Understanding The WordPress Dashboard – A Complete Guide For Beginners
Lesson 2 Module 1
The WordPress dashboard is a powerful tool for managing your site. It includes all the areas of your website, from setting up menus to creating posts and pages.
One of the most important things you can do when getting started with WordPress is familiarizing yourself with what's available in the dashboard. This lesson will walk you through how to get around it!
What Is The WordPress Dashboard?
The WordPress dashboard contains everything your blog needs in order to customize your site.
This is where we'll be spending most of our time when building out our content.
The first default section in your WordPress dashboard is the "Posts " section. It contains all your blog posts, categories, and tags.
This is also where you should go in order to create or edit new posts, categories, and tags.
This section will hold all your uploaded media such as images, pdfs, or mp3s. The Media library displays thumbnails representing uploaded media files.
It is not ideal to upload a video in your media library because videos tend to easily eat up your hosting storage.
For video storage, it is ideal to upload it on a different space, such as on YouTube. You can embed the YouTube link later on in your blog post.
This is where you manage your website comments. Go here every time you have to approve, disapprove or reply to your readers' comments.
This is where you upload or choose a WordPress theme or the look of your site.
Choose "Customize " to change your website title, tagline, and logo.
This is also where you can change your website colors.
Depending on your website theme, this is where you can change your background image (although I highly recommend not to put a background image because it will slow down your website speed).
Customizing your menus and menus' locations can also be found under this section.
"Widgets" are add-ons that enhance your site's appearance and functionality.
You can choose from a variety of widgets to add to your site, such as "Recent Posts," which will show the latest posts you've published.
Social media buttons can also be controlled in the Widget's area.
WordPress plugins are add-ons that extend the functionality of your website.
You can find plugins (both free and paid) for various purposes, such as
- adding contact forms to make it easier and faster to get in touch with you.
- reducing image file sizes
- customizing SEO or Search Engine Optimization of your site
In the next lessons, we will tackle one by one how to install and customize the settings of each need plugin.
If you are a one-man show, then you'll only have 1 user in your WordPress account. You'll have control over everything (a.k.a. admin controls).
If you outsource content and have an editor who formats and schedules your content, then this is where you need to create a new user with a new role, such as an "Editor" or "Contributor" with limited access to your site.
If you have a team of people who help out, then create new users for them and assign roles accordingly.
If you have content in another platform such as Blogger, you can import them into your WordPress account under Tools > Import.
The "Export Tool" will allow you to create a copy of your site (if you need it for any reason).
The "Site Health" will show you the most important things that require your immediate attention.
Under the "General Settings," you can set:
- the admin's e-mail address
- your website language
- your timezone
- the date and time format
- your homepage settings
- comments settings
- media settings
- URL settings
These settings are the basic ones you'll see prior to adding anything to your website such as a plugin.
As you add third-party plugins, their settings will appear under the WordPress Dashboard, too.
I know it's a lot to digest, so let's take it one section at a time. However, we will only focus on things that matter - like those that can help your blog to get its desired visibility and income!
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