Let’s talk about the backend of your WordPress website in detail.
This is the first place you are directed to once you log into your site. Depending on your plugins, this could look a little different, but in general, I don’t find this page very useful and you won’t really need to use it. This is also the same as your backend Home.
- Updates This is where any regular updates for WordPress core, themes and plugins will show up. If you are using a paid theme or plugin, you might have to check the individual site for those updates. Otherwise, most updates can be done here in one click. However- a word of caution- be sure to backup your site before doing any updates. Updates can break your site. Your site may not show up, or it may act weird. My best suggestion is to do one update at a time and make a backup before each. After each update, carefully check your site to make sure that your site is still functioning correctly. Sometimes your host will offer easy cpanel backups or you can use a plugin like https://wordpress.org/plugins/updraftplus/ to create the full backup.
These are were you will create your blog posts (and maybe more!).
- Add NewJust like it says, this is where you will create new posts. You can see a full tutorial on how to edit posts here: https://wpdecoder.com/the-basics/wordpress-pages-for-beginners/
- Categories are a great way to break your posts up into sections. You can use them to create different pages, or just help Google understand what your posts are about. They are meant for broad grouping of your posts. Think of these as general topics or the table of contents for your site. Categories are there to help identify what your blog is really about. It is to assist readers finding the right type of content on your site. Categories are hierarchical, so you can sub-categories.
- Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts. Think of these as your site’s index words. They are the micro-data that you can use to micro-categorize your content. Tags are not hierarchical.
For example if you have a personal blog where you write about your life. Your categories can be something like: Music, Food, Travel, Rambling, and Books. Now when you write a post about something that you ate, you will add it in the Food category. You can add tags like pizza, pasta, steak etc.
One of the biggest difference between tags and categories is that you MUST categorize your post. You are not required to add any tags. If you do not categorize your post, then it will be categorized under the “uncategorized” category. People often rename the uncategorized category to something like Other, ramblings etc.
Another difference is the way your category and tags permalinks (urls) look. If you are using a custom permalink (URL) structure, then your base prefix will look different. Example:
http://yoursite.com/category/food/ vs. http://yoursite.com/tag/food/
The above section about categories and tags is from this post: http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/categories-vs-tags-seo-best-practices-which-one-is-better/. If you want to learn more about categories and tags, I suggest you read this excellent post.
This is your library of all your images, videos, music and documents. I talk about inserting media in my previous post here: https://wpdecoder.com/the-basics/wordpress-pages-for-beginners/
work the same as posts.
will only be relevant if you have posts and are accepting comments.
The below info about comments is taken from here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Comments_in_WordPress
WordPress makes moderating your users’ comments a simple process. The Comments Screen lays out the basic information about each comment and lets you decide what to do with it.
The Comments screen is divided into three columns: Author, Comment and In Response To. Each of these columns provide you with a different category of information about a particular comment.
- Commenter Gravatar
- Commenter Name
- Commenter Website URL
- Commenter Email Address
- Commenter IP Address
- Time and Date Comment was submitted
- Comment Text
- Comment Moderation Options. You can approve, spam or trash a comment with one click. Reply, Quick Edit or Edit will open up a new screen for you to write a reply to the comment or edit the comment.
- Post Name
- Number of Comments on the Post, Link to View Post
Bulk Edit Comments
Like the posts and Pages screens, the Comments screen supplies a Bulk Action dropdown box. Select the comments you want to edit, and then select Unapprove, Approve, Mark as Spam, or Move to Trash from the dropdown and click “Apply.”
- Customize (Some themes) This area allows you to make some basic changes to your theme and see how it will look before committing to the changes. This will only be included if your theme has enabled it.
- Widgets This is what usually makes up your sidebar, and sometimes other areas as well like footers, headers, and even other special areas. Usually widgets create some kind of special functionality like displaying your recent posts, images or ads, or calendars, etc.
- Menus This is where you will actually create the navigational menus you use on your site. Unless you enable it, pages that you make are not added to the navigation by default. You can set up as many different menus as you like, but your theme will determine where those menus display.
- Header (Some themes)
- Background (Some themes)
Plugins add functionality to your site that will stay with your site even if you change themes. There are thousands of plugins that add all kinds of functionality from slide shows to ecommerce. This is where you can easily install plugins, delete them, or edit them. But keep in mind that any edits done to plugins will be overwritten with any updates.
You must have an email address for every user that you want to add.
- Contributor is for authors who manage their content but do not publish.
- Author is for authors who manage and publish their content.
- Editor is for people who can create and publish content, as well as edit and publish content from all authors.
- Administrator is for people who have full privileges to add and edit content, permission users, manage templates, and all other tasks.
This is an area that you will rarely use unless you are importing posts from another site or exporting your posts to move them somewhere else. Here’s a quick overview on how to use the Press This option: http://en.support.wordpress.com/press-this/
General Here, make sure to give your website a good name. Use your main keyword if at all possible. For your tagline, make it something descriptive that also makes use of major keywords.
Don’t change the URL’s provided unless you are moving your website. This could mess up or take down your entire site.
The email address you put here will receive any important information about the site, like notifications of comments.
Make sure your timezone is correct if you plan to schedule posts.
Reading This is important to decide what displays on your home page – either your latest posts or a specific static page you have created. If you don’t want your posts to display on your home page, you can choose another page to display them on here. Then choose the number of posts to display on each page and whether you will show full text of the post or a summary (usually with a “read more” at the end.) I always recommend summaries so that views won’t have as much scrolling to do to find the info they want. Finally, choose if you do not want Google to index your site (usually if the site is private or you are still developing it.)
Discussion This is where you can make some decisions about if you want people to be able to make comments on your posts. If you are getting a lot of spam, it might be helpful to close comments after a certain number of days and make the comment author fill out their name and email. I always recommend holding comments for manual moderation. Automatically approving comments can open you up to a lot of spam.
Media If you don’t like the default image sizes that WordPress is cropping your images to, you can change that here. Keep in mind that using smaller images will increase your site’s speed, but larger images make more of a visual statement to viewers, so there is a balance here.
Here you also have the option of using month and year based folder to organize your images. Personally, I prefer not to use these and instead name my pictures and use the search tool to help me find images I need.
Permalinks One of the most important settings for WordPress is tucked way down at the bottom. I strongly recommend you do not use the default setting here. The best setting will depend on your particular website, but when in doubt, Post Name is always a good place to start. You can always change this later, but it could lead to some broken links, so I recommend setting this up as soon as possible. Not only will this make your links readable, but it will also help make sense of your page to Google. If possible, name your category base and tag base as well and use the category in a custom structure, like this:
Finally, once you are comfortable with the icons that go with each menu item, use this link to collapse the menu and give you more space for editing your posts and pages.