Wordpress admin area screenshot, SEO Sole

What Is The WordPress Dashboard And How Do I Use It?

Once you have bought your domain name, sorted your hosting out and installed wordpress, see my blog posts “getting started with wordpress” and “how to setup a self hosted wordpress site” if you haven’t already done this, you will have been emailed your login details by your host provider. Enter the URL into your browser and input your access details. You are now logged in to your wordpress admin area.

Your admin area contains various wordpress dashboard elements including a link to your site, an overview of everything you have created such as posts, pages, categories, tags, discussion elements such as comments, plugins and most importantly it is where you can install the theme of your website

Don’t worry it sounds daunting but it is actually all very simple, I will walk you through all the elements of the wordpress dashboard in my next series of posts and by the time we are done you will know everything about your admin area.

In this post I will take you through the first component of the admin area, your wordpress dashboard. When you login this is the screen that you will see.

Wordpress admin area screenshot, SEO Sole

So that is your typical wordpress dashboard. Think of it as an overview of whats happening with your blog. You can see your draft posts, who is linking to you and how popular your content is. You can also do a very quick no frills post and moderate your comments.

Your dashboard has several main areas.

Right Now 

The Right Now Section is your overview of your posts, pages, categories and tags.

right now area of wordpress dashboard



This is a mini post editor, mainly used for a very quick on the go post. It is still comprehensive and you can include a title, body text, media files and tags and you can save it as a draft.


Recent Comments

Here you can work with comments made by others on your websites blog posts. If you hover your mouse over the comments that are listed here in the wordpress dashboard you can approve them (so they will show on your blog posts) unapprove them, reply, edit, mark them as spam or just trash them.

recent comments section in wordpress

Recent Drafts

Self explanatory, quick access to your recent drafts from the wordpress dashboard.


This a very popular module in the wordpress dashboard. It shows you a graph of your blog’s traffic as well as who is linking and where they are linking to you blog. Click on areas of the graph to get more in depth information.

Wordpress site stats

This is a great tool to help you see where you are achieving success. The two main measures of traffic and how well your site is doing are views and unique visitors. A view is when a visitor loads or reloads a page and a visit is when a user first comes to your website or blog. The number of unique visitors is less than the total number of visitors and this is because a visitor quite often returns multiple times if they like your website and what you are offering, so they only register once as a unique visitor. These two metrics, along with many others are used by google to evaluate the authority of your website and where it will position your site in their search results. Let me explain. If a new visitor comes to your website and stays on it to look at several pages (page views) then google determines that it did a good job in satisfying the search query of the user because they stayed on the website to look further. If google showed your website on page one but everyone that went to it left straight away (known as a bounce) then google would determine that your website was not a satisfactory return to the users enquiry and your site would no longer show.

At the top right hand side of the admin page there is a toggle that says “screen options”. You can use this to hide or show any of these elements we have discussed on your dashboard page. There are also more that you can add but these ones are the most useful to you. You can also drag and drop these modules on the page to re arrange it to your liking.

So that is an explanation of the  wordpress dashboard page of your admin area. The dashboard menu item sits at the very top of an extensive menu and as I mentioned before I will go through each and every one of these in this series of posts.

Stay tuned for more.

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