As I’ve already mentioned WordPress is my recommended solution for blogging. The next few lessons will revolve around WordPress specifically: how it works, how to create easy to navigate content, and how to streamline your processes.
For the technophobes among you I suggest using the simple install or single click install that comes with your hosting package.
If you have more experience and want to tie things down with bespoke security here’s an excellent tutorial, not written by me, on this topic.
Now you have a clean installation lets login and take a look at the back end.
You log in using your website name with /wp-admin tacked on to the end.
Top Tip: Save this location in favourites
You will now see the login options. Enter you user id and password set during install.
If you have forgotten your password you can use the link below the login fields to reset vie email.
Now you are home at the Admin Dashboard. You will only see this screen if you are an admin of the site. Normal visitors will not have access to this section. This is the powerhouse of your site. You have full control over the look, feel and content from here.
So what can we see?
To the tip top of the screen is a black bar (we’ll come back to this) filled with shortcuts for you to use. It will still appear when you are viewing the front end of the site so get used to seeing it 😉
To the left is the menu, its filled with the controls for the core site and any additional plugins you chose to add.
At the top of the Dashboard is a small item Screen Options, this is where you can turn off, and on again, the different sections within the main dashboard window. Next to it is a Help option where you can access the inbuilt WordPress support.
The main panel has several sections within it and you have the power to turn them off, on and move them around the page as suits you best.
Welcome to WordPress
A simple section with links that new users will find most helpful. Creating your your firt posts, customising the look of the site with templates and adding in extra functionality can be accessed from here. If you don’t need this section any more you can dismiss it using the x in the top right corner of this section.
At a Glance
A summary of all your content including:
- details of the version of wordpress and the current active theme.
Here you can pencil in an outline fo a new draft post. Great for capturing thoughts on the move, not so good for creating a full on post as the formatting options are very limited from here.
Personally I very rarely use it.
A far more useful section which highlights recent changes to the site.
- new posts published
- comments published
- comments awaiting approval
- summary info for all comments on the site (pending, spam, trashed etc)
The official news direct from WordPress. Dates for social events, new release information and security issues are highlighted here. Not desperately useful, I keep it on my dashboard just in case though. If there is a security breach I want to know how to fix it ASAP and this is where that information would be sent.
Next Up I’ll walk you through creating your first posts and the difference between a post and a page.