themes,pluinsThe WordPress Dashboard

This where we start to get down to the nuts and bolts of putting together our Blog (don’t worry it’s not difficult if you follow along.

First things first. We need to get into our new WordPress Dashboard. All we need to do is enter the name of our website followed by /wp-admin i.e. http://somesite.com/wp-admin> this will bring up a screen that looks like this………..wordpress Dashboard login ScreenYour Password will be in the email sent to you by Hostgator. Just click on the “Remember Me” box for now. I will show you how to change your password later on.

Very good we should now be at the dashboard of your first WordPress blog and you should see something like this……………………

Wordpress Dashboard1

WordPress Dashboard ONE:

AS can be seen from the screen capture above. The WordPress dashboard is divided into several areas. On the far left we have our Navigational Toolbar. There is an Admin Bar at the top and in the middle is our Work Area..

The Navigation Toolbar

Here we have all of the menus and submenus that we need to get around the various rich features offered by the WordPress platform. You will find that you can add  and manipulate most of features from here. Just hover over one of the buttons for a submenu to appear. As mentioned in Post two of this blog. Here is where we can add our Plugins, themes , widgets, (more on this later) and start to add content to our blog in the form of “Posts” and “Pages”

WordPress Themes

Under the appearance menu you will find a tab called Themes. Clicking this will take you to a page where you can select a FREE theme for your Blog ( The current default theme is called 2013.). You may want to start with the default theme and experiment with others as you progress.

There are many FREE Themes available both by searching the WordPress site or Google. These themes will let you get the right “Look And Feel” for you site. A tip here is to try and keep the visual noise down to a minimum and keep the theme clear and simple. The theme I am using here is called “Cleanr By Chandra Maharzan” and is FREE. Just search under the themes tab…

Simple WordPress Theme

Simple WordPress Theme

Once you get little more used to blogging you may also wish to purchase one of the specialised paid themes, depending on the nature of your blog.

Plugins

Plugins are as pointed out in post 2 helpful little subprograms that do a lot of the donkey work needed to support various functions of our blog. such as letting the search engines like Google and Yahoo etc know we are here and also keeping track of our visitor numbers, redirecting traffic to part of our site that are of particular interest to certain types of visitor and much more (sadly we have not quite trained them to make the tea yet!) I will include a page with my recommended basic plug ins later on in the blog.

wordpress plugin 2

wordpress plugin 2

Widgets

Widgets govern the general layout of our site i.e. Do we want to have a Sidebar on the left or right of the screen where we can display advertising to generate a little extra revenue? Would we like a calender on our site. this again is way in which we can manipulate the “Look and Feel” of our blog.

WORDPRESS WIDGETS

WORDPRESS WIDGETS

Next time I will talk about making your first post…………………….See you there Dennis.