Skip to content
Home » Outside The Lines Communications Blog » Get To Know Your WordPress Dashboard

Get To Know Your WordPress Dashboard

WordPress dashboard

Whether you’ve built your WordPress website yourself, or had us (or someone else) build it for you, we recommend that you become familiar with your WordPress Dashboard.

You won’t necessarily use every feature on your Dashboard, but it’s helpful to understand where to look for the features you need and it will help build your confidence in doing the basic maintenance on your site.

Below is the standard WordPress Dashboard.

Your Dashboard may look different and include other items if you’ve added functional plugins such as WooCommerce and MailChimp. These plugins usually have their own “sub-dashboards” where you’ll find their settings. (Learn about plugins below.)


* All posts – see and search all posts
* Add new – create a new post
* Categories – (recommend fewer, high level)
* Tags – useful search terms

Media Library
* Library – your images are here
* Add new – add a new image

* All pages
* Add new page

Comments (see more below)
This is how you control how your comments show up and how you control them.

Maps (plugin)
Neve is the theme used on this site

* Themes – setting or changing your theme
* Customize – making site design changes
* Widgets – adding functions to your pages, footers and sidebar(s)
* Menus – managing your site navigation

Plugins (see more below)
* Installed
* Add new

Users (see more below)
Users are the people who can access your site and determines what they can do on it.
* All users
* Add user
* Profile

Tools (see more below)
* Available tools
* Import – to add content from another platform
* Export – to move site contents to another platform

* General
* Writing
* Reading
* Discussion
* Media (info on image sizes)
* Permalinks
* Privacy
* Akismet anti-spam (plugin)
* UpdraftPlus backups (plugin)

The rest of these are plugins for specific functions. See more on these below.

If there are updates available, there will be a number beside this label. We normally set these to update automatically.

You set controls on reader comments in Settings under Discussion. Best practice is to put comments on posts not pages, and ensure you must approve comments first before it displays.

Copy a post – to create different versions

About Plugins
Plugins are pieces of code that give your site the ability to do things like collect email address, deliver courses or sell products.

There are free and ‘paid’ plugins. In most cases you can use a free plugin for basic functions and you only need to pay if you want more sophisticated functionality.

Upside: Plugins add functionality to your site. There are many; free and paid options.
Downside: They require updating, can cause security issues and occasionally don’t play well with each other.

However if you’re clear on which functionality you need and keep your site ‘lean,’ you shouldn’t have trouble with plugins. You can also set them to automatically update so you don’t have to think about them.

Necessary Plugins
Some plugins are necessary for a healthy and functioning website, but don’t automatically come with your WordPress website installation.

OTL adds the plugins below in brackets when we setup your site. We always use free plugins unless the functionality needed for your site requires a more sophisticated paid version.

* Yoast SEO (writing tips for Search Engine Optimization)
* Security (All in One WP Security)
* Spam blocking (Akismet Anti-Spam)
* Backups (UpdraftPlus)
* Analytics (Monster Insights)
* Loading speed (LiteSpeed Cache – comes with Green Geeks WordPress hosting pkg)
* Image compression (Smush)

Standard User Categories
There are levels of access and each level controls what people can do.

Administrators (you) can change anything and give access to others.

Contributor can write and edit content but can’t do any administrative tasks and thus have less control.

Authors can write; add posts and pages.

Editors can edit.

Depending on the plugins you have added, you may have other categories that relate to those plugins. For example, subscriber, participant, and instructor.


* Available tools
* Import – to add content to your site from another platform
* Export – to move your site contents to another platform
* Site health
* Export personal data
* Erase personal data

Video from Yoast: Dashboard Tour

Comment Below
Please share in the comments below if this was a helpful post. Is there anything you would add?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eight + 12 =