Now that you have installed an instance of WordPress to your web hosting space, under your chosen domain, it is time to start making the site your own. The first screen you should review is the WordPress dashboard.
The dashboard is, as the name indicates, a place where you can get very high level, summarized information about your website.
As you can see, there is, at the very top of the page, a section called “Screen Options”. These are essentially on/off switches for various features that can be used by the administrator of the website. The general rule here is to initially check all these boxes, and then uncheck the features that don’t interest you. You will probably find that most of them are quite useful at some point, and it is better to see a feature that you don’t use than be unaware of one that you might need.
When you install the Jetpack plug-in (covered in an upcoming installment of this series), you will have this Jetpack centralized site management option. At K-Logik Media, we choose to not enable this feature, since functionality of different sites might be different. However, should you have multiple websites and want to save time updating each plug-in on all of your websites in one action, you can enable this feature.
Welcome to WordPress
The section called “Welcome to WordPress” is a summarized management section where you can customize, edit the front page, and quickly manage various aspects of your website. When working on a website, we tend to use the specific function menus to this type of maintenance. So we don’t really pay attention to this section.
The rest of the dashboard is dedicated to providing summarized information for the website administrator. Here you can get information about site performance, the amount of visitors, the most popular posts, etc. If you have installed an SEO utility, you can also view analysis of its content and improve it in order to get better search engine results.
The majority of these sections, upon their selection, link to more detailed administration screens, allowing the administrator to perform maintenance.
So there you have it, the essential elements of the WordPress dashboard. This very basic interface is useful when you want to perform basic website maintenance, but as you become more comfortable with the use of WordPress, you’ll quickly find yourself bypassing its use in favor of the more specialized screens.
In the next installment, we will provide an overview of how to post a proper post in WordPress. Please stay tuned!