Are you looking for an introduction to the WordPress dashboard that will discuss all the important steps and guide you along the way?
You’re lucky! 🙂
In this tutorial, you will learn the essentials of WordPress dashboard.
Dashboard is the first screen that pops up immediately after you log in to your WordPress administration panel. The main motive of the dashboard is to keep you updated about your blog site.
You can look into the news feed, check your draft posts, view how popular your content has become and catch up with those who are trying to contact you. It even allows you to prospect the comments you have received on your recent blog posts.
It would be reasonable to say that your dashboard is like a lighthouse of operations, from where you can keep a vigilant eye on all other specific details.
This tutorial will help you understand the working of the WordPress dashboard and other basic stuff that that will be useful for you. So let’s get started.
Log in to your WordPress admin area and you’ll be directed to the dashboard page.
NOTE: In case you are not familiar with the admin log in area, you must read this. Type ‘admin’ or ‘wp-admin’ or ‘login’ after entering the URL of your site in the address box.
Let’s say the URL of your site is http://www.example.in, then you’ can log in to your WordPress admin panel by typing http://www.example.in/wp-login.php or http://www.example.in/wp-admin.
Once you login to the WordPress admin area, you will land to the dashboard page.
Now, what you see on your left hand side is the Home page menu of the WordPress dashboard.
Didn’t get it?
Okay, let me simplify things for you.
So there are two pages on the dashboard. One is the ‘Home’ page and other is the ‘Updates’ page, as you can see these two options listed next to each other in the picture given below.
We will discuss the updates menu later on in detail.
Let’s focus back to the dashboard home page for now and understand the functioning of the widgets mentioned on the homepage of the dashboard.
=> Welcome to WordPress
=> At a Glance
=> Quick Draft
=> WordPress News
All these are the customary widgets available on the dashboard page. You can drag and drop them wherever you want- on the home.
You can even collapse or expand them anytime you want.
You can choose to hide these widgets with the screen options tab given on the top right corner of the dashboard homepage.
If you have a plugin installed on your webpage, it will exhibit its own module too on the dashboard page.
For example, if you have Yoast SEO plugin installed on your blog, it will display some other widgets on the dashboard home page along-with the standard ones given there.
For those who do not know what are plugins and how do they work on WordPress, read the box given here.
What Is A Plugin?
Plugins are the code packages that enhance the utility of WordPress without touching the elementary files.
WordPress Plugins can be as simple or complicated as we want them to be, depending on what we want to do. A single PHP file is the form of a simplest plugin.
Why We Make Plugins?
Plugins allow you to explore the functional aspects of WordPress without touching the core files of WordPress.
There’s one important rule for WordPress development- Do not touch the WordPress core.
This implies that you must not edit the core files to add any sort of functionality to your blog site. That is because, while updating to a newer version, WordPress overwrites the local files.
Therefore, any functionality or specification you want to add to your site should be added through the Plugins.
This should be further implemented using the standard WordPress APIs.
You can also click on the ‘Help’ option given right next to the ‘screen option’ tab on the dashboard, in case you need any help regarding the dashboard functions.
You can even go through the support forums provided on WordPress.org using the link given on the right side of the ‘Help’ option.
You can see the ‘Help Menu’ on the right corner of the WordPress screenshot given above.
Let’s discuss the functioning of WordPress widgets in detail.
It is the first widget that appears on your dashboard page. It will take you to various other pages for performing different tasks. This is how the widget looks like:
As you can see above, the first option will help you to customize your blog site. You can change the look and feel of your site by clicking on that link.
Second option ‘Next Steps’ will assist you in writing your first blog post and adding information about yourself on the about page.
Once it’s done, you can see how your blog looks by clicking on the ‘View Your Site’ link given there.
Third option ‘More Actions’ will help you in managing different widgets and menus mentioned on the dashboard page.
You can view the comments on your site (if any) or can choose to turn them off or on. Also, the link ‘Learn More About Getting Started’ will help you in learning more about WordPress functions and how to get started with your blog site.
Welcome to WordPress is the only widget that can be dismissed from your dashboard page.
You can simply close the widget by click on the ‘Dismiss’ option given in the top right corner of the widget menu. Once it’s dismissed, it will be no longer visible on your page.
You can bring it back whenever you want by clicking on it in the ‘Screen Options’ menu.
It does what it says. This widget gives you a quick glance of the number of posts, pages, and comments that you have on your blog site.
It will also show you the theme active on your site. If your search engine visibility settings are set to discourage the search engines from indexing your blog site, it will be displayed in this widget.
Akismet is a type of plugin that shows the number of spam comments mentioned on your site.
If the plugin is installed on your site, At a Glance widget will also show the number of spam comments listed on your site.
You might have guessed the function of this widget by its name. Yes, Quick Draft helps you to draft your blog posts and save them.
You just need to enter the Title and the body of the draft in the appropriate boxes given there and click to save your post.
This widget helps you to review your posts in future before publishing them on your site. It lets you save whatever you have in your mind at the moment, and you can easily edit your post later on.
However, there are no content styling options. You cannot choose a font for your draft post. The font is mentioned by default and you’ll have to stick to it.
Let’s move on to discuss the fourth important widget.
This widget is added to show the activities going on. These activities are related to the posts and comments on your blog site.
Activity widget will display the list of published and scheduled posts on your page. Scheduled posts are the ones which have to be published soon.
The last but not the least, this widget displays recent news from the popular WordPress planet.
You can also see the plugin that is trending on WordPress using this widget. ‘WordPress Plugin Repository’ link will show you that plugin. Here is how this widget appears on your home page:
We hope this helped you in understanding the functioning of the home page menu on the WordPress dashboard.
Now, let’s throw some light on the Updates menu of the dashboard that we talked about earlier in this tutorial.
So, as you can see in the picture below, this page is intentionally divided into 3 sections.
The first section shows the updates available for WordPress version you are running currently.
The second portion of the page lists the updates available for the plugin installed on your site (if any), and the last section shows the updates available for the themes that are currently installed on your page.
You can successfully install these updates from here to enhance the overall look and functioning of your blogging site whenever you want to.
And that’s all about the functioning of the WordPress Dashboard.
Did you like what you read? Did you find the information useful for you?
Hope this tutorial helped you in learning about the WordPress dashboard. Post your comments, suggestions and questions in the section given below.