After setting up a WordPress website, you will spend much of your time working through the WordPress dashboard. The reason behind this is because most of the functionalities that you have at your disposal through WordPress are accessible through the dashboard. You need to have a solid understanding of the different options available to you on the WordPress dashboard in order to be able to effectively manage your WordPress website. This is where our “How to Navigate the WordPress Dashboard” guide comes into the picture.
What is The WordPress Dashboard?
The WordPress dashboard provides you with the tools to take full control over all the behind the scenes functions of your website. Once we show you how to access the WordPress Dashboard, you will be able to start managing all the different aspects of your new website. Everyone that utilizes WordPress for the website design should become an expert in understanding the different features available to them in the WordPress Dashboard. Once you read through our guide on WordPress Dashboard navigation, you will become a semi-expert and will be able to make simple as well as advanced changes and updated to your WordPress site.
How to Access Your WordPress Dashboard?
The best and easiest way to access the WordPress Dashboard is to go to your site’s sign-in page. Most of the time, the sign in page is located here: yourdomain.com/wp-admin. This is where you will enter your User ID and Password to login.
Once you are logged into your WordPress CMS Console, you are officially on your WordPress Dashboard. Yep, it’s that easy. Within your Dashboard, the first page that you landed on is probably your Dashboard’s homepage. Here you can see various statistics about your site.
Exploring the WordPress Dashboard Sections
There are many different elements within the WordPress dashboard. Here are the most prominent elements that you will see. You can access all of these elements through the left hand menu once you are logged into your WordPress website’s Dashboard. Here are some of the most important sections within the WordPress Dashboard.
The Posts section allows you to view and manage all of your WordPress website’s posts. This is one of the most used sections within a WordPress website. The reason behind this is because you are most likely going to spend a considerable amount of time in adding new blog posts to your website. Posts are also usually categorized according to a specific topic that you are writing about. Under the posts umbrella, you will see an option to edit your categories as well. You should explore this a bit and familiarize yourself with it. Continue reading this “how to navigate the WordPress Dashboard” guide to learn more about the different sections.
All the media content that you upload to your WordPress website is stored within this section. This includes; images, audio files, video files, PDF documents and more. Once you click on the Media button in the left hand area, there you will see your WordPress website’s entire media library.
The Pages button will take you to an administrative area where you can manage your existing web pages as well as add new ones. On the very beginning of creating a new site within WordPress, Posts and Pages might be a bit confusing as they look very similar, but as you move forward and continue reading through our guides, you can get a clear depiction of what the difference between the two might be. Yes, they are very similar in look, but there definitely is a clear difference between the two.
When it comes to pages, they are used for specific functions and to create a foundation for your website. For example, a typical website consists of a homepage, an About Us Page, a Contact Us Page as well as a Terms Page. The pages that we just described are created through this Page section of your WordPress website.
You will see that most of your time on the very beginning of creating a new website will be spent on creating new pages for your site. These are static pages that will never change and that are readily available to your visitors through your website’s navigation menu system.
Another very important aspect of your website are the visitor comments. Within WordPress, you are able to manage all of the comments that your visitors leave on your site. You can do things like, comment deletion, acceptance of comments, editing of comments, and more. All of your posts are by default setup to allow comments, so you will definitely spend some of your time here on this comments section with your WordPress Dashboard. Here is a tip for you. Once you start your website, you will notice a whole lot of spam comments. You want to implement some tools on your WordPress site to make sure that these comments are not getting through. Check out some plugins for Captcha etc..
Appearance is another important section that you have available to you within the WordPress Dashboard. The Appearance section allows you to take full control over the look and feel offered by your WordPress site’s Theme. There are several sub-sections here under the Appearance section. Continue reading this “How to Navigate the WordPress Dashboard” guide to find out more about what these sub-sections are and what they are used for.
The “Themes” sub-section is a super important section within the Appearance umbrella. Here, you can install new themes; you can switch between already downloaded and installed themes as well as delete existing ones.
The “Customize” sub-section is also a great and important section that is located under the appearance umbrella. When clicking on “Customize”, you will be taken to a page where you can tweak and fully customize the look and feel of your WordPress website. For example, you can add a logo to your website; you can change the background, edit the website’s description and do many more additional administrative things. We strongly encourage you to get familiar with the “Customize” section of your site so that you can make it appealing and unique for your visitors.
Then there is the widgets sub-section. From this section, you can add new widgets to your site as well as manage all of the other currently active widgets. To give you an idea of what widgets can do, here are some real-life examples. They can assist you with the management of the social media links on your site, you can manage advertisements, related posts, navigation menu systems and more. With widgets, you are able to introduce a lot of super cool features to your site.
Your website’s back end settings can be managed from here. Within this section, you can change some of the more basic and general settings like; the title of your website, the tagline, your admin credentials and email and even your WordPress site’s main URL.
Also under the Settings section, you can find the reading and writing areas. The reading settings allow for you to control how your website is structured. For instance, you can direct your site to display a certain page as your Homepage as well as to display another page as your main Blogroll page. It has certain other things that it covers. Go ahead and click through the Read Settings to find out more about them. Similarly, the Writing Settings cover some basic things for your site’s written comment. For example, what your default post category might be, what type of writing editor you want to use as your default one and more.
As you can see, the WordPress dashboard is the most important part of your website. The Dashboard allows you to completely manage every aspect of your website in one place. You should develop a strong understanding of the dashboard’s features and settings so that you can have better control of your site. Pay close attention to the changes that you make, backup your site regularly and continue learning.
Click here to find more information on how to navigate the WordPress Dashboard.