An Introduction to Your WordPress Dashboard

Posted by on Oct 1, 2011 in Wordpress Tutorials | 0 comments

An Introduction to Your WordPress Dashboard

This is an introduction to your new WordPress website, pointing out all the built-in areas of WordPress.

Getting to the Login Page

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Go to your website’s location followed by /wp-admin.

Logging In

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When the page loads, type in the login and password that you were given (or that you created).

Once you are logged in to your WordPress Dashboard, it should look something like this:

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If you see that, then you are ready to move on…

Look at the left-hand side of your screen.

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You should see a list of options for WordPress, divided into tabs.

We are going to start at the top of the column and work our way down, touching on all the basic (but important) things you need to know about your website. The features we are reviewing in this tutorial are the basic features that are included with WordPress (before any plugins are installed).

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At the top of the column, there is a tab that says DASHBOARD, with two links below: Home and Updates. Home is the main page of your Dashboard (we saw this in step 1 of this tutorial). Updates will show you if there are any themes, plugins, or WordPress software to be updated. For now, do not update anything. That will be covered in a future tutorial. Go ahead and click on each link ("Home" and "Updates") and see what they do.

Posts Tab

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On the POSTS tab, you will see links similar to the ones pictured above. Here is a description of each link:
–> "All Posts" takes you to a list of all your posts (not pages – we will discuss those later on).
–> "Add New" – Click this if you want to create a new post.
–> "Categories" takes you to a list of categories that are featured on your blog. You can add, edit, and delete your categories on this page.
–> "Post Tags" take you to a list of tags that are featured in your blog posts. You can add, edit, and delete your categories on this page.

Click each one to see where they take you.

Media Tab

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The MEDIA tab is where you can access all of your videos, images, and documents that are uploaded to your blog/site.
"Library" takes you to a list of all of your media files.
"Add New" allows you to upload new files to your Media tab.

Click each one to see where it takes you.

Links Tab

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When you click "All Links" under the LINKS tab, you will see a listing of all the links to other websites that have been manually added to your site. These links are used if you want to have a Blogroll (list of sites you like and think others should visit) on the sidebar of your site. You can add, delete, or edit links on this tab.

By clicking "Link Categories," you can organize your links into groups, such as: My friends, My other sites, Sites I recommend.

Pages Tab

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On the PAGES tab, you can see a listing of "All Pages" that exist on your site. You can also add a new page by clicking "Add New."

Comments Tab

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When you click on the COMMENTS tab, a listing of all the recent comments that have been posted on your site will be visible. By hovering over a comment, you can choose to APPROVE, REPLY, QUICK EDIT, EDIT, mark as SPAM, or TRASH the post.

If you click: APPROVE —> The comment will appear on your site.
If you click: REPLY —> You will respond to the comment on your blog post or page.
If you click QUICK EDIT —> You can edit the comment on the COMMENTS page (Good for short comments).
If you click EDIT —> WordPress will load a fresh page where you can edit just one comment (Good for longer comments).
If you click SPAM —> The comment is flagged as spam and will block any future commenting attempts from that specific author.
If you click TRASH —> The comment will be removed from the COMMENTS page and will be sent to the Trash.

Appearance Tab

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The links beneath this tab may change depending on which theme you have selected. If HDS or Vaagogo customized your WordPress site, then you will not need to worry about these options, unless you choose to re-design your site with a new theme. But, here is a quick description of each link just in case you are curious. :)

Themes —> Will show you all the themes you can choose for your site. Only one theme may be active at a time.
Widgets —> This is the link you will need if you decide to change anything on the sidebar (left or right column) of your site.
Menus —> Click this to create a custom menu in WordPress.
Theme Options —> Allows you to edit options that are specific to your theme.
Background —> You can change your site’s background here.
Header —> You can change your site’s header image here.
Editor —> This is where you (or your web developer) can edit the code of your website to make permanent changes to how your website works. As a friendly suggestion, you should not edit anything here unless you know exactly what you are doing. Mistakes made here may be difficult to correct if they break your site.

Plugins Tab

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Plugins are small little sets of code that are installed on your website to make it do something you specifically need. The two plugins that come with your WordPress software are called Akismet and Hello Dolly. Akismet helps protect your site from spam (but requires an API Key from WordPress online). Hello Dolly will show quotes from the movie ‘Hello Dolly" on your Dashboard.

If HDS or Vaagogo customized your site, you may have more plugins listed on this tab. You can Activate, Edit, or Delete plugins from this tab as well.

Installed Plugins lists all the available plugins on your site.
Add New allows you to add a new plugin to your site (there is a large collection of free ones that you can search through your dashboard).
Editor – This is similar to the Editor on the Appearance Tab, except this is where you can edit the code of your plugins to make them permanently behave differently. Again, do not edit anything unless you know what you are doing. Mistakes here may be difficult to correct and can break your site.

Users tab

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On the USERS Tab, you can:
List all the users of your site by clicking on "All Users."
"Add New" allows you to create a new user.
"Your Profile" is where you can edit information about you.

You can set permissions for each of your website users based on how much access you want them to have to your site. This is helpful if you have writers other than yourself posting on your blog.

Tools Tab

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The Tools Tab has a couple features built in. Press this is used for blogging when you find something interesting online and want to share it on your blog. Categories and Tags Converter can convert all your Categories to Tags or All Your Tags to Categories.

Of special importance…
There is an EXPORT and IMPORT feature on the Tools Tab. Export is a way to back up all the information on your site. Import is a good way to restore all your information to your site if your site needs to be repaired and data is lost. It is suggested that you use the EXPORT feature regularly as part of your backing up your website before you upgrade the WordPress Software (this will be covered in a later tutorial).

Settings Tab

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On the SETTINGS Tab, there are a variety of settings that control the way your website operates. Each link controls a different set of features. You may want to click each link to see what information is there while reviewing this step of the tutorial.

General —> You can edit such features as your Site Title, Tagline, URL, Email Address, Membership, New User Default Role, Time Zone, and Date, Time, and Week Start Settings.
Writing —> Allows you to adjust settings that affect you as you are writing and publishing posts.
Reading —> This feature allows you to select what the front page of your site shows, the number of blog posts that will appear on the main blog page, as well as Syndication and Feed Settings.
Discussion —> By clicking this, you can change the settings for the Comment system within WordPress.
Media —> Click here to edit the dimensions of your image settings, embed settings, as well as your default folder for uploading media.
Privacy —> You can choose one of two choices by clicking this:
1. I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers; OR
2. I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors.
Permalinks —> This link allows you to change the way your web pages and posts appear on browser windows.

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