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Aka the Admin Dashboard.

This is the back-end of your WordPress website where, once logged in, you can edit content and change your website settings and configuration.

The look and feel of the Dashboard is always being tweaked slightly with every major point release of WordPress but it’s functionality has remained pretty constant throughout.

Here you have access to create, update and remove posts, pages, comments, links, widgets and media file uploads.  General WordPress site settings, plugin and theme options are all available from the Dashboard.

It really is the heart of your website and you will get to know it very very well.

The Dashboard can be accessed by appending “/wp-admin/” onto the end of your website URL then logging in with your username and password.

The general layout comprises of an ever-present Admin Bar at the very top of the screen, Option Tabs down the LHS and the main editor window taking up the rest of the screen space.

Here’s a run-though of the major Dashboard windows that you’ll see in a vanilla WordPress installation (see above image).

  1. Admin Toolbar – this is always present when logged in.  Even when viewing the front-end of the website.  It gives you access to handy Dashboard functions.
  2. Side Menu Tabs – these are the main navigation tabs of the Dashboard and will take you to all areas of the WordPress site; Pages, Posts, Plugins, Settings etc.
  3. Right Now – gives you a summary of the different items that make up the website such as Pages, Posts and Comments along with a status or associated value.
  4. Recent Comments – this will show the most recent comments that visitors have left on the site along with a handy status summary of all the comments in the site.
  5. Incoming Links – WordPress labeling is great – you guessed it – this window shows you the latest links to your website, including pingbacks.
  6. Plugins – this is not a summary of your installed plugins.  It is a feed from WordPress where they suggest handy or trending plugins for use in your site.
  7. QuickPress – a great little window for quick posts.  You don’t get all the features of the main editor but handy all the same.
  8. Recent Drafts – lists all your draft posts.
  9. WordPress Blog – this is a feed from the official WordPress blog.  It mainly lists update and security notices or other big changes.
  10. Other WordPress News – again this is another feed from WordPress covering more general aspects of WordPress.
  11. Screen Options & Help – clicking on these links will expand a drop-down area.  For Screen Options, you can choose which windows you want to show/hide on the dashboard.  Help shows just that.

Needless to say, because the Dashboard is the control interface to your website, you should make sure your username and passwords are very secure, especially if you have Administrator access.

The Dashboard itself can be customised with plugins or by developers, adding or removing options on a per website basis.  This offers great flexibility with the WordPress CMS tool and is just another great reason why it has become so popular.