You can download the PDF file of this information. The link is located at the bottom of this page.
Accessing The Dashboard
Once your site is created and the domain name is mapped to that site, changing the look and content of that site will reflect the true intent of your business. In order to administer site changes, you will need to log in to WordPress. The easiest and quickest way to access administration settings is by typing your site name in the address bar of your browser and add “/wp-admin” to the end (http://yoursitename.com/wp-admin). If you have successfully followed the instructions, you should see a screen similar to the image below.
You can also access the site from wordpress.com, but there is more navigation involved to get to the administration settings for the site. Adding the “/wp-admin” at the end of your site URL is especially helpful if you have several sites created under your WordPress account. This feature also works with sites that are not mapped to a domain (http://yoursitename.wordpress.com/wp-admin).
Navigating The Dashboard
Once you’ve successfully gained access to the administrative section of the site, you will see a screen similar to the image below. All administration takes place through the links located down the black menu on the left.
Before we change content and appearance of the site, we need to make some basic changes that will improve the looks of the site and prevent others from posting comments that potential clients do not want to see. The changes we will make next will take place in the “Settings” link located second from the bottom on the left.
In the previous picture, notice the links on the left in the black portion of the page. The smaller links will take you directly to another page. The larger links, when hovered over, produce a sub-menu with additional selection choices. These sub-menus will appear if you hover over any link from the “Store” link down to the “Settings” link. For now, we want to change some options in the “Settings” portion. Below is an image of the sub-menu.
The “Settings” sub-menu maintains global configuration of the site. Simply stated, the links contained in the settings sub-menu pertain to the whole site as opposed to a particular page or post.
The image above illustrates the General Settings. The site title typically states the name of your business. The tagline is a short description or accent piece to the title. The rest of the settings are self-explanatory. Make sure to click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page to ensure your changes are saved and applied to your site. It is important to note the Blog Picture/Icon at the upper right of the screen. This image is representative of your business or organization. It will also display on browser tabs to the left of your site name. It is also referred to as a favicon. This isn’t necessarily important to functionality of the site, but it does create a more professional appearance if applied.
The writing settings page pertains to posts that are added to your site. Most businesses typically do not have a blog. This page is more directed to someone who regularly submits articles or thoughts to their personal blog site. I typically leave these settings the same as shown in the image above. If you are interested in displaying client testimonials, click the “Learn More” link to the right of that section. The Portfolio Projects allows you to showcase work. It only works with certain themes.
These settings determine how your site initially interacts with the viewer. The image above depicts builtbybeck.com settings. Notice the static page is selected as the front page display. Consider a static page as a “sticky page” or landing page that always displays first when viewers visit your site. The front page (shown above) is directed to a page with no title; the page you first see when you visit builtbybeck.com. The title is omitted intentionally. When I created the home page (#22(no title)) I did not want viewers to see “Home” at the top of the page. If you visit any other page on this site, you will see the page title. We will discuss this matter further as we continue site configuration. Again, like the writing settings, the reading settings primarily relate to blogs that are hosted on a given site. You can explore the remainder of the settings on this page, but the front page settings are our only concern on this page forconfiguring a business website.
Discussion settings deal with comments submitted to a particular site. For a business website, I recommend disabling comments. It prevents a viewer from posting lewd links or comments that other viewers may find offensive. The only setting on this page we want enabled is the “Comment must be manually approved” checkbox. This is a safety net in the event that one of the pages has comments enabled. In the event this happens, upon submission of the comment, you will be notified by email that a comment was submitted.
These settings pertain to image sizes and podcasts settings. I recommend leaving these settings intact.
These settings allow you to display a series of buttons at the bottom of a page, allowing viewers to share your site with various social media outlets. You can customize which social media buttons are displayed, or choose not to display them at all.
The remainder of the links on the “Settings” sub-menu (Polls, Ratings, AdControl, Email Post Changes, OpenID, and Webhooks) add more functionality to your site. I do not typically modify these settings. If you are interested in what they do, check out each page. If you have any questions regarding administration, go to my Contact page and I will respond as soon as I am available. Thanks for dropping by.