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Using the WordPress Dashboard – Part 4 – The Default WordPress Dashboard Widgets

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In this introductory WordPress Video we take a tour of the WordPress Dashboard. We look at the various dashboard widgets including “Right Now”, “Quick Press” and “Recent Comments”. We also look at customizing the view of the WordPress feed widgets.

Video Transcript

So the next thing to talk about is these default widgets. Now the Right Now widget shows you how many posts, how many pages, how many categories and tags, the number of comments, the number of comments that have been approved, the stuff that’s pending in comments and the stuff that’s being held in spam. It also tells you what theme that you are using, how many widgets you’re using and it gives you a button to change the theme so you can change a theme this way rather than going down to the Appearance and Themes location to do that. It essentially takes you to the same spot. That’s the Right Now widget. If you look at the Right Now widget on my site, you’ll see we have 318 posts, 130 pages, 90 categories, 122 tags, 785 comments, 320 which are approved and 465 of which are spam. You select that spam, you can see all the spam comments that you know, people have tried to place on my site here recently and which Akismet has solved for me. So that is the Right Now dashboard. Actually, if you want to see all of your approved comments, you can go ahead and select that one too and this will take you to your comments section where you can see all of your comments.

And then below that is the Recent Comments widget. Recent Comments here is just sort of the… the best part about Recent Comments is that it shows you when you got a comment that you need to respond to. So for example, actually, I don’t have any comments that I need to respond to but if you’ve got a comment that needs to be responded to, it’s in a different color here so you can decide what you’re going to do about it.

And then below that is incoming links. Now incoming links just does a Google blog search so it’s not really… well, I don’t know. It shows you what links come from blogs that are indexed as Google blogs. You know, I have a lot more links that show up here. On my site, I have actually thousands of links but the only incoming links that shows are Kim’s links because her blog is the one blog that it’s in the Google index that Google indexes so it only showing me her links but I actually have thousands of incoming links.

So then the next thing is essentially this feed plugin and what it does is it shows you the most recent plugins or it shows you the most popular plugins, the newest plugins, and the recently updated plugins which is sort of a tickler for you to get a sense of you know, what’s out there and maybe it’s time for you to take a look at something new. I often look at those and take off and look at them.

Then the next one is this Quickpress widget. Now I never use the Quickpress widget mainly because it doesn’t have any of the Thesis post meta. And so, you can’t add your custom meta tag and your custom title tag and you can’t add your Thesis post images and really, you can’t even categorize it. So you know, I just never use Quickpress. In fact, I believe I even have it turned off over here. No, I don’t have it turned off but I should because it’s a complete… from my standpoint… it’s a complete waste of time and space.

And then you have recent drafts. Recent drafts show you what posts you have in a draft stage. It’s not that unusual especially if you’re a blogger. It’s not that unusual to have a bunch of drafts that you may be working on and this will tell you what those drafts are. I don’t think I have any… no, I don’t have any recent drafts on my site.

The next thing is a couple of different feed widgets. This feed widget is an RSS feed from the WordPress development blog and you can see for example, that today Beta 1 of WordPress 3.2 has come out and I haven’t actually installed WordPress 3.2 because Wednesdays and Thursdays are always kind of busy for me. But maybe over the weekend, I’ll be able to download and install WordPress 3.2 and see how it’s working with some of our current stuff. But anyway, this just gives you an idea of what’s going on with the development.

And then the other one is a feed from Planet WordPress which shows all these other potential articles from WordPress related blogs. And so, you can again, this gives you a tickler of sort of what’s going on out there with other people who are interested in WordPress specifically.

Okay so that is the dashboard widgets. Oh actually, the other thing I wanted to say about the dashboard widgets is that if you select configure, you can actually change what is being displayed. Right now, what’s being displayed is item content and item date. You could actually, remove both of those and say “Show me 5 items” and hit Submit. And now what you’ll have is just the you know, the last 5 posts from the development blog that show up here or you could do the last 5 items and display the item date. Or you can go back to what it’s originally set at which was item date and item content and 2 items. So that’s what it looked like before. Same thing is true with the other WordPressnews, you can configure that yourself as well. Right now, it is set at 5 items and displays the item date but you can set it this way if that’s what you wanted to do. Or you could just add the item content to it so that you didn’t have to rely on the title.

So there’s all the rest of the stuff. So that’s how you configure those.

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