Today we are going to look around and get familiar with your new wordpress dashboard.

If you haven’t installed wordpress yet, read how to do it here.  Okay, is your wordpress site installed now? Good! It wasn’t so hard, was it?

Now that it’s installed you may be wondering where do you go from here. I remember the first time I looked at the dashboard, I was a little overwhelmed.  But after playing around with it for awhile, it soon became second nature.

So I’m going to show you the basic parts of the dashboard and then I suggest you play around with it a little to get used to it.

Here is a video I made that goes into it a little more than what the text does:

When you first go into the dashboard, you will see a screen that looks like this (without the red rectangle of course). Remember to click on the images to make them larger.


The part I have outlined in red is what they show you the first time to give you some guidance. You can X out of it when you want to and it won’t come back up but you might want to look through it first.

The picture below shows you the main areas you will be using in your site. Click on the image to make it larger.

  1. Updates. This will tell you when something in wordpress needs to be updated. It will be either wordpress itself, the plugins or the themes that need updating. As you can see the black circle has a 2 in it which means we need to click on it and make the 2 updates. We will go over that later.
  2. Posts. You can click on the link on the left side to get to all your posts or you can see in the middle section how many posts you have. It says 1 post but it’s just the sample post wordpress puts in there. We will delete that later.
  3. Media. This is where you will upload photos. You can also upload PDF’s, audios and other stuff. I will show you how to do that later.
  4. Links. I’m sure you have seen blog rolls on sites. If you want that on your site, this is where you put them.
  5. Pages. Pages are different that posts. You usually use pages for things like your About Page or Contact Page. They are considered “static pages”. Posts will be for your blog posts or posts you would like to have categorized.
  6. Comments. You can click on your comments over to the left or you can see how many you have in the middle. You have to approve comments so they will go to the Pending file first. Once they are approved, they will be in the Approved column. Right now, it says we have 1 approved comment but it’s just the sample commet that comes with the wordpress installation. We will need to delete that. And of course you will get Spam. You can empty out Spam folder from time to time when you want.
  7. Category. This will be the place to decide what your categories will be. I suggest not to have too many of them. I try not to have more than 10. For example, Online Nana has the Getting Started category which this post will be in but I will also have categories for Product Reviews, Social Media and a few more.
  8. Tags. These are like keywords that you want the post to be found for. For example, this post could have the word wordpress as a tag.


Okay, now on the lower half of the page, we have:

  1. Appearance. This section will have a menu that will have your style sheet editor (you will rarely need to touch this), your themes and widgets.
  2. Plugins. WordPress comes with a few plugins already installed. We will delete one of those and add some more too later.
  3. Users. I have to admit I don’t know much about this section. You would use this if you have more than yourself writing or doing administrative things on your blog. You can give them roles such as Contributor, or Administrator. Since it’s always just me, I never use this. I found a good article on it if you want to read more about this function here.
  4. Tools. Some of the plugins you may download will be listed here so you can easily see and use them.
  5. Settings. You will also have some of your plugins in this section to use but you will also use the settings  to set up your blog the way you want. We will go over this section later.
  6. Recent Comments. Recent comments will show up here.
  7. Incoming Links. When another wordpress site links to you, you might see it here. I say “might” because it doesn’t always work for some reason.
  8. Recent Drafts. If you have a post in draft mode, it will show up here.


Tomorrow, we will adjust our settings, and decide on a theme.

If you missed any of the prior tutorials in the Getting Started Guide, you can find them here:

Getting Started Part 1
Getting Started Part 2
Getting Started Part 3
Getting Started Part 4
Getting Started Part 5
Getting Started Part 6

Article by Cathy Ratcliffe