The Administration Panels provide access to the control features of your WordPress installation. The top portion of all Panels features three sections: The first section, in dark shading, shows links to the Dashboard, your profile (shown as your user name), Log Out, Help, and the Forums. A second section shows the name of your blog, and a link to your blog's main page labeled "Visit Site". A third section contains the menu tabs (and sub-tabs) for each of the administrative functions you can perform.
At the bottom of each Administration Panel, in dark shading, are links to WordPress, Documentation, and Feedback. In addition, the version of WordPress you have installed is shown. Just below the menu tab section, if your version is NOT the latest version, you will see the message A new version of WordPress is available! Please update now." Click on the provided link to download the latest version. Remember to follow the Upgrading WordPress instructions. Keeping current is encouraged!
Each Panel accessed via the menu tabs is represented in the boxes below. The links in those boxes will lead you to sections of this article describing those Panels. From those sections, you can navigate to articles detailing more information about each Panel. Also, WordPress Screenshots/en shows examples of all the SubPanels.
- 1 Dashboard
- 2 Write - Make some content
- 3 Manage - Change your content
- 4 Design - Change the Look of your Blog
- 5 Comments
- 6 Settings - Configuration Settings
- 7 Plugins - Add Functionality to your Blog
- 8 Users - Your Blogging Family
- 9 Log Out
The Dashboard tells you about recent activity both at your site and in the WordPress community at large.
The Dashboard SubPanel provides you a number of links to start writing Posts or Pages, statistics and links on the number of posts, pages, Categories, and Tags. A Recent Comments box shows the number of Comments awaiting moderation and a list of the recent comments. Configurable boxes of Incoming Links, and RSS feeds from the WordPress Development Blog, the Plugins blog, and Planet WordPress are also displayed.
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Write - Make some content
Well, you've done it! You've successfully installed the best personal publishing tool on the internet. You're ready to start sharing your thoughts and ideas with the world.
Simple. You login to your admin panel, and by default, WordPress opens up into the Write Administration Panel. This panel allows you to populate your site with actual information! It handles the creation of new Posts and Pages, and the editing of old Posts and Pages. You'll be spending most of your administration time here, so you should spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with it.
Posts are the principal element (or content) of a blog. The Posts are the writings, compositions, discussions, discourses, musings, and, yes, the rantings, of a blog owner and contributors. Posts, in most cases, are the reason a blog exists; without Posts, there is no blog!
Upon entering the Administration Panels, WordPress defaults to the Write > Post SubPanel. This is the SubPanel you will use to write new Posts. While you are writing that Post, you can also create new Categories, new Tags, and new Custom Fields. In addition, any Media (pictures, video, recordings, files) can be uploaded and inserted into the Posts.
A Page is another tool to add content to a WordPress site and is often used to present "static" information about the site; Pages are typically "timeless" in nature. A good example of a Page is the information contained in "About" or "Contact" Pages. A Page should not be confused with the time-oriented objects called Posts, nor should a WordPress Page be confused with the word "page" referring to any web page or HTML document on the Web.
Because Pages live outside of the normal blog chronology, and as such, are not displayed with the rest of your Posts, but are displayed individually.
Even if you have a beautifully designed content rich blog, your site might be a dead-end if it never references all the other blogs, humor sites, search engines, sports teams, or chicken cacciatore recipies, you love so much! Since you visit those sites all the time, then use the WordPress Link ability to allow your reading public to also enjoy those sites.
WordPress Links can be organized by category, have internal references about your relationship to their destinations, be automatically associated with images, and can even be rated on a scale from zero to nine.
The Write Link SubPanel handles the creation of new Links. In the Related section of this panel, links are offered to navigate to Manage All Links, Manage All Link Categories, and Import Links. Note, the Import Links allows you to import links from other blogs, or aggregators. The Import Links SubPanel describes the import process for you.
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Manage - Change your content
All of the actual content of your site can be managed through this admin panel. From here you can see lists of all your Posts, Pages, and Categories and edit or view anything in those lists. On this page you can also edit your Templates and other files used by your blog, Import content from various sources, and Export you blog.
Upon visiting the Manage Panel, WordPress defaults to the Manage Posts SubPanel. On this SubPanel you can select the Post to edit or delete. Multiple Posts can be selected for deletion. Various search and filtering options allow you to find the Posts that you want to edit or delete.
The Pages sub-tab, under the Manage tab, provides access to the Manage Pages SubPanel. On this SubPanel you can select the Page to edit or delete. Multiple Pages can be selected for deletion. Various search and filtering options allow you to find the Pages you want to edit or delete.
The Links sub-tab, under the Manage tab, provides access to the Manage Links SubPanel. On this SubPanel you can select the Link to edit or delete. Multiple Links can be selected for deletion. Various search and filtering options allow you to find the Pages you want to edit or delete.
Every Post in WordPress is filed under one or more Categories. Categories allow the classification of your Posts into groups and subgroups, thereby aiding viewers in the navigation and use of your site.
Each Category may be assigned to a Category Parent so that you may set up a hierarchy within the category structure. Using automobiles as an example, a hierarchy might be Car->Ford->Mustang. In creating categories, recognize that each category name must be unique, regardles of hierarchy.
When using the WordPress Default Theme (sometimes called Kubrick, this is one of the two themes delivered with WordPress), Categories are shown in two different places on your blog First, the Categories are listed as links in the Category section of your sidebar, and second, all the Categories to which a given post belongs are displayed under that post. When someone viewing your blog clicks on one of those Category links, a archive page with all the Posts belonging to that Category will be displayed.
The Manage Categories SubPanel allows you to add, edit, and delete Categories, as well as organize your categories hierarchically. Multiple Categories can be selected for deletion. A search option allows you to find the Categories you want to edit or delete. Also remember Categories can be added in the Write Post SubPanel.
Tags are the keywords you might assign to each post. Not to be confused with Categories, Tags have no hierarchy, meaning there's no relationship from one Tag to another. But like Categories, Tags provide another means to aid your readers in accessing information on your blog.
When using the WordPress Default Theme (sometimes called Kubrick, this is one of the two themes delivered with WordPress), Tags are displayed under each Post those Tags are assigned. Someone viewing your blog can click on one of those Tag links, and an archive page with all the Posts belonging to that Tag will be displayed.
The Manage Tags SubPanel allows you to add, change, or delete Tags. Multiple Tags can be selected for deletion. A search option allows you to find the Tags you want to edit or delete. Also remember Tags can be added in the Write Post SubPanel.
Links, like Posts, can be categorized. Categorizing Links aids your audience in navigation of your Links. Each Link Category may be assigned to a Link Category Parent so that you may set up a hierarchy within the Category structure. In creating categories, recognize that each Category name must be unique, regardless of hierarchy.
The Manage Link Categories SubPanel allows you to add, edit, and delete Link Categories, as well as organize your Link Categories hierarchically. Multiple Link Categories can be selected for deletion. A search option allows you to find the Link Categories you want to edit or delete. Also remember Link Categories can be added when adding or editings Links.
Media is the images, video, recordings, and files, you upload and use in your blog. Media is typically uploaded and inserted into the content when writing a Post or Page. Note that the Uploading settings in the Settings Miscellaneous SubPanel describes the location and structure of the upload directory.
The Manage Media Library SubPanel allows you to delete Media previously uploaded to your blog. Multiple Media objects can be selected for deletion. Search and filtering ability is also provided to allow you to find the desired Media.
WordPress supports the importing data from a number external sources. In many cases, posts, comments, pages, categories, tags, and users, can be imported.
The Manage Import SubPanel list the software packages that WordPress can import and details what types of data from each of those platforms qualifies for import. Also see Importing Content for a more extensive list of import possibilites.
WordPress Export will create an XML file for you to save to your computer. The format, which is called a WordPress eXtended RSS or WXR file, will contain your posts, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags.
The Manage Export SubPanel guides you through the easy process of exporting your blog. Take note that the Exporting is a useful method to backup your WordPress data.
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Design - Change the Look of your Blog
From the Presentation Administration Panel you can control how the content of your blog is displayed. WordPress allows you to easily style your site by either installing and activating new Themes or changing existing Themes.
A Theme is the overall design of a site and encompasses color, graphics, and text. A Theme is sometimes called the skin. WordPress site-owners have available a long list of Themes to choose from in deciding what to present to their sites' viewers. In fact, with the use of the Theme Switcher Reloaded Plugin, visitors can select their own Theme.
From the Design Themes SubPanel you can choose which Theme will be presented to user visiting your site.ou have already downloaded will be used for your site. You can also view screenshots of each Theme you have uploaded to your site. Note: See Using Themes for information on finding, downloading, and uploading Themes.
Widgets are gadgets or gizmos that allow you to add various pieces of information to your Theme's sidebar content. Widgets, for example, can be used to add Categories, Archives, Blogroll, Recent Posts, and Recent Comments to your sidebar. The WordPress Default 1.6 and WordPress Classic 1.5 Themes, delivered with WordPress, are both widget compatible.
Use the Theme Editor to edit the various files that comprise your Themes. The Design Theme Editor SubPanel allows you to designate which theme you want to edit then displays the files in that theme. Each file (Template and CSS) in the theme can be editted in the large text box.
Header Image and Color
The Header Image and Color feature allows you to manage the look and feel of a Theme's header. This option will only be present if the Theme author has configured to header to allow this capability. For instance, the WordPress Default Theme (sometimes called Kubrick, this is one of the two themes delivered with WordPress) allows you to set the font color, the lower color (lower part of the header), the upper color, the whole header color.
The Design Header Image and Color SubPanel describes the details of this feature.
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Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to Posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.
Comments can be controlled and regulated through the use of filters for language and content, and often times can be queued for approval before they are visible on the web site. This is useful in dealing with comment spam.
In the Comments SubPanel you can edit and delete as well as mark comments as spam. Comments that are awaiting moderation can be marked as approved or previously approved comments can be unapproved. Multiple comments can be selected and approved, marked as spam, unapproved, or deleted. A section at the top of the Comments SubPanel displays the number of comments awaiting moderation and the number of approved comments. A search box allows you to find specific comments
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Settings - Configuration Settings
You might think, "All these other things I've been doing so far at the Administration Panels have involved 'Settings'. Are these 'Settings' any different?" The answer would be, "Yes." All the settings you've encountered in the other Administration Panels have dealt with very specific parts of your site, or have been of limited scope (only applying to one Category, for example). In the Settings Administration Panel are all of the settings that define your blog as a whole: settings which determine how your site behaves, how you interact with your site, and how the rest of the world interacts with your site.
The following SubPanels control these settings.
The Settings General SubPanel is the default SubPanel in the Settings Administration Panel and controls some of the most basic configuration settings for your site: your site's title and location, who may register an account at your blog, and how dates and times are calculated and displayed.
Using the Settings Writing SubPanel, you can control the interface with which you write new posts. These settings control the size of the 'post box' in the Write Post SubPanel, the default Category, the default Link Category, the default image sizes, and the optional Post via e-mail feature.
The settings in the Settings Reading SubPanel are few in number, but still important. You can decide if you want posts, or a "static" Page, displayed as your blog's front (main) page. You can also adjust how many posts are displayed on that main page. In addition, you can adjust syndication feed features to determine how the information from your site is sent to a reader's web browser or other applications, and you can decide if your blog should show Gravatars and their ratings.
The Settings Discussion SubPanel allows you to control settings concerning incoming and outgoing comments, pingbacks and trackbacks. You can also control from this SubPanel the circumstances under which your blog sends you e-mail notifying you about the goings on at your site.
The Settings Privacy SubPanel controls your blog visibility to search engines such as Google and Technorati. You can decide if you would like your blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers. If you don't want your blog available to the search engines you can block search engines, but allow normal visitors to see your site.
By default WordPress uses web URIs which have question marks and lots of numbers in them, however WordPress offers you the ability to create a custom URI structure for your permalinks and archives. This can improve the aesthetics, usability, and longevity of your links.
This [[Settings Permalinks SubPanel controls how that custom URI structure is defined. For a more in depth description of the way this structure is specified, see the Using Permalinks page.
WordPress has so many features, that some of them defy categorization. Features like file uploads, link tracking and support for custom "hacks" can be controlled from the Settings Miscellaneous SubPanel.
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Plugins - Add Functionality to your Blog
Plugins allow you to add new features to your WordPress blog that don't come standard with the default installation. There are a rich variety of Available Plugins for WordPress, and with the following SubPanels, plugin installation and management is a snap.
The Plugins SubPanel allows you to view the plugins you've downloaded and choose which plugins you want activated on your site. For information on downloading and installing plugins, see Managing Plugins.
Using the Plugins Plugin Editor SubPanel, you can modify the source code of all your plugins.
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Users - Your Blogging Family
Every blog probably has at least two users: admin, the account initially set up by WordPress, and the user account you, as the author/owner of the blog, use to write posts. But maybe you want more; perhaps you want several authors for your blog. If you want a person to be able to post to your blog, that person must have access to a user account; typically, every person will have her or his own user account.
At the Users Administration Panel, you can set up all of the user accounts you need. An important administrative feature here is the Roles feature. Depending on their Role, different users have different Capabilities. Briefly, a user can be assigned the following Roles: Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, or Subscriber.
You can also specify your and others' personal information such as name, e-mail, etc. from the User Administration Panel.
Authors & Users
You can create new users and manage the accounts of all your site's users at the Users Authors and Users SubPanel.
The Users Your Profile SubPanel is the default SubPanel for the User Administration Panel. Here you can specify your name and how it will be displayed on your site, your e-mail address (for administrative purposes) and other personal information.
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The Log Out link is found at the top right corner in the Administration Panels. It is simply a link that will log you out from your WordPress blog.
When you log in to your blog, WordPress stores a so called "cookie" in your web browser. This cookie allows WordPress to remember who you are; if you leave your blog's site for a while but come back to it later, WordPress will see the cookie and not require you to log in again.
However, the cookie cannot tell WordPress who is using the WordPress; in other words, WordPress has no way of looking back at you through your monitor to determine if you are really you. If you have a WordPress cookie set in your web browser, anyone using your computer can access the Administration Panels of your blog. If you don't want this to happen (perhaps you are using a public computer or a computer which other people use), you can click this Log Out link, and WordPress will delete the cookie from your web browser.
You can, of course, log in at some later time.
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