This article is first in a series on each part of the WordPress dashboard, as seen on my Maximum Author Impact website.
If you’ve ever posted to a blog using WordPress, you’ve seen the dashboard menu, standing tall and proud on the left side of your screen. When you’re focused on typing your blog post, it slides unobtrusively out of site, slipping back again when you need it. Because the dashboard menu blends in to the background, you might take it for granted, only exploring various choices when you specifically want to change something. That’s why I thought it would be helpful to you (and, if truth be told, me) to embark on a series of posts exploring the WordPress dashboard in detail.
As you can tell from the image on the left, created from a snippet of my own dashboard, I have some plugins enabled that you may not have. I’ll discuss the choices I’ve made as we go along, but will begin with the menu choices that come as default items on everyone’s installation.
A Very Good Place to Start
When you install WordPress, and every time you access the “back end” of your website thereafter, you encounter the dashboard. The dashboard screen is composed of various widgets, or (according to codex.wordpress.org) blocks of information. The default widgets are At a Glance, Activity, Quick Draft, WordPress News, and Welcome.
The Welcome widget provides you with important links to help you get started. Once you’re familiar with all those functions, click the “Dismiss” link in the upper right corner, and it will disappear. At a Glance is quick snapshot of how many posts, pages and comments you’ve created, as well as what version of WordPress and which theme you’re using. Activity shows what posts you’ve recently published, as well as any comments. Personally, I’ve never used Quick Draft, but it’s a place to dash off a quick thought or post without actually going through the steps of creating one. Below that, WordPress News appears, letting you know about new versions or interesting discussions about WordPress.
Did you know you can add or delete widgets to the page, or change their location? The little arrow in the corner of each widget allows you to close or delete it. To move it–which will become even handier when you have multiple widgets on the page–simply click on the top and drag it to the desired location.
To See or Not to See
At the top of the dashboard is the Screen Options tab, showing you which widgets to display. If you uncheck one of the boxes, that widget will disappear. The tab features are specific to the page you’re on. Be sure to look at the tab if you can’t find some feature you know should appear on that page.
Tune In Next Week…
Please check my blog next week for the next installment of Intimate WordPress!