Understanding the WordPress dashboard is simple enough to start using the system. WordPress caters to users who want a presentable website without needing a degree in development. In the past, website development included writing line after line of code. Content management services like WordPress made building a website accessible for everyone. What started as a haven for bloggers is now the world’s most popular management service.
WordPress strips away the complicated parts of the building and maintaining a site by giving users a simplified dashboard. Everything a user needs is available on the homepage of the administrative screen. Additional streamlined navigation tools on the left side and across the top allow users to go anywhere and do everything with a few clicks.
Creating a website is daunting. We’re here to help simplify the operation.
On the Homepage
The dashboard homepage shows a mixture of widgets containing different information. The page is customizable, and any plugin or integration offering information snapshots will show. The tables are also movable, so you can prioritize information by putting it above the fold. Remember, the WordPress home page lets you customize which boxes display. You can even collapse and expand each widget by clicking the title bar.
The page serves as a snapshot of the health and activity of your website. Services like Google Analytics and Yoast SEO display high-level information with options to dive deeper. The goal is to provide a smooth, customizable workflow when users sign in. If you get lost or stuck, WordPress has an extensive support system. The website has quick documentation help, including definitions for different aspects of the page along with general support for WordPress.
The default boxes are:
- At a glance: This box shows the number of posts, comments, and pages on your website.
- Activity: This widget is highly interactive. It shows any new posts or comments and lets users make any edits where needed.
- Quick Draft: An easy to use widget allowing you to begin a new post quickly.
- WordPress News and Events: This box contains fresh articles and event announcements regarding the WordPress field.
- Welcome: This gives tips on how to set up your new website
- Screen Options: This widget allows you to control what boxes appear on the homepage.
While the homepage contains beneficial information, the navigation bar on the left side of the screen helps organize and move around your site. Once again, there are defaults, such as posts, settings, and users. However, this list is where you will find available plugins and integrations. Each menu item offers additional options when you hover over them.
The default items are:
- All Posts: Navigates to a page showing all published posts and drafts. The posts can be filtered by options like date, categories, and format. The posts are ordered by last modified date but can be re-ordered by other settings.
- Add Post: This page gives a blank canvas to start a blog post. You can also use this page to handle tagging, categorizing, and publishing newly written drafts.
- Categories: All posts are categorized to help organize articles by topic for future reference. Unlike tags, categories are hierarchical meaning you can nest “child” categories to be more specific.
- Tags: Tags are a simple way to group posts together under one label. Multiple tags can be applied to one post.
- Library: The library includes all loaded media like images and videos. From this page, users can add, edit, and remove media files.
- Add New: This page gives users the ability to add any new media up to 64MB.
- All Pages: Unlike posts, pages refer to more standard like your homepage, contact, or about page.
- Add New: Add a new standalone page.
- The comments menu item doesn’t contain multiple options. The page shows any and all comments from visitors. Users have complete control to edit, approve, or remove comments if needed.
- Themes: The theme is the overall representation of the website. This includes colors, graphics, and text. WordPress supplies a large number of options for users both paid and free.
- Customize: Most themes offer the ability to customize certain elements like images and colors.
- Widgets: The widgets toolbar lets users control which options show up on the left-hand navigation bar.
- Menus: The menu page lets you create or edit navigation menus your visitors see on your website. These menus include headers, footers, in-post navigation, etc.
- Header: This page allows users to edit what information shares on the theme’s header.
- Installed Plugins: WordPress operates using various plugins. Plugins are nothing more than a piece of software that adds a feature or function to a website. The installed plugins page shows all available plugins for your website.
- Add New: This page serves like something similar to a “store” for new plugins to download and add to your site.
- Edit Plugins: Use this page to edit or remove current plugins.
- All Users: This page lets you manage all users under your account.
- Add New User: Add a new user to your account.
- Your Profile: This area allows you to personalize the WordPress experience. Change color schemes, add an avatar, enter keyboard shortcuts, among other fields.
- Available Tools: Contains a link to a tag to category converter (or vice-versa).
- Import: This page contains a tool to let users upload external data like comments or posts from another website.
- Export: Exporting from WordPress creates an XML file letting you create a backup for your website on an external website if you need to move or preserve your content.
- General: This page lets you view and edit the most basic elements of your website such as the site’s title.
- Writing: This configuration controls how you view and write new posts.
- Reading: Configures how your website displays information for a user to interact with on the front end such as how many posts show on one page.
- Discussion: The discussion settings are a detailed way to control aspects of communication such as notifications, comment moderation, and avatars.
- Media: Media settings let you determine image sizes.
- Permalinks: WordPress lets users determine how the web-page address displays. The permalinks settings page shows available options for how to display page links.
As you continue to build your WordPress website, your navigation bar will grow with new options coming from additional plugins and customization. Most menu items operate similarly to the defaults.
The Top Menu
Across the top, you’ll see a small bar containing a few more shortcut keys to help streamline your use of the WordPress system. The far top left is the WordPress logo. Scrolling over this gives you a drop-down menu of some WordPress related links. Next to the logo, you’ll find your business name and a drop-down list, letting you navigate to your front-end homepage or even view your live website.
Other icons along the top are additional notifications and shortcuts to different areas on your site. The “New” option provides a drop-down to let you create a new post/page/user/etc. If you’re using plugins, you will notice some logos representing drop-downs to options for their services.
Finally, on the far right of the top-line menu, you’ll find your user name. This area gives you the option to manipulate your user profile, log out, or switch off. Editing your profile offers a lot of options from how you view the WordPress dashboard to whether you have a picture loaded.
WordPress is popular for a very good reason. The accessibility of the system lets almost anyone create a website from scratch, and the easy-to-use plugins let you customize your site. The WordPress dashboard is the gateway to using the full power of the system.
From the informational overview of the customizable homepage to the quick navigation shortcuts on the side and bottom, the dashboard has everything you need. The last step is taking the time to learn how to use it.
Website management is kind of our thing. Schedule a meeting with our experts to talk about getting the most out of the system. We can’t wait to get started with you.