WordPress Dashboard is the admin panel or backend for WordPress. In this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial we will learn all the options & setting we can use in WordPress.
We will mainly focus on things that’s commonly used & will be necessary for a site design & development.
Let’s start WordPress Dashboard Tutorial.
How to get to WordPress Dashboard?
Before entering into WordPress admin dashboard, you need to start localhost XAMPP or other server.
We have installed this in our previous tutorial with WordPress.
Check it here: How to Install WordPress on Localhost XAMPP Step by Step
At first run XAMPP from your program.
From XAMPP control panel start Apache & MySQL.
Both should show green color after starting & if not then follow steps from our previous tutorial.
As we have installed WordPress in wp_test folder.
So go to this URL http://localhost/wp_test/wp-admin/ & it will show a login screen if you are not logged in already.
After login, it will show WordPress Dashboard.
So we are in WordPress dashboard now.
These are the shortcuts actually & we can easily navigate to different options from here.
When you will be used to with WordPress admin panel then you will prefer to go directly rather shortcut 🙂
Let’s we explain a bit every sections.
WordPress Dashboard: “Welcome to WordPress!”
This is a welcome message from WordPress.
Let’s we go through every options & get some idea at first.
But will learn it more later in this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial.
- Customize your site: this button will help to customize the site like we can change site logo, title, tagline, colors, fonts etc. This options will vary from theme to theme. So some themes you will get more customization options & some themes will get less.
- Change your theme completely: we can change theme in this page & currently we are using Twenty Twenty theme & that’s default one.
- Write your first blog post: this will help to create a new post or article.
- Add an about page: from here we can create an about page.
- Set up your homepage: to select homepage this option will be used.
- View your site: from here we can directly go to site homepage.
- Manage widgets: WordPress widgets are block of content that we can use in website sidebar, footer & other areas where needed. So we can add, remove widgets here.
- Manage menus: in this section we can create menu & can add pages, posts, custom links, categories in menu. After creating menu, this can be assigned in different locations like header, footer etc.
- Turn comments on or off: for blog posts we can turn comment on of off.
- Learn more about getting started: this will help you to learn more & will go to WordPress.org site.
If you don’t want to keep this welcome section then what will you do?
Just click Dismiss link & it will be removed.
WordPress Dashboard: Site Health Status
Site Health Status will show you overall site health status based on site performance, security & everything.
If you click on Site Health screen link, it will show detailed information.
We will learn more later in this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial.
WordPress Dashboard: At a Glance
In At a Glance section, it will show number of posts, pages & comments.
Also WordPress installed version & theme name.
There is another place this version will show & that’s bottom right corner of this page.
Search Engines Discouraged we will discuss later.
WordPress Dashboard: Activity
Activity will show recently published posts, recent comments with some other options like pending, approved etc.
WordPress Dashboard: Quick Draft
Quick Draft will help you to make a quick post & it will be saved as a draft but not published.
Later you can publish it when needed.
WordPress Dashboard: WordPress Events and News
WordPress Events and News section will show any upcoming events near you so you can attend.
Also will show WordPress news information.
You like to rearrange those sections in your ways?
Just drag each sections (except welcome section) & drop in your required place, it will be rearranged in your ways.
You see an arrow on top right for each section?
That will be used to minimize it.
One more thing want to show you from dashboard & that’s Screen Options.
That’s on top right of the screen.
Just click on it & you will see all the sections name there.
If you uncheck any box then it will not show in dashboard.
WordPress Dashboard: Updates
Click on Updates link under Dashboard (top left).
You will get this page.
Here it will show all the information related to updates like WordPress latest version, plugins & themes updates.
Using Check Again button you can manually check if any updates available.
But normally it will show there automatically.
Here it’s showing we are using WordPress latest version.
But if you want to reinstall it then just click Re-install Now button.
Under Plugins it’s showing one plugin Akismet Anti-Spam have updated version available.
So we can select this plugin & update it using Update Plugins button.
Same we can do for themes.
Now let’s move to next topic.
One of the important thing in WordPress is posts.
This will be mainly used for blog. Each posts means blog article.
In this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial we will learn each options for posts.
Posts -> All Posts
This will show all the posts listed as published, draft, pending, trash.
Currently it’s showing one published post & that’s Hello world! post.
Mouse hover that post & you will see some options.
Click on Edit button & you will get below page:
If you click on Hello world! title, you will see you can edit it & same for welcome text.
You see a plus sign on top left (beside logo)?
That will give you different options to add content.
You can try editing it.
Let me know after you done your editing. I am waiting.
Hope your edit is done now.
Here is some points:
- Switch to draft: this will keep your edited post as draft
- Preview: before publishing post you can check it first
- Update: this button will show when post already published, so after making changes you can just update it
- Publish…: in above screenshot this button not showing but this will show when your post newly created or in draft mode. If you click on Switch to draft then you will see Publish… button & you can publish your post
After clicking on Publish… it will show another screen.
This screen showing because of Always show pre-publish checks. is checked in bottom.
So if you uncheck it then post will be published automatically every time without this pre-publish checking.
There are some important options you may need sometimes.
After clicking on Visibility: Public it will show some more options.
- Visibility: Public will be selected by default, that means it will be visible to everyone
- Visibility: Private will be visible only for admins and editors (we will learn more about admin, editors & other rules later in this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial)
- Visibility: Password Protected have options to set a password, so anyone have this password will be able to view this post
Let’s move to next option.
After Visibility next option is Publish with date. Just click on it & you will get a calendar.
You can change date & time from this calendar.
If you choose any future date & time then this post will be marked as a scheduled post.
So this post will be automatically published in that specific date & time.
This is sweet.
We can add tags under Suggestion: Add tags option.
Tags will be used to define the main keyword or point of your post.
After setting this all let’s press Publish button on top.
Your post is published now.
There are some more options you will get after publishing your post.
Let’s go through one by one.
At first Status & visibility option.
Visibility & Publish option you know already.
Next one is Stick to the top of the blog option.
You want to make any of your blog post sticky on top of the page?
If so then this is the the option you can use.
Until you uncheck it that post will show always on top.
Move to Trash describes it’s work. So yeah this will move your post to trash.
Next one is Revisions with it’s number.
In screenshot it’s showing 7 Revisions.
That means this post is changed 7 times.
If you click on it then it will show the revisions.
We have changed post title from Hello world! to Hello world! Edited.
So it’s showing current title in right side & immediate previous title in left side.
You see Previous & Next button?
Previous button will show all previous edits.
Next you can’t click as it’s the last version post.
Also Restore This Revision button will not work in this revision as it’s last version.
But if you click Previous then those two inactive buttons will work.
You can try clicking on Previous & Next & it will show all of your changes.
Then you can restore your required version after clicking Restore This Revision button.
You see a line with arrow in between Previous & Next?
You can drag that arrow & that will work same as Previous & Next button.
There is another interesting option there & that’s Compare any two revisions checkbox.
After clicking on it you will see another arrow will show in that line.
If you drag those arrows you can compare two versions instantly.
So you can restore your required revision.
Next is Permalink.
Permalink means permanent link/URL.
Like this post permalink is http://localhost/wp_test/2020/06/27/hello-world/ & hello-world is the URL Slug.
So we can change this slug if we need.
We will learn it more later in this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial.
If you click on Categories then it will show the list of categories.
By default there will be only one category & that’s name is Uncategorized.
Category will be used to group blog posts.
Same post can be assigned under multiple categories.
Add New Category will be used to create new categories.
Just click on it & you will get some options.
From here you can create a new category & also can assign that category under any parent category.
Let’s we create a new category named Category 1 & then add this.
It will show in the list after creating.
Will learn more later.
Next one is Tags.
We already learnt some about Tags.
So here we can add new tags.
Let’s add some tags like tag1, tag2, tag3 (just press enter after writing tag name).
Do you want to add an image that will represent your post?
Yeah that’s called Featured image & we will find it next.
If you click on Set featured image then it will show a popup window.
You see two tabs there?
From Upload Files tab you can drag or select image from your computer.
In Media Library tab all previously uploaded images will be available (as we have not uploaded any images yet so it will show blank).
So from there you can select any images as well.
From Upload Files tab let’s we upload WordPress logo 🙂
Next is Excerpt.
Excerpt will be used to add a summary of the post & this will show in blog page where posts will show.
If it’s empty then WordPress will create an excerpt automatically using the first 55 words of the post.
We can change this number from theme settings (if any option available), otherwise need to customize theme & we will learn this later in another tutorial.
Next option is Discussion.
If Allow comments is selected then comment form will show for this post & visitors will be allowed to make a comment.
Allow pingbacks & trackbacks is not that much important. So you can ignore this for now.
Last option is Post Attributes.
By default Template will be selected as Default template.
So we can keep as it is now & will learn more in template tutorial.
On top, beside Document tab you see a tab Block?
Click on it & you will see it will show No block selected.
Then from editor click on text & you will see Block will show some options.
If you change some options from Text settings & Color settings then you will understand it.
Let’s we now publish this post.
Then click on top left logo to go to all posts.
From there you can view the post & will understand it more.
So this way we can create as much posts needed.
Posts -> Add New
This will give you option to create a new post.
This will be easy for you now to create a new post as we already know all the options here.
You can try to create one.
Posts -> Categories
From left Add New Category you can create new categories & from right it will a list of categories already created.
Posts -> Tags
From left Add New Tag you can create new tags & from right it will show list of tags already created.
Let’s move to next section.
In this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial let’s check some media options.
WordPress Media -> Library will show all the images, videos or other files uploaded.
It’s showing one image as we have uploaded one only in this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial.
From Media -> Add New you can upload images, videos or other files using drag & drop or using “Select Files” button.
In WordPress, pages will be commonly used & important things, so will check most of the options for pages in this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial.
Pages will be used to create pages like About Us, Contact Us etc.
By default Pages -> All Pages will show like above screenshot.
Let’s create a new pages.
Pages -> Add New
After clicking on Pages -> Add New it will show like below:
In “Add title” let’s add a title named About Us & in “Start writing or type / to choose a block” adding some dummy text & then let’s publish it using Publish button.
After viewing that page it’s showing like below:
From Pages -> All Pages click Edit for About Us page. Will check some more things.
In right sidebar there some options.
From Permalink we can change URL Slug based on our need.
Featured image will be used to show an image. Let’s we add an image here.
When you visit the page, normally this image will show on top depends on theme structure. We are using WordPress default “Twenty Twenty” theme.
We can change this image position & will learn more in WordPress theme customization tutorial later.
From Page Attributes we can change Template & you can try changing template & view the output.
It will show different design in different templates. We can create new templates based on project requirements. Will learn more in another tutorial.
From Parent Page we can set parent page if we need.
There is another option in top left side & that’s Add block button (blue plus icon).
If you click on it you will see some default Blocks & Patterns.
You can try adding some of those & see how it works.
Let’s update this page & it will show featured image after title.
Here is the screenshot:
In posts or pages if comment option is on then anyone will be able to comment. Normally comments will be enabled for posts.
Mouse hover on any comment & it will show some options. So you can approve, unapprove, make spam etc.
In this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial let’s go through each options under Appearance.
After clicking on appearance it will show default themes.
First one is the theme currently installed.
Click on Add New & you will see list of featured themes. You can install any of the theme if needed.
From top menu beside featured there some other options like popular, latest etc.
If you have any theme downloaded before then can install it using Upload Theme button on top.
We are not installing any new theme for now.
Appearance -> Customize
After clicking on customize it will show like above screenshot & for different themes it will show different options.
Click on it & there some options to change.
From Logo let’s change logo, from Site Title can change title & tagline can be changed from Tagline.
You see an icon on every tab in your browser?
That’s called favicon icon & we can change it from Site Icon. Let’s we add one.
Then click Publish & changes will show if you visit the site.
Background Color will be used to change background color of the site.
Using Header & Footer Background Color we can change header & footer background color.
You can try changing it & will see the result instantly there & after publishing, it will show while visiting site.
Primary Color is red by default for current theme & from Custom we can change it to another color.
You can try checking next options like Theme Options, Cover Template, Background Image.
Menus, Widgets, Homepage Settings we will learn in next step.
Additional CSS will be used if we want to customize theme & add some CSS.
Let’s move to next option.
Appearance -> Widgets
Widgets are blocks of content that we can show in sidebar, header, footer or any other areas.
Available Widgets showing some default widgets & below some commonly used widgets:
- Archives (will show monthly archive posts)
- Categories (will show list of categories)
- Image (you can add an image)
- Recent Comments (will show recent posts)
- Recent Posts (will show recent posts)
- Search (will show search field)
- Text (can add text)
Do you know how do add these widgets?
You see Footer #1 & Footer #2 ? These are the widget areas we can add these widgets.
We can create as much widget areas as needed & will show how to create it manually & using plugin as well in another tutorial.
But current theme supports only two widget areas by default.
Let’s we add an image in Footer #1 & for that just click on Image widget & it will show the areas you can add.
Footer #1 is selected, so after clicking Add Widget it will add in this area.
You can drag & drop widget in any area.
Footer #1 will show as below screenshot:
Click on Add Image to add an image & after adding let’s save it.
Now let’s view the site footer area.
After Recent Comments WordPress logo is showing as we have added it.
Yours showing perfectly? Hope working fine for you as well.
You can now try adding some other widgets & check how it’s showing. You will get some more ideas.
Let’s move to next option.
Appearance -> Menu
At first it will show without any menu created.
But if you go to site it will show some pages showing in menu.
About Us, Sample Page showing in menu.
Do you know why?
When no menu is created, in that case all published pages will show by default in menu.
Let’s now we create a menu called Main Menu. After creating it we can add pages, posts, custom links, categories from left side.
Now from Pages let’s add About Us only so you will understand the difference.
Then from Menu Settings -> Display location select “Desktop Horizontal Menu” & then Save Menu.
There can be different Display location based on theme.
Now what’s showing for you in site frontend?
Only About Us page showing & if you add more pages, posts etc. it will show in menu.
Appearance -> Theme Editor
Current theme files will show here & we can edit theme files.
We will learn more how to edit or customize theme in another tutorial.
In WordPress Plugins will be used to enhance functionalities or will add new features in site.
By default it’s showing two plugins installed.
To add new plugin just click on Add New & it will show list of plugins.
In most of the cases you will use Search plugins… field (top right) to find your required plugins.
Before that you need to know which plugin you will use or can do a common search like for slider you can type slider in that field & it will list of slider plugins.
We will show some commonly used plugins & those features in another tutorial.
In Plugins -> Plugin Editor you can edit plugins if needed. We will show how to create a new plugin or edit any plugin in another tutorial.
Now let’s move to next option.
WordPress Dashboard Tutorial will help you to understand WordPress Users.
Users will show the list of users created.
In WordPress installation process we need to create an user (by default that will be with administrator role) & that will show in this list.
We can create as many users we need with different roles so that they can perform different tasks.
Let’s create a new user.
Users -> Add New
Here is the details of all fields:
- Username it’s required, for testing let’s use testuser as username
- Email is also required & this have to be a valid email address, so that later if need to change or reset password you can get that through email. For testing we are using email@example.com
- In First Name field using Test
- In Last Name field User
- Website field will be used if you have any website URL
- Password will be auto generated after clicking on Show password & it will show strong password. But if you manually add any week password it will show there as well. You can try adding any week password (let’s use admin) & in that case you need to confirm this checkbox “Confirm use of weak password”.
- Send User Notification will be used if you want to send username & password to the person you are creating through email
- Role is the power or capability of that user. Let’s keep it as Subscriber for now.
Now Add New User will create new user with Subscriber role.
Next we will learn about different user roles & their permissions.
User Roles and Permissions
There are 5 default user roles.
Users with Subscriber role have below permissions.
- will be able to login into their profile & then update it
- changing password
- creating posts, pages or anything else in admin area
Let’s we check how it will look after login.
Remember the logins created?
Log out from current login or if you don’t to logout then can use another browser or can open “New Private Window” or “New incognito window”.
After login admin panel for Subscriber role will show like this (check left options):
Hope it’s more clear now.
Let’s move to next role.
Users with Contributor role have below permissions.
- everything as Subscriber can do
- read all posts
- add new posts
- edit & delete their own posts
- add tags
- can view comments
- publishing any posts even their own & will be in Pending mode
- creating new categories but can choose from existing categories
- biggest disadvantage is that, this role can’t upload files like image on their own posts
- approving & deleting comments
- don’t have access in any other settings
Let’s create a new user as Contributor role from admin & you can try creating new posts to see how it’s working.
After login admin panel for Contributor role will show like this (check left options):
Author role have below permissions.
- everything as Contributor can do
- publish own posts
- upload files like image
- creating new categories but can choose from existing categories
- approving & deleting comments
- don’t have access in any other settings
Let’s create a new user as Author role from admin & after login as Author you can try creating new posts to see how it’s working.
Editor role have have full access of the content with below permissions.
- everything as Author can do
- add, edit, publish, delete own & other posts (including pages)
- creating new categories
- edit, delete comments
- don’t have access in any other settings like installing plugins, themes & all other options
Let’s create a new user as Editor role & check how it’s working.
After login admin panel for Editor role will show like this (check left options):
Administrator role is the most powerful user role & this role is assigned by default when creating a new website.
- can do everything
We already have the Administrator login & after login admin panel will show like this (check left options):
Users -> Profile
At first will show two settings.
Admin Color Scheme
If you change color then will see it’s color is changing, no need to save it to keep this change & it will be saved automatically.
When visiting the site there will show a toolbar on top (if you logged in otherwise will not show).
To remove this uncheck “Show Toolbar when viewing site” & click “Update Profile” from bottom of the page.
Now toolbar will not show while visiting the site.
There some common things you may need to change like:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Display name publicly as
- Profile Picture
- New Password
WordPress Dashboard Tutorial will help you to learn some useful tools.
Under tools most useful option is Import & Export.
Tools -> Import
If you want to bring content from another site then import tool will be used.
Most useful option is WordPress importer. After clicking on “Install Now” it will show “Run Importer”.
After clicking on “Run Importer” there will be an option to import from a previously exported WordPress file.
Then click “Upload file and import”.
Tools -> Export
To export WordPress content this tool will be used.
By default, All content will be selected & you can export content separately like Posts, Pages, Media etc.
“Download Export File” will be used to export content.
Settings tab will be used to configure things how your site will work.
Settings -> General
By default this page will show some general settings & below options you may need to change:
- Site Title (this is the name of the site, most of the theme will show this on top of the page & on browser tab)
- Tagline (this is the slogan or few words of what your site is about)
- Administration Email Address (can change administration email here)
- Membership (if you want anyone to be able to register in your site then check this box “Anyone can register” & this page http://localhost/wp_test/wp-admin/ will show a “Register” link)
- New User Default Role (this is the default role users will get after registration)
- Timezone (select same timezone as you)
- Date Format (in this format date will display in your site)
- Time Format (in this format time will display in your site)
- Week Starts On (you can choose your preferred start day for WordPress calendar)
After making all the changes click “Save Changes”.
Settings -> Reading
In this Reading Settings page there some options we can change.
- Your homepage displays
- “Your latest posts” will show latest posts on front page & number of posts depends on “Blog pages show at most”
- “A static page (select below)” have two options, one is Homepage (you can select homepage) & another one is Posts page (blog page will be selected here)
- Blog pages show at most (number of posts to be displayed per page)
- Syndication feeds show the most recent (number of posts visitors will see when they download your site’s feed)
- For each post in a feed, include (Full text will show full content of the post & Summary will show summary)
- Search engine visibility (“Discourage search engines from indexing this site” will be checked to ignore site from search engine. You should keep this checked when site in development phase & uncheck this when site is live)
Settings -> Discussion
You can go through each options & hope will understand it if you need to change anything here.
Settings -> Media
You can set different sizes for image.
Settings -> Permalink
This is the URL structure for inner links. Most useful option is “Post name” so from “Common Settings” we will change this to “Post name”.
From “Optional” we can change custom base for Category & Tag.
Click “Save Changes” after making any changes.
Hope you have got some basic ideas in this WordPress Dashboard Tutorial.