Be A Blogger Series – Part 2: Say Hello to WordPress Dashboard

Introduction

When beginning my blogging career, many bloggers started out by using Blogger.com. But after a while, they discovered that the best platform to use is always WordPress. Here I am with the next article to my ‘Be A Blogger’ series which will be focus on publishing articles using WordPress.

This user guide is really for those who are already familiar with the Blogger.com interface and find it a little difficult to getting their head around the new WordPress dashboard. Though I am giving you a brief introduction by comparing WordPress with the Blogger.com platform, if you don’t have any idea about it – no problem! Just follow this then you will be familiar.

Follow the first article of this series : Be A Blogger Series – Part 1: How to install WordPress

How it works with Blogger!

Now lets start with your Blogger.com Dashboard which should look something like the image below.  ( Or at least similar to it!)

How it works with WordPress!

How to login into WordPress Dashboard?

In most blogs you will not see a link to sign-in to the dashboard. You can directly access the login interface by adding ‘wp-admin’ to your URL.

Example: “http://yourblog.com/wp-admin” OR “http://yourblog.com/wp-login.php”

When you manage to get into WordPress Dashboard it will resemble something similar to the image below. The numbers are obviously my creation and corresponds to the points below for you to get familiar with WordPress! ( I am demonstrating the version 3.2.1)

Please click on the image to see enlarged version

#1. Posts

When you click on the Posts menu, you will find a sub menu with options for showing you all posts on the blog, writing a new post and additional links to create Categories and Post Tags.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about:  Writing and Editing posts with WordPress

#2.  Media

You can upload videos, audio files and images by using the Media menu. Click on the menu and you will get the two sub-menus like Library and Add New. Here you can add media files and explore them. You can also find the URL of uploaded files here.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: Managing Media with WordPress.

#3. Links

A blogger usually likes to add links to websites and blogs maintained by friends and mentors. This can also be an indication for visitors on your blog to check out which websites or blogs you frequently visit.

If you want to add some external links of other websites that you like, you can add them from the Links menu. Just like posts can be organized into categories you can also create categories for your external links.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: All about Links Menu on WordPress

#4. Pages

With Blogger.com we can create pages which are static on the blog. This is very useful to show information like ‘About Us‘ or ‘Contact Us‘ on a blog. Similarly WordPress also allows us to create pages which are static. You might already know how to go about writing a post in WordPress. In the same way you can create pages and write content on it.

You can not create Categories and Tags for Pages like you can with Posts.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about:  Writing and Editing a Page with WordPress for full details regarding Pages.

#5. Comments

You can find all the comments in Comments menu. It is one of the options for moderating your comments. It gives you many options with which a user can approve, move to trash, edit, add to spam and also most importantly reply to all the comments. Just like we can not allow comments on a particular post or page we can also do the same with WordPress.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: Comment Moderation and Settings with WordPress.

#6. Appearance

Click on the Appearance menu and you will get many options for styling and providing some extra functionality to your blog. Using this menu you can change the theme of your blog, create custom menu for pages, categories and links. Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: Managing themes with WordPress.

Change of background or header of the theme can also be done from this menu. The Editor option allows the user to edit your theme files (PHP and CSS). The background and header can be changed with only the default themes available with WordPress.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: Managing Widgets in WordPress.

For more details on Menus Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: How to add Menus in WordPress.

With Widget option you can add extra functionality to your blog. (widgets are similar to gadgets in Blogger.com).

#7. Plugins

Plugins menu is very useful in WordPress. It gives more flexibility and also functionality to your blog. With this  menu a user can add, delete, activate or deactivate plugins.

Plugins at first glance is what really sets WordPress apart from Blogger.com as it has no options for adding plugins. Some plugins might give you new widgets or extra setting options in the dashboard itself. :-)

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: Managing Plugins in WordPress.

#8 . Users

Like the Blogger.com has a Permission menu in which you can manage users and their roles. With WordPress we have the Users option with which we can add, remove and mange users.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: Managing Users in WordPress for complete details.

#9. Tools

In Tools Menu you can see import and export options. With these options you can import a blog which uses WordPress just like the tools in Blogger.com. Additionally these options can be used for moving a blog from Blogger.com to WordPress.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about: All about Tools in WordPress.

#10. Settings

Settings menu is the most useful option in WordPress. You can tweak the required settings for the above discussed points for your blog like “Site Title & Description“, “Email address”, “Date & Time format”, “Post Count on front page”, “Default Category”, “Comments Moderation”, “Uploaded Media”, “Blog Privacy”, etc.

Stay tuned in our website for the upcoming article about:Managing Settings with WordPress.


#11. Drop-down Shortcuts

With this drop-down you can directly be taken to the respective menu. This is a great way to jump off to writing a new post, creating new pages, looking up drafts and comments etc.

Hope this article has increased your familiarity with WordPress functionality and features.

Summary

In this article I tried to give you a basic introduction to the WordPress Dashboard and its features. In the upcoming ‘Be A Blogger Series’ articles, I will focus on all the sections that I have highlighted throughout the article in more detail. Till then just play around and get a feel for the dashboard. You will gain lots of knowledge by just trying it by yourself. Please let me know how you go through making comments about this article. Best of luck!

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