Exploring the WordPress Dashboard

Once you’ve logged in to your WordPress site, you’ll land here, 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 to WordPress section with some quick links to help you get started. You can always dismiss this box using the link in the top right corner. 

The next section is the At a Glance section. Here you’ll see the number of posts and pages for your site’s content. You’ll also see discussion information for comments, like the total number of comments and the number in moderation. In the At a Glance section, you’ll also see what WordPress theme you’re currently running on your site plus your current version of WordPress. 

The Activity section shows recently-published posts, pingbacks and recent comments. From here, you can quickly approve comments, reply back, mark as spam or send to trash. 

If you scroll back up to the second column, you’ll find the Quick Draft section of the WordPress dashboard. QuickPress will allow you to save a draft of a post straight from this screen. Below this section, you’ll see a list of other post drafts. Once you start creating posts and if they’re saved as drafts, the three most recent drafts you’ve started will be visible here. 

The last section is the WordPress News section. These are updates from the official WordPress project. 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 you return to the dashboard 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.

Left-hand Navigation Menu

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 chapters. 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 Codex documentation on the dashboard and support forums.


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