How To Get Started With WordPress Dashboard

In WordPress Dashboard Tutorial, we’ll streamline the process for you by pointing out the all key features of the WordPress dashboard and explaining how to use it.

The WordPress Dashboard is a first screen which will be seen when you log into the administration area of your blog which will display the overview of the blog

WordPress is a beginner-friendly and easy-to-use CMS platform. Once you’ve spent a little time familiarizing yourself with the various sections of the WordPress backend, as well as the different features and settings that are available, you’ll feel much more relaxed. WordPress makes it simple to orient yourself quickly, so you can get straight to designing your blog and adding blog content.

Let’s start with the WordPress dashboard!

How To Get Started With WordPress Dashboard

Step 1. Accessing The WordPress Dashboard

After the WordPress installation process is completed, you will be forwarded directly to the WordPress administrator dashboard. Anytime later you will have to use one of the following URLs to access WordPress admin area:

  • http://yourblog.com/wp-admin
  • http://yourblog.com/wp-login.php

You will require to use WordPress administrator credentials you have entered during the WordPress installation process in order to access the Your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Plugin Setting-13

If you forget the password, you may reset it by clicking the Lost your password? button.

Step 2. Exploring The Your Blog WordPress Dashboard

The WordPress Dashboard is a first screen which will be seen when you log into the administration area of your blog which will display the overview of the blog. It provides information and an overview of what’s happening with your blog. You can customize your needs by using some quick links such as writing a quick draft, replying to the latest comment, etc through your dashboard

Your WordPress dashboard Widgets can be categorized into 7 sections as shown in the following screenshot. Each of these categories is discussed in the following sections

WordPress Dashboard - Explore

 

Section 1. Dashboard Menu

The WordPress Dashboard provides a navigation menu that contains some menu options such as posts, media library, pages, comments, feedback, appearance options, plugins, users, tools and settings on the left side.

Section 2. At a Glance

In this section of the WordPress dashboard, you find an overview of your blog’s posts, number of published posts and pages, and number of comments. When you click on these links, you will be taken to the respective screen. It also displays the current version of running WordPress Software along with the currently running WordPress theme on the blog.

Section 3. Activity

The Activity widget includes latest comments on your WordPress blog, recent posts and recently published posts. It also allows you to approve, disapprove, reply, edit, or delete a comment on your WordPress blog. It also allows you to mark a comment as spam.

Section 4. Screen Options

This section of the WordPress Dashboard Widget allows you to customize sections on the WordPress admin dashboard. Your blog’s dashboard contains different types of WordPress widgets which can be shown or hidden on some screens. It contains checkboxes to show or hide screen options.

Section 5. Welcome

This section of the WordPress Dashboard Widget allows you to Customize Your Site button which allows customizing your WordPress theme. The center column provides some of the useful links such as creating a blog post, creating a page and view the front end of your blog. The last column includes links to WordPress widgets, menus, settings related to comments and also a link to the First Steps With WordPress page in the WordPress admin dashboard.

Section 6. Quick Draft

The Quick Draft is a mini post editor which allows writing, saving and publishing a post direct from the WordPress admin dashboard. It contains the title for the draft, some notes about the draft and save it as a Draft.

Section 7. WordPress News

The WordPress News widget displays the latest news such as updates, alerts, the latest software version, news regarding the WordPress software etc. from the official WordPress blog.

Step 3: Configure Your WordPress Settings

The Settings tab in WordPress Admin sidebar in your blog is the central hub to configure settings for different sections of a WordPress blog. It contains multiple sub-panels and many WordPress plugins also add their settings page as a menu under the Settings tab. Clicking on it takes users to the Settings » General screen. Other default sub panels under the settings tabs are Reading, Writing, Discussion, Media, and Permalinks.

1. WordPress General Settings:

WordPress general setting is used to set the basic configuration settings for your blog. In the setting administration screen, it is a default setting screen.

Here are the steps to access the general settings −

Step 1 − Go to Dashboard Menu → Click on SettingsGeneral option in the WordPress Admin Dashboard.

WordPress General Setting 01

Step 2 − The WordPress General Setting page is displayed as shown in the following screen in your WordPress admin dashboard.

WordPress General Setting 02

Here are the details of the fields on the WordPress general settings page.

  • Site Title − It displays the name of the blog in the template header.
  • Tagline − Displays a short sentence about your blog.
  • WordPress Address (URL) − It is the URL of WordPress directory where you’re all core application files are stored.
  • Site Address(URL) − Enter the site URL which you want your site to show on the browser.
  • E-mail Address − Enter your e-mail address, which helps to recover your password or any update in future.
  • Membership − Anyone can register an account on your blog after you check this checkbox.
  • New User Default Role − The default role is set for the newly registered user or members. But you can create a new user role through this panel.
  • Timezone − Enter the time zone based on the particular city.
  • Date Format − Sets the date format as per your need to display on the blog.
  • Time Format − Sets the time format as you need to display on the blog.
  • Week Starts On − Select the weekday which you prefer to start for WordPress calendar. By default, it is set as for Monday.
  • Site Language − Sets the language for your WordPress dashboard.

Step 3 − After filling all the information about WordPress general settings as per your requirement, click on the Save Changes button. It saves all your WordPress general setting information.

2. WordPress Writing Settings:

WordPress Writing settings provide options for customizing WordPress Blog. You can also control the writing experience like adding and editing posts, Pages, and Post Types, as well as the optional functions like Remote Publishing, Post via e-mail, and Update Services with writing settings.

To access the WordPress writing settings, Follow these steps

Step 1 − Go to Dashboard Menu → Click on SettingsWriting option in the WordPress Admin Dashboard.

WordPress Writing Setting

Step 2. − The WordPress Writing Setting page is displayed as shown in the following screen on your blog dashboard.

WordPress Writing Setting 02

Here you find following fields details on the writing page.

  • Formatting − This field defines two sub-options for a better user experience for writing.
    1. This option Convert emoticons like 🙂 and 😛 to graphics on display will turn text-based emoticons into graphic-based emoticons.
    2. This option WordPress should correct invalidly nested XHTML automatically corrects the invalid XHTML placed within the posts or pages.
  • Default Post Category − It is a category to be applied to a post and you can leave it as Uncategorized.
  • Default Post Format − It is used by themes to select post format to be applied to a post or create different styles for different types of posts.
  • Post via e-mail − This option uses the e-mail address to create posts and publishes posts on your blog through e-mail. To use this, you’ll need to create a secret e-mail account with a POP3 access, and any mail received at this address will be posted on your blog
  • Mail Server − It allows reading the e-mails that you send to WordPress and stores them for retrieval. For this, you need to have a POP3 compatible mail server and it will have URI address such as mail.example.com, which you should enter here.
  • Login Name − To create posts, WordPress will need its own e-mail account. The Login Name will use this e-mail address and should be kept as a secret as spammers will post links redirecting to their own websites.
  • Password − Set password for the above e-mail address.
  • Default Mail Category − It allows selecting a custom category for all the posts that are published via Post by e-mail feature.
  • Update Services − When you publish a new post, WordPress will automatically notify the site update services in the box. See the Update Services on the codex for the long list of possible services.

Step 3. − After filling all the above details, click on the Save Changes button to save your information of WordPress Writing Setting.

3. WordPress Reading Settings:

WordPress Reading Setting is used to set the content related to the front page. You can set the number of posts to be displayed on the main page.

Following are the steps to access the reading settings on your blog −

Step 1 − Go to Dashboard Menu → Click on SettingsReading option in the WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress Reading Setting 01

Step 2. − The WordPress Reading Settings page is displayed as shown in the following screen.

WordPress Reading Setting 02

Following are the details of the fields in WordPress Reading Settings.

  • Front page displays − This section is used to display the front page in any of the following formats −
    1. Your latest posts − It displays latest posts on the front page.
    2. A static page − It displays the static pages on the front page.
    3. Front Page, − You can select the actual page you want to display on the front page from the drop-down.
    4. Posts Page − You can select the page from the drop down which contains posts.
  • Blog pages show at most − The number of posts to be displayed per page or site. By default, it is set as 10.
  • Syndication feeds show the most recent − The user can view the number of posts when they download one of the sites feeds. By default, it is set as 10.
  • For each article in a feed, show − This section is used to display the post by selecting any of the following formats −
    1. Full Text − It displays the complete post. It is set as default.
    2. Summary − It displays the summary of the post.
  • Search Engine Visibility − After clicking on the checkbox, Discourage search engines from indexing this site, your site will be ignored by the search engine.

Step 3. − After filling all the information, click on Save Changes button to save your WordPress Reading Setting information.

4. WordPress Discussion Settings:

WordPress discussion setting can be defined as the interaction between the blogger and the visitors. These settings are done by the admin to have a control over the posts and pages that come in through users.

Following are the steps to access the WordPress Discussion setting −

Step 1 − Go to Dashboard Menu → Click on SettingsDiscussion option in the WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress Discussion Setting 01

Step 2. − The WordPress Discussion Settings page is displayed as shown in the following screen in your WordPress dashboard.

WordPress Discussion Setting 02

Following fields are seen in WordPress Discussion settings.

  • Default article settings − These settings default to the new pages you create or new posts. This contains three more settings. They are :
    1. Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article − When you publish articles then it sends a notification (sends pings and trackback) to other blogs.
    2. Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) − Accepts pings from other blogs.
    3. Allow people to post comments on new articles − You can allow or disallow other people to comment on your article using this setting.

    You can change the settings as per your need for an individual blog post.

  • Other Comment Settings − This setting has the following options :
    1. Comment author must fill out name and e-mail − When you check this box, it is mandatory for visitors to fill their name and email address.
    2. Users must be registered and logged in to comment − If you check this box, only those registered visitors can leave comments, if not checked anyone can leave any number of comments.
    3. Automatically close comments on articles older than days − This option allows you to accept comments only for a particular time period as per your wish.
    4. Enable threaded (nested) comments − When you check this option, visitors can reply or have a discussion and get responses.
    5. Break comments into pages with top level comments per page and the page displayed by default − If your pages are getting a lot of comments then you can split them into different pages by checking this box.
    6. Comments should be displayed with the comments at the top of each page − You can arrange the comments in the form of ascending or descending order.
  • Email me whenever − This set contains two options, namely :
    1. Anyone posts a comment − When you check into this box, the author gets an e-mail for every single comment that is posted.
    2. A comment is held for moderation − This is used in case you do not want your comment to be updated before it’s moderated by the admin.
  • Before a comment appears − This setting allows how your posts are controlled. There are two more settings as followed −
    1. The comment must be manually approved − If you check this box then only the approved comments by the admin can be displayed on the posts or pages.
    2. Comment author must have a previously approved comment − This can be checked when you want to approve a comment of an author whose has commented and his e-mail address matches the e-mail address of the previously posted comment. Otherwise, the comment is held for moderation.
  • Comment Moderation − Contain only a specific number of links that are allowed into a comment.
  • Comment Blacklist − You can input your own spam words which you do not want your visitors to enter into the comments, URL, e-mail etc.; later it would filter the comments.
  • Avatars − Avatar is a small image that displays at the top-right-hand corner of the dashboard screen beside your name. It is like your profile picture. Here you have a few more options where you can set your avatar for WordPress site.
    1. Avatar Display − It displays your avatar beside your name when it is checked.
    2. Maximum rating − You have four other options of avatars you can use. They are G, PG, R, and X. This is the age section where you select according to which type of audience you want to display your posts.
    3. Default Avatar − In this option, there are few more types of avatars with images; you can keep these avatars according to your visitor’s e-mail address.

Step 3. − Click on Save Changes button to save the changes of WordPress Discussion Settings.

5. WordPress Media Settings:

WordPress Media settings used to set the height and width of the images which you’re going to use on your WordPress blog.

Step 1 − Go to Dashboard Menu → Click on Settingsmedia option in the WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress Media Setting 01

Step 2. − The WordPress Media Settings page is displayed as seen in the following screen

WordPress Media Setting 02.

Following are the details of the fields on WordPress Media settings −

  • Thumbnail size − Set the size of the thumbnail.
  • Medium size − Set the height and width of medium size images.
  • Large size − Set width and height of larger images.
  • Uploading files − After checking this checkbox, the uploaded image will be arranged into year and month based folder.

Step 3. − After setting the dimension in pixels, click on Save Changes button. It saves your WordPress media setting information.

6. WordPress Permalink settings:

Permalink is a permanent link to a particular blog post or category. It allows setting the default permalink structure. These WordPress settings are used to add permalinks to your posts in WordPress blog. Following are the steps to access WordPress permalink settings.

Step 1 − Go to Dashboard Menu → Click on SettingsPermalink option in the WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress Permalink Setting 01

Step 2 − When you click on Permalinks, the following page appears on the screen.

WordPress Permalink Setting 02

Here are a few WordPress settings you can make −

  • Common settings −Check any of the radio buttons to choose your permalink structure for your blogs
    1. Default − It sets the default URL structure in WordPress.
    2. Day and name − It sets URL structure according to the date and name in your posts.
    3. Month and name − It sets the URL structure according to the month and name in your post.
    4. Numeric − It sets numbers in the URL structure in your post.
    5. Post name − It sets post name in the URL structure in your post.
    6. Custom Structure − It sets the URL structure of your choice by writing the desired name in the given text box.
  • Optional These are optional. You can add custom structure for the main category or tag URL. If your textbox is empty then default settings are used. Here you have two options.
    1. Category Base − Add custom prefix for your category URL.
    2. Tag Base − Add custom prefix to your Tags URL.

Step 3. − Once you are done with changes, click on Save Changes button to save WordPress Permalink Settings

Step 4. Customizing Your WordPress Blog

One of the best parts of a WordPress website is the quickly customizable options that it gives you with on the go. Check out the rest of our WordPress Tutorials to see the various ways you can customize a WordPress blog. We’ll talk more about WordPress themes and plugins in a later post in this tutorials series. To keep it simple for now, WordPress themes and plugins are tools that can alter the way your site looks and functions

Installing WordPress Themes

The .WordPress theme allows you to control the look and design of your WordPress blog including colors, page layout, and fonts. You can get a free theme or you can pay for a premium one. In our tutorials, we will mainly focus on the free WordPress themes.

To customize your theme Go to Dashboard Menu →  Appearance → Click on Themes option in the WordPress Dashboard

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To install a new WordPress theme simply click the Add New button on WordPress Dashboard Theme Page. It will take you to a directory of free themes.
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Use search or filters to find a theme you want to use. Once you have chosen the theme that you like, click on the Preview button to see how it looks on your blog. If you’re happy with the result, press Install button. This will install a new theme for your blog.

Once your theme installs click on the activate button on WordPress Dashboard Theme Page

WordPress Plugin Setting-12

You can further customize your already installed theme with the help of a WordPress theme customization tool in WordPress. Simply click on Appearance in the left menu of your WordPress dashboard, and click on Customize. From there, you can customize the current theme as per your requirements by changing site identity, colors, background image, menus, widgets and so on.

That’s all it takes to change the look of a WordPress website!

Installing WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins are extensions that can be installed on WordPress blog in order to extend its functionality and add new features to your blog as per your need.

WordPress plugins are available almost for everything, From social media sharing to improving the security of your site to giving you data about how the people visit your blog and search engine optimization(SEO).

To install a new WordPress plugin Go to Dashboard Menu →  Plugins → Add New option in the WordPress Dashboard.

WordPress Plugin Setting-03

Choose from Featured, Popular, Recommended, Favorites or enter a keyword in the search field to find the plugin you want. To install the plugin, press Install Now buttons on the WordPress Dashboard Plugin Page
WordPress Plugin Setting-04
Then click in Activate Button on WordPress Dashboard Plugin Page
WordPress Plugin Setting-06
You can also install WordPress premium plugin by uploading .zip folder of the plugin.

Adding WordPress Widget

WordPress widgets allow you to change the layout and the content of your blog simply and quickly. It can be accessed from the WordPress dashboard, under the Appearance section.

To add a WordPress widget, you simply need to expand the area where you want the widget to be, drag and drop the widget there and click Save button. By default, you should have the Primary Sidebar, a Content Sidebar, and a Footer Widget Area. However, the number of widgets depends on the WordPress theme you are using for your blog

 

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To remove a WordPress widget, simply click and drag it away from the widget area.

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If you want to add your own text to a WordPress widget, choose a plain text widget and then put the text or HTML code in there.

For more on WordPress widget visit our WordPress Tutorial: How To Add Widgets in WordPress

Updating WordPress Blog

It is very important to keep your whole WordPress blog up to date. That is because when a plugin or a theme is updated, you may get new functionalities and bug fixes. It is also a crucial part of keeping a WordPress blog secure and fast.

But you don’t have to worry about updates, because WordPress handles all small updates itself. The larger ones will give you the option to update WordPress at your chosen time. Meanwhile, you can see at the features of the update or put your blog on maintenance mode.

WordPress Plugin Setting-14

There are three things you must always update on your WordPress blog.

  1. WordPress itself
  2. Themes
  3. Plugins.

WordPress will automatically notify the site update services. You can update your blog from the Update section in the admin navigation bar.

Backing Up WordPress Blog

You can keep your data safe by backing up your WordPress blog. In the event of something going wrong with your WordPress blog, a backup is a good option to ensure that all of your files can be restored to their original condition. You can install All-In-One WP Migration free WordPress plugin for backup your blog

You can also back Up your blog by using FTP And phpMyAdmin.

Step 5: Start Creating Content In Your WordPress Blog

Finally, it’s time to learn how to add content to your WordPress blog. You can create two main types of content in WordPress. One is blog posts and the Second one is blog pages. Posts are blog entries that are archived and categorized, while pages are static sections of your blog such as a Home page, About page, Privacy Page and Disclaimer Page etc

But you also need to manage these pages and post by creating categories and tags in your WordPress blog, this will make your WordPress blog user-friendly, and easy to navigate

Creating Categories In WordPress Blog

WordPress Categories allow you to arrange your posts by subjects to make your content easier to find. To add a new category,

Go to Dashboard Menu →  Posts → Categories in your blog Dashboard.

  1. Click on Category.
  2. Name the category and add a Slug which is a shortened URL for your category. If you want, you can even add hierarchy to the category and put it under the parent category.
  3. Lastly, click on Add New Category button

You can also delete any of your blog categories Just clicking on Delete button below the category. This will delete WordPress Category in your blog.

Creating Tags In WordPress Blog

There is a significant difference between WordPress categories and WordPress tags. WordPress categories are based on the fact that Categories help group your blog post with other similar posts, but Tags are used for creating groups that fit into multiple categories. For Example, beauty is a category in your blog, while eyes, lips, hair,  form the tags. You’re getting the drift, right?

The process of creating WordPress is same as creating WordPress category. Click Tags on the WordPress Dashboard. Give the desired name and a slug, as you did for categories, in order to add a new WordPress tag.

Creating Pages In WordPress Blog

Blog pages are created for static content. But you can change or update them whenever you want. To see the pages your blog currently has, choose All pages from the WordPress dashboard navigation section.

You can also add new pages by clicking on the Add New button under Pages section on your WordPress dashboard.

Adding a new page is very similar to adding a new blog post, besides that you don’t have the option to use categories or tags for pages. However, WordPress pages can have parent pages. So, if you want to have the page as a child of another page, you just need to order the page column in the menu section and it will appear as a drop-down menu item from the parent page.

You should take into account that a new page doesn’t get automatically added to the menu of your blog. To do that, you have to go to the Menu Option and add the new page to the custom menu. The Menu can be found under Appearance in the navigation section of the WordPress Dashboard. You can add the new page to the menu by checking the box on it and clicking Add to Menu.

Creating Your First Post In WordPress Blog

The place to go to new create blog posts is the Posts tab. One of the many benefits of WordPress is that it’s extremely easy to publish fresh content by adding new posts.

Here you can create a new post by clicking Add New. The content section comes in two tabs: the visual tab, and the text tab view. The visual tab view shows the text as it would appear on the finished page and the text tab view will show you the post in HTML format.

Right above the content section, there is a post editor toolbar which will help you format your blog post. It has a variety of features, for example: Underline (which would underline the desired text), Bold (which would bold your text), italic (which would italicize your text), Add media (where you can insert images and videos into your blog post), HTML tags, text alignment, and others.

Editing Blog Post

On the right-hand side, you will find a Draft button that allows you to save your work and come back to it later. Next, to the Draft button, there is a Preview button that shows you how the blog post will look on the blog when you’ll have published it.

Next, you can change the visibility of your post. The Publish option allows you to stick the blog post on the front page. This section also allows you to schedule the post for later rather than publishing it immediately.

Moving down the page, you have a section that allows you to choose a Category and add Tags to your post

You can also sort, edit, and delete your older posts. In addition, you can create categories and tags to manage your content by navigating to the respective sub-sections

Managing WordPress Comments In Your Blog

Each post has an area beneath it for your visitors to leave their thoughts. This is what makes the posts interactive.

The Comments section on the WordPress dashboard allows you to approve, edit, reply, trash or spam a comment from the dashboard itself. The comment will appear live on the blog beneath your post only when you approve the comment.

WordPress Comments Setting-16

Conclusion

There’s a lot to do and see in the WordPress backend – so much that you might not be sure where to start. WordPress makes It easy to get accustomed to the platform by clearly managing key features and settings, by including helpful links in the WordPress dashboard.

Four simple steps are all it will take to begin feeling comfortable with your WordPress backend:

  1. Step 1. Accessing The WordPress Dashboard
  2. Step 2. Exploring The Your Blog WordPress Dashboard
  3. Step 3: Configure Your WordPress Settings
  4. Step 4. Customizing Your WordPress Blog
  5. Step 5. Start Creating Content In Your WordPress Blog

If you have any questions about how to use the WordPress Dashboard? Ask away in the comments box below!

I hope this WordPress Tutorial helped you learn How To Get Started With WordPress Dashboard.

Further reading:

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