This is a brief tutorial that walks you through an introduction to the WordPress Dashboard.  When you log into your site, the first thing you will see is the WordPress dashboard.  This tutorial shows you how to get around in the dashboard and the various features that are included on the dashboard.  It also shows you how to reach the various features that are on the dashboard from other places inside the WordPress editor.

 Show Notes

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Referenced in this Training

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Video Text

The Header Bar

Hi folks, today I wanted to go over the WordPress default dashboard and give you a little tour of the dashboard. We’ll start with the header bar up at the top of page. Over on the left, you’ll see your site name. If you hover over your site name, it will pop up a visit site button where you can go and view what your site looks like. Next up, we have an icon that shows you if you have plug-ins that need updating.  This will not display if you don’t have updates to your plug-ins. Next to that, we have comments.  I have one comment that is awaiting moderation. And then next to that, we have the new shortcut. Under that we can add a post, we can add media, we can add a page, or we can add a new user.

Over here in the right-hand side it says, Howdy admin. I’m logged in as an administrator here. The username for that administrator is admin. Eventually we’ll want to change that. From a security standpoint, you don’t want to leave your site as an admin username it will; however, have a role of administrator. I can edit my profile directly from here.  I can log out from the site.

The Left Side Menu

Over on the left, we have the menu items.  I will go over those individually as we progress through this training. Each one of these menu items, if you hover over it, will pop up a submenu. If you click on it, it will take that submenu and pull it into the menu. Then display it below the main category.  So if I were to do that with the media library, it pulls library and add new into the media(section) in the menu. With pages if I click on all pages or pages here, it will show me the pages that have created, but it pulls the pages menu that pops out into the left side menu. That will happen all the way down; you have various things that pop up when you hover over and if you click on the main category, it pulls it into the menu.

Screen Options

Moving back to the domain dashboard and working down the page, here we have what’s called screen options. Screen options allow you to turn on and off the various things that appear on the screen. If I were to open up screen options by clicking on it,  you can see that it now opens up a small window at the top and it has checkmarks for each of the items that are shown below. Under this section here,  Welcome to WordPress,  if I click on welcome, that turns it off. If I recheck it, it turns it back on.  I could also do that from dismiss here, that turns it off, but the only way to turn it back on is to go into the screen options, click welcome and recheck that box.

The Main Content Area


So each one of the sections here, we have a quick drafts section here.  I can turn that off if I’d like. If I don’t want to see the WordPress news, I can turn the WordPress news off.  I  can turn off my activity or I can turn off my at a glance. Each one of these boxes can be turned on and off from the screen options. When we’re done we just click on screen options again and it closes that window.  There’s also a help section.  If you click on the documentation under that it will actually take you out to and give you some help text, click on the support forums will take you back out to WordPress and take you into the forums.  There’s some good information there as well. 

Over on the left hand side, under overview, it gives you information about the navigation of this page, the layout of this page, and what is available on this particular page.

Welcome to WordPress Section

The Welcome to WordPress box has some shortcuts.


I can customize the site which goes out and allows me to change whatever special features the theme has. In this particular theme, which is the 2013 theme, I can change my site title and tagline on this theme.  The colors, I can change that header text color. There isn’t anything else to do there.

Header Image

I can change my header image, I can change it to one of these other suggested headers or I can add a new image. If I had a new image, that will need to be sized to 1600 x 230px for this particular theme.  I could also hide the image if I like which turns off those lovely orange balls. If I wanted to bring that back, I would just click on the suggested image or one of these other images. When I’m finished, save and publish, and that saves the changes that I’ve made in here.

Multiple Ways to Reach Items

You’ll find with WordPress that you can often get to places in from more than one place.  If you are looking at your site, when you hover over that, you can also get to the Customize from here, which takes you back in the same place. Closing that brings me back to where I was before (if I want to go back to my Dashboard).  Also the other place to get to customize your site, down here under appearance and there’s a customize item there. If I want to change my theme I can click on this here, which is a link to go to appearance, themes. So as you can see, there are multiple ways to get to various things.

New Blog Post

If I want to create my first blog post clicking on this will take me to the same place that new post will take me, as well as posts, add new so there are multiple ways to get to just about everything. If I wanted to add an about page, it will create a new page for me. I can do that from here, new page, or I could do pages, add new. These all go to the same place.

View Site

If I want to view my site, I can click here or I can go up here and visit my site. The terminology is a little bit different, but it takes you to the same place. 


Eventually we’ll talk about widgets and will talk about menus and customizing menus.  Those are available here under appearance, widgets or menus.


If we wanted to change our commenting that is available from settings, discussion, that opens the same page.  If you want to learn more about getting started, again that takes us out to and gives us some help about how to move through that page that we were just on.

Other Page Items

The other objects on this page are the “At a Glance”, where it shows you your recent activity inside your site.  Each of these windows can be opened and closed so you can display the contents or you can hide the contents.  If you hide the contents you will have a header bar for each of the separate boxes. So if I wanted to hide all my current activity, I could close that and it would just take it down to a header bar. 

If I want to rearrange what’s on the screen, let’s say I want to take my WordPress news and move it over into this column that’s blank, and I could have my quick draft open. Basically just look for the four arrows, slide it around where you want it, and let go. Open and close. So I can close everything down or I can go up here and turn them all off. 

I think that about covers the WordPress dashboard getting started.  You will notice that at the top, I have an update for my plug-ins. I also have a comment that’s awaiting moderation, down here(on the side menu) this orange 1 tells me that I have a comment awaiting moderation and that I need to update a plug-in. If I go to updates at the top of the side menu, this is also referring to the plug-in that I need to update. When I open that it’s telling me that I have an all-in-one SEO pack that has a new version that I should update. I will go over that later. 

Restore the Screen to the Default

Back to my Home WordPress, and I go back up to my screen options, turn all my little boxes back on.  Now I can pull them up to full size, and we’re back to the way that I originally started with my dashboard.  I think that about covers it for this.  So in the next training we will start going over posts and walking down through the menus letting you know what you can do and where you can do it.

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