This post is for Beginners, a basic look at the WordPress Dashboard. The options you have and what to do when you first open up your new website admin panel. Read this post and it won’t seem so scary.
Your WordPress Dashboard
So you’ve chosen your domain name, registered it, and have hosting. Now you need to build a website. It can be a daunting prospect but there are many free tools out there to help you. I would recommend to every small tradesperson looking to build a simple website, to display what you do and generate leads, that they use WordPress.
“I would recommend WordPress to every small tradesperson.”
Welcome to your WordPress Dashboard, I hope you like it, you’re going to be spending a bit of time here. This is your home screen, to be honest, not a lot goes on here. Down the left is the menu of everything you need.
Handy. As you can see, I have one. The writers of WordPress, your theme and plugins regularly make improvements, these are called updates. Click here whenever you see the orange dot and follow the instructions.
This is where you create your blog posts.
A basic website (where you should start) has a Home Page, About Page, Services Page (or a Page for each of the services you provide), Contact Page and Blog Page. The posts you create here will be listed, automatically (Title, Image, short description) on this Blog Page.
Click on the Posts tab and it will bring up a list of your posts (no posts yet, write your first one). Here you can select any of your previous post by clicking on them and edit them from there. When you have a lot of posts you can search and filter, by a number of factors.
As you can see above, clicking on Posts brings up new items in the menu. Add New, Categories and Tags.
Add New Post
Clicking on Add New Post will bring up the Post screen, Text Editor and everything else you need to create a blog post on your website.
Categories & Tags
Your posts can, and should be sorted into categories and tags. WordPress automatically creates Archive pages for each category and tag that can be edited by clicking on their menu items on the left. This is a more advanced area area of SEO and web design and will be covered in other posts.
The Media tab is where all of your images, videos etc. are stored. When you click Add Media in the Post or Page Editor you will also find it here. It isn’t a place you go very often, adding, removing and editing images can be done on a post by post basis.
This menu contains some useful links, the WordPress Support Forum for example. You can add to this list, somewhat like an address book, to keep links you might need all in one handy place.
I like to think of pages as really important posts. They should have their own link in the main menu at the top of your website. For example if you are a carpenter; A Home Page, About Page, Contact Page, a Blog Page (WordPress will automatically list all of your posts here) and a page for each of the specialist services you provide, kitchens or staircases.
As you can see, the Online Trade Marketing website has a very simple structure, only 2 pages, the Home Page, to direct visitors, and the Blog Post Page. You will need more, but only between five and ten.
Editing pages is very similar the editing posts. The difference is that you have to manually add them to your navigation, usually at the top of each page (this is known as the header). Whereas blog posts appear on the page page you designate, normally in snippet form with a link to expand.
When you write a post you want people to read it, hopefully they are potential customers. Once you have a regular readership you want them to start leaving comments, some of them will lead to inquiries and future business.
When a website visitor leaves a comment you will receive a notification via email. Clicking the link in the email will bring you here. There are plugins that automatically deal with spam (and you will get quite a bit), but when you first start off I would recommend that deal with each comment manually. Read each one as it comes in, decide if it is of value, approve it or mark it as spam, and reply. This will give you a feel for comments and will help you in the future.
Many WordPress users choose to install the JetPack plugin on their website. It helps with load speed and mobile friendliness, as well as social sharing a security. It also adds a simple contact form feature to your post and page editor, seen below…
As with comments, when a visitor fills out the contact form you will get a notification via email. Follow the instructions and always reply.
That’a the first half of the sidebar in your WordPress Dashboard covered, enough for you to be getting on with?? In the next post we’ll look at Appearance, Settings, Tools and more of everything you need to know about your WordPress Dashboard.
Thank you for reading, I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions please leave a leave it in the comments section below.