The WordPress admin area — also known as WP admin — is where you manage your entire WordPress site.
This admin dashboard lets you edit posts and pages, moderate comments, access settings, add plugins, and tweak your theme, among other functionality.
If you have a WordPress website, you will use the WordPress admin a lot. So here’s everything you need to know about it.
Accessing the WordPress Admin Area
You can generally access the WordPress admin dashboard by entering /wp-admin at the end of your WordPress website URL:
The URL will take you to a login page from which you enter your WordPress login details. To keep hackers from accessing your admin area, I advise you to create a custom login URL for your WordPress login page.
WPS Hide Login is one of the best hide login page plugins that can easily solve this issue. Once activated, WordPress will redirect users who try to access your login page using the default login URL to a 404 error page.
Once you’re in the WordPress dashboard, head over to Dashboard –> Updates at the top left corner of the page to check if there are any system updates — including updates for your WordPress, plugins, and themes.
Make sure to update your systems regularly so that you are operating on the most secure version of WordPress.
How to Use the Admin Area?
Now that you are operating on the most secure version of WordPress and implemented a custom login URL, let’s explore the different features of your admin dashboard from top to bottom.
This area allows you to create, edit, publish, and schedule your content.
When you click Add New, the post editor will provide a space where you can create a new post. It accommodates text sizing, font style, and format customizations.
You can also insert photos, videos, and audio from your media library. Feel free to add categories or tags to help readers find your content and set up the permalink for your post here as well.
Click Preview to see what your post would look like on your WordPress website, then hit Publish once you’re satisfied with the result. The new post will automatically appear on your website in reverse chronological order.
If you’re not ready to publish the content yet, save it as a draft by clicking Save Draft to edit later. Unlike published posts, drafts are only visible to website administrators.
This area is where you can upload and store images, videos, and audio files to add to your posts and pages. All you need to do is click Select Files to open the File Explorer window or drag and drop the files you want to upload to the appointed space.
A WordPress page displays static information like About Us or Services. Unlike posts, there’s an absence of categories and tags.
Most WordPress sites include a comments section on their posts to encourage engagement with viewers.
This WordPress dashboard section lets you approve, disapprove, mark as spam, delete, and reply to comments submitted to your website. The approval system is particularly useful for filtering out spam and hateful comments that may harm your content and site’s reputation.
As the name suggests, this area manages the settings related to the frontend of your WordPress site:
- Themes — display all the themes installed. Click Add New to see all of WordPress’ free themes, then select Install -> Activate to implement it on your site. You can also use themes created by third-party developers by clicking Upload Theme.
- Customize — after activating the chosen theme, navigate to this area to customize it. Depending on the theme, you can modify the header, widgets, and menus, among other elements.
- Widgets — consist of website components that add new functionalities to your site. Themes usually place widgets on the sidebar, header, and footer area.
- Menus — manages the navigation bar typically found at the top of your WordPress site. Here, you can add or remove pages to help viewers maneuver through the site more easily.
- Theme editor — this area controls your theme’s backend settings. Managing it requires programming expertise, so be cautious when intending to modify any of the files.
To see all the plugins installed, navigate to the Installed Plugins area. You can add more plugins by accessing the Add New section. Meanwhile, the Plugin Editor menu accommodates you in editing the installed plugins’ code should you need to.
While plugins are beneficial for your site, make sure to only install the ones you need and have a legitimate reputation. Adding too many plugins can make your site run slower and create security vulnerabilities hackers can exploit.
I also recommend backing up your WordPress site before installing or deleting plugins to prevent any installation problems that may compromise your data.
This admin dashboard section manages the users and administrators who have access to your site. It also lets you assign login permissions to team members and decide which part of the site they can access based on their role.
Here are all the roles you can assign to users with access to your WordPress site:
- Super admin — has the highest level of access. Users with this role have the right to perform all the capabilities within the site, including accessing the website network administration features.
- Administrator — provides access to the administration features within a website.
- Editor — can publish and modify posts created by other users.
- Author — has the right to publish and edit their posts.
- Contributor — unlike users with the Author role who can publish their posts, users with this role can only write and manage their copy.
- Subscriber — can only manage their own profile.
Besides storing login details, the user accounts may also convey a short biography and a profile picture of their respective owner. When a user creates a new post, WordPress will automatically display this information on the post to give it a more personal feel.
To create a new account, click Add New then fill up the login details and contact information. Don’t forget to assign a role before finalizing it.
If you need to create content backups or want to import data from another platform, the Export and Import tools are ready to help.
Meanwhile, the Site Health checks whether or not there’s a faulty configuration that needs your attention. It also provides a checklist of recommended improvements you can take to increase the site’s performance and security.
In compliance with the GDPR guidelines, WordPress adds two new data handling features — Export Personal Data and Erase Personal Data. As your WordPress site continuously collects data, users may request you to send or delete them altogether to prevent privacy breaches.
This WordPress admin area lets you control several settings as follow:
- General — manages the site’s general settings like website details, timezone, language, and date format.
- Writing — sets your post’s default format and your WordPress website’s mail function.
- Reading — regulates how your WordPress site displays the posts for optimum readability and controls whether or not you encourage search engines to index the site.
- Discussion — this section gives you an overview of comment moderation options, including but not limited to new comment notification, keyword blacklist, and avatars.
- Media — sets the default image sizes for all pictures uploaded to the media library.
- Permalinks — provides different options of permalink structures for your linking needs. You can even create a custom URL structure by opting for the Custom Structure choice.
When operating your WordPress site, you need to have access to the WP admin. It lets you manage your posts, pages, media, and comments, among other functionalities.
Here’s a quick recap of all the important features you can find on the WordPress admin dashboard:
- Posts — manages dynamic content in the form of posts.
- Media — organizes visual content uploaded to the website’s media library.
- Pages — regulates static content in the form of pages.
- Comments — moderates comments added to posts.
- Appearance — sets the appearance of your website.
- Plugins — organizes plugins installed for additional functionalities.
- Users — manages user accounts and login permissions.
- Tools — facilitates data exports and imports, moderates users’ personal data, and oversees the website’s configurations.
- Settings — provides general settings of the website’s standard functionalities.
Now that you know how to configure each element within your WordPress website, it’s time to take your website to new heights. Good luck!