WordPress: Let’s have a Look at the Administration Panel

In the first lesson we saw how it is easy to install WordPress on your computer: the rest of the simplicity and rapidity of installation are just some of the features that have made this so popular blogging platform.

Today’s lesson will be directed primarily to you, who are still novice using WordPress, so you can start to gain confidence before entering to the heart of this guide: creating a template for WordPress from scratch.

So we’ll start to have a look at what is called WordPress Administration Panel: central hub to manage a blog / site through this platform.

Article Index:

  1. How to login to WordPress?
  2. An initial look at the administration panel of WordPress
  3. The Articles section: How to manage articles about WordPress?
  4. Media Management: How to upload files to the site / blog?
  5. Links: How to Manage the Blogroll?
  6. Pages: How to manage the pages of the blog?
  7. The Comments Management
  8. Appearance: Change the look of our blog?
  9. Plugin: Customizing Your Blog According to Your Needs
  10. Members: How to Add and manage users to the platform?
  11. Tools: A Look at Other Features
  12. Settings: Configure our platform
  13. Conclusions

1. How to login to WordPress?

In the previous lesson we saw how to log on to access the WordPress Admin Panel. If the login credentials (username and password) have been installed correctly, after you login, the authentication system automatically redirects the user to the homepage of the Admin Panel.

2. An initial look at the administration panel of WordPress

The manageability of this platform is another of the features that is making WordPress increasingly popular worldwide for uses other than for which it was originally conceived. In fact, thanks to a simple and intuitive Control Panel, the management of the site will be easy for a novice user who does not have great computer skills.

The administration panel of WordPress is as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - WordPress admin panel

Briefly describe the various sections highlighted in Figure 1 before going on to further analyzing of the content of different items in the main navigation menu.

  1. As you can see the main navigation menu of the Administration Panel is on the left side of the interface. Clicking on each individual item, the menu will expand to show its sub-items available that we will discuss later.
  2. Alongside the navigation menu is a box that shows the current status of our website / blog. In this window you can see at a glance the number of articles and pages published, the number of Categories andTtags that were created, the number of entries: totals, approved, pending and covered by the system as spam. Also in this box, you can always see the name of the theme you are using, the number of widgets in use at this time and the version of the platform currently used.
  3. Current State is next to another box called QuickPress used for publication of articles quickly and easily without using the complete interface (which we shall see later) provided by the  platform for the publication of articles.
  4. Inside the Recent comments box are visible the latest comments posted by readers.
  5. The Drafts box shows any recent articles in Draft status.
  6. In section Inbound links are shown possible links posted on other blogs mentioning our website / blog.
  7. In the section WordPress Development Blogs are displayed the latest news on the WordPress development blog feed from Development Journal: This way you can stay up to date on the latest news about the development of the platform.

After giving a glance to the WordPress Main Administration Panel, we can go exploring in details the content of the various entries in the main navigation menu. Obviously we will not go into too much details as this goes beyond the scope of this main course, we will simply look at what are the main features provided by this platform.

3. The Articles section: How to manage articles about WordPress?

Clicking on “Articles” in the navigation menu on the left gives access to manage items as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 - Articles Management

Immediately after clicking on “Articles” the menu expands and displays the entries for the other four management articles section. The items that make up this section allow you to modify existing articles, to re-enter and manage tags and categories to be assigned later articles.

In the central part of this section is shown a list of all articles (published in draft form and scheduled) where you can manage every aspect with a simple mouse click.

Clicking on “Add New“ we will access the interface that lets you insert a new article on our website / blog, as shown in Figure 3. The interface as you can see is very intuitive and simple to operate even for those who don’t have great technical skills behind.

Figure 3- To add a new article in our blog

4. Media Management: How to upload files to the site / blog?

Clicking on “Media” in the menu navigation is possible to access the area that lets you manage and upload files (archives, images, PDF, etc.) so you can use later on the website/blog (Figure 4).

Figure 4 - Upload file on the blog

This section also is very intuitive and easy to use, just click on “Add New” and through the “Browse” button on the page choose the file you want to upload.

5. Links: How to Manage the Blogroll?

To manage the classic blogroll (the index of firendly links generally present on the sidebar of a blog) WordPress provides the voice “Link“. Clicking on this heading leads to the section that displays a list of links already present, by default you’ll find some already entered by WordPress automatically during installation (Figure 5).

Figure 5 - Blogroll management

From here you can add links to your blogroll, edit and delete existing ones and / or share the links also for categories (if it deems it necessary).

6. Pages: How to manage the pages of the blog?

WordPress – in addition to publication of articles – provides the ability to create and publish even simple static pages. During the installation process, WordPress creates a page named “Info“, then clicking the “Pages” in the Administration Panel you can change this default page and / or create others (Figure 6).

Figure 6 - Pages management

The pages created from the Administration Panel on blogs are displayed as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7 - The pages in the standard blog's layout

Obviously you can show the pages of WordPress in any desired section of layout that we’re going to build. As we shall see in the next lessons, you can also create custom layout for each of these pages.

7. The Comments Management

Clicking on “Comments” section, allows you access the section which is used to manage the comments posted by users, whether they are approved, yet to approve or marked as spam (Figure 8).

Figure 8 - Comments management

8. Appearance: Change the look of our blog?

From the “Appearance” menu you can manage the aesthetic form of our blog, in fact, clicking on this item of the navigation menu is accessed under “Topics” that lets you install and activate the templates that can be “worn” in each of our blog / website.

Above you see a screenshot of the theme which is currently installed on the platform with some information about it: under the theme, authors and short description, while the bottom shows a gallery of all the available themes, in other words the issues that have been uploaded on the platform and ready to be installed (Figure 9).

Figure 9 - WordPress's themes management

In this second part of the page you can change look of our blog / site with a simple click on “Enable” voice found below each Theme.

The menu “Appearance” is composed of four subheadings, in order:

  • Widgets: this section allows you to place – by dragging – the various widgets on one or more sidebar of our blog / website.
  • Editor: from this section is posible, using a convenient text editor, changing all the pages that make up the theme currently installed on the platform.
  • Add new theme: as stated in the heading, allows you to upload new themes on the platform.
  • Custom header image: this item allows you to upload your own image for the header of the blog.

9. Plugin: Customizing Your Blog According to Your Needs

Another feature that makes WordPress so popular, is the ease with which this platform can be expanded by installing the appropriate Plugin (there are thousands available) that can completely transform the original functionality, making it an appropriate platform for e-commerce, a social network Facebook-style, a true CMS etc.. according to the needs of the case.

Clicking on the “Plugin” you can see a list of all plugins currently loaded on the platform (Figure 10).

Figure 10 - WordPress plugins management

From here you can manage plugins: enable, disable, delete them and reload.

10. Members: How to Add and manage users to the platform?

Clicking on “Users” you can see a list of all registered users and manage the various personal profiles (Fig. 11).

Figure 11 - Users management

Also from this section is always possible – for the administrator of the platform – add new users and assign the role you want.

For each role there are different levels of access, if you want to know more, in this page you will find a complete description of the various roles available by WordPress with their access levels assigned to each role.

11. Tools: A Look at Other Features

From “Tools” menu you can access some advanced features provided by the platform, among these we can speed up the loading of pages (installing Gear on your browser), the ability to import and export the entire contents of the blog, (you can import content even from other blogging platforms, please use this page for further details and a complete list of all the blogging platforms supported), and always from the “Tools” menu you can update the platform if were released new versions (Figure 12).

Figure 12 - Managamente of some advanced settings of WordPress

12. Settings: Configure our platform

The last menu item called “Settings” allows you to configure the general settings to use the platform, including: the title of the blog, the URL where you installed the e- mail to be used for system notifications, user registration, the date format, the number of items displayed per page and many other aspects that I am not here to indicate that too is beyond the main purpose of this guide. In Figure 13 you can see a preview of this section.

Figure 13 - General settings management

Conclusions

Now we are at the end of this second lesson, if you already use (or have used) WordPress you can probably find boring the part we have just dealt with because you probably knew too well the various sections of the Administration Panel, but do not worry, after heating engines with these first two lessons, the next week we will begin to get serious, finally you will begin to get your hands on the markup needed for the realization of our WordPress template, customizing it to our liking.

Index of Articles in this guide

In order to make the consulting of this guide easier at the end of each article I will bring the index of all the issues treated.

  1. How to Install WordPress locally?
  2. WordPress: Let’s have a look at the Administration Panel
  3. How to Create a WordPress Template Starting from Scratch?
  4. WordPress: How to Create the Theme header? (part 1) (part 2)
  5. Let’s take a look at WordPress Loop
  6. Adding the Sidebar to our theme
  7. WordPress: how to make dynamic the Header and the Sidebar of the template?
  8. Hierarchy of the templates and their use: how to create a template for the articles?
  9. How to Create Personalized Templates for WordPress Pages?
  10. Using the Widgets on the Sidebar of Our Template
  11. Personalizing the Template of WordPress Comments

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The Author

Nando is administrator of Edi Group, a Sicilian web agency founded in 2005. He deals with the development of web applications in php language and the implementation and administration of databases. And besides Microsoft Trainer with years of experience in regional and private training courses as a designer and lecturer.

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