If you somehow stumbled upon to this post it is a part of post series WordPress 101 – Beginners Guide To WordPress.

Understanding the anatomy of WordPress backend or the features there are in it helps you make full use of the platform and to increase the performance of your site. Lets just not waste any time and jump directly into the core.

The long lists of buttons on the left hand side of your admin area are called menus. They are where you should go every time you’re looking to make changes, adjust settings or make virtually everything on your site. They are like the brain to your website and we have described each menu as follows.

Dashboard

In short, the dashboard is like the cockpit of your WordPress site. You’ll see many stats on how many posts you have, how many comments are pending for your approval, the number of incoming links to your site and other quick overviews regarding your site.

Posts

This menu is found at the top of the menus on the left-hand side. This menu lets you perform tasks related to posts such as edit, delete and add new posts. It also lets you arrange the settings of categories and tags like deleting and creating new ones.

Media

When you want to add or edit images, videos, audios or other media, this menu is what you have to use.

Links

Most bloggers put a list of links to sites they like or recommend on their sidebar or somewhere on their site. This list of links is called blogroll and by using this menu is how you can set, remove or add new links to the blogroll.

Pages

Unlike normal blog entries, content like “About”, “Contact” and “Privacy” are usually presented in a static page; otherwise, they would be displayed on the content area along with your posts. When you want to create a static page for any of these types of content, go to this menu and you’ll be able to do so with the addition of editing, previewing and deleting pages.

Comments

Commenting is a very powerful part of blogging. It’s inevitable that you’ll get a number of comments starting from a few days after you publish your first post. But it doesn’t mean all comments are equal; some are spammy and some are real. It’s your responsibility to decide which to approve, delete or mark as spam by using this menu.

Appearance

This menu lets you control how your site looks like. Using the Themes sub-menu, you can change, upload, activate and search themes from WordPress theme directory.

The Widgets sub-menu lets you decide what to put on the sidebar, header or footer of your site. For example, if you want to add Recent Comments box on your sidebar, you can do so by using this menu.

If your theme supports menus, the “Menus” menu is where you can edit and add or remove pages from your menu.

At the bottom of Appearance is the Editor menu that enables you to edit html, css and php files of your theme.

Plugins

Plugins add functionality to your site that don’t come with the default installation like social sharing, blocking spam comments and site analytics. You can update, inactive, delete or install plugins that perform different functions using this menu. The main power of WordPress comes from plugins. Read more about plugins here.

Users

At some point, you may want to add another administrator to your site or just edit your profile to include your avatar and bio. Using this menu, you can manually add, edit or remove users and change their roles on your site.

Tools

This menu features two options; import and export which respectively let you import posts, pages and other content from other platforms and export content to save on your computer for back up and restore purposes.

Settings

This is a very important menu with the ability to perform a wide variety of tasks ranging from editing your site’s title to setting privacy options. There are sub-menus under this button, namely; general, writing, reading, discussion, media, privacy and permalink.

General: the General sub-menu enables you to edit your site’s title, your tagline, your admin email address, registration rules, date and other time formats. Also if you want to remove or add the “www” in your site’s URL, this menu lets you do that.

Writing: Using this menu you can decide how you want to post content. You can set to post content to your site via email or other remote publishing applications. It also lets you decide how much the size of the writing panel should be.

Reading: This is where you can decide how the content area of your blog should look like and what it should contain. You can decide what to display on the front page, how many posts you want per page, what character encoding you want to use and others like these.

Discussion: Do you want to allow comments and display avatars? How do you want to be notified of new comments? What must someone fill out in order to comment on your blog? These and other such questions can be answered by using this menu.

Media: contains options to let you set maximum image sizes and decide where to store uploaded media.

Privacy: this is a very simple and straightforward setting that gives you options either to block search engines or not.

Permalinks: allows you to set your permalink or URL structure.

This is pretty much it. For all your creating, editing or customization needs of your WordPress site, the list of menus described in the above posts are where you should go to. Take time to get familiar with them as that is helpful in giving you full control over your site.

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