WordPress Admin Dashboard Basics [A to Z Explained]

In this post, let’s study every basic definition you need to understand as a beginner about the WordPress admin dashboard.

What is the WordPress Admin Dashboard?

It’s a control panel or a screen like a form in which you can do all the customisation works of your blog at the backend. The works include adding new pages, blog posts, customize the theme, adding plugins, widgets and the list continues.

Undoubtedly starting a blog on the WordPress platform is a great idea in 2020. No matter whether you are just starting out to make money or express your thoughts, WordPress is #1 choice. Before getting into the deeper WordPress tutorials, understanding the WordPress basics is key for beginners and the basic study obviously needs to start from the topic WordPress dashboard.

WordPress never make you feel look back for the alternatives. In fact, there are many free best blogging sites available, but nothing can be a winner when compared to WordPress. Not only because the platform is free to install but also the features and functions it offers to its users.pro

Let’s dive deep into the whole lot topic without further delay…

1. Login to WordPress Dashboard

First and foremost, to access your WordPress admin dashboard or admin panel, you must log in to your WordPress account with the login credentials you used when you installed WordPress.

Pro Tip:- Both your hosting account Cpanel login details and WordPress dashboard login details are different. So don’t make any confusions over this point.

Once you login into your web hosting account, there you can find Softaculous by which you can easily install the WordPress for your blog. While installing, you will be asked to confirm login details. This is the credentials you must note down safely. In order to login to your WordPress admin dashboard, you must use the details (Username and Password). 

Login to WordPress Dashboard URL: https://YourDomainName/wp-login.php

Or else, you will be provided with a unique login URL by your web hosting partner (using a unique login URL a safe move). Both the links take you to the same login page. So, nothing to confuse.

Here how it looks like:-

Login to WordPress Dashboard
WordPress Login Page

That’s it. You will be taken to your WordPress admin dashboard.

2. WordPress Admin Dashboard Home

After logging in to your WordPress account, you will see a screen like this and this is what your WP admin panel [WP stands WordPress].

wordpress admin dashboard main area
WordPress Admin Dashboard Welcome Screen

Top of the Dashboard [WordPress Tool Bar]

WordPress Logo – On the top right, you will see a WP logo, click if you want to read out the documentation or for any support.

Your Site Name – To explore your site directly from WP dashboard, you can click this.

Comments – You can moderate or edit comments in this section.

+ New – Here is the option, you can add a new post, page, media or even users by clicking its drop-down

I am using some plugins on my blog, so the other nearby options like Rank Math, Performance, Insights etc.. displayed just because I installed manually.

wordpress dashboard tool bar
WP Dashboard Tool Bar

Howdy, [Admin/Webmaster Name] – On the top left, you will see my name, that is nothing but the admin profile of the blog. You can edit your basic profile details here such as first name, last name, website, social media profiles, author bio etc.. On the dropdown, there is also log out option in which you can log out from the blog.

Below the Webmaster Name, you will see two options with dropdown icon,

  1. Screen Options:
screen options
WP Dashboard Screen Options

There you will see some boxes with the name of a few sections like welcome, quick draft, At a Glance etc.., you can tick or untick a box in which you itself decide what sections do you want to display on this main WordPress dashboard screen. Untick the box hides the particular section on your WP dashboard.

  1. Help:

To understand your dashboard better, WordPress offers this section where you will read a few basic definitions of sections in the dashboard.

2.1 Dashboard Main Area

There is nothing deeper to study this portion. The section is in the white background starting with a Welcome message ‘Welcome to WordPress’.

Under Get Started>>

Customize your Site – You can customize your site appearance here which includes logo, header, footer, colours, typography and similar basic stuff.

Or if you want to swift your theme completely, you can click on ‘changer your theme completely’ option.

Under Next Steps>>

Edit your FrontPage – To edit your home page, you can use this

Add Additional Pages – To add new pages, you can use this text link.

Visit Site – To visit your blog directly from the WP dashboard, the same option we also see on the top of the dashboard.

Under More Actions>>

Manage Widgets – You can manage (add or delete) widgets in this section. Widgets are similar to plugins that offer different functionalities to your blog. It can be placed anywhere as you wish. Widgets can be anything like text, images, calendar, search box etc…

Manage Menus – To manage your blog Menu, you can explore this option from the WordPress dashboard main area.

Turn Comments On or Off – To all the comments settings, you can probably use this link where you can able to delete, approve or moderate user comments. Some other basic comment settings can also be changed in this section.

Below this section, you will see ‘Quick Draft’ to add some quick post drafts, you can use this where you just enter the title and content (summary) and click ‘save draft’ as later you can check this on your posts section under drafts. If you want, you can make edits later (whenever).

Below this section on the main area, you will see a few other sections which belong to different plugins such as the insights of the plugins. That is nothing to bother as you can easily understand this while seeing the sections.

Under At a Glance >>

Here is one recommended display section, where you can easily check your WordPress blog summary at a single glance includes a number of pages and posts you have as well as your WordPress version and theme you are using on your site.

Note:- As said, the control over the main area of your dashboard is totally up to you whether what or what not to have on your main screen.

You can hide or show all these options as per your wish with the help of screen options.

2.2 WordPress Admin Panel Complete Menu at the Right

WP Dashboard Menu Section
WordPress Menu

This is the admin panel section which you can use most out of it to do any works. I will give you a definition for each term in simple understanding sentences.

2.2.1 Dashboard

So, this what you will see on the top of the menu. This is nothing but the WordPress admin panel main screen. When you are working on any other pages and want to come back to your main screen, you can click this dashboard to get back to the main area.

Dropdowns Under Dashboard

Home – Again, this is the link which gets you back to the main screen of your WP dashboard.

Updates – This is the section where you can check available updates for WordPress cms, plugins and themes. You will get notified via this section if any updates available. You just need to visit here and just click on the particular plugin, theme or even WordPress to get the instant updates. Just a simple process, as you will get the updates with a click.

Insights – Actually this belongs to MonsterInsights plugin which I installed on my blog to integrate with Google Analytics to monitor blog performance. So this is not a default WordPress menu item. If you want, you can install, or try similar plugin or even just leave. It’s up to you.

Note:- MonsterInsights plugin is seriously a great option to monitor your site overall performance. It’s free to install. Yet their Pro plan offers premium features.

Again, A2 Optimized does not default add as it has been specially added by my hosting provider A2 hosting in order to optimize the site with different aspects. A2 is the most recommended hosting by many experts because of its unique features and offers.

2.2.2 Posts

This is the section of your WordPress dashboard where you can manage all your blog posts.

Dropdowns Under Posts

All Posts – To see all your posts, you can explore this section. Here you can check your posts which are published and which are in drafts. To make any changes to your posts (edit, update, delete), you need to visit here and under posts title, you can see all the options.

Add New – To add new posts, you can simply click this dropdown link under posts and an editor page will open up where you can add your posts.

Categories – To add new categories, or to manage (edit) already added categories you can probably click this section. Everything is easy and almost WordPress offers every other control over to you.

Tags – When publishing a post, you might know that you may be added tags. These are nothing but words (keywords) that are similar to your blog posts topic. To manage tags, you can click the tags section. Probably, you never need to look at this as many people won’t even visit here to check this.

2.2.3 Media

This is a section where all your media files (images, gifs) will be stored. You explore this section to check your blog media files.

Dropdowns Under Media

Library – To see all your images, this media library is a place. You can make edits of your images (change image alt text, caption, resize, crop etc..) here in this section.

Add New – Of course, to upload new images you can use this section. It’s easy to upload media files here as you can drop the files from your folder or select directly to get the media file updated here.

Pro Tip:- After added image file here, ensure to write Image Alt tag (can be a keyword related to the image). This makes huge sense to search engine bots.

Bulk optimize – Again, nothing much to bother as it is not a default section. As I am using a plugin to optimize image sizes.

Note:- Before uploading your media file, make sure to optimize the size of the images as much as possible. Images with higher size probably affect your website loading speed.

2.2.4 Pages

Same Like posts, the pages section help you to add new pages as much as you want.

Dropdowns Under Pages

All Pages – To see the already created pages and to make the changes to those pages by means of editing, you can use this section.

Add New – As simple as that, to create new pages you can click this Add New and then give your page a title and add contents of the body section to publish the page. No limitations, as you can create any number of pages you want.


As said above, this section specifically to manage your user comments that you received on your several blog posts and pages. When a user commented on your blog posts, you will notify here in this section, you can then decide to approve or delete the comments.

Leave the 3 sections next to the comments section, which is again not a WordPress default as I am using these some plugins for different functionalities.

2.2.6 Appearance

Your blog design matters. This is the most interesting section of your WordPress admin dashboard as you can handle much stuff here. Especially, your blog designing works can be done here in this appearance section.

Dropdowns Under Appearance

WP dashboard Appearance menu
– WP Appearance DropDown Menu –

Themes – To add new themes, you can make use of this section or even to manage the already installed themes you can get into the section.

Customize – This section is the heart of the WordPress dashboard. To make your site complete edit, this section helps. The layout of your site, your site logo, title, description, colour, typographies, header, footer and few to list can be edited using this section with the help of a theme you already installed. You never need to be a coding expert as every task can be easily done with simple default options. There will be live preview option here, when customize you can insight the live preview of your blog. After all, edits, click on publish to make the changes goes live.

Widgets – Another super cool section, in which you can manage all your widgets. To change the placement of your widgets, to add new widgets to edit already placed widgets, this section probably helps.

Menus – To manage your menus, or to create new menus and also to add any links to your menu, you can partially use this menu section.

Theme Editor – Better not to touch this area as its a theme editor needs some coding knowledge. If you are good at coding, you can use this section to edit your themes manually with codes. Just leave this if you are not sure about it.

2.2.7 Plugins

Plugins are a great feature in the WordPress platform to add extra functionalities. In fact, most of the functionalities offered by WordPress only with the help of several plugins.

Dropdowns Under Plugins

Installed Plugins – To see what all are the plugins you already installed, this section helps. Even to update your plugins to newer versions, you check here.

Add New – To add new plugins, you can click this section.

Plugin Editor – Like theme editor, this section also needs coding knowledge. Almost, every other plugin already designed by experts and you never need to look for this option. 

2.2.8 Users

The section is to see the users (admin/webmaster/content writer) of the blog. If you are just solely handling, your profile will be seen there.

Dropdowns Under Users

All Users – Number of users (admins) you assigned for your blog can be checked here. It will easily show you their roles, email as well as a number of posts published by the particular user. You can change user roles here in this section.

Add New – If you want to assign a new user to your blog, you can add here with assigning a role you want and give him/her separate login credentials let he/she login to the dashboard and follow their tasks.

Your Profile – Already placed in the WordPress toolbar, this section let you check and edit your personal profile details.

2.2.9 Settings

This is one final section of the WordPress admin panel. All the basic settings that your blog need can be done here. 

Dropdowns Under Settings

settings menu
WordPress Settings DropDown Menu

General – All the general settings of your blog can be changed here. The general settings include site title, tagline, URL of WordPress, Admin Email address, Time and Date as well.

So, this general section under settings is for update sites basic details.

Writing – Here you can set default post category and post format. But to be honest, you don’t need to look anything on this section as it does not needs to be changed.

Reading – With this section, you can choose what page to display on your home page and blog page whether a blog posts or any other static pages. Apart, you can also choose whether how many numbers of blog posts to display on the page. There is also a tickbox here with the text ‘Search Engine Visibility’. Do not tick as it discourages search engines from indexing your blog.

Discussion – This is the page exclusively for comment setting. Yes!! You can change the settings accordingly anything related to comments.

Media – To fix the media files (images) thumbnail size, large and medium image default size in terms of width and height, you can use this section.

Permalinks – To choose what link format you need in the URL of each post after your blog domain name, you use this permalinks section. Here you can decide whether day and name, post name, month and name, custom structure or few options to look for.

Privacy Settings – To choose your default privacy policy page, you can use this section. When clicking on this, you must be asked to choose your privacy policy page.

Final Words

That’s the end of the post. I hope that you now got a clear cut idea of what every menu section of the WordPress admin dashboard is all about in terms of basic definitions.

Share the post as much as possible and refer this post, if someone you know wants to learn the WordPress dashboard basics.

Yasar Arafath

Yasar Arafath

Hey, This is Arafath. Founder TheRichSecrets.Com

2 thoughts on “WordPress Admin Dashboard Basics [A to Z Explained]”

  1. Hello,

    The article found very usefull for me. and if incuded the how to update install remove plugin more clearly as ascrren shot it would be better.

    Shiju M

    • Hey Shiju,

      Thanks and I am glad that you found it useful. Yeah, I will sure sometime write the separate post on the topic. Feel free to subscribe to the blog mailing list. You will receive a notification once after the post you requested goes live.


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