So, you just installed?WordPress?and logged in to your new WordPress through ?domain.com/wp-admin?.
Let me tell you something before you start, the WordPress dashboard is pretty user friendly and very easy to deal with. All you need is some common sense of how things work and it will be pretty much easy to get acquainted fast.
Let me start with the administrator panel of WordPress. With a detailed study of this guide, you will be able to master the basic aspects of WordPress in no time. So, let?s get started!
Your administrator?s home page is simply called Home which is located on the left sidebar panel of WordPress dashboard. On the body, you can find a number of helpful guides that you can use to start with WordPress. Since you are reading this post, you don?t need to get through those links. I have already compiled a comprehensive guide for you to study and get started.
Feel free to browse through the dashboard and get yourself acquainted with WordPress. If you are stuck somewhere, feel free to come back to this post and start fresh. The easiest way to learn anything is simply by experimentation, you don?t experiment, you don?t learn. On the other hand, if you want to go through this guide first and understand some basic aspects, you should read-on.
This is how your WordPress home looks like. I am sure things are pretty simple and kept in a great order even for a beginner. In the image mentioned below, you can see some ?Screen Settings? drop-down tab. This allows you to choose which dashboard widgets you want to see and which ones to hide.
To make it easier for you, I have not touched the screen-options for now, what is see below if set by defaults. Whatever you would like to see on your home, you can simply tick it. If you find something stupid and unnecessary you can simply unselect the option. My advice would be to keep all the settings as default. Since you are a beginner, you need to make sure that you know every aspect of WordPress.
The next and last submenu under Dashboard is Updates. Here you can update the main WordPress files (new versions of WordPress), plugins, and themes. It is always advised to run the latest version of your themes and plugins.
The important thing to note here is- When you update your WordPress version, make sure you have backed up your website. This can be done simply using Manage-WP.
Overview of WordPress: Posts and Categories
There are four submenus under the posts. At first you can see all posts, which is also your mail archive. Here you can view, sort, search, and perform bulk actions on all posts and articles on your blog.
If you wish to create a new post, simply click on the ?Add New? submenu or the ?Add New? button above all posts. This will take you to the post editor as seen below in the image.
After clicking, the record creation window will open, where everything is relatively simple for navigation and use. There is a field for the title of your post, an editor that ? if you are familiar with the main visual editors, such as you can find in your email or in a text editor ? should be understood. But all the other options are already worth considering in more detail.
Starting at the top and bottom, we have publication formats, publication controls, categories, tags, and favorite images.
A post is a place where you can save your post as a draft (or any other status), see how it will look after posting, edit the visibility of the post. You can choose a schedule for your post at a later date.
you can choose between eight different types of blog posts from post format ? depending on what your topic supports (for example, there is a stylesheet to display). If you do not want your blog post to be just one item, a standard post is likely to meet all your needs, as you can combine all the other elements of a post in one standard post.
Categories can be selected and/or created in the category section of the post editor, we will discuss about categories in detail later. Ideally, you have already narrowed your blog down to 5-10 categories before adding any blog posts. In this case, you simply check the corresponding box and go to the tags section.
Tags are where, you guessed it, you can add tags to your blog posts. Tags should generally be used rarely and specifically. Try not to bombard your posts with a massive wall of post tags, as they are mainly used as a means of filtering all the most relevant content on your site, and do not help the disclosure of your content on a large social network: like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Finally, we come to the image of the article. If this is supported by your topic, the recommended image will be displayed in two places: at the top of your post and as a preview on your blog and/or message archive pages. To add a new image, simply click on the ?install recommended image? link and select your preferred image in the library or download it from your computer.
Speaking of adding multimedia, let?s see how you can add images, videos, audio, and other materials to blog posts using the ?Add Multimedia? button located above the main text editor window.
As you can see from the image above, when you click the Add Media button, you will be taken to a screen with several options. To insert multimedia into the blog post, all you need to do is set the cursor in the editor where you want to display multimedia, click the Add Multimedia button, and then use one of the methods shown to select the specified multimedia.
You can download it from your computer, use the multimedia files that you have already uploaded to the WordPress multimedia library (which we will discuss together below), or you can embed multimedia files through the URL.
Now back to the categories, which is the next submenu in the ?Messages? section. As I mentioned above, you most likely want to limit yourself to a few categories. Ideally, a blog consists of one or more closely related topics. The idea should be to create a hierarchy of information in which each subset is becoming more specific so that visitors to your blog can easily find exactly what they are looking for.
For example, if you have a blog about working on cars, auto mechanics will be your common blog topic. After that, you may see categories divided into various sections of auto mechanics: engine, transmission, carburetor, etc. After that, the tags should be even more specific, and the names of the posts (the most specific) should be unique. This way, visitors to your blog will be able to move from a broad blog topic, right down to the exact information they are looking for using the categories and tags you provide.
This completes the basics of blogging, now it?s time to talk about the media library.
Overview of WordPress: Media library
When you click on Media in the side menu, the first submenu in which it is located is a library of files and pictures, any files that you decide to upload to the site. This page, like your ?All Posts? submenu, is intended to show all the media files that you have uploaded to your WordPress website.
On this page, you can go from the gallery to the list display, sort by media type, search by keywords, and perform bulk actions. If you click on an item, you will be taken to a page with editing details.
If you click the ?Edit Image? button, you can make minor changes directly to the WordPress backend.
Despite their simplicity, these simple editing tools can help you fit your images to the size of your blog posts so that each post looks the same, creating a more enjoyable reading experience.
And finally, if you want to add a new media file to your library, all you need to do is click the ?Add New? button in the library or select the ?Add New? submenu. In any case, you will be taken to the screen shown above, where you can drag and drop files from your computer or select them using the search button.
Overview of WordPress: Menu Items
In WordPress, pages are very similar to posts. The ?All Pages? and ?Add New? submenus in the main ?Pages? menu are almost the same as in the ?Mail? menu above it. Obviously, the page does not appear in front of your site as a blog post, but in the end there are a few practical differences.
Since the page archive is very similar to the message archive, I limited this section only to the new page editor, as shown above. The main difference here is the lack of format, category, and tag fields. And adding the Page Attributes field. In this field, you can select the parent page, page template (if your theme contains any values ??other than the standard ones), and page order. All of which you can leave at their default settings.
Overview of WordPress: Comments
The Comments section does not have a submenu. This is just an archive of all the comments posted on all your blog posts (and on pages if this feature is activated). This archive, like other archives, allows for quick search, sorting and mass actions. As well as managing individual comments; from marking a comment as unapproved to responding to it, marking spam, etc.
Overview of WordPress: Appearance & Theme
The appearance section of your administrator?s sidebar menu is a section that you frequently visit (at least during the initial setup) since this is where all your main configuration functions are located. This, of course, includes your WordPress theme.
Each new WordPress installation comes preloaded with several free WordPress themes. To activate a theme, all you have to do is hover over the desired topic and click ?Activate?. To view more detailed information about a given topic, simply click on the thumbnail image of the topic. You can even see how each of them will look before activating it by viewing the demo version of the theme. Once you have made your choice, it?s time for further customization, which is our next submenu.
By clicking on the ?Customize? submenu, you will be taken to a unique visual editor with settings on the left and a large preview window on the right. This is extremely useful for previewing potential changes to your theme/website design before making these changes live. Depending on the installed theme, the settings on the left may change.
The next submenu in the Appearance section is called Widgets. Widgets add content and features/functionality to sidebars or to other areas of widgets. The Widgets submenu is a place where you can drag and drop different widgets to different areas of your site. Or, if you do not want the widget to appear where you either placed it in the past, or this happens by default, you can simply drag it back to the section of available widgets.
Most themes support one or two menus: the main menu and the secondary menu. Together, these menus make up the navigation of your site. To create and manage them (and, possibly, many others), you need to go to the ?Menu? submenu option in the ?Appearance? section. In this section, you can create and organize menus in a drag and drop environment.
Many, but not all, WordPress themes will use the ?Title? section of the ?Appearance? section. Here you can make some basic changes to your title (for example, color and whether or not to display the title text), as well as the ability to download the image title.
Similarly, the Background section of the Appearance menu will not be used by every topic. In cases where this is not the case with the heading, these parameters are usually added to the ?Theme Settings? panel, which is unique to this particular topic. However, for all themes that take advantage of the built-in background options, you can select an image (a frequently repeated pattern) and/or change the color code.
And finally, we have an editor. This is a section that users often do not recommend to use for topic creators. Mainly because any changes you make to the files in this editor will be overwritten when you start the next theme update. It is recommended that you use a child theme instead of custom changes that require the use of this editor. If you?re not sure how to create a child theme, check out our guide.
You can browser to our themes section.
Overview of WordPress: Plugins
Plugins are PHP scripts that extend and expand the functionality of a WordPress website. To learn how to install and configure the plugin, check out our guide on this topic. To check which plugins are delivered in your new installation (and where all future installed plugins will be displayed), go to the main menu item ?Plugins?; By default, plugins are installed in the submenu.
On this page you can activate, edit or delete individual plugins, as well as perform bulk actions on all your plugins. To add a new plugin, click the ?Add New? button on this page or go to the next ?Add New? submenu.
Starting with WordPress 4.0, the Add New Plugin submenu section has been completely redesigned to make it easier to find and install the best free WordPress plugins from the official WordPress catalog. On this page, you can find plugins for Favorites, Popular, Favorites, Tag Cloud and, of course, keywords. As mentioned above, learning how to properly install and configure these plugins is described in another guide.
Again, the plugin file editor is often not recommended unless you consider yourself proficient in PHP and at least an intermediate WordPress user (if not a developer). In this case, this section is simple enough for those who know how to use it. Everyone else is probably best off using their plugins or hiring professional help to make changes.
Here are some recommended plugins for different functionalities:
Overview of WordPress: Users
In the ?Users? section, as the name implies, you manage everything related to users of the site. The default submenu is All Users.
Like the archives we saw earlier, the ?All Users? archive is a single screen on which you can search for all users / user types associated with your website. From this page you can quickly and easily find and edit any user.
To add a new user, simply click the Add New Submenu option or the ?Add New? button on the ?All Users? page. The process is simple and straightforward. Just fill in the required data fields, select the desired settings and click ?Add New User?.
After entering the system, the user can click on the link ?Your profile? and fill in the fields that you see in the image above to fill out your profile.
Overview of WordPress: Tools
WordPress does not come with an abundance of built-in tools (plugins are needed for this), but the ones it comes with are in the Tools section. When you click on this main option of the sidebar menu, the default is Available Tools.
The next option in the Tools menu is Import. Each source shown on this page is a potential source of blog posts. Just click on the appropriate link and follow the step by step instructions.
And finally, we have the ?Export? option in the ?Tools? menu. This section of the submenu is designed to help you create an exported file consisting of your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, terms, navigation menus, and custom posts.
Overview of WordPress: Settings
The Settings menu item is actually one of the most important sections of your WordPress admin, especially for the initial installation period. After these items are configured once, you will have to review them several times. Nevertheless, and although there are many things that can be left by default, the correct setting of several vital parameters the first time is quite important.
In the general section, almost everything can be left by default. You might want to remove or change the tagline. You can leave the URL as it is. Your email address will be the same as you registered. All other settings can be left alone unless for your own reasons you do not want to change them. In terms of best practices, they are fine.
The section of the letter is the same. Literally, everything here can be left at the default settings.
Here things begin to become important. If you prefer to use a static homepage instead of showing your latest blog entries on the homepage, this is the place to do it.
First, you need to go back to the Pages and create two pages: Home and Blog. After these pages are published, you will want to return to the ?Reading? section and change the display settings of the front page. Select ?Static Page? and make Home the main page, and the blog post page. Everything else may remain the default unless you prefer otherwise. Be sure to click ?Save Changes.?
Almost everything in the discussion can remain as it is. There is nothing on this page that you should change, but if you prefer something else, be sure to change everything.
You may or may not be able to resize the media, depending on what is best suited for the chosen theme. It will be in each case, though.
Finally, we come to one of the most important settings: Permalink settings. This is the case when in the vast majority of cases you do NOT want to save the default settings. When it comes to publishing your pages and posts and getting the most out of your SEO efforts (this is search engine optimization for the uninitiated), you need to make sure that you choose a permalink that at least includes the name of your post/page. We recommend that you select the message name option. It simply focuses on the keywords associated with your post (if you include them in the headline or indicate that you need to edit the permalink on the post editor page).
And these are all the main points, the admin part of WordPress admin by default after installation!
Overview of WordPress: Conclusion
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, new users are often a little confused about what the WordPress internal menu offers, and this study may take some time for this feeling to disappear. However, as soon as you take the time to go through each section, you will understand that the point is not that any one aspect of the site is too complicated to understand, but simply to familiarize yourself with each section/setting and As they affect everything else it takes time. Having done this in this post, you are already on your way to mastering WordPress.
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