When you log in to WordPress, you are presented with the Dashboard. This is what it looks like:
1. The Sidebar
2. Screen Options, Help, Profile & Logout
3. The Main screen
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
The sidebar’s purpose is to give you access to the Dashboard navigation menu. This contains all of the tools you need to build, manage and maintain your website. You can add/edit content on your site, upload images, moderate comments, change your site theme, add/remove plugins, and everything else you will need to do as a website owner. We’ll look at these features in detail later.
Screen Options, Help, Profile & Logout
Screen Options is a drop-down menu that allows you to decide what is shown on the various screens within the Dashboard. If you click the Screen Options link, you’ll see something like this:
What you see will depend on where you are in the dashboard, the version of WordPress you have installed, installed plugins, and themes. These options are context-sensitive and will be relevant to the current page you are viewing. By changing these options, you can customize what is displayed on your Dashboard. If you don’t want to see something, you simply uncheck it.
To the right of the Screen Options is a button to access WordPress help. Clicking it opens a help panel:
The left side of this help panel is tabbed, offering you categorized help sections. Like the screen options, the help panel is context-sensitive so will show you the most useful help items for the Dashboard area you are currently working in.
If you need more detailed help, there are links on the right side which take you to the official WordPress documentation and support forums.
Finally, in this area of the Dashboard screen, if you place your mouse over the “Hi, Yourusername” top right, a panel opens:
We saw this earlier that this menu gives you a direct link to edit your profile and a link to log out of your WordPress Dashboard. Whenever you finish a session in the WordPress Dashboard, it’s always a good idea to log out.
The Main Screen
This is where all the work takes place. What you see in the main screen area will depend on where you are in the Dashboard. For example, if you are in the themes section, the main screen will display installed themes.
Now you have an insight of Dashboard, explore inside it to familiarize yourself with the system. Also go and check out the pre-installed WordPress Themes. Remember to delete all inactive themes, for security reasons. You should be left with just the Twenty Sixteen theme. Finally, click on a few of the menu items in the left navigation column and then open the screen options to see what’s there. See how the options are related to the page you are viewing in the Dashboard?