Quick Tip: The WordPress 3.1 Dashboard Layout Thumbail

Quick Tip: The WordPress 3.1 Dashboard Layout

Posted on August 24, 2011 by Anna

The power of the WordPress platform comes from the ability for you to edit a site’s content dynamically. Creating content for your site starts with learning the WordPress interface. Today we will take a quick look at the dashboard.

The dashboard is the page you first see when you login to the WordPress admin area. It is the hub that will get you to all other admin areas for your site.

WordPress Dashboard

There are four main parts of the WordPress dashboard: the header, the modules, the main navigation, and the footer.

The Header

WordPress Header
  1. The title of you site – this is also a link to the public view of your site.
  2. Howdy, User – This is a dropdown with options to edit you profile and to logout of the admin area.
  3. Screen Options – This tab opens options for showing and hiding modules in the Work Area. It also gives you the option to choose how many columns you would like to display. It has different options for different admin pages.
  4. Contextual help – This hanging tab shows help items that relate to the page that you are on.

The Work Area (modules)

The work area is different in each part of the admin area based on what you are doing. On the dashboard, this area is filled with modules or widgets. By default all the widgets are on, but you can easily hide or show them by clicking on Screen Options.

WordPress Work Area
  1. Right Now – Shows just basic information about the number of posts, pages, comments, etc. that you site currently has.
  2. Recent Comments – shows recent comment and their status. If you hover over a comment you will get options to deal with this comment such as “Approve” or mark as “Spam”. You can set the number of comments that show In this widget by clicking on the configure link that shows up when you hover over the head of this widget.
  3. Incoming Links – This dashboard widget queries Google Blog Search so that when another blog links to your site it will show up here.
  4. Plugins – Here you will see the most popular recent plugins for WordPress.
  5. Site Stats – This Widget simply shows some recent activity on you site. You can also configure this screen with the configure link.
  6. QuickPress – here you can create a quick post. If you do not need a lot of options and you just want to jot something onto your blog, this is the easiest ways to do it. You can even add media and tags from this widget.
  7. Recent Drafts – This shows a list of post that are in draft status. It is a quick place to access posts that you are working on.
  8. WordPress Blog – This widget has the most recent blog posts from the WordPress blog. You can configure this widget to show whatever rss feed you want as well as how many postings you want to see.
  9. Other WordPress News – This is another WordPress feed. You can configure this one as well.

These modules can not only be hidden if you need them to be, you can also move them around to make the dashboard work just the way you want it to. You just need to hover over the head of a widget and your cursor will turn into a cross with arrows. Now you drag the widget where you want it to go.

The Main Navigation

The main navigation has links to all the areas of your WordPress install. From here you can add posts, change your theme, moderate your comments, add users, and more.

  1. Triangle – Clicking on this triangle opens up submenu options.
  2. Collapse Menu – This makes the menu thin on the left-hand side of the screen and only shows icons rather than words for the menu options. If you hover over an icon now you will see the submenu options.

The Footer

The footer contains a list of helpful links.

WordPress Footer
  1. WordPress – links to wordpress.org
  2. Documentation – links to codex.wordpress.org – a help site for WordPress
  3. Freedoms – links to usage information about WordPress
  4. Feedback – links to WordPress forums
  5. Credits – Links to a list of the most influential people in the creation of WordPress
  6. Version – This is the version of WordPress that you are currently running.

The dashboard is the centralized hub of WordPress and I hope this overview will help you to better understand how to navigate around your WordPress install.