Accessing and Navigating Admin Dashboard in WordPress

The admin dashboard is the main area from where you can configure almost everything for your website. If you run a WordPress powered site then knowing your way around the admin dashboard is a must-have skill. You will need to access the WordPress admin area and make changes in there quite frequently. From there you can create content, upload media, change settings and themes, modify the appearance, install plugins and do everything site related.

Accessing the Admin Dashboard

You will need to know the admin username and password. Those are created when you install a new WordPress site or you can create a second one from the Users settings in the admin area.

Then access the admin dashboard (login page) using one of the following links:

http://www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php

There are other links too which will redirect you to the same page:

http://www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/
http://www.yoursite.com/admin/
http://www.yoursite.com/login/

Note: www.yoursite.com should be replaced with your domain name. Change the links if you installed WordPress in a sub-domain or sub-directory.

You will be asked for your admin username and password. After you enter these two correctly, you will be redirected to the admin area.

WordPress Admin Dashboard

Using the Admin Dashboard

If it is your first time logging into your admin dashboard then it can be quite overwhelming due to the sheer amounts of options available in there. But know that they are well-organized and after using it a couple of times, you will be able to navigate through the admin area like a champ.

In the main page of the admin dashboard, you will find some quick links and features to do some quick things. For example: You can create a quick draft of a post right from there. You will also get updates and news about WordPress and plugins.

The main links to the settings are arranged on the left in the form of links and sub-links. The plugins and themes that you install might add new top-level links on the left or they might even add sub-level links inside Tools, Settings etc.

Basically, you will find these settings and sub-settings:

Dashboard

  • Home: The main dashboard.
  • Updates: Update themes and plugins right from the admin area.

Posts

  • All Posts: List every post.
  • Add New: Create a new post.
  • Categories: Create and edit categories.
  • Tags: Create and edit tags.

Media

  • Library: View the media library.
  • Add New: Upload a new media file.

Pages

  • All Pages: List all pages and edit them.
  • Add New: Create a new page.
  • Comments: List all the comments and get to edit them

Appearance

  • Themes: Upload new themes or switch between them.
  • Customize: Customize the basic elements of your currently active theme.
  • Widgets: Choose what and where those sidebar elements are displayed.
  • Menus: Create menus that can be used by your theme.
  • Header: Redirects to the header settings of the customizer.
  • Background: Change the site background via the customizer.
  • Editor: Get to edit the theme files directly (.php, .css, .html etc).

Plugins

  • Installed Plugins: Displays a list of installed plugins.
  • Add New: Install a new plugin.
  • Editor: Edit the .php files of the plugins directly.

Users

  • All Users: Lists all the users.
  • Add New: Add new users.
  • Your Profile: Make changes to your profile.

Tools

  • Available Tools: Lists all available WordPress tools like Press This.
  • Import: Import WordPress from another blogging platform or from an exported WordPress file.
  • Export: Export WordPress posts and other information for importing to another location.

Settings

  • General: The basic settings.
  • Writing: The settings related to creating posts.
  • Reading: The settings related to reading posts on the user end.
  • Discussion: The settings related to comments.
  • Media: The settings related to uploaded media files.
  • Permalinks: The permalink settings of WordPress.

These are just a general overview of all the settings that comes with a fresh install of WordPress. You can use them and try them to get a hang of them. Additional settings might also show up. Like if you install and activate Jetpack, it will add a new top level menu in the left sidebar of the admin dashboard. Similarly, other plugins might place their settings inside Tools or Settings. Themes might also create a top-level link on the sidebar or they can be placed inside the Appearance link. There might be a lot of links but once you are accustomed to the admin dashboard, you can navigate through it quite easily.