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Lesson 3 – Part 2 – A Tour of the WordPress Admin Interface

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Now that we’ve installed WordPress on our primary domain, we’re going to take a look at an initial setup of WordPress and we’re going to start that off by logging in to WordPress.

Login to WordPress

With this default WordPress theme that was installed, our login is down here under META. When you click on the login button it takes you to the login screen. So this is where you would put your username that you set up. Mine is byobrick here and I’ll add my password. Hit Login.

Admin View of WordPress

Now that we’ve logged in, you’re seeing a whole different view of WordPress. Here’s the front side of WordPress or the public side of your website and this is the backside or the admin side of WordPress.

This is why you’re going to use your password all the time because it’s on the admin side that you upload images, that you create pages and posts, that you install plugins, that you install themes and you modify things.

Really, all the work that you do on your website is done from the admin dashboard or from the admin side of your site and the way you’ll get in is by clicking on the log in. Once you’ve clicked on that, it takes you to the login screen where you put in your username and password. Then it brings you immediately to this.

Remove Junkware Plugins

Unfortunately Bluehost and WordPress both install what I consider to be junkware. It installs stuff that is not useful to you but is useful to them. Either it provides them a means of selling you something or in some way connecting with you. Even the little “Hello Dolly” plugin while cute it’s not useful.

So the very first thing to do is start with a clean slate which in my mind means getting rid of the junkware. When I install I site I begin by coming over to Plugins which we’ll be talking about at length later.

Go to Plugins and to Installed Plugins. I have all of these plugins installed. I’m just going to put a checkmark in this box here which then selects them all. Take bulk action and I’m going to deactivate them and hit apply. Now the plugins are there but they’re no longer functioning.

We’re going to leave Akismet because Akismet is a very useful plugin once you have it setup. Until you set it up it just gives you messages all the time up so we’re just deactivating it for the time being.

I’m going to delete Hello Dolly, jetpack for WordPress and MOJO Marketplace. Go back to bulk actions again and say delete, hit apply and yes I want to delete the files and data.

Now you only have one plugin installed. When I get to my dashboard it’s nice and clean. I don’t have ads, I don’t have invitations to buy things. I have a nice clean dashboard to start with. So now that we have a clutter free dashboard we’re going to take a quick little tour around the dashboard. Now really, the dashboard has 3 sections to it.

Admin Toolbar

The first section is the admin toolbar and that’s this right across the top here.

WordPress Icon

This little link here, the WordPress icon, will take you to various sites on WordPress.

Home Icon

This home icon here, if you click on it, essentially toggles back and forth between your admin and your public side of the site. In fact, the menus are different when you toggle back and forth.

For example, the menu here just says, “Visit Site”. “Visit Site” and clicking on this are exactly the same thing. When you come back over here though, now you’ve got go to your dashboard. Then there are places in the dashboard so you can go to themes, customize, widgets, menus, background and header. There are new choices here depending upon which side of the site you’re on.

Comment Count Icon

The next part of this is your comment count. This shows you how many comments you have that are awaiting moderation. We’re going to talk about comments more later.

Quick New Icon

This plus New is the Quick New toolbar. From here you can create a new post, you can create a new page, you can add new media or you can create a new user. So this is a really fast way of getting to these options. Otherwise you can go to Pages and Add New the traditional way on the Admin Menu. They essentially do the same thing.

Avatar and Edit Profile

Over here on the right it says hello to you. It shows your avatar if you’ve got an avatar or gravitar set up. It allows you to edit your profile and log out and it shows you your display name. We’ll set up our profile here in a few minutes but that’s what’s going on here. Then there are two other things in this admin toolbar. There are Screen Options and there is Help.

Help

If you click on help, there can be useful information but the help isn’t as great as you might like it to be. Some people have nice Help Addons, so you can use this. If you’re not clear on what to do when you’re on a specific admin screen, you can always click on the help tab to see if there’s something there that’s useful to you.

Screen Options

The other thing is screen options which gives you a choice of items that you may want to keep open or close. For example, if you click on “Welcome”, now the little welcome thing shows up. WordPress News shows you this. I’m going to uncheck Quick Draft for just a moment and close screen options.

Something to know is that screen options and help are different on every admin page you go to. So if you expect to see something on a specific admin page and you don’t find it, go over here to screen options and see if there’s a box for you to check.

Admin Widget Area

Then the third part of your dashboard is the admin widget area here. Now, that’s on Home on the dashboard. When you go to a different menu, say you go to posts, then you don’t have widgets here anymore. Now you have the option of adding or viewing or editing posts and that kind of thing.

So the content of this changes but when you’re at the dashboard page specifically, you have these admin widgets. This is essentially a blog feed telling you some WordPress news. This shows you recently published posts and pages and maybe recent comments.

Let’s look at my site, byobwebsite.com as an example. I’m here on the dashboard and you can see that I’ve got all kinds of things going on. I’ve got a request update to WordPress 3.9, wishlist member wants me to update. I’ve just got all kinds of messages going on here and then my At a Glance says that there 179 pages, 185 posts, 23,136 comments. This doesn’t show all my pages because I’ve got thousands, they are just custom post types.

It tells you what version of WordPress you’re using, what your theme is and much more. Here are my activities. Here are a bunch of comments that people have posted recently. These are forum posts that I have yet to go view and answer. So the dashboard can have lots of things on it and can become fairly busy but when you first start off it’s actually pretty simple. So that’s the admin screen.

Admin Menu

Then you have your admin menu which gives you access to all of the potential activities that you can do as an administrator. You can add a new page or go to all your pages, go to your comments, set up things on your theme, install plugins or adjust users.

You have all of these different administrative things that you can do and if you’re working on a small screen you can collapse the menu down so that all you see are just the icons and then when you hover over the icons, these little submenus fly out for you. I’m just going to take you on a really quick tour of the admin menus now.

Updates

This Updates button shows you everything that is available for you to update. Right now all the plugins are updated, all the themes are updated and WordPress is updated.

If we go look at the same thing here on my site, I actually have a lot of updates to do. That’s what this here is showing me, that I have 21 updates. I can update WordPress and I have a whole bunch of plugins that want some kind of updating and then I have 3 themes that want to be updated.

Posts

I should you Posts as well. What posts shows you is all of the posts that you have. You can edit the posts, you can delete them, you can do all kinds of things with them depending upon how complex your site is.

Let’s come back to the more simple version of this. Go to posts, obviously it comes pre-installed with one post, that’s the “Hello world!” post. When you click on it to edit it, the only content is “Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!”

The add new dialog is a place for you to add a post. We’ll talk about this more in a bit. So that’s for posts and you may know that WordPress has essentially two types of content, it has posts and it has pages.

Posts serve as blog posts. If you’ve got a regular old blog then every time you do a blog post you would create a new post and posts show up on your blog page. We’re going to talk about that also more later. But Posts show up on your blog page.

Pages

Then you have pages. Pages don’t show up on your blog page. Pages stand alone all by themselves. Most everything you see here at the top level of my website are pages. So my dashboard is a page, my profile is a page, video lessons is a page, event registration is a page, member benefits is a page. These are all examples of pages.

Let’s look at my blog. The blog is not made up of pages. It displays blog posts, one after the other. If you’re going to create pages you’re going to do it here. We’re going to talk more about the distinction between the two and when you would use one over the other.

Comments

Comments is essentially a place for you to edit your comments. Look I already have a spam comment, that was fast. I installed WordPress and within a very short time I got a spam comment.

Appearance

Appearance is a place where you can set your themes, do some customization, set up widgets and menus. We’re going to spend a bunch of time in this area.

Plugins

We took a quick look at plugins when we deleted all the junkware but plugins is a place for you to install plugins, activate them, update them, delete them and that kind of thing.

Users

Most websites are only going to have one user or maybe a couple of users. BYOBWebsite has thousands of users. I think I have 5,300 or something like that. Let’s come down to users, note how busy my admin menu is? This is because I have lots of plugins that are installed and those plugins add other aspects to the admin menu.

But if we just go down here to Users, I have 5,357 users and in this case, you’re going to see all of my users right here. Anyway, in this case for the site we’re creating here there’s only one user and that’s me. We’ll work on the user profile in a few minutes.

Tools

The primary tools are importing and exporting but this isn’t really something you need to worry about at the moment. At least not on your first WordPress website in any case. To the extent that you’re going to create your WordPress website by importing information from another site, you’re going to want to use the import tool and you can find videos on my site about that.

Settings

We’re going to spend a bunch of time today in settings where you can set up basic things for your site.

What should be obvious to you is this admin menu here is the menu that you use to get to all of the things that you as the administrator of your site are going to need to do. And this is where you’ll find it all.

Update the User Profile

The next thing we’ll do is just update our user profile and we can do that either by Your Profile which essentially is only me or if you’re here, you could hit edit. Note that when I’m on the user menu, it shows me the first menu item when I click on it but the rest of the other menu items stay dropped down. They don’t fold up.

So if I go to pages, we’ve got All Pages and Add New. If I go to Plugins, it says Installed Plugins, Add New and Editor, if I go to Users, All Users, Add New and Your Profile here.

I’m just going to click Your Profile. The same thing is up here as well and you can also click on Edit My Profile. It all does the same thing. The first thing it does is it gives you a choice of changing your color scheme. We could choose ectoplasm instead of default and you’ve got all kinds of options here for fooling around with it to the extent that you really care. It turns out I don’t really care so I’m going to use the fault.

Leave “Enable keyboard shortcuts for comment moderation.” unchecked. The only time you’re going to want keyboard shortcuts for comment moderation is if you have tons and tons of comments all the time and you’re really having to work through them.

“Show toolbar when viewing the site”. For administrators I think it’s essential because it’s very useful for you to be able to jump back and forth and do things from the front side of your site by using this tool. We’ll leave it checked.

This is my username, you can’t change it but you will want to put your first and last name in because once you’ve done that, this gives you a chance to choose sort of a nickname. To the extent that you are concerned about your site SEO, you’re going to want to use your real name for this.

Then Display Name Publicly. I’ll have Rick Anderson because if you’re going to try to integrate this with your Google author profile or your Google+ account or any of those things that are valuable for Search Engine Optimization purposes, you want to make sure your nickname and your display name and all of that stuff is accurate. You can put contact info in, you don’t really have to do anything else here just as long as you put your correct name information in.

When it says display name publicly as, this means for example if the theme that you’re using displays your name next to your post it’ll show “Written by Rick Anderson on May 15th”. It could say “Written by byobrick” which would be horrible.

“Would it be okay to use the name of your website as your nickname?” Probably not. Again, the cutting edge of Search Engine Optimization right now is Google Authorship and if you don’t use your real name as your nickname then you’re going to lose the benefit of that Google Authorship Search Engine boost. So I would say this is a place for you to use your real name.

If you don’t want your real name on your website then you would do something else here but chances are, if you’re a small business owner and you’re doing this to make money for your business your real name is going to be important here.

You can put in biographical information. This biographical information can be used by some plugins to display it on your author page and that kind of thing. You can also set up a new password here.

Somebody says one exception to the Google Authorship nickname thing is that you can use a nickname if you have it established as a pen name. I do actually have a member who does it that way. They have a pen name that they use and so they’ve got a pen name profile but that’s a very unusual circumstance and applies to very few people. And that is the profile.

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