AAM 2012: Blogging Basics 101

Building blogs in Wordpress

More about the Dashboard

Your control menus are on the left, shortcut links are along the top, and a general overview is in the body of the Dashboard, where you can see how many posts and pages you have, a list of your most recent comments, any drafts that are waiting, and any comments that are waiting to be approved. You can create a quick post on the fly in the QuickPress box on the right, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

The first menu box in the top left includes the link that will always return you to this main page, and a link to any other sites you might control.

The second menu box links you to all the tasks related to your five types of content: posts, media, links, pages, and comments.

Posts > Lists all of your posts, whether published or just drafts.
Add New > Create a new post.
Categories > Lists all your existing categories, where you can edit or delete existing categories, or add new ones.
Post Tags > Lists all your existing tags, where you can edit or delete existing tags, or add new ones.

Library > Lists all your uploaded images. From here, you can edit captions and alt tags that will affect every instance of the image on your site.
Add New > Upload images en masse to the library, to be used in any post or page.

(used in widgets/sidebars)
Links > Lists all available links. From here, you can edit or delete existing links.
Add New > Add new links.
Link Categories > Organize your links here. (For example, you can group your links into research institutes vs. conservation institutes vs. sponsors.)

Pages > Lists all of your pages, whether published or just drafts.
Add New > Create a new page.

Lists all the comments on your site, including comments queued to be approved. From here you can delete and even edit the comments.

The third menu and last menu box controls everything else that isn’t content.

Themes > Change layouts and colors, headers, etc.
Widgets > Control what appears in the sidebars and footers.
Menus > Create custom menus to use in place of the default “page-based” navigation.
Background > Change the background color or upload an image. (Not available with all themes.)
Header > Change the header image that appears behind your blog title. (Not available with all themes.)

Plugins: Add, remove, activate and deactive plugins. (examples of what plugins do: control spam comments; track statistics; cache pages for your users so the site runs faster.)

Users > Lists all your registered users. From here you can edit their role (subscriber vs. contributor).
Add New > Invite new users to your site.
Your Profile > Edit your profile, including your nickname, password and personal info, as well as the color scheme of your dashboard (sadly there are only two options).

(Advanced, you probably won’t ever need any of these)
Tools > Scripts to help you pull RSS feeds from other sites and convert them to posts, and to convert categories to tags, and vice versa.
Import > Scripts to help you import blog posts from other sites, if you are converting an existing site.
Export > Script to export your site’s content so you can import it to another site.

General > Change the title and tagline of your site, your admin email address, and your timezone.
Writing > Change the default height of the editing box on edit-post and edit-page and set default Categories for new posts.
Reading > Set your front page to display something other than your latest posts, as well as how your own RSS feed should appear to subscribers.
Discussion > Control comment settings.
Media > Set the defaults for the sizes of your images.
Privacy > Set to block or allow search engine bots to your site. (This is where you will “launch” your site.)
Permalinks > Control how the URLs will appear for your blog posts. The default is to display posts with year/month/day/blog-title (ex: https://aam.pmcarlson.com/trouble/2011/05/16/hello-world/) It’s a personal preference–I prefer year/blog-title, but if you anticipate ever duplicating a blog title, then separating it by date would be useful.

Leave a Comment