When you are developing a WordPress powered website for a client, the dashboard can be a little in your face with all the widgets, menu items and WordPress branding. So to make the dashboard more user friendly and customisable to a client needs, you can do a few things to clean it up.

Please note: the code below is one way to clean up the dashboard if you just want to add a block of code to your functions.php. I prefer to do this as a private plugin and I will provide more details on this soon (as soon as Uni stops kicking my ass and taking all my time!)
A Quick Heads Up: A shout out to Aaron Rutley (@AaronRutley) of Eleven Media and crew, they have a plugin that can help you get that customised dashboard with a few extra cool modifications they use, check it out – Minimal Admin

I will do a post on each in the future to show what each part does, but for now, please feel free to use and make your next client happy with a personalised WordPress dashboard. For your client or personal dashboard you may not need all the code so pick the parts you need, refer to the //Comments.

// Custom Dashboard widgets
function custom_dashboard_widgets()  {  
  global $wp_meta_boxes;
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_quick_press'] ); 
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_incoming_links'] ); 
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_plugins'] );
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_primary'] );
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_right_now'] );
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['normal']['core']['dashboard_recent_comments'] );
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_recent_drafts'] );
    unset( $wp_meta_boxes['dashboard']['side']['core']['dashboard_secondary'] );
  
  // Intro Widget
  function custom_dashboard_intro() {
    echo '<p>Give your client a personal welcome message</p>';
    echo '<p>Put in your contact info, eg, email, phone, skype etc.</p>';
  }
  
  // Media Widget
  function custom_dashboard_media_info() {
    echo '<p>Notes: Add details of image sizes here</p>';
  }
  
  // Add the custom widget areas
  wp_add_dashboard_widget('custom_intro_widget', 'Theme Support Intro', 'custom_dashboard_intro');
  wp_add_dashboard_widget('custom_media_widgets', 'Theme Media Support', 'custom_dashboard_media_info'); 
}  
add_action('wp_dashboard_setup', 'custom_dashboard_widgets');

// Add Dashboard Logo
function custom_admin_logo() {
  echo '<style type="text/css">#header-logo { background-image: url(' . get_bloginfo('template_directory') . '/images/logo_admin_dashboard.png) !important; }</style>';
}
add_action('admin_head', 'custom_admin_logo');
  
// Change Dashboard Footer Attribution
function remove_footer_admin() {
 echo '<span id="footer-thankyou">Developed by <a href="http://www.YOURWEBSITE.com" target="_blank">YOUR NAME</a></span>';
}
add_filter('admin_footer_text', 'remove_footer_admin');
  
// Remove Menu Items > Removes Tools and Users
function remove_menus() {  
  global $menu;  
  $restricted = array(__('Tools'),__('Users'));  
  end ($menu);  
  while (prev($menu)){  
    $value = explode(' ',$menu[key($menu)][0]);  
    if(in_array($value[0] != NULL?$value[0]:"" , $restricted)){unset($menu[key($menu)]);}  
  }  
}  
add_action('admin_menu', 'remove_menus');

// Remove Sub Menu Items > menu-ID:s are found in wp-admin/menu.php  
function remove_submenus() {
  global $submenu;
    unset($submenu['themes.php'][5]); // Removes 'Themes'.       
}
add_action('admin_menu', 'remove_submenus');

// Hide 'Screen Options' tab
function remove_screen_options_tab() {
  return false;
}
add_filter('screen_options_show_screen', 'remove_screen_options_tab');

// Hide Help tab
function hide_help() {
  echo '<style type="text/css">#contextual-help-link-wrap { display: none !important; }</style>';
}
add_action('admin_head', 'hide_help');

// Remove WordPress menu from WP logo
function wplogomenu_admin_bar_remove() {
  global $wp_admin_bar;
  $wp_admin_bar->remove_menu('wp-logo');
}
add_action('wp_before_admin_bar_render', 'wplogomenu_admin_bar_remove', 0);

// Change Welcome In Admin Bar
function wp_user_admin_bar_menu( $wp_admin_bar ) {
  $user_id = get_current_user_id();
  $current_user = wp_get_current_user();
  $profile_url = get_edit_profile_url( $user_id );
 
  if ( 0 != $user_id ) {
    // Add the "My Account" menu
    $avatar = get_avatar( $user_id, 28 );
    $howdy = sprintf( __('Welcome back %1$s'), $current_user->display_name );
    $class = empty( $avatar ) ? '' : 'with-avatar';
 
    $wp_admin_bar->add_menu( array(
      'id' => 'my-account',
      'parent' => 'top-secondary',
      'title' => $howdy . $avatar,
      'href' => $profile_url,
      'meta' => array(
        'class' => $class,
        ),
      ) );
  }
}
add_action( 'admin_bar_menu', 'wp_user_admin_bar_menu', 11 );
You can also view this on GitHub Gist – WP Minimize Dashboard

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