As a WordPress user, you’ll spend a significant amount of time in the dashboard area. Understanding how to navigate the dashboard effectively will make your WordPress experience more enjoyable and efficient. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the various sections and options available in the WordPress dashboard, ensuring you have all the tools and knowledge necessary to manage your website with ease.
The WordPress dashboard serves as the central hub for managing your website’s content and settings. It is visually divided into three main areas:
Located on the left-hand side of the screen, the navigation sidebar provides access to all the key features and options you’ll need for managing your website. As you hover over each menu item, a fly-out menu will appear with additional options related to that specific section. Clicking on a menu item will expand it to display all available options within that section.
The admin toolbar is located at the top of the dashboard and is visible on every page when you are logged into your website. It contains several icons and links that provide quick access to frequently used features, such as adding new content, managing comments, and accessing your profile settings.
The information hub is the central area of the dashboard, where you can access various settings, features, and tools for managing your website. This area will change depending on the menu option selected in the navigation sidebar.
The main dashboard menu options and their functions are as follows:
Clicking on the “Dashboard” menu item will take you to the main dashboard homepage. This page displays an overview of your website’s content, including the number of posts, pages, categories, and tags, as well as the total number of comments and approved comments. You can also view a summary of any spam comments on your website.
The “Posts” menu is where you can create and manage your blog posts. You can add new posts, edit existing ones, and organize them into categories and tags.
Clicking on “All Posts” will display a list of all your blog posts, including published posts, drafts, and those in the trash. Hovering over a post will reveal a quick menu with options to view, edit, or trash the post.
The “Add New” option allows you to create a new blog post. You can add a title, content, and customize the post using various formatting options.
In the “Categories” section, you can create and manage the categories used to organize your blog posts. You can add a name, slug, and description for each category.
The “Tags” section is where you can create and manage the tags used to label your blog posts. Similar to categories, you can add a name, slug, and description for each tag.
The “Media” menu provides access to your website’s media library, where all your uploaded images, documents, and files are stored. You can browse, edit, and update files within the library, as well as add new media files.
The “Library” option displays a list of all the media files you have uploaded to your website. You can view file details, edit files, and delete them if necessary.
Clicking on “Add New” allows you to upload new media files, either by dragging and dropping files or using the browser-based uploader.
The “Pages” menu is where you can create and manage your website’s static pages, such as “About Us” or “Contact” pages. Like posts, you can add new pages, edit existing ones, and organize them in various ways.
The “All Pages” option displays a list of all the pages on your website, including published pages and drafts. Hovering over a page will reveal a quick menu with options to view, edit, or trash the page.
Clicking on “Add New” allows you to create a new static page. You can add a title, content, and customize the page using various formatting options.
The “Comments” menu is where you can manage all the comments left on your blog posts. You can approve, reply to, edit, and delete comments, as well as mark them as spam.
The “Appearance” menu is where you can control the look and feel of your website. You can choose and customize themes, manage widgets and menus, and even edit your website’s theme files.
The “Themes” section allows you to view, activate, and manage the themes installed on your website. You can also install new themes from the WordPress Theme Directory or upload premium themes you have purchased.
Clicking on “Customize” opens the live customizer for your active theme, where you can adjust various settings and preview the changes in real-time.
The “Widgets” section lets you manage and configure small blocks of content, known as widgets, that can be placed in various locations on your website.
In the “Menus” section, you can create and manage the navigation menus used on your website.
The “Header” and “Background” options allow you to customize the appearance of your website’s header and background, respectively.
Plugins extend and enhance the functionality of your WordPress website. In the “Plugins” menu, you can view, install, activate, and manage the plugins on your website.
The “Installed Plugins” option displays a list of all the plugins currently installed on your website. You can activate, deactivate, or delete plugins from this screen.
The “Add New” option allows you to search for and install new plugins from the WordPress Plugin Directory or upload premium plugins you have purchased.
The “Editor” option lets you edit the source code of your plugins. However, it is recommended that you only make changes to plugin code if you are an experienced developer, as incorrect edits can cause issues with your website’s functionality.
The “Users” menu is where you can manage the user accounts on your website. You can add new users, edit existing ones, and assign them specific roles and permissions.
The “All Users” option displays a list of all the users registered on your website. You can view their profile details, as well as edit or delete users if necessary.
Clicking on “Add New” allows you to create a new user account, specifying their username, email address, and role.
The “Your Profile” option lets you view and edit your own user profile, including updating your password, email address, and display name.
The “Tools” menu provides access to various utility features, such as importing and exporting data to and from your WordPress website. You can also run a site health check to review critical information about your website’s configuration and identify any potential issues.
The “Settings” menu is where you can configure various aspects of your website, such as site title, URL, homepage content, and comment settings. While most settings should not need to be changed once your website is set up, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the available options.
The “General Settings” page allows you to configure basic information about your website, such as its title, tagline, URL, and admin email address. You can also choose the site language, timezone, and date and time formats.
These settings pages let you customize various aspects of content creation and management on your website, such as default post categories and formats, homepage display options, and comment settings.
The “Media Settings” page allows you to configure how images are displayed and saved on your website, as well as define custom dimensions for different image sizes.
The “Permalinks Settings” page lets you configure the URL structure of your website’s posts and pages, ensuring that they are easily readable and search engine friendly.
As you explore the various options and features available in the WordPress dashboard, you’ll likely come across additional settings and tools provided by plugins and themes you have installed. These settings can vary depending on the specific plugin or theme but are generally found within the Tools, Settings, or Appearance menus.
By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the WordPress dashboard and its many features, you’ll be well-equipped to manage your website effectively and efficiently. With this newfound knowledge, your WordPress experience will undoubtedly be more enjoyable and productive.