Getting started with WordPress is fun and exciting. It brings with it a whole lot of possibilities. WordPress has built a good number of websites and it is still growing so the bottom line is, it is a great decision to go online and build with WordPress.

At the beginning, the WordPress dashboard can be a tab overwhelming and you may not know where to begin – we all have been there. There are lots of panels and the commands seem a lot. That is nothing to worry about. In this WordPress dashboard tutorial, we are going to work you through the entire space of the dashboard, we are going to talk about the ins and outs and by the time we are done, you will be navigating the WordPress dashboard with ease.

Wordpress Dashboard

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GETTING STARTED

Well it is safe to assume you have already installed WordPress. Be it offline or online, you get to access the dashboard by using the following URL

www.yoursitename.com/wp-admin

This URL takes to you the area when you enter your WordPress user details by which you can access your dashboard. The screen should look something like this

wordpress dashboard

NB: Replace ‘yoursitename’ with the actual domain you own and have installed WordPress on.

As you login successfully, you will be redirected to the dashboard which we are about to look into.

WORDPRESS DASHBOARD

This place you have found yourself is known as the backend of your site. It is the area from which you can make changes and only you – the Admin- has access to it.

THE TOP MENU

You will see a menu at the top with your website name displayed along with some other links. Hovering on your website name will give a link to the frontend of your site – the side visitors have access to. The following are a list of links on the top menu

Front Page – This takes you to the front page of your site.

Unapproved comments – This is designed to look like a messaging icon and it displays how many unapproved comments you have on your site.

New – This can be displayed as a written word or as a + sign. This enables you to create new content such as posts, pages, media, or users.

On the other side of the top menu, you will find your username displayed. On that side of the menu you also have links from which you can edit your profile and log out. This goes a long way in making your site administration easy and convenient.

DASHBOARD WIDGETS

wordpress dashboard

In this WordPress dashboard tutorial, we have to go it step-by-step so as to make sure you follow through. If you look at the left side of your WordPress dashboard, there is a menu bar but that is for later. Right now we are going to be looking at the screen which is looking at us. This screen is full of adjustable and collapsible widgets which help us quickly get into the usage and understanding of our site.

AT A GLANCE – This section lets you quickly know how many posts, pages, and comments you currently have on your site. It also tells you what theme you are running and what version of WordPress your site is using. It is awesome as an overview tool to help you know exactly what is going on with you site.

ACTIVITY – This is a very useful section. This gives you a run down of recent activity on your site. It lets you know the latest posts which have been published as well as the recent comments. You do not only view, but can reply, edit, and even approve comments right from here.

QUICK DRAFT – This is exactly what it sounds like. Here on the quick draft widget, you can scribble down a post you perhaps just thought of and save it for later when you are settled to edit and build on them properly.

WORDPRESS NEWS – This is essential when it comes to keeping you updated on all things WordPress. These update come in the form of blog posts which are collected from WordPress.com

DEALING WITH POSTS

Posts are a great way of adding content to your site and there are two main ways of adding new posts to your site.

1. By hovering on the ‘+ New’ icon on the top menu and then selecting posts.

2. On the menu by the left side of the dashboard, select Posts >> Add new

Which ever way you choose, you will find yourself in a page like this:

wordpress dashboard

The WordPress post/page editor uses a word-processor type format so it is easy to type. There is a toolbar at the top of the page where you are typing and you can see functions such as ‘Bold, Italics, and various formatting options such as Heading 1, heading 2 and so forth. Basically put, all the tools you need in order to format your text is found in the toolbar at the top.

To insert a picture in your pate, click the ‘Add Media’ button located on the left side of the tool bar. This takes you to your media library from which you can browse pictures from your hard drive and add them to your content.

Once done with your post, there is a Meta box to the right hand side of the screen which allows you to do a number of functions

PUBLISH – The first section of the Meta box enables you publish your content so it can be seen live by viewers

FORMAT – This section gives pre designed formats for your post

CATEGORIES – This section enables you to create categories for your posts. Every WordPress post must belong in a category and this is where you create them

TAGS – it is important to create tags for your posts so WordPress can use them when suggesting related posts to users. Create tags in this section.

DEALING WITH PAGES

Our next step in this WordPress dashboard tutorial is our pages. These are similar to posts but are used to display static information on your site. When creating content such as ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’, you want to do those using pages and not posts.

As with posts, there are two ways of adding new pages

1. By hovering on the ‘+ New’ icon on the top menu and then selecting pages.

2. On the menu by the left side of the dashboard, select Pages >> Add new

Typing and publishing pages is similar to posts but pages do not need categories and tags.

DEALING WITH MEDIA

When we talk about media in WordPress, we are referring to pictures, video, or other documents. You can add new media by

1. By hovering on the ‘+ New’ icon on the top menu and then selecting media.

2. On the menu by the left side of the dashboard, select Media>> Add new

You will be redirected to this screen

It uses a drag and drop feature or you can choose to click on ‘Upload Image’ to browse your hard drive for media.

APPEARANCE

Now we know how to deal with content, how about the look of the site? The appearance tab in the left menu of the dashboard is where we handle and customize the look of our WordPress site.

THEMES – In this section, you get to see the available themes in your WordPress and you can also add new themes here. To add a theme, go to appearance >> themes and then click on ‘Add new’

See Also: How To Install WordPress Theme : Complete Guide

CUSTOMIZE – In this section, you get to tweak settings like colours, site name and tagline. Here you can also configure menu items, Logo, and site icon.

WIDGETS – Your widgets are blocks of information which improve the appearance of your site, a widget can be a simple text box, or a block to display latest tweets on your site. You can configure widgets in this section

DEALING WITH PLUGINS

The same way you install themes, you get to work with plugins. Like themes, they come in .zip files and you can upload them to your WordPress site from your harddrive or download them straight into WordPress from WordPress.org. Plugins add functionality to your site and this section helps you download, install, and activate them

See Also: How To Install WordPress Plugin : Complete Guide

CONCLUSION

In case you have ever wondered how to use WordPress dashboard, this has given you a fair idea of how to go about it. As with all things, it will get easier with practice.

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