In a previous article, WordPress Admin Panel Guide, I covered each of the standard functions on the WordPress admin dashboard. In this WordPress Admin Getting Started guide, I cover the most important WordPress admin activities.
These top features will get you started with your WordPress blog or WordPress website quickly without having to learn everything about the WordPress Admin dashboard.
Most Important WordPress Admin Activities
The approach I’ll take in this article is the quickest way to learn the WordPress Admin while also getting your blog ready for launch.
Learning the WordPress Admin and all of its features can be overwhelming for a new blogger. The organization of the menu can seem confusing.
All you want to do is make your blog look good and post content. But how do you do that?
So, instead of listing all the menu items and working through them all, I’m going to break them down into the specific activities every new blogger needs to do when getting started.
The two most important features of the WordPress Admin to get you up to speed and ready for blogging are:
- Changing Layout and Appearance
- Adding Content
WordPress Admin Layout And Appearance Menu Items
The menu items in the WordPress Admin that are used to update the look and feel of your blog are not located together. Many of them are hidden in sub-menus and setting pages that can be difficult to find.
For many bloggers, this is the most frustrating part about setting up a WordPress blog.
How To Add A Theme
WordPress Admin Menu → Appearance → Themes
WordPress Themes is the most important feature for creating the layout and look and feel of your blog. So you’d think there would be a Theme menu on the visible part of the menu. However, you have to dig down below the Appearance menu item to find it.
Once on the Themes page, you can see your active theme. On this page you can also see the other themes you have installed but that aren’t active.
If you click the “Upload” button, you will be taken to a page where you can upload a theme you have downloaded to your computer or search for free themes to use.
How To Update Your Theme
WordPress Admin Menu → Appearance → Customize
When you want to change the look of your installed theme, you will again have to look below the Appearance menu item.
This menu opens the Customize page with the list of options you can change on the left and a live preview of the changes as you make them. Depending on your theme, the
options on the Customize page will be different.
You will often be able to change your Site Title, Colors, Menus, and other Theme options. Your changes won’t show up on your site unless you click the “Publish” button at the top left of the page.
How To Change Your Sidebars
WordPress Admin Menu → Appearance → Widgets
Most themes have one or more sidebars. The items that show up on your sidebars are contained in what are called widgets.
This menu opens the Widget page with the list of available widgets on the left and a list of available areas on your page where these widgets can go.
You add or remove widgets in the available widget areas. You can drag a widget to the area or you can click on the widget, select the area you want the widget to appear, and click the “Add Widget” button.
In each page area, you can edit the content of the widget. You can also move or delete the widget.
How To Change Your Menus
WordPress Admin Menu → Appearance → Menu
Menus are probably one of the most confusing things to change on your blog. Some themes automatically create menus for you.
Those menus are often updated in the Customize section under Appearance. But there is also a Menu item under Appearance.
So where do you make the updates?
In this menu, you can create your own unique menus. Or update existing menus. If you click the “Manage with Live Preview” button at the top, this will take you to the Customize page’s Menu section.
WordPress Admin Content Menu Items
Adding content to your blog should be easy with WordPress right? And it is…once you figure out how to do it.
Starting out, new bloggers can be confused between the difference between Pages and Posts. And it is important to know this right from the start.
Otherwise, you could spend wasted time trying to figure out why your content is showing up on your site or not showing up where you expect it to show up.
How To Create A Blog Post In WordPress
WordPress Admin Menu → Posts
Posts are the articles that you will be writing for your blog. They will be grouped together by categories and tags that you assign to them. They will also show up on your Blog page and in the listing of posts on your homepage.
Posts are usually about the TOPIC of your website. They are usually divided into categories or sub-sections.
You select “Add New” from the menu next to the Posts item or if you select the Posts menu item, you can click the “Add New” button.
For me in-depth coverage of creating a blog post, see the article Add WordPress Post: How To Create WordPress Post Now
How To Create A Page In WordPress
WordPress Admin Menu → Pages
Pages are usually considered standalone content. They aren’t grouped by categories or tags.
Pages are usually INFORMATIONAL in nature.
Examples include About Us, Contact Us, Privacy, and Disclosure pages.
Just like the Posts menu item, you can select “Add New” from the menu or you can click the “Add new” button on the Pages page.
You can click on the title of your page to edit it.
This article was intended as quick WordPress Admin Getting Started Guide so that can get up and running with your WordPress blog or WordPress website without having to learn everything about the WordPress Admin.
For a more in-depth coverage on the WordPress admin read WordPress Admin Panel Guide. In that article, I review each of the menu items in the WordPress Dashboard.
You can also read my Learn WordPress: Getting Started With The WordPress CMS to find out more about WordPress and why you should choose WordPress for your website or blog.
Check out the following WordPress tutorials and WordPress guides:
- Learn WordPress: Getting Started With WordPress CMS
- One-Click WordPress Install and Set Up
- How To Choose A WordPress Theme
- How To Install WordPress Themes
- Customizing WordPress Themes
- Top 7 WordPress Tips For Beginners
- Popular WordPress Plugins
- How To Create A Custom Homepage In WordPress
- How To Create A Page In WordPress
- WordPress Admin Panel Guide
- WordPress Admin Getting Started Guide
- How To Edit The WordPress Menu Bar
- WordPress Category Page: How Categories Work In WordPress
- WordPress Tag Page: How Tags Work In WordPress
- Your WordPress Media Library Questions Answered
- Easy Way To Edit Images In WordPress: Resize, Flip, Rotate, And Crop Explained
- Add WordPress Post: How To Create A WordPress Post Now
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