Blog Branding Design

Navigating the WordPress Dashboard

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WordPress has an excellent dashboard that is super easy to navigate once you know what is where. The most confusing part when I started was figuring out how to add my plugins to the sidebar being they are in two different spots. Here is a simple run down of how to create and publish your blog post, starting from the basic starter setup suggestions I have:

One of the first things I suggest when setting up your WordPress blog, is changing the permalinks. These are the links to your blog posts, and instead of having some random number after your initial domain, it will have the blog post title. For example, my post on making a sidebar actually has the title in the link: http://siteswoon.com/how-to-make-a-swoon-worthy-sidebar/ 

Select “Post name” to make sure your link does include your post name.

Next is how to create an actual post. Select “Post” on the dashboard sidebar, then select “add new”

Above, the circled areas are how to save and publish. Saving a post doesn’t make it public, it will only save it as a draft. It is important to do this every few minutes, or check to see when your last draft was auto saved at the bottom of your post. Once you have made your edits, then you can categorize and tag your post. Categories are more broad than tags. Tags are words that are more likely to be access via the search bar on your page. Once you have made the changes and edits, you can publish your page. Your page will be visible to to the public once it is published. However, you can still make edits and unpublished if you need to.

Next, head over to the “plugins” tab, and then “add new” This is where you will find all of your easy to install extras such as your social media widgets, and also where you can add things like your search bar, categories, recent posts, etc… to your sidebar and footers.

To find the plugin you are looking for, you can use the keyword search bar, and type in what it is you are wanting to add to your site. Here is a list for the top plug ins you will need. Once you add a plugin it will prompt you to install, and then activate. After you do so, you will see it in your widget list.

Note that some of the plugins are sent to your actual dashboard as a main category, such as facebook, or instagram. These you can select and then edit through the prompts given. Any plugins that give you html codes to use, you can set up under the widgets using the text feature and copy and pasting the code into that section.

After adding the plugins you want, you will have to place them into the “widgets” section of your site in order to set them up where you would like them (ie: sidebar and or footer) This is a drag and drop set up and pretty easy to self navigate.

Under the “sidebar” section you are able to drag and drop from the left “available widgets” and order them how you would like. See my post on making a swoon worthy sidebar to see the order recommendations.

I mentioned above using html codes to add items to your sidebar. You can use the “text” tab and insert your html code into the body of that section. Remember to save and then you can drag and drop to re order.

Next, head over to appearance to add your logo into your header.

Select “site identity”

Then you can upload your logo, or if you don’t have a logo just yet, you can type in your site title and a tag line if you wish. Remember to save and publish when you are finished.

Next learn how to create your site favicon (small picture in the tab part of your page!)

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