost’s may not be “useful” but for a calendar/event plugin, seeing upcoming events would be useful.
I certainly hope that CORE doesn’t remove the ability, but I do hope that programmers use the API correctly so they can be turned off.