How to Use Your Dashboard Area

Your WordPress dashboard area is also know as your admin area and its the place where you can see everything at a glance

The thing to remember with WordPress is that you can’t break anything on it at all, its impossible

So looking at the left hand side of the dashboard area, which will be the same as your own WordPress Dashboard, because the admin areas are standard, until you start uploading plugins according to your specific needs, 

Where the 3 red arrows are pointing to the top, middle and bottom of the page, all those links down that side are clickable links which take you to a different area of your WordPress 

Moving across to the right hand side of the admin area, you will see two square boxes.

The Top square box is called the Quick Draft and its in this box, that you can type in the title and first part of any new post, which might come to mind while you are checking your dashboard stats, as the video demonstration below shows you

To the right of that, is a box, which has the words drag boxes here and quite literally you can drag any box from the dashboard area into that space and if, having dragged it there, you decide you don’t like it, you can simply drag it back to where you would like it as the video below shows you 

 

To the left of the two square boxes, you can see a box which says Pretty Link Quick Add

At this point don’t worry to much about what Pretty Link is, if you have never heard of it, because a full explanation will be given elsewhere on this blog, but it is essentially a WordPress Link tracker, where you can as the box says 

“Quickly Add, Pretty Links” 

With those explanations out the way, if you now look to the top of the admin area, under where it says 

“Dashboard” 

You will see a horizontal bar, which has a thin red line to the left of it and at the far right hand side is a tiny x

Whenever you see this in the dashboard area, or on other pages within your WordPress website, it is a notification for you

If the notification has been dealt with, then you can simply Kiss it away using the x, as the video above, shows you

Now, thought its not actually shown in the video, I have highlighted in the image below 

The 4 places, shown by the red arrows above, where you get notified of any updates, both to WordPress and the plugins you have installed

Where Red Arrow 1 is shown, the number of update shown here will be a combined total of both theme and plugin updates

Where Red Arrow 2 is shown, this will be general updates

Red Arrow 3 is the number of Plugin updates

Red Arrow 4, is the number of notifications if you have Yoast Installed. The Y indicates that you have Yoast and it will be found at the top and near the bottom on the left hand side of the menu bar, but again a full review of Yoast, what it does and how it will benefit you will be found elsewhere. 

Lets start with the appearance section of the admin area, because after all, once you have WordPress installed, you will see a page very similar to the one below

In the picture above, you will see the numbers 1 & 2. 

Number 1 on the right hand side is the default WordPress theme which comes with every installation. The default installations always are called Twenty…. 

Number 2 on the left hand side of the screen, is an uploaded theme which can beuploaded manually if you don’t like the default one you get.The default one you get will always be a free theme

It is also worth noting, that with the themes you have, if you decide to upload a newer type if theme, which you plan to use then you should keep the default theme, but delete any other ones you don’t want, as this can have an impact on load speeds

We will go into more detail on themes elsewhere

That covered and hopefully all making sense to you, let now move down to the settings link ( shown below) 

 

You will need to click on this, because its on the next page you can adjust some important bits of your website

Clicking on it, opens up the page you see below

So lets walk you through the individual sections here, because its where you can start to make the site more ‘yours’ as it were

1. Site Title. Its here you can put what your site is all about, you can include your name if you want to, but its entirely up to you

2. Tagline. Now this is a funny one, because you can put a strapline in here quite happily, but depending on what theme you have, depends on if it shows up when its pubished, not to worry to much if it doesn’t, because if it doesn’t show up, then you will be shown how you can do so if you wish

Taglines, don’t affect search engine results at all, its just a matter of personal preference if you want it showing

3. Email address ; You have to have an email address in here, because its where WordPress will send you notifications, so its important to choose your best email address, or at least one you use regularly

4 Site Language : If English is your first choice lanaguage, then its best to choose English (United States) 

5. Timezone : Choose Your local timezone

6. Date Format. Again its a personal preference, but choose a time format you like

By the way, none of these are set in stone and cant be changed. You can change them at any time you want to,according to choice… So don’t panic, remember you won’t break it!!

Sticking in the theme settings section, but moving down to the Readings section (below)

In the picture above you will see 3 red arrows

1. Shows that you should always have a static page as you main page

2.This is where you get to choose which page on your site is the home / main page. For ease of reference, you might find it easier to choose the home page, as your main page

3. Asks what page your blog posts should be on.As you will see in this example, the blog posts are on their own page

Now under neath that you will see that you are asked if the posts are to be full text, or summary posts. Summary posts are where you read a few lines of text, then are asked to continue reading

This is entirely optional, however, from an easy on the eye point of view, having a continue reading button looks slightly more pleasing than a page of full text. So choose summary.

The final area to cover in the dashboard area is the permalinks section, shown below

 

 

As you will see above, you are given a few different  post options and with each option, comes an example of how the post option will look once published.

You should choose post name as the permalink structure, because when the post is written and published it will look professional and certainly better than yourpostname.p=123

So, that is the main areas of your dashboard settings covered, or at least the ones that will make sure your blog is set up correctly, before you start building it out and adding to it

If you have found this article useful, please feel free to share it using the social sharing buttons below

Equally, if you have questions, feel free to ask them below, and I will answer them

 

Your WordPress dashboard area is also know as your admin area and its the palce where you can see everything at a glance

The thing to remember with WordPress is that you can’t break anything on it at all, its impossible

So looking at the left hand side of the dashboard area, which will be the same as your own WordPress Dashboard, because the admin areas are standard, until you start uploading plugins according to your specific needs, 

Where the 3 red arrows are pointing to the top, middle and bottom of the page, all those links down that side are clickable links which take you to a different area of your WordPress 

Moving across to the right hand side of the admin area, you will see two square boxes.

The Top square box is called the Quick Draft and its in this box, that you can type in the title and first part of any new post, which might come to mind while you are checking your dashboard stats, as the video demonstration below shows you

https://youtu.be/C7ET12py_MQ

To the right of that, is a box, which has the words drag boxes here and quite literally you can drag any box from the dashboard area into that space and if, having dragged it there, you decide you don’t like it, you can simply drag it back to where you would like it as the video below shows you 

https://youtu.be/C7ET12py_MQ

To the left of the two square boxes, you can see a box which says Pretty Link Quick Add

At this point don’t worry to much about what Pretty Link is, if you have never heard of it, because a full explanation will be given elsewhere on this blog, but it is essentially a WordPress Link tracker, where you can as the box says 

“Quickly Add, Pretty Links” 

With those explanations out the way, if you now look to the top of the admin area, under where it says 

“Dashboard” 

You will see a horizontal bar, which has a thin red line to the left of it and at the far right hand side is a tiny x

Whenever you see this in the dashboard area, or on other pages within your WordPress website, it is a notification for you

If the notification has been dealt with, then you can simply Kiss it away using the x, as the video above, shows you

Now, thought its not actually shown in the video, I have highlighted in the image below 

The 4 places, shown by the red arrows above, where you get notified of any updates, both to WordPress and the plugins you have installed

Where Red Arrow 1 is shown, the number of update shown here will be a combined total of both theme and plugin updates

Where Red Arrow 2 is shown, this will be general updates

Red Arrow 3 is the number of Plugin updates

Red Arrow 4, is the number of notifications if you have Yoast Installed. The Y indicates that you have Yoast and it will be found at the top and near the bottom on the left hand side of the menu bar, but again a full review of Yoast, what it does and how it will benefit you will be found elsewhere. 

Lets start with the appearance section of the admin area, because after all, once you have WordPress installed, you will see a page very similar to the one below

In the picture above, you will see the numbers 1 & 2. 

Number 1 on the right hand side is the default WordPress theme which comes with every installation. The default installations always are called Twenty…. 

Number 2 on the left hand side of the screen, is an uploaded theme which can beuploaded manually if you don’t like the default one you get.The default one you get will always be a free theme

It is also worth noting, that with the themes you have, if you decide to upload a newer type if theme, which you plan to use then you should keep the default theme, but delete any other ones you don’t want, as this can have an impact on load speeds

We will go into more detail on themes elsewhere

That covered and hopefully all making sense to you, let now move down to the settings link ( shown below) 

You will need to click on this, because its on the next page you can adjust some important bits of your website

Clicking on it, opens up the page you see below

So lets walk you through the individual sections here, because its where you can start to make the site more ‘yours’ as it were

1. Site Title. Its here you can put what your site is all about, you can include your name if you want to, but its entirely up to you

2. Tagline. Now this is a funny one, because you can put a strapline in here quite happily, but depending on what theme you have, depends on if it shows up when its pubished, not to worry to much if it doesn’t, because if it doesn’t show up, then you will be shown how you can do so if you wish

Taglines, don’t affect search engine results at all, its just a matter of personal preference if you want it showing

3. Email address ; You have to have an email address in here, because its where WordPress will send you notifications, so its important to choose your best email address, or at least one you use regularly

4 Site Language : If English is your first choice lanaguage, then its best to choose English (United States) 

5. Timezone : Choose Your local timezone

6. Date Format. Again its a personal preference, but choose a time format you like

By the way, none of these are set in stone and cant be changed. You can change them at any time you want to,according to choice… So don’t panic, remember you won’t break it!!

Sticking in the theme settings section, but moving down to the Readings section (below)

In the picture above you will see 3 red arrows

1. Shows that you should always have a static page as you main page

2.This is where you get to choose which page on your site is the home / main page. For ease of reference, you might find it easier to choose the home page, as your main page

3. Asks what page your blog posts should be on.As you will see in this example, the blog posts are on their own page

Now under neath that you will see that you are asked if the posts are to be full text, or summary posts. Summary posts are where you read a few lines of text, then are asked to continue reading

This is entirely optional, however, from an easy on the eye point of view, having a continue reading button looks slightly more pleasing than a page of full text. So choose summary.

The final area to cover in the dashboard area is the permalinks section, shown below

As you will see above, you are given a few different  post options and with each option, comes an example of how the post option will look once published.

You should choose post name as the permalink structure, because when the post is written and published it will look professional and certainly better than yourpostname.p=123

So, that is the main areas of your dashboard settings covered, or at least the ones that will make sure your blog is set up correctly, before you start building it out and adding to it

If you have found this article useful, please feel free to share it using the social sharing buttons below

Equally, if you have questions, feel free to ask them below, and I will answer them

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24 thoughts on “How to Use Your Dashboard Area”

  1. Getting a hang of the use of wordpress dashboard can be pretty confusing for someone that has never made use of it before but I think after some few days one can really get a hang of it and it just becomes second nature. I did watch videos and read some informations online on how to make use of it when I just started online. I think those looking to understand wordpress dashboard would really find this information to be helpful.

  2. It’s good to know that you can’t break anything on your WordPress website lol.

    Thank you for this thorough breakdown of the WordPress dashboard. Even though I use this platform everyday I still picked up some tips going through this, as you don’t tend to make full use of the dashboard as we should.

    I never even noticed the section for Pretty links, and now that I know it is there, it will definitely make life a little easier when adding links.

    • Thanks for commenting Michel. As for the Pretty links, thats a plugin which will be covered on a seperate tutorial, but it certainly makes life easier for you when sharing your posts and /or pages out

  3. This is a really informative article on how to use the dashboard within wordpress, You have provided enough details for a beginner to understand and also the information you have provided will help me in using aspects within the dashboard that i wasn’t aware of. The video  demonstrations are also very helpful. Thanks for this article.

  4. Thanks for this interesting post, it is obvious that the first screen you see when you log into your to word press  is the Dashboard. Your Dashboard provides a quick overview of what is happening with your blog while also supplying tools to navigate to other areas of your administrative panel. But I really want to know what dashboard data analytics means ?

    • Thanks for commenting, and the dashboard data analytics breaks down the various stats your blog is receiving from traffic and visitors

  5. Dear Dave,

    Thanks a lot for the helpful post and I must say I found your post highly uplifting and educational.

    Explanation on Quick draft is an eye-opener never aware of its usage although I am using WordPress for nearly two years. Thanks a lot for the great walk-through on using the WordPress dashboard with helpful images and step by step instruction. The videos you embedded are very helpful.

    This post is going to be very helpful for the beginners and its going to save their time and effort. I can tell you I have taken some great insights from this post.

    Great information, you have really given a lot of value here.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    • As you highlighted with your comments, the vast majority of people who install wordpress, learn the absolute minimum to make it work, without really finding out what it does. WordPress is an awesome peice of technology, which used properly and where my site and newsletter will help is show you how to halve your marketing time right down yet still ‘appear’ to work as hard as the gurus do

  6. Hi Dave,

    This was quite an insightful guide to using the WordPress Dashboard. I have just started using the WordPress as a newbie,going through the training on Wealthy Affiliate,so I do not have so much experience with the Dashboard yet. I was wondering though, is it compulsory to have my dashboard set up like you outlined? Does it affect my website in any way if I don’t set it up?

    • Thanks for commenting. The Dashboard is set like as a default. When you add plugins, they get added to the left hand side bar

      It doesn’t affect the website at all, or in any way

  7. Hi there

    This is absolutely educating post. Operating the wordpress dashboard can be pretty confusing for newbies like me. I have spent a lot of hours on youtube to learn how to operate the wordpess dashboard. But reading this articulated post will really be helpful to me in designing my web. I really found this post helpful.

    • Glad you found it useful and thanks for commenting. Like you I spent hours years ago educating myself on it, so decided to document what I learned on it

  8. What an practical articles with great step by step explanation. I really appreciate this information and the efforts behind it. Keep it up. We learn everyday, even as I have been using wordpress couples of year ago, I still find this post revealing some unknown to me, it really helpful. In WordPress, the dashboard area is also know as our admin area and its the palce where you can see everything at a glance, which facilitates many activities easily. I will like to know more about the plugin area?

    • Thanks for commenting and the Plugin area is a subject that will be covered in full on another post so make sure you check back, or book mark this site

  9. Does word press have a option for ready made website designs? How can I learn more about the plugin options? Does WordPress have a backup plan, so that website contents are not lost forever?. What basic computer knowledge do I need to able to make an excellent use of the WordPress?

    • WordPress themes, are ready made website designs, unless of course you want a specific custom made ecommerce template, which is slightly different.

      The only computer knowledge you need is the ability to type ( even with one figure) and click a mouse

      Thanks for commenting

  10. Hi, Dave. Thanks for showing around the dashboard area and how to use it. Although I have been using this dashboard for some time, I have never taken notice of pretty links. I’m looking forward to the post on how to use Pretty links and another on Yoast. I have heard of Yoast before but never found out what it is. Hope to learn more of that in your next post. Thank you!

  11. Hi Dave. 

    Thanks for your article on How to Use Your Dashboard Area. I just most recently started blogging and I am having a hard time getting used to the Word Press system as a whole. 

    Through your article, I have gotten some answers to the questions I have been asking myself. I am now more knowledgeable on how to use my dashboard area. 

    Would you advise I use a continue reading button? 

    • Thanks for commenting, to answer the question on a continue reading button, I think they look nicer, compared to a full page of just text, it breaks the content up nicely and makes it more attractive to your reader, which is ultimately who you are writing for.

  12. Hi Dave

    That is one impressive review of how to use the dashboard in WordPress.  I am positive that an absolute beginner will learn how to get the maximum benefit and use it in order to maximize the potential of their website.

    I have a question, how long do you think you have to spend on the WordPress Dashboard before you can say that you are proficient in its usage?

    Thank you for your time.

    Antonio

    • Thanks for commenting and to be proficient in its use, just spend a few minutes daily for 2 or 3 days consistently.

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