Easy WordPress and Web Hosting—a Blog or Website
The WordPress dashboard provides access to all the site management tools for all your WordPress powered website. To access the WordPress dashboard, click the "login" link on the bottom of your WordPress website. If you do not have a "login" link at the bottom of your website, type in the following in your browser's address bar: mydomain.com/wp-admin to pull up the login screen. Enter your user name and password then press the login button.
The WordPress Dashboard
After you install WordPress on your web hosting account, you will want to login to the WordPress dashboard. The dashboard is the first screen you will see when you have successfully logged into WordPress and is what you will use to create and manage your blog or website. Each screen of the administration area contains three main sections.
- Toolbar across the top of the page
- Main navigation menu on the left-hand side
- Main work area
What to expect the first time you Login
The first time you login to your WordPress dashboard, you will greeted with a "welcome" module that contains a simple collection of links to help you get started, including short cuts to customize your sites theme, begin creating and editing your content, or manage your widgets, menus or more. When you are comfortable with the dashboard, you can dismiss this welcome module by clicking the "dismiss" link at the top right-hand section of the screen.
The Toolbar at the top of the WordPress Dashboard
At the top of the dashboard is the toolbar, which contains links to the most commonly used administration functions including links to find more information about WordPress, documentation and the support forums in case you need help. The toolbar also contains quick links to create a new post, upload media files, or add a new page or user. You can also review comments or receive alert notifications about updates to plug-ins or themes used on your site.
Hovering over your site's name will enable you to switch to the "public view" of your site. And when you are logged in, the toolbar remains at the top of the page while you browse enabling you to quickly edit a specific page or create new content. Hover over the site name again to return to the dashboard or any other panel in the administration area.
Your WordPress Profile
On the far right of the toolbar, you will find links to edit your profile or logout. It's a good idea to visit your profile right away and setup your personal preferences, complete your contact information and bio, and select a strong password. To return to the dashboard at any time, simply click the "dashboard" link at the top of the main navigation menu.
Just below your user name in the toolbar on the right-hand side of the screen are two hanging tabs: screen options and help. When clicked, these tabs expand to provide additional options or contextual help specific to whatever page or panel you are currently on.
How to Customize your WordPress Dashboard
In the screen options, you can customize your dashboard choosing which boxes are displayed and how many columns are used to display them. You can completely hide boxes that you do not plan to use by simply un-checking each box. You can return at any time and re-enable them. You can also choose to display the boxes in a single column or multiple columns, depending on your preferences.
On the left-hand side of the screen is the main navigation menu which contains links to all the administration screens in WordPress. Hovering over a menu item displays the sub-menu revealing additional functions or options that are available. If you need more screen space, you can minimize the entire menu into a strip of icons by clicking the "collapse menu" link at the bottom. When the menu is minimized like this, you can still access sub-menus by simply hovering over the icon for each item. It is also easy to rearrange the boxes on the dashboard. If you hover your mouse over the title bar of a box, you will notice your cursor changes letting you know that the box is movable. Click and then drag the box to a new location on the page. Release your mouse button when you see a dotted-grey outline in the location where you want to place the box. This enables you to completely personalize your dashboard so that it works best for you. The boxes can also be collapsed or expanded by clicking anywhere in the title bar itself or clicking on the arrow to the far right. In addition, some boxes have configurable options that can be customized by clicking the "configure" link in the title bar.
Individual Boxes on the Dashboard screen:
- "Right Now" module—provides a summary view of your bog's statistics and identifies which theme and version of WordPress that you are currently using.
- "Recent Comments" module—displays the most recent comments from readers on your blog post and allows you to moderate them by simply hovering over the individual comment. You can approve, reply-to, edit, mark as spam, or delete a comment directly from this box.
- "Recent Drafts"—displays links to the five most recent draft posts or articles that you have started.
- "Incoming Links"—provides a handy list of other websites that are linking to your site.
- "WordPress Blog" and "Other WordPress News" boxes—provide RSS feed links from the WordPress blog and are displayed at the bottom. You can configure the RSS boxes to display the most recent news and articles from a different RSS feed, if you like.
- "Plug-ins" box—provides a list of the newest and most popular WordPress plug-ins. This is handy for web developers who want their WordPress blog or website to contain the most up-and-coming WordPress technology. It saves time because you do not need to scour the Internet for new plug-ins No need to -- they are listed in this box for your convenience.
- "QuickPress"—one of the most handy boxes. It enables you to quickly create a new blog post or page directly from the dashboard. Simply enter a title and then add some content to easily add a new blog post or article for your site. You can even upload and insert images, videos or other files. And you can add "tags" which function like keywords making it easy for your readers to find related articles on your site that have been assigned the same keyword or tag. Click the "publish" button to save your new post and publish it to your blog. And now a quick visit to the home page of your site will show that your new post has been published and is visible on the home page of your blog.
Your Blog or Website is Easy to Publish
To some extent, the WordPress dashboard is the heart of your blog or website. It enables you to manage all the content and options of your website or blog. Because WordPress has been designed to accommodate a vast number of bloggers, some bloggers may not be aware of certain functions of the dashboard or even may not like certain functions of the dashboard. Fortunately, you can customize the WordPress dashboard and assemble it so that you can quickly and efficiently create blog posts and manipulate media in order to create a modern and effective blog.
Web Hosting Tools for Bloggers
The layout of the dashboard can be pretty generic and might need a bit of re-arranging and customizing to best accommodate your website's type. This is where plug-ins and tweaks come in. Most web hosting providers offer easy-to-follow documentation for WordPress users such as a list of security, SEO, and backup plug-ins Some web hosting providers also offer WordPress video tutorials for easy and fast learning. Take a moment to explore your WordPress dashboard and your blog or website design and management will be more streamlined and efficient.