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New Bloggers Guide

Compact Sidebar

Fig #4


Wide Sidebar

Fig #4b

This is the Dashboard Sidebar (seen at the left), and this is how it will look when you first see it. As you begin using WordPress, you’ll notice that hovering the cursor over each of the icons opens a drop-down menu with several options.

At the bottom of the set of icons is a small, right-facing arrow. If you click on this, the sidebar will be expanded so you can see names beside (to the right) of each icon (seen at the right). Since it is pretty easy to move your cursor over the icons — and in no time at all, you’ll end up remembering the one you use the most — you may want to leave it the way it is. The advantage is when you are editing a page or post, the area of the window where the post is will be wider. Most writers prefer that.

For the moment, we’ll go over what each option represents:

The stick-pin icon: The main Posts panel, which you will be using the most often.

The camera-music note icon: The Media section which lets you upload, well, “media” — pictures for example.

The links of a chain icon: The Links section allows you to connect to other websites.

The pages icon: Pages is used to add pages to, and edit pages on, your blog.

The chat bubble icon: The Comments panel provides the ability to manage comments on your blog.

You will not be using the bottom section of the panel very much; mostly these options help tweak the appearance of the blog, who has access to post on it, and some other incidental settings we will cover in another tutorial.

For now, it’s best you know that these things are here, so that you don’t experiment with them and accidentally break your blog site.

Before we get into talking about posting, we should briefly mention the bottom half of the Dashboard screen.

As I mentioned, you can see any new comments made on your posts under the Recent Comments Section, and the Recent Drafts section gives you quick access to anything you haven’t published yet. Both of these are shown below. The WordPress Blog section doesn’t directly relate to your goings-on; it is there so you can keep up-to-date with WordPress company news and additions to the program, if you choose to (this display can be suppressed).

Recent Comments

Fig #5

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