A First Look at WordPress

WordPress can be intimidating the first time you open it. If you’re unfamiliar with the layout and functionality, it can be overwhelming to see how many options and things are available to you.

Fortunately, it’s not as scary as it looks. Just disregard the dashboard (this homepage) and focus on the helpful links in the left sidebar.

Blank WordPress Install 2018

This is the dashboard of a fresh WordPress install. Click to enlarge.

As you can see, those links are very informative. They are also organized into a hierarchy as follows:

  • Posts
    • All Posts
    • Add New
    • Categories
    • Tags
  • Media
    • Library
    • Add New
  • Pages
    • All Pages
    • Add New
  • Comments
  • Appearance
    • Themes
    • Customize
    • Widgets
    • Menus
    • Header
  • Plugins
  • Users
    • All Users
    • Add New
    • Your Profile
  • Tools
    • Available Tools
    • Import
    • Export
  • Settings
    • General
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Discussion
    • Media
    • Permalinks

On a typical blogging day, I usually only click on posts and comments. Once you’ve finished setting up the website, you really don’t need to mess with settings, tools, users, plugins, appearance or pages very often. Since there’s a button to add media in the post editor, you won’t need to bother with that much, either.

By default, your WordPress install is set to the default WordPress theme. There are no flashy plugins or extra functionality.  This is just the foundation, the WordPress framework that underlies all the extra bells and whistles.

Depending on what themes and plugins you activate in the future, this dashboard may change drastically. On GetHelpMap.com, I have to scroll to see all the items in my sidebar because my Directory theme has so many options!

Are you ready to move on? Now that you’ve finished with the background work of picking a niche, identifying a domain name, purchasing hosting and installing WordPress, it’s time to configure those WordPress settings. After that, it’ll be time to start writing!

Ready to start playing with WordPress? Let’s dig into those settings…

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