Getting Comfortable with Your WordPress Dashboard

If this is your first time logging in they’ll ask you for basic information and you’ll need to pick a theme for your blog. Don’t worry you can change it later.

Now that you’ve installed WordPress on your domain, it’s time to set your WordPress settings by logging into WordPress. If you followed the steps from my last post you can easily log in by typing your domain/wp-admin into your browser and log in.

Let’s start in the upper left corner without actually clicking on anything. After I’m finishing with this little tour you’ll have plenty of time to check things out.

First up. the W allows you easy access to WordPress sites for help and info. If you get in a jam, there’s lots of info at your fingertips. To the right of the W, you’ll see the name of your blog. By click on your name or the little house, you can switch to your blog homepage. Next, you’ll see a balloon with a number next to it. This is the number of comments on your blog you’ll need to review. Up next is the plus sign with the word new. By clicking on new you can easily add new posts, photos to your library, pages, and so forth.

Moving to the right side, if you click on screen options a little menu drops down allowing you to change what you see in the middle of your screen. After building your blog, this site will grow with information for plugins, new updates, and ads for additional features. It’s up to you what you keep and don’t keep. I suggest you wait till you’ve built your blog and you’re comfortable before you remove items.

Finally, there is the help button for documentation for the dashboard, forums, and other help topics.

If you look on the left side below Dashboard which should be highlighted you’ll see updates. This is where you can go to update your blog, themes, plugins, or anything else that needs updated.

Next, you’ll see posts. This is where you’ll go to write those juicy posts you’ve been dying to share with your readers or simply view the lists of published posts. As a blogger, you’ll spend most of your time in this tab.

Media is where your uploaded photos, videos, printables, and documents are kept. As you upload images or other types of media you’ll be able to access them quickly by clicking on the media tab. It also includes a search feature so name your items with a bit of description not just a number to make it super easy to search for them later.

Links or resources will easily be found in the links section. You can even catergorize the links.

Pages are different from posts because they’re static. Typically, you’ll find a list for easy access across the top of a blog. These stay the same and stand alone without the need for additional information. For instance, the About Me Page which is a page telling your readers who you are and what your blog is about. Other popular pages you’ll find is contact pages, privacy policy page, and newsletter pages. They’re informative and add need to know information for your readers.

Comments, don’t we all love comments? By clicking on comments you’ll be able to read the comments left by your readers and reply to them as well. Plus, just in case someone leaves you a tasteless comment or includes spam you can easily unpublish their comment so other readers can’t see it.

Next in line is Ninja Forms which is actually a plugin. It makes it really easy to create forms such as contact forms, email lists and other types of forms. I’m not going into additional information just incase you wish to use a different plugin. I use WPForms on my other blog. (just saying)

That brings us to my favorite, appearance. This is where you get to dress up your blog to really show your blog’s personality. When you installed WordPress it comes with a few free themes ready to use and an easy to use customizer to help you tweak your design. If it’s not quite what you’re looking for you can also upload a theme in this section. This is also the place where you’ll add a menu to your page to display those pages you created. Plus, you can add widgets which are a simple way to add floating text, photos, and gosh anything really.

Plugins! Woah, there’s thousands of them available for WordPress. If you want to add something like a newsletter to your blog you can simply do that by using a plugin that will provide a form for your readers to fill out, allow you to write and send out all of those newsletters. It makes it so easy to do and there’s very little work from you. No worries if you don’t know a bit of code, plugins make it happen without the coding. The only advice is less is more. Don’t overload your blog with to many plugins it can cause problems when they don’t quite work well with your theme or each other.

User is needed if you’re planning on sharing your blog with more than yourself. You can grant others to post articles if you wish. If you’re the only one posting you won’t need this section other than your profile.

Tools will increase as you add plugins to your blog. Check here for various tools when adding plugins.

Settings for your blog are all in one place. You can adjust your email, password, and permalinks in this area. I would start with your settings before working on anything else. Make sure all of your information is how you want it before you get started.

As you add on to your blog your dashboard side column will increase giving you more control over your blog. Don’t be scared! Take it one step at a time. Familiarize yourself with each plugin you add along the way.

If you’re not sure what to do next, don’t worry, I plan to touch base on most of the topics I just shared with you. So stick around for more details.

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