A Deep Dive into WordPress Dashicons

Introduced in WordPress 3.8, Dashicons is the official icon font that ships with WordPress. It’s a staple in the WordPress admin interface, giving developers and designers a standardized set of icons to use within their plugins, themes, and beyond.

In this guide, we will explore Dashicons, their uses, and how you can make the most of them in your WordPress projects.

What are Dashicons?

Dashicons are a set of over 200 icons available in WordPress. They’re vector-based symbols, meaning they scale cleanly and are easily colored or styled using CSS. This icon font was designed for the WordPress dashboard but is versatile enough for broader applications.

Benefits of Using Dashicons

  • Consistency: Leveraging Dashicons ensures a cohesive look throughout the WordPress backend, aligning with the platform’s core aesthetics.
  • Versatility: As vector icons, they can be resized without loss of quality and can be styled dynamically with CSS.
  • Accessibility: Properly implemented, Dashicons are inherently accessible and can be paired with tools like screen readers for an inclusive user experience.

How to Use Dashicons in WordPress

To use Dashicons, you don’t need any extra enqueuing because WordPress already loads them in the admin interface. Here’s a basic guide:

  • HTML Implementation: Insert the desired icon in your theme or plugin using the following syntax:
<span class="dashicons dashicons-{icon-name}"></span>

Styling with CSS: Dashicons can be styled just like other text. Change size, color, and more using standard CSS properties.

.dashicons-{icon-name} {
    color: blue;
    font-size: 24px;

A Selection of Popular Dashicons

While there are over 200 icons, here are a few commonly used ones and their class names:

  • Admin Home: dashicons-admin-home
  • Format Image: dashicons-format-image
  • Welcome Widgets Menus: dashicons-welcome-widgets-menus
  • Editor List: dashicons-editor-ul

For a full list, visit the official Dashicons page on the WordPress Developer Resource site.

Customizing and Extending Dashicons

While Dashicons offer a wide range of icons, you might sometimes need a customized or entirely new icon. Here’s how you can approach this:

  • Creating Custom Icons: Tools like IcoMoon allow you to create your icon fonts. You can design new icons or import existing ones and generate a font set, similar to Dashicons.
  • Implementing in WordPress: Once you have your custom icon font, enqueue it in your WordPress theme or plugin. Remember to ensure there’s no class conflict with existing Dashicons.

The Future of Dashicons

With the advent of the Gutenberg block editor and its growing influence in WordPress, Dashicons’ role has somewhat diminished. Gutenberg introduced a new icon library, and it’s essential to keep an eye on where WordPress core development is heading. However, for now, Dashicons remain a vital part of the WordPress ecosystem.

Dashicons have greatly contributed to the uniformity and sleekness of the WordPress admin experience. As developers and designers, understanding how to use and customize these icons can significantly elevate your projects. While the future might bring changes, the principles of iconography and its impact on user experience remain a constant.