How to Hide or Replace the WordPress Welcome Panel

Updated: now with more in-depth code!

So you want to modify the WordPress Dashboard Welcome Screen

There was a thread on the WPMU website that discusses how to disable the WordPress welcome screen, but the code provided didn’t work, so I figured I’d show how to do it!

The `wp_welcome_panel()` function uses the `show_welcome_panel` user meta setting to determine whether or not to show the welcome panel.  In order to modify this setting, we’re going to add a filter to the `get_user_metadata` filter, which uses the `get_metadata` function.

The following code snippets should be added to your theme’s `functions.php` file.

Disable the dashboard welcome screen…

This will only hide the panel, not replace it with any other content.

add_filter("get_user_metadata", "my_own_welcome_panel", 1, 4);

function my_own_welcome_panel($null, $object_id, $meta_key, $single) {
	if($meta_key === 'my_own_welcome_panel') { return 0; }

or Show Your Own Panel

You can replace the WP welcome panel with your own content using this snippet.

add_filter("get_user_metadata", "my_own_welcome_panel", 1, 4);
function my_own_welcome_panel($null, $object_id, $meta_key, $single) {

	// Only work with the show_welcome_panel
	if($meta_key !== 'show_welcome_panel') { return null; }

	// If the user has already said they don't want to see the panel, don't show it!
	$show_panel = get_user_meta( get_current_user_id(), 'my_own_welcome_panel', true );
	if(empty($show_panel)) { return 0; }

	// Echo your HTML or content here, but make sure to have a link like the following:
	<a class="welcome-panel-close" href="<?php echo esc_url( admin_url( '?my_own_welcome=0' ) ); ?>"><?php _e('Dismiss this Message'); ?></a>

	// Return 0 or else the original welcome panel will show as well.
	return 0;

// Add the functionality to update the user's settings with whether or not they have closed the panel
add_action('admin_init', 'my_own_welcome_set_welcome_panel');
function my_own_welcome_set_welcome_panel() {
	if ( isset( $_GET['my_own_welcome'] ) ) {
		update_user_meta( get_current_user_id(), 'my_own_welcome_panel', intval($_GET['my_own_welcome']));

Time Out Free: An App to Enforce Your Stretch Breaks

It’s hard to get up and stretch on a regular basis, especially when your computer allows you to keep working!

I will spend all day on my ass. That can’t be good. I have been dreaming about the perfect app that would force me to get up by blocking all access to what I was doing.

I found the app I’ve been looking for: it’s called Time Out Free.

Time Out Screenshot Time Out Free is a timer that kicks in every so often (you set the rules) and blocks your entire screen. You can set short breaks and long breaks, and you can override the breaks if you want to. Time Out Free makes it easy for me to remember to stand up, stretch my legs and move. It encourages me to stay hydrated and to fill up my empty water glasses.

It’s a developer’s best friend (and worst nagging enemy!).

It can be frustrating, but I know that it’s good for me, so I removed the option to skip breaks. The three options are:

  1. Take a break
  2. Delay the break by 1 minute
  3. Delay the break by 2 minutes

After three delays, I get annoyed and stretch. The app works!

Suggestion for improvement: move to the menu bar.

Given that it’s a free app, it’s already amazing. I believe an improvement would be to have the app in the menu bar and remove it from the dock. That way, it’s not taking up space in the app switcher. To get around this for now, I’m using Dock Dodger, which works well…except that the preferences are not easily accessible.

Hierarchical Link Categories for WordPress

Download the plugin on

If you’ve ever tried to use WordPress’ built-in bookmarks / links manager, you know that its limits can be frustrating. One of the biggest issues I’ve encountered is that the link categories are not hierarchical.

Let’s say you have a tech blog and you link to a lot of pages about TV’s. You may want to categorize the links under TV > Plasma or TV > LCD. With the existing system, you cannot.

Enter the Hierarchical Link Categories plugin

Continue reading “Hierarchical Link Categories for WordPress”

Denver Real Estate Gets a New Player – Who is Working for Buyers Only

Denver’s Top-Ranked SEO is now your Denver real estate advocate

If I were a Denver real estate webmaster, I’d be concerned.

knoxrmKnox Richards of is a leading SEO in Denver, and has been #1 in Denver SEO for years. Knox knows how to create powerful partnerships and work with others to achieve anything. So when Knox does Denver real estate for buyers, you can rest assured that he will be your strongest ally in the Denver housing market.

As an Exclusive Buyer Broker/Agent, Knox is representing only home buyers, and is interested only in showing houses that meet the buyers’ needs, not houses that would bring double commission. Learn more about the benefits of using a buyers’ agent instead of a Realtor. Continue reading “Denver Real Estate Gets a New Player – Who is Working for Buyers Only”

What Lessons the DNC Taught Denver Businesses

Denver businesses were counting on a boost. Except for downtown, there wasn't one.
Denver businesses were counting on a boost. Except for downtown, there wasn't one.

Convention’s tourism bump slight

For a few tourist attractions inside Denver, the convention actually hurt business….Not knowing what to expect, some restaurants stocked up on food, extended hours or added staff, only to be disappointed….
The Denver Post – 1, 2

DNC spending bonanza stays downtown

The DNC spending spree apparently didn’t ripple far beyond downtown retailers and restaurants.

Businesses in Cherry Creek and the Denver Tech Center reported that they didn’t get any boost from the estimated 50,000 delegates, media and onlookers in town this week. In fact, they saw a marked drop in business.
Rocky Mountain News – 1

Hundreds of store owners across Denver are shaking/banging/rubbing their heads either trying to figure out what went wrong or knowing exactly what they would do next time.

As unfortunate as it may be, businesses cannot rely on local traffic alone, even when 50,000 fresh consumers enter the fray. I wonder: what could businesses have done to improve their numbers during the DNC? Continue reading “What Lessons the DNC Taught Denver Businesses”

Landing page design — Activating emotions generates leads

Picture of Do not enter, one way traffic - re: landing pages and funneling users

Adding value to your landing page

Landing page design is focused on having a user perform an action. Every piece of content should revolve around why and how a user should perform that action. Landing pages don’t need to be dull or static, however. I’m going to talk about a simple way I spruced up a career-oriented landing page: a salary calculator.

At, we wanted to entice sales professionals to apply for a job with Dish Network. We featured the standard landing page content, including:

  • 8 compelling reasons to work for Dish
  • Text and images that reinforce the upward income mobility
  • Simple form with basic information fields as the focal point of the page

Let’s give’em something to talk about

Dish Network salary calculator screenshotBullet points, text, images, and a simple form are good enough for a landing page, but we wanted to spruce it up a bit, so we added a calculator that shows possible income with live updating numbers.

What this simple calculator achieves is it activates emotion. It’s the same feeling as when you work for a company and are at the company’s Christmas dinner, wondering if you’ll get a bonus, and for how much…the calculator translates the language of “Total compensation up to $79,040” into “I can do this!”

So what’s the emotional attraction of your landing page? Does it have an interactive element? Even a simple slideshow can be the difference between a lead and a bounce.

Personalities and what motivates them

The calculator will be of interest to sales people; they often care about numbers and the bottom line.

What if you were designing for a baby carriage company

What would interest mothers? Perhaps:

  • Slideshows of babies in the carriages
  • A video of how simple it is to collapse the carriage and put it in the car
  • Swatches of color and pattern choices
  • Diagram of how much storage the carriage has
  • Long term warantees for normal wear and tear

This kind of brainstorming makes the difference between a mediocre landing page and a great one. Let me know what your favorite landing pages are, and why.

For those interested in how the calculator was created, I will write about that soon. It was created using the slider class. Check out the code at the landing page.