WordPress: The Dashboard

Typically the first thing you’ll see when logging into WordPress is the Dashboard.  It’s a great way to get updates on your websites, statistics, and more.

In the main area of your Dashboard you will find widgets that provide news and basic information about your site.  You can drag and drop these widgets to position them however you would like.  You can also roll them closed by clicking the down arrow icon in the far right corner near the widget title.  Some widgets have configuration options that you can access by hovering over the title bar and clicking on the configure link that appears.

In the upper right-hand corner of the screen you’ll see a couple of pulldown tabs labelled “Screen Options” and “Help”.  Clicking on the Screen Options tab brings up customization options for your dashboard.  Here you can turn off and on the widgets you want shown at any given time.  The Help tab provides information about these customizations as well as helpful links to documentation and support.

In the sidebar you’ll find links that provide easy access to the different areas of your website.  When the Menu item is selected, a list of sub-menu items will appear below.  Hovering your cursor over any of these items will also display the sub-menu.  You can click these to easily access any of the subsections of your site.

The “Main Menu” items include Dashboard, where you can receive statistics and updates regarding your website.  “Posts”, where you create and manage the posts on your blog as well as the tags and categories managing them.  “Media” is for managing the media content library for things like PDFs, videos, images, and audio files.  The “Pages” button is for creating and managing pages on your site.  “Comments” is used to manage your visitors’ feedback.  “Appearance” is used to choose your theme, setup widgets, create custom navigation menus, and more.  “Plugins” gives you the power to extend the capabilities of your website, and allows you to manage, activate, and deactivate them.  “Users” allows you to manage and view all of the site’s users; it also allows you to edit your own profile, giving you options to change your password, email address, and screen name.  “Tools” provide some powerful tools, plus options for importing and exporting content.  And the” Settings” option is where the bulk of your sites options are maintained.  Your website’s name, privacy, and permalink settings can all be configured to your liking here.  And finally, at the top of the page, you’ll find the admin bar which provides access to commonly used features and information.

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