Understanding the features of your WordPress Admin Panel is a great way to learn how to master the functions of your WordPress-powered site or blog if you are a beginner.
Once the installation of WordPress is completed on your site, you can log in to your dashboard.
To access the WordPress dashboard, you just need to add /wp-admin or /login.php to the end of the URL where you installed WordPress.
For example, if my site is kasareviews.com, in order to log in, I will go to URL kasareviews.com/login.php (but for security reasons it is better to hide your login URL and use custom).
If you installed WordPress in a folder called for example “blog,” your domain would go to example.com/blog/login.php.
Then you need to type the username and password you used when you installed your WordPress in order to log in.
This will take you to the Dashboard which is a summary of the content on the site.
WordPress Admin Panel
In your Dashboard, you will see a navigation menu on the left-hand side. The contents of this will depend on your level of admin access.
The WordPress admin area is the administrative center of a WordPress powered website.
An administrator has full access to all the sections within the WordPress admin area.
Users with other roles such as editor, contributor, or author have limited access to the admin area.
Some users like the subscriber role only have access to their profile page inside the admin area.
The toolbar provides access to several administrative functions.
On the left side is the main navigation which provides access to most of the WordPress management tools.
Each major section typically comes with a sub-menu that can expand to show extra options.
The area in the middle of the screen is called the work area. This is where you can write, edit, and delete posts as well as adjust settings.
At the bottom of each administration, the page is the footer. The footer contains links to WordPress and the version of WordPress that you currently have installed.
WordPress Admin Panel – The Toolbar
The WordPress admin toolbar is the horizontal strip at the very top of the admin panel.
The contents of the toolbar will vary depending which theme and the plugins you are currently using and which are active on your website.
However, in general, it will have the following links: About WordPress, View Site, Updates, Comments, Screen Options, Help, etc.
About WordPress menu contains sub-menu items that link to About WordPress page, WordPress Documentation page, WordPress.org website, WordPress feedback page, and WordPress support forums.
Clicking on any of these menu items will take you to its respective page.
View Site menu will take you to the front-end of your website.
Once you are on the front-end of the site, this menu will change to admin panel menu and will have links to come back into the admin panel.
Customize link will display only when you are viewing the front-end of your website while logged in as the administrator. Clicking it will launch the theme customizer.
The Updates link will only get displayed if there are any updates available for WordPress core, themes or plugins. Else it will not be shown.
Clicking the Updates icon will take you to the WordPress Updates page.
The Comments link will display the count of unapproved comments. Clicking on it will take you to the Comments page in the admin panel.
Add New menu contains quick links to create a post, media file, page or user.
Howdy, User menu is displayed on the right-hand side of the toolbar. It contains links to go to the logged in user’s profile page and log out from the WordPress admin panel.
The Screen Options tab is available below the toolbar. It is just below the Howdy, User menu.
Clicking it will expand the Screen Options region and clicking it again will collapse it.
It contains options to display or hide elements from the Work area. The options presented in the Screen Options will vary depending on the admin page that you are viewing in the work area.
You can check or uncheck any of the options to display or hide elements from the Work area.
WordPress Admin Panel – The Main Navigation Menu
The main navigation menu is the primary navigation bar to access various admin pages.
It can be collapsed using the “Collapse menu” section at the bottom of the menu.
The main navigation has the following menus: Dashboard, Posts, Media, Pages, Comments, Appearance, Plugins, Users, Tools, and Settings.
Clicking any menu in the main navigation will open its corresponding page in the work area.
For example, if you click the Settings menu, then you will see the Settings page in the work area.
The dashboard is the first item in the main navigation menu.
This is where you will come once you log in to your WordPress admin panel. It is also the menu from where you can update WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
From posts menu section, you can create, edit and delete your posts.
It is also the place from where you can create, edit and delete the post categories and tags.
The Media menu will help you to upload, edit and delete various media files like images, PDFs, videos, etc.
This is also where all the media files that you upload while creating or editing your posts and pages will get stored.
The Pages menu will help you to create, edit and delete pages from WordPress.
Using comments menu, you can manage all the comments that you receive on your posts and pages.
This is where you can approve, edit, reply to, delete, and mark the comments as spam.
The Appearance menu will help you to do a lot of things. You can manage Themes, Widgets, Menus, Customize themes, Edit the Theme and Plugin files, etc.
Some of the menu items in the Appearance menu like Header, Background, etc. may change depending on the currently active theme.
The Plugins menu can be used to search, add, upload, install, activate, deactivate, edit and delete the plugins.
This is where you will also see all the currently installed and active plugins of your site.
From the Users menu, you will be able to manage all the users who can log in to your site.
From here, you will be able to edit and delete the users.
The Tools menu has some useful actions to import and export the data from your WordPress site.
The Settings menu controls the essential settings of your WordPress site.
You have a lot of settings available under the Settings menu, like General, Writing, Reading, etc.
WordPress Admin Panel Final Words
You can also always customize your WordPress admin area using admin theme.
An admin theme can give a unique look and feel to a site. An admin theme can add a more intuitive user interface to the dashboard.
WordPress admin themes change the width, padding, margin, borders of WordPress admin user interface.
Admin themes can style and control the appearance of different elements like buttons, menus, links, and even typography in your WordPress admin area.
This is especially valuable for sites that have many authors and contributors who all use the admin area.
If you make a WordPress site for a client, you may also want to simplify the dashboard to make it easier to use.
If you have any questions regarding functions and options of WordPress admin dashboard, let me know in comments below.