How to Access and Use the WordPress Admin Panel

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In Brief...

The Admin panel in WordPress, also called the Dashboard, is where you will set up and manage your WordPress site.

Instructions

  1. Start by opening WordPress and hovering over the "W" in the upper left corner of the site to open a drop-down menu with several choices. Choose the WP Admin option.
    Admin Panel W
  2. The first seven options on the dashboard, including Home, provide information about your site. You can see comments you have made on the site along with comments of your visitors. The Site Stats provide information on number of posts, terms used by visitors, and clicks on various posts. Clicking on My Blogs will take you to a list of other WordPress sites you have created, and Blogs I Follow shows a list of other WordPress sites you subscribe to. Askimet Stats is a spam filter/blocker that shows how many visitors your site has over time along with the number of spam posts that were blocked. Finally, the Omnisearch option provides the option to search for any specific terms or keywords.
    Home Admin Panel
  3. The Store option allows you to monetize your site with products and/or services for sale. This option requires an upgrade to a paid premium site. There are several paid options available, each with a different level of service available depending on your needs.
    Store Admin Panel
  4. Choosing the Posts option will allow you to add new posts, review previous posts and categories, and manage your posts through the Bulk Actions option.
    Posts Admin Panel
  5. Clicking on the Media option will open a window where you can add media, including photos, audio, and video. You can create libraries of media that will be available in all your WordPress sites.
    Media Admin Panel
  6. In the Links area you will be able to add links to other websites that will be available in your sidebar widgets. Here is where you can review, edit, and remove links to keep your links current in the various pages on the site.
    Links Admin Panel
  7. A WordPress site is made up of a front page, or home page, followed by as many other pages as needed. To add, copy, or manage your pages, click on the Pages option.
    Pages Option
    You can nest pages under other pages, creating a hierarchy structure of pages that WordPress calls "parent" and "child" pages.
    Add New Page
  8. The Comments section is where you will manage comments to your posts. You can approve comments, mark them as spam, or delete comments.
    Comments Admin Panel
  9. If you want to conduct polls on your site, the Feedback option will enable you to add, open, close, and delete them. You can also view all polls conducted on your site as well as other sites you have created.
    Polls and Feedback
  10. The Appearance option is one of the first options you will be working with when creating your site. It contains the various themes available, as well as widgets, menus, and background options.
    Appearance Admin Panel

  11. Widgets Admin Panel
  12. In the Users option you can assign responsibility to your various users, or people who have access to the Admin area. These responsibilities range from Contributors, who can only add information, to Authors and Editors, who can both write and edit content, to Administrators, who will be able to perform all of the functions on the Admin Panel. You can also update your personal settings here.
    Users Admin Panel
  13. The Tools option lists several tools available through WordPress to enhance your site and make it more useful. Some of these tools are: Webmaster tools, site verification tools, and category and tag converters. You can also import content, export content, and delete your site using the options available in Tools.
    Tools Admin Panel
  14. The Settings option is where you will set the parameters of your site, including Title, Tagline, Time Zone, Date and Time Format, and Language. You can also upload a photo of yourself here. The photo is generally used on the Blog page, as well as to identify you when you post comments on other WordPress sites.
    Settings Admin Panel
  15. The final option on the dashboard is used to collapse the menu to create more room for you to work with your site. The menu collapses to icons that will appear on the left side of your screen.
    Collapse Menu Admin Panel

Author: Janie Sullivan

Janie Sullivan, MBA, MAEd, has been teaching adult learners for over 20 years. She has taught online over 15 years, specializing in writing, communications, and small business applications. Janie directs the Center for Writing Excellence where she offers writing, editing, and formatting services for writers. She has been published in several newspapers and magazines as well as multiple online sites. She teaches communication, business strategy, leadership, and management courses. Janie has published a book "Develop and Deliver an Online Class." This is the third book she has written about writing and teaching online. She also has published a novel and an anthology of short stories.

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