how to use the Wordpress dashboard - WP Advice
wordpress dashboard

how to use the WordPress dashboard

In this article we are going to fully understand how to use the WordPress dashboard. This is quite simple but it’s very important. In order for you to fully understand how WordPress works.

We are going to work with a fresh new installed WordPress. If you don’t know how to install WordPress into your hosting, you first may wanna read my step by step tutorial on How to set up WordPress in Siteground. You will find there all the right information to get to this point. 

The wordpress Dashboard

The WordPress dashboard is just the back-end of your website and it is divided in 2 main sections. When you open WordPress for the first time after you have installed it, you will be redirected to here and it will look exactly like the picture alongside. We can see that we have a big black menu on the left side and a description on the right side. 

how to use the WordPress dashboard

The right side will reflect what we choose on the left side menu. So, if we press on Pages for example, our right side will show us the options that the voice ”Page” has.  In this article we are going to explore every voice of the WordPress Menu and see what we need each one for. 

The difference in between Pages and Posts in WordPress

Wordpress dashboard

When should I use a Post and When Should I use a Page in WordPress? The answer is very easy! They are exactly the same thing but Posts are used to build up a blog. If you go to Settings > Reading you can set up the blog page. Once you do that, WordPress will position all your posts inside that page ordered by date, Name, Last modify, and a few more options you can choose from, depending on your needs. 

To add a Page or a Post just click on the related voice in the menu and click on Add new. Insert the related title and Save it. 

Customizing your pages and posts depends from what editor or visual composer you are using. WordPress uses an editor called Gutenberg, It was introduces a couple of years ago and I’ve never used it. I don’t really like it and there are much better options put there. We are going to talk about visual composers later on in this article under the plugin section.

How to create a new user in WordPress

To create a new user in WordPress simply go to Users > Add new.
Here you can simply go trough the process and fill up the required fields. 
An important thing in here is that you will be able to decide the user role.  You will basically decide what your new user can do and cannot do. 
Wordpress dashboard new user

When someone register to your page or send you a message trough the contact form, it will be automatically registered in the user list with a default role of Subscriber. The Admin is the most powerful role you can give to a new user which will have the same accesses you have inside the website. 

Wordpress dashboard set menu

Settings’ Menu in WordPress

When we press the Settings Menu in WordPress, we have access to a couple of important things to set up. The first one is located in Settings > General. Here you will be able to decide what’s your website language, your website primary email, and the Site title and description. Please change your site language before installing any plugin. 

Wordpress dashboard Initial page

Another important option we want to take control of, is located in Settings > Reading. Here you will decide if your home page will be a static one or a blog list. Depending on your needs, if you go for a static one, that page you will select will be the ”home page”. If you go for ” Latest Post ”, WordPress will take for granted that your page is a blog and no more actions are needed. You will be displaying your blog page as your home page.

Understanding the importance of plugins and how to add new ones

Wordpress classic editor

A WordPress plugin is just a third part software that is going to give extra functionality to your WordPress website. To make you fully understand what a plugin is, I will make you a simple example. Think about WordPress as a human body, plugins are just the super powers. If you want your body to move faster, you use a plugin, If you want your body to have extra specific extra powers you will look for the related plugin. By default WordPress comes with ”Hello Dolly” and ”Akismet” Plugin. You can delete the Hello Dolly one and decide if to use Akismet. It’s a spam protector plugin, it can be useful if you need it. 

To add a new plugin just go to Plugin > Add New and you will be redirected to the WordPress plugin directory. Use the search box to look for what you need. Once you find one of your interest, just install it and activate it. On you WordPress main menu you will now find one more voice related to the plugin you have just installed. 

Visual Composers Plugin

Like I said before, WordPress comes with a default Gutenberg editor. This editor is not very user friendly and I don’t have much experience in it and neither I wanna have one. I just don’t need it. 
There are a lot better visual composers out there. The ones I suggest are for sure Elementor Pro and WPBakery .
Watch out. If you are using a free theme, then you will have to install your Visual Composer as you do with the others plugin. If you buy a Premium theme you will receive, on top of the theme, the access to a premium Visual composer and other Premium Plugins. 

WordPress Plugin And themes directory

The best theme directory in WordPress is probably Envato, Here you can find anything you need divided into categories. 
If you are a beginner it would be good for you to start working on a template and understand its structure. The one I suggest you to start with is Astra Pro. Astra pro it comes with Elementor as a Visual composer which is an amazing tool to use. If you want to know more about Elementor you can read my Article ” how to use elementor theme builder”.

Conclusion

I hope you guys today have understood a bit more about WordPress. If you have any doubt please contact me and I will be happy to give you free advice.

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