The WordPress Dashboard

As an Author or Editor, you'll be spending lots of time in the WordPress dashboard. Read this brief guide to the dashboard menus, and you'll become a power user in no time.

The Dashboard is where you log into Largo's back end, where you can create, edit, and publish posts and pages.

If you've ever worked with WordPress, the Largo dashboard will look very familiar. When you log into the Largo dashboard you'll see something like this:

The WordPress Dashboard

What you see on the dashboard depends on your user role. For example, Editors have access to posts by all Authors; whereas Authors have access to only the posts they authored. Editors can publish and edit Pages; whereas Authors won't see a dashboard link for the site's Pages.

Only Administrators can assign and change user roles. For more on the different roles, see the Admin page on Adding and Managing Users.

The WordPress Dashboard Menu System

WordPress is renowned for being the most user-friendly content management system, and the more you get to know the menus, the friendlier it gets. Hover over the links in the left menu list and you'll see something like this:

Posts menu in the WordPress dashboard

Here we're looking at the Posts menu where you can click All Posts to open the Posts list page containing (you guessed it) all the posts on your site:

Posts list in WordPress

Notice the links at the top that give you access to All (not visible to Authors), Mine (your posts only), PublishedDrafts, and Pending posts (if there are any). There's also a Trash link, which is where posts go after being trashed, so it's possible to restore a post from the trash if needed. (You can also empty the trash, which deletes trashed posts permanently.)

In the upper-right corner, you can use Search Posts by keyword, or exact wording enclosed in quotation marks, and pagination links to see additional posts. The Title and Date column headings allow you to sorts posts by title and date. Each Author, Category, and Tag is clickable and filters for posts that match whatever you click. You can also perform Bulk Actions on any number of posts you select.

These features and functions on the Post List page make it easy to get around hundreds or thousands of posts and find exactly what you're looking for at any time. Other parts of the WordPress dashboard, like Pages, Categories, Tags, etc, work in much the same way:

Categories screen in WordPress

Menus and Screens are Similar Throughout the Dashboard

You'll use the dashboard menu on the left to navigate the WordPress back end.  Click around and take a look at these screens to get to know them, and you'll begin to see many similarities in how they work.

Screen Options

You can also customize the dashboard by using a standard feature of WordPress called Screen Options. Notice the Screen Options link in the upper-right of this dashboard home screen:

WordPress dashboard home screen

Click the Screen Options button and it opens a set of checkboxes:

Screen options in WordPress

By selecting or deselecting these screen options, you can access different WordPress panels and fields, or hide the ones you don't need to unclutter your workspace.

For example, the Post Edit screen has the most complex set of fields:

screen options for a post screen in wordpress

Some of these fields will almost never be used:

  • Custom Fields rarely if ever need to be touched by post authors
  • Slug, which means the part of the post URL containing the title (lower-case and hyphenated), should never be changed after a story is published

To streamline your screen, just hide them in Screen Options.

If you ever find something missing that you expected to see on any particular screen in the Dashboard, check Screen Options to see if it’s been deselected.

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