Free Web Site – Explaining the Terms

The WordPress Dashboard

The image in the last post shows the site’s dashboard where you can write new posts and pages and where you can control the site’s settings and features. Note that to toggle the Welcome box off and on, click on the “Are you new here?” box in the upper right corner of the dashboard screen.

The dashboard is only visible to you, the site owner, and, in my example, can be found at
awm473.wordpress.com/wp-admin.

Dashboard Menu

The dashboard menu is a vertical dropdown menu located at the left side of the dashboard screen. Note that when you hover over a menu item with sub-menu items, the dropdown arrow appears and when clicked will cause the dropdown menu items to show.

Some of the more important menu items are: Posts, Media, Pages, Appearance and Settings.

Posts/Pages
In WordPress, you can write either posts or pages. When you’re writing a regular blog entry, you write a post. Posts automatically appear in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home or blog page. Pages, on the other hand, are for content such as “About Me,” “Contact Me,” etc. Pages live outside of the normal blog chronology, and are often used to present information about yourself or your site that is somehow timeless — information that is always applicable. You can use Pages to organize and manage any amount of content.

Media
Allowed file types: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt, pptx, docx, pps, ppsx, xls, xlsx. The Media menu item allows you to upload one of these file types for use in your posts or pages.

Appearance
The Appearance menu contains some very important sub-menu items. Hover over the menu item and then when the downward arrow appears, click on it and the dropdown menu items will be displayed. The ones most important to us at this point are “Themes” and “Widgets”.
Themes: If you click on “Themes”, you will see a list of the various themes available to you the site owner for your web site. A Theme is just a collection of code which has been set up to display your posts and pages and other site content as shown in the preview or screenshot. Different themes will display the same content in different layouts, etc.
Widgets: “Widgets” provide a simple way to arrange the various elements of your sidebar content (known as “widgets”) without having to change any code. If you click on Widgets under Appearance, you will see various widget entries that you can use to display different elements of content, Calendar will insert a calendar of the current month into the widget area on your web site. Other common widget entries used are Pages, which display your site’s WordPress pages, Archives, which displays a monthly archive of your site’s posts, and Text, which displays arbitrary text or HTML code.

Settings
The important sub-menu items in Settings are General, Writing and Reading.
General Settings: You may change the web site page title by changing the Site Title, for example, I changed my example to “The Friendly Curling Club”, change the Tagline by altering it to whatever you want, in my example, I used the tagline “come rock with us”, update the value in the Timezone field to match your time zone, click on the down arrow and then click on a city in your area to set the time zone used to that matching your area, and change the day of the week that starts the week by clicking on the day you want in the “week starts on” field, I use Sunday as the day beginning my week. Click on “Save Changes” to save your new settings.

The following image is what the web site now looks like. You will see that the site title and tagline have both changed to the new values.

Next time, changing the “default” theme.

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