The Dashboard is the business end of your WordPress blog site. Within here is where blogsite content is managed, where the appearance of the Site View is set, and where other users can be added to your site.
Within the header, at the top of your screen, are a few different features located on the left and right sides of your screen.
To the left is the title of the current blog you are working on. Directly next to the title is the Visit Site button. Clicking on either the title or button will take you to the Site View of your current blog.
The right region of the header contains a drop down menu which allows you quick access to the following common WordPress tasks:
- New Post: Create a new Post by selecting this menu item
- Drafts: Displays a list of all draft (unpublished) content in your blogsite
- New Page: Create a new Page by selecting this menu item
- Upload: Upload media files from your computer to your blogsite
- Comments: Manage the Comments added to your site
The right side of the header also includes the following links:
- User Name: When clicked, will display your profile
- Turbo: When clicked, will open up a Tools panel
- Log Out: When clicked, will log you out of your blog site
Screen Options Tab
Clicking on the Screen Options tab, which is to the right of your screen beneath the topmost links, will open up a panel that will allow you to reorder, hide, or show the different components that you see in main body of your Dashboard.
The Help tab will provide links to different sources of WordPress help.
Left Sidebar Region
Most features and tools for WordPress are located within the Left Sidebar region of your screen in three separate menu blocks. The menu blocks are loosely categorized as follows:
- Views: Located at the top of the left sidebar menu group, this menu block contains items related to the different views available for the blog.
- Content: Located at the center of the left sidebar menu group, this menu block contains items related to content created and/or used on the blog site.
- Configuration: Located at the bottom of the left sidebar menu group, this menu block contains configuration options for things such as blog site appearance, functionality, and user management.
The menus can be hidden into their icon representations by clicking on the small arrows between the blocks. To reveal the text menus, just click on one of the arrows again.
Views Menu Block
The Dashboard menu item is where a user can toggle between viewing the blog administrative panel and the Site View.
Within the Dashboard menu group, there are two different items:
- Dashboard: Displays the Dashboard view.
- My Blogs: Displays a list of all of your blogs.
Content Menu Block
You have the ability to create a few different types of content on your blogsite, as well as to upload various forms of media to embed and attach to your blog posts and pages.
Posts are the entries that make up a blog, as we know it. Conceptually, a blog is like a journal. All of the entries display in reverse chronological order – today’s entry will appear over yesterday’s entry, yesterday’s entry will appear over the day before, etc.
Within the Posts menu group, there are four different items:
- Add New
- Post Tags
The Media menu group is where media files can be uploaded and managed.
Within the Media menu group, there are two different items:
The Links menu group is where link-related items are created and managed.
Within the Link menu group, there are three different items:
- Add New
- Link Categories
Pages are intended for content that does not change very often. An example would be a page that describes the main topic of a blogsite or perhaps one that provides more detailed information about the group or individual issuing the blog – such as contact information, etc.
Within the Pages menu group there are two different items:
The Comments menu item is where users can manage any comments that are left on a site. This includes moderation, spam assignment, and deletion of inappropriate commentary.
Site Configuration Menu Block
WordPress not only enables you with the ability to post content, it also allows you to configure, or set-up, your site to suit your own tastes and needs.
Many different things can be configured on your site: the way it looks, different tools that promote interaction with your audience, what contributors on your site may and may not do, as well as general ways that you want your site to behave given a certain set of conditions.
The Appearance menu group is where users can change settings that affect how the site looks. Additionally, add-on features known as Widgets are managed here.
Within the Appearance menu group there are three different features:
- Themes: Determine the ‘look and feel’ of your site
- Widgets: Small add-on features that can help make your site more enjoyable or efficient.
- Custom Header: Change the header image on your theme. Note – this feature relies on the active theme used by the site and may not be available if the theme does not allow it.
Plugins are add-on pieces of software which expand the functionality of WordPress. Plugins differ from Widgets in the fact that the code used is typically more complicated. Some Plugins actually create Widgets. Other Plugins may simply perform tasks in the background of your blogsite and show no real visible effects on the screen.
Within the Plugins menu group there are two different items:
- Installed: Displays a list of all available Plugins.
- Akismet Configuration: Allows you to automatically discard spam comments that come in on posts older than a month.
More than one person can belong to your blogsite. In fact, your blogsite can have multiple users who each possess different levels of permissions, if you so desire. The Users menu group is where all user management occurs.
Within the Users menu group there are three different items:
- Authors & Users
- Add New
- Your Profile
The Tools menu provides different tools used in the import, export, and subscription base management of your blogsite.
Within the Tools menu group there are four different items
- Tools: Provides a short list of available tools.
- Import: Provides a list of different blog systems that WordPress can import from.
- Export: Allows for the export of your blogsite into an XML file which can be imported into other blogsites.
- Subscriptions: Displays a list e-mail addresses that subscribe to your blog.
There are many different features available on your blogsite. You may choose to use some features, you may choose not to use others. Additionally, most features within your blogsite can be configured to display or behave in a particular manner.
Within the Settings menu group there are eleven different items:
- General: Basic site information, including blog title and time zone.
- Writing: Provides different settings regarding your writing workspace and ability to publish remotely.
- Reading: Determine what your front page display should be, how many posts and feed items should show at a time, and how feed items should be displayed.
- Discussion: Settings regarding comment handling, blog rating, and avatar usage.
- Media: Define presets for maximum dimensions of images when inserted into a body post.
- Privacy: Set blog visibility to search engines here.
- Permalinks: Set up patterns for URL aliases.
- Delete Blog: Delete your blog permanently.
- Embedded Video: Determine how video links are displayed.
- Blog Category: Change the categorization of your blog.
- Subscribe to Comments: Set up custom messages for different types of users who visit your site regarding subscription status.