WordPress Dashboard is the WordPress Home screen and it is the first screen you see when you log into your blog. It is an area where you control all the background details and management of your blog. In today’s WordPress Tutorial we will review the Dashboard so you will become ready to “attack” it in the subsequent tutorials.
After you install your blog and before you start blogging you need to understand the Dashboard menu and you will have to configure some of the settings within this menu. The WordPress Dashboard overview is aimed at helping you to acquaint yourself with the nuances of the Dashboard.
To access your WordPress Dashboard you first have to log into your blog. In case you forgot how to log into your blog, let’s have a quick look at the login process.
WordPress Login Overview
1. In the address bar enter http://yourblog.com/wp-admin or http://yourblog.com/wp-login.php. After you set up your blog your host would have sent you your login URL information. But if you don’t happen to have it handy, either of the URLs I gave you, should work. After you enter the login URL you will arrive at the Login Screen page.
Image 1. Your WordPress Blog Login Screen
2. In the WordPress login window enter your username and password. You selected those during your WordPress installation in your cPanel. You would have received it in your email.
If you are stuck click on “Lost your password” and the password will be sent to the email address you included when you filled out the WordPress installation form.
WordPress Dashboard Home Screen – Overview
When you log in, first you will always see the WordPress Dashboard “Welcome” screen.
Image 2. WordPress Dashboard Welcome (Home) Screen
On the right side of the screen, you will receive suggestions from WordPress and information that you may or may not take into consideration. It is not important. At the moment, don’t follow their suggestions. Before you start writing a blog you need to learn a bit of a background behind configuring your blog for the process of blogging.
The important area is on the left-hand side. Think of it as a navigation menu. This menu provides links to all of the WordPress administration elements of your blog. From this menu you will be accessing your posts and pages, setting up categories, navigation bar menu, customizing your theme and so on.
When you hover over the menu items most of them expand into sub-topic, where you will have access to even more functions.
WordPress Dashboard Screen With Alerts
WordPress is an amazing platform which is constantly updated. So are the plugins and the themes. For now, all you have to understand is that WordPress immediately alerts you when one of the menu items has been updated.
Image 2. WordPress Dashboard Home Screen With Alerts
If any of your elements need to be updated, they will be flagged with a red dot. The first red dot will appear in the “Home” menu, under “Updates”. Other red dots will mark the specific elements that will have to be updated. In the demo blog that I use for the WordPress Tutorial series needs to have 1 plugin updated.
If you click on the Update menu link you will arrive at the update page and there you can immediately see what needs to be updated. This screen is very helpful when more than one element need to be updated
Image 3. WordPress Dashboard Update Screen
The reason I am showing you the screen is that sometimes when you just install a blog you may get a notification on a newly installed blog. I don’t want you to be concerned about it. If you want, you can update your blog before you proceed any further.
In the Update screen tick of the elements that need to be updated and they will automatically update. Just don’t forget to click the “Update” button for the item you are updating.
After you update the items that needed to be updated, the dashboard screen goes back to normal. No more red dots!
For now just explore the Dashboard and familiarize yourself with it. Click on any of the menu items and see where they will lead you. As soon as you are done “exploring”, continue to the next chapter. Or click on the “Next Tutorial” link below to come the page where we will start exploring Dashboard Settings and customizing them.
Next Tutorial: Customizing Dashboard Settings