I want to take you on a tour of the WordPress admin interface. It is made up of three pieces.
This is the admin toolbar across the top. It’s got your profile. You can edit your profile or logout or anything like that over here. It’s got this kind of quick launch where we can add a new post or new media on a page or add a new user.
It’s got this comment count. It’s got this thing that tells you how many updates there are and if you hover over it tells you what kind of updates there are. In this case, it is the theme update.
This link actually takes you to your website. If you click on this here, it pops you over to the website. If you come back up and click on this again it takes you back to your dashboard. You can just click back and forth between the front side of your site and the backside your site by clicking on that button. You don’t have to go down to visit site in order to get there.
So this is your admin toolbar and you’ve got various things you will add to this. For example, on byobwebsite you’ll see that I have a search bar there for you to use. Various things, depending upon what people have done, will show up there.
On the right-hand side here is the admin menu. Pretty much everything you’re going to do in WordPress is found in detail here on your admin menu. When you’re on, there are parent menu items and child menu items right, the parent menu item is dashboard.
So home and dashboard is the same thing but if you go to updates page, the menu expands. If you go to posts now all the children under the posts menu show up here. If you hover over dashboard you can see the fly out menu for those things that are under dashboard.
The same thing is true with media or pages or comments or appearance. That’s how this works. When you click on the main menu item, the first item, it opens up and then all of the other children show up below it.
On a small screen you can collapse the menu or you can open the menu based on this. If you collapse the menu and hover you still get this fly out menu so this is nice if you’re working on a small screen. If you’re working on a big screen, it’s better just to leave it open.
Admin Widget Area
Now the third thing you have here is your admin page or admin widget area. When you’re on your front page, you have admin widgets but if you’re on any other page, you’ve got its own page content. So, this is your WordPress updates page. This is your add new post page or manage post page.
If we go to add new, this is the post edit page. If we go to categories this is the category edit page. So on your dashboard, your homepage has this admin widget page and you can turn on and turn off admin widgets by opening up screen options and unchecking items.
Things I typically uncheck are the welcome and quick draft but that’s pretty much it. Then you can close screen options. These kinds of things can be moved around. You can you just click-and-drag to move these around. If you prefer a two column layout you can do it that way. If you prefer one column layout you can do it like this.
You’ll find that various plugins, various hosts and various themes will add things to this. So anytime you don’t want to see a widget on your home screen, because some can really be annoying with trying to sell you stuff, you can just go to screen options and turn them off.
Another thing to note on these pages is that starts off often with the help tag. The help tag provides some kind of documentation. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s useless but if you need help on something, this is a good place to look.
So then on the admin menu you’ve got home which pretty much is where you end up automatically when you login. Under home you have your updates panel which tells you what needs to be updated.
You’ve got the posts menu item which is creating a post and managing posts. Creating and managing categories, creating and managing tags. You’ve got media which is the same thing taking you the library or managing or creating adding new media.
You’ve got pages. Again, if you’re going to create a page or manage pages that happens on the pages menu. If you’re going to manage comments, if you’ve got things to approve or delete that’s under comments.
Appearance is where you handle things like installing a theme, customizing the theme, adding widgets to widget areas and creating menus. There may be a header image and there maybe a background.
The one thing you should automatically ignore is the editor unless you are a WordPress expert and you know what you’re doing. It’s the worst thing possible for you to have here because it essentially lets you hack a theme. If you know enough to hack a theme then you should be hacking the theme on a local copy of it that you can upload using ftp. You shouldn’t be hacking it here because you can take your whole site down here.
If you don’t know how to do that then you shouldn’t be doing this at all. So these days, there is never a good reason for a regular user to open up either the theme editor or in this case the plug-in editor. The button editor is even worse. Don’t mess with this if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Anyway, appearance covers those things and what’s under appearance is different depending upon which plugins and which themes are installed. Different plugins and teams have different settings and they add those to appearance.
We’ve already looked at users. It’s place for you to add users, change users, delete users. Most people only have one or two users but if you’re running a membership site like I am, then you have thousands of users. All of it gets managed here.
Tools is sort of an odd catch-all and a lot of plugins will put their their options under tools. Some of them will put their options under settings. Plugins and themes will often create their own admin menu items. And that wraps up our tour of the admin menu.