WordPress Dashboard Overview
Despite the constant upgrades and lot of effort by the WP team, the WP admin area still looks overwhelming for a WP beginner. Well, at least it was to me when I first started. After login through a nearly empty WP login page you suddenly land on this jungle full of WP jargon and menus.
We call it the admin area or the WordPress dashboard. This is your worktop and the backend of the website. All these words are used synonymously but in this post, lets call it the admin area.
Let’s divide the admin area into 3 main parts to make it easier
This floating horizontal tool bar is right at the top and designed to give us some useful shortcuts in the backend as well as at the front end (only when you are logged in). Lets take a closer look at it.
Let’s list them one by one, starting from the far left corner
- Link to WordPress resources – You may not use it that much
- Site Name – Drop down link Visit Site gives a preview of your site
- Number of comments for your to moderate
- +New link let you create a new post, page, media or a user easily
- Rest of the space will be taken up by plugins and themes to give you access to their own options
- Far right corner you will see your name and image and drop down link will let you Edit profile
These are quiet self explanatory and surely will make your life easier, with very quick short cuts to very important functions.
Side bar menu sits on the left edge of the admin area. This gives access to all the vital functions and customisations. This slightly changes according to the theme you use. But main functions and menu system is universal. As you go on installing plugins, they also add their own menus here. We will here discuss only the actual WP menus.
1.Bring you back to WordPress Dashboard from where ever you are
2.Shows the Updates to update plugins and themes as needed.
All the posts you have created are accessed through here. This drop down menu will also allow you to access your categories and tags. All these lists have links to edit,quick edit, trash and view the items
1.All Posts list all your posts, allowing your to edit, quick edit,view or thrash them.
2.You can start a new post using Add New link.
3.Categories list all your categories created
4.Tags list all the tags you have created.
All your media that you add to your website can be access via this menu.It is visited so frequently and most of the time I open this menu in a new tab when I work on my posts.
1.Access all your media via Library.
2.Use Add new media to upload new contents
Process of creating and accessing pages are almost similar to posts and this menu gives you the required links
1.Access all pages you have created via All Pages.
2.Add a new page using Add New.
The comments the readers have left on your posts and pings created are accessed using this link. You can Approve/Unapprove,Edit,Spam,trash and view your comments on the comments page.
This is the main hub you use to style and change the appearance of your site. Depending on the theme you use, the sub menu items and structure may vary. Before anything else, it is likely you will begin your work on your site starting from here.
Easy. Just the links to the themes installed. You can activate/deactivate, install and delete themes here
Here you customise your site (to an extent) with a live preview of the changes.
- Change theme – test different themes with preview
- Site identity – Site name and tagline
- Menu – Change menu contents and locations
- Widgets – Add or remove widgets to specific locations
- Front page – Set front page and some times blog page
Widgets are small programs designed to give you a specific functionality.(eg: a count down, A calendar)This link gives a comprehensive list of available widgets and locations that they can go (eg:side bars and footers) All you have to do here is drag and drop your widgets to relevant locations and arrange them as you wish. Pretty cool!
You construct your menu tree here. Pages,Posts,Categories as well as custom links can be used here to create menu items.You can create different menus for different locations.
Completely depends on the theme you have installed.All the theme specific customisations are done here, You will set your logo, favicon, decide what to show on front page,select color themes and fonts, design the footer and many many more customisations.Just explore and learn!
You wouldn’t dare to go here right at the beginning. This is where you access the actual files of the theme.For an example style sheet. You can style your theme as you wish once you know a little bit of coding. Apart from theme file you will access your own child theme files from here. We will talk about them in another post very soon.
Plugins are the accessories we add to the main theme to get functions that usually do not come with the theme. They are very useful and most of them come free. Plugins need to be seperatly installed.
1.UsingInstalled Plugins you can visit your plugins list to activate/ deactivate or delete them as necessary.
2.Install new plugins using Add New link.
3. Editor – This is same as the editor in Appearence. You access plugin files to edit there codes.
This is your area. You add delete users and update your user profile here
1. Users – Sometimes there are more than one user who uses the site. For an example multiple authors for a blog. This will list the registered users.
2. Add New – to register new users.
3. Your Profile is the area used to edit your profile details. This can also be accessed via user details at the top right hand corner on the tool bar.
Setting area allow you to change or add settings to your WordPress website. There are several submenu items
Please see WordPress Initial Setup II post to see how these settings are done.
Some plugin settings will also be added to this menu are once they are installed.
WordPress Dashboard area
This is really the area which the term WordPress dashboard should be reserved to.
Wordpress dashboard gives you information with regards to your site, theme and plugins in summery.The information is divided into several areas
1.Welcome area gives you some more links to access important menu items easily. You can remove this area by clicking the Dismiss link at the right corner.
2.At a glance will show you your posts pages and comments count
3.Activity will show your recent activities including your posts and comments.
4.Quick draft will let you start a post right on the dashboard.
Again, according to the plugins installed you can get more details into this area. (eg site stats,SEO, site health etc)
Right, Whats next?
Hopefully this will make you more familiar with your WordPress dashboard and rest of the admin area. Now it’s time to start customising your website. Install a theme, install plugin.Fun starts now!