Introducing the WordPress dashboard

Before we get stuck in, you’ll need to log into your WordPress dashboard. To do this, enter the following URL into your web browser (replacing ‘mywebsite.com’ with the domain name that you have registered):

www.mywebsite.com/wp-admin

You should see the following login window on your computer screen:

The WordPress Login Screen

Enter the login details that would have been emailed to you.  When you click the ‘Log In’ button, you should be presented with your WordPress dashboard:

The WordPress dashboard

Every action that you perform on your website is done from the WordPress dashboard. Think of the WP dashboard as the cockpit of the Starship Enterprise, or the dashboard of your car.

You will see a dark-background menu across the top of the dashboard and to the left hand side.

These menu items will change as you add themes and plugins, but some elements are essential to your sites administration. Note that some of the menu items will expand to reveal additional menu items. Let’s look at the primary menu items individually.

Left-hand menu items:

  • Home – this is the home screen of your dashboard and will be the one you see when you login. The home view displays important information about your site in handy moveable blocks;
  • Updates – the updates screen details any software updates that need to be actioned. If there are any updates, you will see an orange notification circle with a number inside it – updates should be performed as soon as possible;
  • Posts – the posts screen will list all of the blog posts that are on your site (either published or in draft mode);
  • Media – the media screen displays all of the media you have uploaded to your site. A media item is either an image, a video or a document such as a .pdf;
  • Links – the links screen details a number of useful links that you can use to discover more about WordPress;
  • Pages – the pages screen will list all of the static pages that are on your site (either published or in draft mode);
  • Comments – the comments screen details all comments that site visitors have left on your published blog posts;
  • Appearance – the appearance screen displays the WordPress themes that you have installed on your site;
  • Plugins – the plugins screen displays the WordPress plugins that you have installed on your site;
  • Users – the users screen details all of the active users on your site. You should only have one user (you), unless you choose to add additional users;
  • Tools – the tools screen will display any functionality tools that you have installed on your site; and finally
  • Settings – the settings screen displays the essential site settings – this is perhaps the most important of the menu items.

These are the primary menu items on your dashboard, though you will have additional menu items, depending on what themes and plugins you have installed.

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