To access the WordPress dashboard, you’ll need to first log in to your WordPress site. Once you’ve logged in to your WordPress site, you’ll land here, the WordPress Dashboard.
Exploring the WordPress Dashboard
The WordPress Dashboard allows you to control all of the behind-the-scene details of managing your site. Once you find your way around the dashboard, you’ll realize it’s really easy to use and navigate.
First we’ll take a look at the dashboard home screen. After you first log in, you’ll see a top welcome box from WordPress with some quick links to help you get started.
The next section is the Right Now section. Here you’ll see the number of post, pages, categories and tags for your site’s content. You’ll also see discussion information for comments, like the total number of comments, and numbers for those approved, pending or marked as spam.
In the Right now section, you’ll also see what WordPress theme you’re currently running on this site plus the number of widgets and your current version of WordPress.
The Recent Comments section shows you just that, recent comments. Here you can quickly unapprove or approve comments, reply, edit, mark as spam or send to trash, too.
The Incoming Links section shows incoming links to your website or blog found by Google Blog Search. Incoming links are when another blog links back to your site. If you have a brand new WordPress site, you probably won’t have any incoming links.
In the Plugins section, you’ll find information on the most popular, newest plugins and recently updated plugins from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory.
If you scroll back up to the second column, you’ll find the Quick Press section of the WordPress Dashboard. QuickPress will allow you to publish or save a draft of a post straight from this screen, which is great for quickly publishing content. You just won’t have all of the formatting options like you do in the WordPress post editor.
The Next section is for recent drafts of posts. Once you start creating posts and if they’re saved as drafts, the five most recent drafts you’ve started be visible here.
The last two sections are the WordPress Blog and other WordPress News. These are Updates from the official WordPress project and the WordPress Planet feed.
If you’d like to customize what sections you see from the WordPress dashboard, visit the Screen Options tab on the top right side of your screen. Click the arrow to expand this section and you’ll see checkboxes for each of the sections usually included in the WordPress Dashboard. To remove any of the sections, just unclick the checkbox beside the section you’d like to hide. You can also choose the number of columns for the screen layout, too.
If we return to the Dashbaord Home, you can also expand each of the sections by clicking the arrow to the right. You can also drag and drop the boxes to change the order.
In addition to the WordPress Dashboard Home screen, the other major component of the WordPress Dashboard is the left-hand navigation menu. This navigation menu provides links to all of the WordPress administration screens for posts, the media library, pages, comments, appearance options, plugins, users, tools and settings. We’ll explore the rest of these menu items in more detail in the upcoming videos.
If you ever find yourself needing help, just click the Help tab in the upper corner. Click the arrow to expand and you’ll now see helpful information that walks through the overview, navigation, layout and content of the WordPress Dashboard. From here, you can also find a link to the WordPress.org Codex documentation on the Dashboard and to the support forums.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. You can usually find her working on new articles for the iThemes blog or developing resources for #WPprosper. Outside of work, Kristen enjoys journaling (she’s written two books!), hiking and camping, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.