Introduction to the WordPress Dashboard

Your WordPress Home

WordPress is an incredibly powerful content management system and the WordPress dashboard is your site editor’s home.

All WordPress websites are created using a combination of pages and posts. Pages are the mostly static, unchanging hierarchical elements of your website. You can create as many pages and subpages as you like. The layout and design of a page depends upon the template you select for that page. There may be more templates available within the theme your website is constructed with. Posts are very similar to pages when you’re editing them, but structurally they are different. Collectively, posts make up your blog and so they can also be called blog posts. Typically, the number of pages in a WordPress site will not change a lot over time, but the number of posts will continue to increase as your blog contributors write topical posts.

When you first log into your WordPress account you will be taken to the Dashboard. The WordPress Dashboard is like your homepage and contains information and navigation to different elements of your site. The Dashboard screen presents information blocks called modules. WordPress delivers eight default modules: Right Now, Recent Comments, Incoming Links, Plugins, QuickPress, Recent Drafts, WordPress Blog, and Other WordPress News. Modules can be displayed in up to 4 columns.

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  1. The Admin Bar appears on all pages when you are logged in. It provides links to the WordPress Dashboard and site, as well as quick links for adding content and editing comments.
  2. You will receive Comment notifications in the left-hand side of your Admin Bar. Simply click on the speech bubble icon to read them.
  3. At a Glance provides an overview of all the posts, pages, categories, tags and comments on the site as well as the WordPress version and any added widgets.
  4. Screen Options allows you to choose which modules to display or not to display as well as how many columns they are displayed in.
  5. Quick Drafts allows you to create and save a draft post and provides quick links to the most recently saved drafts so that you can find and edit them quickly.
  6. Recent Comments is a list of the most recent comments on your blog. Each comment listed has a link related to the post title. You can edit the post by clicking on the link. Hovering your cursor over each comments opens a menu, allowing you to Approve or Unapprove, Edit, Reply, Mark as Spam, or Delete the comment.
  7. The Admin Menu is one of the most important elements of the WordPress Dashboard.
  8. Other WordPress News lists latest news from WordPress developers, as well as links and posts devoted to the WordPress community. This allows you to keep up-to-date with the latest software developments, version announcements and security notices’.

By clicking on the module title bar, you can either expand or contract it. They can also be rearranged up, down or column to column. Move a module to where you want to place it by clicking and dragging the module title bar.

One of the most important elements of the dashboard is the left-hand administration menu, which contains the navigation to each editable part of your site, from the posts and pages that make up the content to the Theme options which control the look of your site. Some of these links, particularly those relating to pages or posts can also be found in the top admin bar.

The Posts menu tab will take you to the list of all draft and published posts on the websites. Hovering over the element will reveal quick links to creating new posts, editing categories and editing tags.

The Media tab will take you to a list of all the images, documents, audio recordings and videos currently uploaded to your site. Hovering over this element will reveal the “add new” quick link for uploading pictures or videos straight to the media library.

The Pages tab will take you to an overview of all the pages and on hover provides a quick link to the add new page editor.

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