The WordPress Dashboard: The Reception Area for Your WordPress Backend.
The Dashboard can initially seem overwhelming, but fear not, we are going to walk you through each section. There are a lot of tools and options, but trust us, they totally make sense.
The Admin Bar
Like the front of a barber shop, this is where the business goes.
Straightforward WordPress stuff: About WordPress, WordPress.org, Documentation, Support Forums, Feedback
Clicking this lets you view your live site. The Admin Bar will remain during the preview, so you can easily navigate back and forth between the dashboard. Don’t worry – folks who aren’t logged in won’t see the admin bar on your live site. Click it again and it’ll take you back into edit mode.
This informs you of any updates to WordPress, your theme, or any of your plugins. Keeping all software up to date makes your site more secure against hackers and other would-be intruders.
This lets you manage your audience comments and feedback.
This is a quick way to add new posts, pages and media.
Howdy, [Your Name]
This drop down menu lets you manage your profile and account settings.
The Navigation Bar
This is where you can start makin’ sweet moves on your website. The items on this menu will grow with your site, so we’ll just go over the basics.
Posts: Gab with Your Audience
Posts are the main element (or content) of a blog. Not every website needs to have a blog, but it is awesome for interacting with your audience. A blog is one of the best ways to offer content to your audience, and we think it’s the coolest.
But what do you put in a post? Writings, compositions, discussions, discourses, musings, rantings, ravings, recipes, rollerskates. Seriously. Anything you want, so long as it communicates your identity. Learn more about when to use posts.
Media: More Flair
Media includes all the images, video, recordings and files you upload and use in your blog. Media is typically uploaded and inserted into the content when writing a Post or Page. Want to include a downloadable PDF for your viewers? That file goes into the Media Library, and you access it by ‘editing file’ and grabbing the file URL to use as your link where needed.
Pages: The Bare Essentials
A page is what makes up a website. It adds content to your WordPress site and is often used to present static information about the site. A good example of a page is the information contained in “About” or “Contact” Pages. Learn more about when to use pages.
Comments: You Like Me, You Really, Really Like Me
Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.
Comments can be controlled and regulated through the use of filters for language and content, and oftentimes can be queued for approval before they are visible on the web site. This is useful in dealing with comment spammers and wackos, who will try to fill your comment section with garbage.
Appearance: Xtreme Makeover
From the Presentation Administration Screen you can control how the content of your website is displayed. WordPress allows you to easily style your site by either installing and activating new themes or changing existing themes.
Plugins: Put the Funk in Funktionality
Plugins are AMAZING. They are like apps for your website. Say you like your theme, but you really need an updatable calendar on your contact page. You would type “updatable calendar plugin” into Google, and boom, there would be at least 5 different updatable calendars that you can install on your WordPress site.
We will go more in depth about plugins later, but just know that there are a TON of available plugins for WordPress. You will be amazed.
Users: Your WordPress Besties
Via the Users option in the main navigation menu you can set up all of the user accounts you need, as well as change user information or delete users.
An important administrative feature here is the Roles feature. Depending on their Role, different users have different Capabilities. A user can be assigned the following Roles: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, or Subscriber. We’re vying for additional titles like BFF, Superfox, and Mrs. Gosling, but WordPress hasn’t gotten back to us about this matter…
Tools: Get Greasy
WordPress Tools provide you the ability to speed up WordPress for your local machine, import content from other sources, export your content, or to upgrade your WordPress.
Settings: Configure it Out
This is kind of confusing because all of the Navigation Menu options are settings of some sort. Well, yeah. You know how people say things like “he was a man’s man” or “an author’s author”? These are like the settings’ settings. So real.
In the Settings Administration Screen are all of the settings that define your site as a whole: settings which determine how your site behaves, how you interact with your site, and how the rest of the world interacts with your site.
A widget is a bit of functionality (like latest posts or a secondary nav menu) that usually shows up in the sidebar or the footer of your site. WordPress comes with a handful of them by default. And of course, you can always install new ones.
At a Glance
The At a Glance section provides a summary of the number of Posts, Pages, and Comments on your site. Each of these content types are displayed in the form of a link and, when clicked, they direct you to the specific area to manage that content.
A statement at the bottom of this module tells you what WordPress Version you’re running on and the current theme you have activated on your site.
The Activity widget shows the upcoming scheduled posts, recently published posts, and the most recent comments on your posts, and allows you to moderate them.
The QuickDraft widget allows you to quickly and easily write a new post. Enter a post title, upload/insert media, enter the post content, add tags, and click the Publish button or click the Save Draft button. Done and done.
This Dashboard section lists “the latest news from the official WordPress blog“.
The Welcome section shows links for some of the most common tasks when setting up a new site.
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