WordPress Admin Panel – What Is It, How To Log In And Use It Properly

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In this tutorial, you are going to take a detailed tour of the WordPress admin panel.

The WordPress admin panel is where you will spend most of the time as an administrator of your website. It is the place from where you can control and change almost all the aspects of your WordPress site.

You can log in to the WordPress admin panel by adding “admin” or “wp-admin” or “login” after the URL of your site. For example, if your site’s URL is http://www.example.com then you can log in to your WordPress Admin Panel at http://www.example.com/admin or http://www.example.com/wp-admin or http://www.example.com/login.

Once you go to any of those URLs, you will see the WordPress login screen where you can enter your admin username and password. After logging in, you will see the admin panel.

Admin Panel

Let us take a detailed look at the admin panel now.

WordPress Admin Panel


WordPress Admin Panel Layout

The WordPress admin panel consists of 4 sections:

  1. The Toolbar
  2. The Main Navigation Menu
  3. The Work Area and
  4. The Footer
WordPress Admin Panel Sections

Let us see what each of these sections contain.

The Toolbar

The WordPress admin toolbar is the horizontal strip at the very top of the admin panel.

WordPress Admin Toolbar

The contents of the toolbar will vary depending on the theme and the plugins that are currently active on your site. However, in general, It will have the following links:

  1. About WordPress
  2. View Site
  3. Updates
  4. Comments
  5. Add New
  6. Howdy, User
  7. Screen Options and
  8. Help


About WordPress

This menu contains sub-menu items that link to About WordPress page, WordPress.org website, WordPress Documentation page, WordPress support forums, and WordPress feedback page.

About WordPress Menu

Clicking on any of these menu items will take you to its respective page.

View Site

This menu will take you to the front-end of your website.

View Site Menu

Once you are on the front-end of the site, this menu will change to admin panel menu and will now have links to come back into the admin panel.

View Admin Menu

From the front of the website, you can use this menu to go back to the admin Dashboard, Themes page, Widgets page, or the Menus page.

Customize

This link will display only when you are viewing the front-end of your website while logged in as the administrator.

Customize Link

Clicking it will launch the theme customizer.

Updates

The Updates link will only get displayed if there are any updates available to WordPress core, themes or plugins. Else it will not be displayed.

Updates Link

Clicking the Updates icon will take you to the WordPress Updates page.

Comments

The Comments link will display the count of unapproved comments.

Comments Link

Clicking on it will take you to the Comments page in the admin panel.

Add New

This menu contains quick links to create a post, media file, page or user.

Add New Menu


Howdy, User

This menu is displayed to the right-hand side of the toolbar. It contains links to go to the logged in user’s profile page and log out from the WordPress admin panel.

Howdy, User menu

It also displays an image of the logged in user’s Gravatar.

Screen Options Tab

The Screen Options tab is available below the toolbar on the right-hand side. It is just below the Howdy, User menu. Clicking it will expand the Screen Options region and clicking it again will collapse it.

Screen Options Tab

It contains options to display or hide elements from the Work area. The options displayed in the Screen Options will vary depending on the admin page that you are viewing in the work area.

You can check or uncheck any of the options to display or hide elements from the Work area.

Just remember that if at any time you want to hide or display a particular element in the work area, you should check the Screen Options tab.

Help Tab

The Help tab is located right beside the Screen Options tab. Similar to the Screen Options tab, it can be expanded or collapsed by clicking it.

Help Tab

The Help tab section contains useful links to WordPress documentation. Also, similar to Screen Options tab, the contents of the Help tab will change depending upon the admin page that you are viewing in the work area.

Just know that, if you need help, you should click the Help tab.

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The Main Navigation Menu

As the name suggests, the main navigation menu is the primary navigation bar to launch the various admin pages. It can be collapsed using the “Collapse menu” action at the bottom of the menu.

The main navigation has the following menus:

  1. Dashboard
  2. Posts
  3. Media
  4. Pages
  5. Comments
  6. Appearance
  7. Plugins
  8. Users
  9. Tools and
  10. Settings

Clicking any menu in the main navigation will open its corresponding page in the work area. For example, if you click the Settings menu then you will see the Settings page in the work area.

Let’s now take a look at each of the menus in the main navigation.

Dashboard

The dashboard is the first item in the main navigation menu.

Dashboard Menu

This is where you will land once you log in to your WordPress admin panel. It is also the menu from where you can update WordPress core, themes, and plugins.

Read this tutorial to learn more about the WordPress Dashboard – An Introduction to WordPress Dashboard.

Posts

From this menu, you can create, edit and delete your posts.

Posts Menu

It is also the place from where you can create, edit and delete the post categories and tags.

Media

The Media menu will help you to upload, edit and delete various media files like images, PDFs, videos, etc.

Media Menu

This is also where all the media files that you upload while creating or editing your posts and pages will get stored.

Pages

The Pages menu will help you to create, edit and delete pages from WordPress.

Pages Menu

Unlike posts, pages menu will not have categories and tags. These can be added using plugins if there is a need.

Comments

Using this menu item, you can manage all the comments that you receive on your posts and pages.

Comments Menu Item

This is where you can approve, edit, reply to, delete, and mark the comments as spam.

Appearance

The Appearance menu will help you to do a lot of things. You can manage Themes, Widgets, Menus, Customize themes, Edit the Theme and Plugin files, etc.

Appearance Menu

Some of the menu items in the Appearance menu like Header, Background, etc. may change depending on the currently active theme.

Plugins

The Plugins menu can be used to search, add, upload, install, activate, deactivate, edit and delete the plugins.

Plugins Menu

This is where you will also see all the currently installed and active plugins of your site.

Users

From the Users menu, you will be able to manage all the users who can log in to your site.

Users Menu

From here, you will be able to edit and delete the users.

Tools

The Tools menu has some useful actions to import and export the data from your WordPress site.

Tools Menu

You can also access the Press This and Categories to Tags Converter tools from this menu.

Settings

The Settings menu controls the important settings of your WordPress site.

Settings Menu

You have a lot of settings available under the Settings menu, like General, Writing, Reading, etc.

Read this detailed tutorial to learn more about WordPress Settings.

The Work Area

The work area is the main area of the admin panel where you will carry out all of the administrative tasks.

Admin Panel Work Area

The page displayed in the work area will change depending on the admin page that you have selected to view from the main navigation menu.

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The Footer

The Footer is displayed at the bottom of the work area.

Admin Panel Footer

It contains a Thank You message for using WordPress on the left-hand side and the version number of the currently installed version of WordPress on the right-hand side.

End of The Tour!

That ends the tour of the WordPress admin panel.

Just to recap, you learned that the WordPress admin panel consists of the Toolbar, the Main Navigation Menu, the Work Area and the Footer. You also learned what each of these contains and what they do.

You learned a lot in this WordPress admin panel tutorial. If you still have any questions, just ask them in the comments below. I reply to every comment.

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you. Don’t worry, I only recommend products or services that I have personally used and believe will add value to my readers.

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