A Beginner’s Guide and Introduction to the Basic WordPress Dashboard – Part One

Sometimes it can be hard for veterans to WordPress to remember all the way back to when they started, especially those that remember the 1.xx versions of WordPress. This very powerful blogging and website development platform can be very confusing for beginners. This post will introduce you to all the basic sections of a WordPress dashboard.

How the WordPress Dashboard is Organized

When you first login to your new WordPress website, you will log into the dashboard, which is also referred to as the admin area of your blog or site. You will see a page that looks similar to this:

WordPress Dashboard

Of course, there are a few more things in this image than you might have. The site we use for our tutorials has a few plugins installed, which you may want to use or you may not need. However, this gives you a general idea of what the dashboard should look like.

What Does Each Tab Contain in the WordPress Dashboard?

The WordPress dashboard contains 10 tabs and will contain more, if you install a plugin that creates a new tab. They are all found in the left sidebar.

Dashboard Tab

The first tab is the Dashboard tab.

Dashboard Tab

Any updates for your theme, plugins or WordPress will show with a little red circle with a number in it here. Along with updates, you can always go back to the home section of your WordPress dashboard from this tab.

Posts Tab

You will use the posts tab quite a bit because this is one of the tabs used to add content to your website.

Posts Tab

The posts tab contains four sections:

  • All Posts
  • Add New
  • Categories
  • Tags

The “All Posts” section will display all the posts you’ve created. You can use this section to edit a post you’ve already published. Of course, the “Add New” section will take you to the page where you can add a new post to your WordPress blog.

Within the “Categories” section, you can add a new category, change the name of a category and edit any other part of the categories you’re using for your WordPress blog.

The “Tags” section will show all the different tags you’ve used for your posts on your blog. You can add and edit any of your tags from this section.

Media Tab

The Media Tab is the storage area for all your uploaded images, videos and other media files. You can edit and add new media files through this section.

Media Tab

The “Library” section will contain all your uploaded media files and will allow you to edit any of these items. The “Add New” section allows you to upload a new media file. However, you can also add new media files within the post and page edit screens of your WordPress website.

Pages Tab

The Pages Tab is another one you will use quite often because it allows you to add content to your WordPress blog. If you want to better understand the difference between a page and a post, read our tutorial called, Pages vs. Post, here.

Pages Tab

This section provides a place to view and edit all your current pages, which is the “All Pages” section. Of course, the “Add New” section will take you to the page edit screen where you can create a new page for your WordPress website.

Comments Tab

The Comments Tab doesn’t have any sub-sections like the other tabs we’ve discussed. It will simply take you to a page, which will list all of your comments, whether approved or pending.

Comments Tab

From this page, you can approve, mark as spam, delete, edit and respond to comments posted on your blog.

Since the WordPress Dashboard contains so many different tabs and sections, it’s necessary to split this tutorial into two parts. We will cover the rest of the tabs including Appearance, Plugins, Users, Tools and Settings in the second part of this WordPress tutorial. You can find out about the rest of the WordPress Dashboard tabs by reading the second part of this post here.

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