Your Administrator Dashboard
If you are planning on managing your website yourself, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the back end of your website. The image above shows what your administrator dashboard may look like. The one shown has many additional plug-ins installed, so your dashboard will vary, depending upon which plug-ins are being employed on your site. I’m going to cover the more commonly used areas of your dashboard on this page, and will walk you through the various plug-ins in other training pages. So, let’s dive in!
This is pretty easy to figure out. It’s the link that will take you to the page shown above.
One of the nice features about WordPress, is that you are notified of any updates to your WordPress core or any plug-ins you have installed. If there are any updates available, there will be a red circle with a number displayed to alert you that you have products that require updating. It will also display a the very top bar of your dashboard page.
Jetpack is a plug-in from WordPress.com. Jetpack contains additional plug-ins that add additional features to your website. Activation of Jetpack requires creating an account with WordPress.com.
This section controls your Posts and your Categories. This is meant for blogging or frequently updated information. All Posts will display all of your posts — both published and draft posts. Add New is a quick link to create a new post. Categories is where you can set up different categories for your posts. Tags can be used in place or in addition to categories. Let’s say you’re about to post a recipe for brownies on your food blog. You’d probably want to use categories like “Dessert” and “Baking”, and tags like “Chocolate”, “Brownies”, and “Walnuts”. Categories can be aranged in a heirachy, but tags cannot. Confused yet? No worries, you’ll get it.
Media refers to all images, digital files, movies, mp3 files, etc. that you can add to your website. Library will display all of the media files you have added to your website. This is good if you want to re-use an image or need the file URL for other purposes. Add New allows you to add a new file. The nice thing about WordPress is that you can drag and drop your image file from your desktop onto the Media Library window and it will automatically upload. How cool is that?
As indicated in our Terminology, Pages contain your static information. They work the same as Posts, but cannot be categorized. As with Posts, All Pages will display all of your static web pages. Add New will open up a new page for you to create.
This allows you to manage your visitor comments. This only pertains to websites that have discussion activated on their posts or pages. Your visitor comments can be moderated via Settings to configure whether you want posts to automatically post or if you want to require admin approval before publishing.
There are a lot of fun things to play around with under Appearance. Seriously, unless you know what you are doing, you may not want to fool around in this section. Once your website is up and running, I would have made adjustments to the settings that you would need. This section will control which widgets are being used and how they’re displayed; customizations to your theme; and your main menu.
As with Appearance, you might not want to mess around too much in the Plugins section. Plugins controls which plugins are active and which are not. It also allows you to upload and install additional plugins.
If you have your site set up to accept site registration, this section is where you can control the registered users to your site. Users will allow you to change website roles, reset passwords, etc. This is also the section that you would use to control e-commerce customer accounts if you’re running an online store.
Tools and Settings —
Just as with the Appearance section, you will probably not want to mess around in Tools or Settings. These control various aspects of your site and plug-ins, and will be set up when your website goes live.