Dashboard Main Menu (Vertical)

Above you will see a screen shot of the dashboard home screen. I have colour coded the options in the vertical menu to make accessing and finding the information you require straightforward.

First in the menu is Dashboard, this is how you can navigate back to the dashboard home screen from anywhere. You will also see in this menu the option of updates, normally with a number in a red circle. This tells you how many of the “plugins” or “themes” need updating to the latest versions.

JetPack is a very powerful suite of software products that have been built and designed by the same people who built WordPress. I have set up the software within this “plugin” to the way I use it on other sites, you can access the settings option on Jetpack and play around with the various settings to see what each one does. Within this software is something called “publicize” which is how the site automatically shares all your new “posts” to all of your social media sites. YOU WILL NEED TO GO INTO THIS SOFTWARE AND SELECT SHARING FROM THE OPTIONS IN SETTINGS AND CONFIGURE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS – I can’t do this as it requires you to log into your Facebook account etc.

Posts  this is the option you will probably use the most, as this is where you can write your blog posts from. When you take control of the website there will be no posts on the site so that you can start a fresh and everything flows from there. The difference between a POST and a PAGE is this; think of a post as a rolling news feed, as you create new posts the system will automatically add them to your posts page and keep them in order – a PAGE is static and does not do anything unless you tell the system to do a specific thing with the page in question.  As a rule of thumb, POSTS are for Blogging – PAGES are for things you wish to be a permanent feature on the site. Such as photo galleries, price lists etc. things that can be changed but are not necessarily needed to be changed on a regular basis.

Media is simply what it says, all your images and audio files are stored in this section. If you click on it, you will be presented with the media library, which is where the site stores any photos that you add to the site. To add new photos simply click on add new and then you can drag and drop the photos from your device straight to the media library. If you click on an image within the library it will open in full size for you and give you some options to edit the image such as image alignment.

Pages  as mentioned above in the section about posts, pages differ from posts and are used for more permanent features on the site. If you click on “all pages” you will be presented with a list of all the pages I have written in the building of this site. This is where you can edit any of the writings that appear on site simply by clicking on “edit” under the page you wish to update/edit.

Comments are the same as the speech bubble on the black admin bar at the top of the screen and we covered this in the first tutorial.

Testimonials   these are the reviews you receive from customers, they do need to be added manually and this is pretty straightforward. Simply click “Add New” then copy and paste your review from Facebook to the editing box on-screen. Highlight allows you to add a specific phrase as the title to the review, normally part of the review itself. in order for your new review to show up on the review page you must scroll down and click the add to rotator “test” option which is located near to the star rating toward the bottom of the page. If in doubt simply open one of the ones i created and follow what I have written and the option I selected.

Appearance  this is an important option that you will use a lot, within this tab you can alter and edit lots of important aspects of the site such as menus, widgets and even the site as a whole. Avoid clicking on the last 3 options header, editor and css editor as these can really mess the site up especially the editor option as this controls the data that the site runs from.

Plugins  if you think of a plugin as an app that you use on your phone or tablet. They are kind of the same thing, plugins allow you to add features to your site without the need for hours of coding and programming. By clicking add new you will be taken to the plugin store, nearly all plugins are free of charge although some may require purchasing to unlock premium features. I never use paid for plugins, you can normally find free ones if you search long enough. A general rule concerning plugins is – be sensible, only install something that you know you will use and stick to plugins with high review/install ratings (it tells you under each plugin in the store how many installs exist) also try to stick to plugins that display the compatible with your theme banner as these are less problematic than untested versions.

Users – You can if you so wish, add more users to your site. Say  you wanted Kerry to have her own account and login details, this is where you would do it. You will need to specify manually what level you want the new user to be, Admin for example.

Tools/Settings avoid using tools, it is there for site development and the like. By all means explore the options within tools, but be wary of saving any changes you make as these could impact the site globally.

Settings on the other hand is where you can access the settings for plugins and general settings concerning how the site publishes your posts and things. One to avoid in settings is PERMALINKS this is how the site displays links or breadcrumbs to posts you make. Have a look through the settings and familiarize yourself with them.

RGG Gallery is the plugin that controls how photo gallery’s are displayed on site and makes them responsive to all screen sizes.

WP Edit – we covered in the dashboard first tutorial.

Maintenance is the plugin that adds a splash screen to your site when making major changes that you don’t want the public to see.

And there  you go that in brief is your website and all the things that make it tick. Told you there was a lot to read didn’t I ! You will find that as you access the dashboard more and more, the simpler things become and eventually you will be flying around all the options and settings like a PRO! Plus if you do get stuck, just drop me a line and I will try to help you best i can.