The WordPress dashboard or the back-end of your website is the first screen you land on after logging into your WordPress site. The WordPress Dashboard is the place where you start to create, manage, maintain, and customize your WordPress website or blog. It’s the place where you let your creativity run wild so you can build your website or blog in a way that suits your business.
The WordPress dashboard is also considered the behind the scenes that controls the functionality and look of your WordPress website or blog. It is known as WordPress admin or administrative panel. Therefore, if you want to create a great WordPress site, you need to familiarize yourself with and understand all the settings and components of the WordPress dashboard.
In this article, we will go over the 11 most important setups and components every WordPress site owner or webmaster needs to know to create a great WordPress site. Please note that the settings explained in this article are the basic and default settings in the WordPress Dashboard. You may see additional settings and components on the dashboard depending on the theme or plugins you have installed and activated on your WordPress site.
- Admin bar: This is the top toolbar of the WordPress dashboard. It contains some of the most useful links that can also be shortcuts to perform some of the most important tasks. For example, you can find links to the official WordPress site, WordPress Codex documentation, support forums, view your site, add a new post/page/media/user, edit your profile, and log out.
- five widgets: Welcome, At a Glance, Activity, Quick Draft, and WordPress News. These are the 5 default widgets that are displayed in the main space of your WordPress dashboard. These widgets give you a quick overview of what’s happening on your site or blog along with some site statistics. They also give you some helpful links to get you started adding content, navigating, and customizing your WordPress site.
- Left Main Navigation Menu– This is the menu on the left of the WordPress dashboard that has elements and sub-elements to perform the various tasks on your site. It has almost all the settings that control everything on your site. Therefore, the next most important settings on our list are the items included in this main navigation menu. To get to any sub-item of each item in the left navigation menu, you can either click on the desired item to expand its sub-items or simply hover over the desired item so that its sub-items expand for you to choose from.
- Publications: Posts represent the blogging aspect of your WordPress website or blog. Posts are displayed on your WordPress site in reverse chronological order with the most recent post at the top. Posts are also called blog posts or articles. The post element has four sub-elements which are All Posts, Add New, Categories, and Tags. On the All Posts screen, you’ll find all the posts you or your users have made, whether they’re posted, scheduled, or saved as a draft. If you want to add a new post, you need to use the Add New link to use the script editor. However, you will use the Categories and Tags submenus to assign categories and tags to your posts.
- Media: Media is the setting in your WordPress dashboard that is responsible for uploading and storing all media from your WordPress website or blog. The sub-items of this item are Library and Add New. You can use the Add New link to upload new media, such as images, audio, and video. On the other hand, the Library is the section that stores all the uploaded media items.
- Pages: Pages represent the static content of your site. You can use them to create the information that is unchanged or the information that rarely changes on your site. You can use them to create pages like About Us, Contact Us, Bios, Employees, and Home Page.
- Comments: The comments admin screen is the screen that contains all the comments made on your WordPress site. Comments represent the interaction between you and your readers. From here, you can check all comment authors, perform some response actions like Approve/Disapprove, Reply, Quick Edit, Edit or move to Spam or Trash.
- Appearance: Appearance is one of the most important WordPress dashboard settings. With the Appearance element, you can change the look, layout, and navigation of your website or blog while maintaining the essential (Core) software that runs your site. There are many submenus here, such as Themes, Customize, Widgets, Menus, Header, and Editor.
- accessories: The plugins element is also one of the most important settings in the WordPress dashboard. Plugins add more features and capabilities to your WordPress website or blog. There are thousands of plugins, most of them are free and you can find them on WordPress.org and some are paid or premium. By using sub-elements, you can upload/install and activate plugins, as well as disable or disable them and then remove them from your site.
- Users: You can use the Users element to assign users to your site. This is a useful link, especially if you have a team or employees working on your WordPress website or blog. There are 5 different user roles with different access privileges. These 5 user roles are Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber.
- Settings– This is the last item on our list and is an essential WordPress dashboard setup. The sub-elements of this element are General, Writing, Reading, Discussion, Media, and Permalinks. Please note that you may see additional sub-items here depending on the plugins you have activated on your site. You can refer to each of them to see the comprehensive settings available to manage your site.
I hope this article gives you a good overview of the most important WordPress dashboard components and settings.