you have chosen one of the most user-friendly, secure and accessible content management systems in WordPress. It will not take you long to get used to the admin interface and get into the swing of updating your site. If you are already happily working with Wordpress, then this manual may serve as a refresher or reminder.
If you are completely new to working with WordPress and have never seen the admin at all - this manual is written for you. We cover the main interface and common tasks and aim to give a good overview of how to work with WordPress as installed initially, using a basic theme.
Please bear in mind that the admin options can vary. Some themes will add additional functions to the interface, others will make customisation available via the customiser. This manual focuses on the core functions available by default only.
Note to our clients,
this manual is the introduction to the main functions only. You will also receive an additional custom manual from us on hand-over of the project. We will cover the bespoke options and functions which were designed and developed for your site specifically.
As your website runs on WordPress as CMS it has 2 views, one public view—which is what your site visitors will see—and the admin view which only you can access via your login. To edit the site's content for updates, edits or changes - you will need to login to use set admin functions.
We would recommend that you try to establish a comfortable workflow for your work on the site. One popular method is to work in different browser tabs as you edit your site, or 2 different windows if you prefer. One tab/window for the admin, the other to view the public site. You can work in the admin window for the edits, save your edits and then go to the public site to refresh the page and see your changes immediately. This will allow you to check whether your changes display as intended and proof read your text once more.
If you need to un-do a change - you will be able to go back via the revisions panel in your post's editor.
The link to your admin interface will depend on your installation on the server. If installed in the main directory, your link would be your-domain.com/wp-admin.
If you ever do forget your password - this is also where you can request a password reset. You will need to make sure to use the correct email for your user in order to receive the email.
You can log out via your profile link in the top right corner in the admin section.
Once logged in - you will see the dashboard which gives a quick overview of the site's content. All admin options are displayed within the left side panel, organised by content type and available options. The right panel gives you a quick overview of the site and published content.
You can customise this screen by dragging the panels into your preferred order. You can also hide and show the given content blocks, via the screen options tab in the top right corner.
dashboard menu options
The main menu options and their usage are:
your site's overview, the first screen once you log in
all posts published across your site, organised into categories
your websites' pages
additional settings & options
lists all uploaded media files, such as photos and other media files (files types: jpg/gif/png/pdf/doc)
if enabled, any submitted comments will be listed here, for moderation by you
shows the settings available for your site, including widgets and site options (available options will depend on your active theme)
your account and profile settings - including password reset
shows available website management tools (import content from other sources, export your content)
Before you can start editing the existing content or add a new piece - a quick word on the different content types used for the website. All are editable and are made to fit your purpose.
Depending on the requirements of your content structure and site design, this use may change, be customised and extended much further.
A typical default WordPress setup works with 2 different types of content:
Post are typically articles, reviews, opinion pieces and media content. Regular updates and new additions to the site are typically published as posts.
For example: Your site might include a 'news' section. You are writing blog posts about additions to your services, updates on ongoing projects and promotion for seasonal offers.
Pages are usually used for content which is fairly static and does only occasionally get updated. You can include any content you wish, text, images and video.
For example: A typical page would be the 'about' page of your site. It gives information about you, your organisation, company or business and is expected to serve as an introduction. Updates might be done every few months, maybe once or twice a year only.
updating existing content
Regular updates and content edits will keep your site fresh and add incentive for site visitors to return. It will also benefit SEO to keep content updated.
To edit post content - click on Posts which will drop down 4 options.
will show all existing posts, ordered by date.
will allow for adding a new post.
will show categories used on your site, also new categories can be created here.
can be used to further categorise content.
When hovering over a post's panel within the listing - you will see the edit options appear underneath the post title.
click to access the text editor with all options
click to edit details only, such as publish date, category, author or page status
click to move post into the trash (will not be permanently deleted, merely moved and kept in the Trash)
click to view the post as seen by site visitors
Once you click 'Edit' - you will be taken to the post's editor. Here, you will be able to change the content, add new text or images to the existing content, and update the current post.
WordPress will autosave in the background but to save your edits permanently, make sure to save as draft, or update as fitting.
To edit the content of any of the pages - click on Pages which will drop down 2 options.
Once you click 'Edit' - you will be taken to the page's editor. Here, you will be able to change the content, add new text or images to the existing content, and update the current page.
Both posts and pages allow you to set a publication date. Past dates can be edited and content can be scheduled for automatic publishing at a future date via the 'Published on' settings.
publishing new content
On installation, WordPress will include one example of each content type - the default post is assigned to the category of 'Uncategorised', ready for you to edit as fitting your site. Post categories allow you to organise your content into suitable topics which in turn can become site sections and be added as links to the menu.
For example: You might sell physical goods on your website. You could use the post categories to present your products in distinct sections, or to filter by specific criteria.
adding new posts
To add new post - access the 'Posts' menu and click Add New. Write you post, make sure to include a fitting title, add media files, set the appropriate category - and click Publish when done to publish to the website. Your post will be visible on the public site.
adding new pages
Adding new pages is similar to adding new posts - click Add new from 'Pages' menu, enter page title and content, and click Publish button to publish new page.
If your site's theme includes design/layout for specific pages, you can apply the available template via the drop-down options here.
working with media
Before uploading any media - check on the settings for sizes used. You can then edit your images to fit the largest size and ensure the right layout on your site. If you need to edit and change the settings here, it will be important to set the required size at the very start, before you add your content.
NOTE: it is vital to optimise any images before upload. For example—by default—most high quality digital photographs will be too large in size/dimension (often larger than needed, too large at over 3000px) and too heavy (often more than a few MB) which will cause longer loading times.
All uploaded files are stored in the Media Library. It offers an overview of all media, search and filtering options and access to edit the file's details.
image details, best practice
Images can be given additional information, such as captions and descriptions. Be aware that your active theme will control whether and, if so, how this text is displayed on the website.
There is one detail which is required for all content images: the alternative text. This text consists of a short summary of the image content and serves the following purposes:
text is read out to screenreader users as part of the content (screenreaders are used by many with low vision or other disabilities)
text is displayed on the webpage should the image fail to load (in case of connection interruptions or server glitches)
text is accessed by search engines and benefits ranking (ideally, file name and alt text contain similar wording)
To add more than one image to a post, page or new gallery post - you can use the built-in gallery feature which allows for different presentations of all images as collection. Customisation options on a default setup include number of columns, image size and order.
Step 1: new gallery
To insert new photo gallery into your page / post, click the Add Media button, on top of your editor. Choose Create Gallery and proceed to upload your files. Upload all images to be shown as part of the gallery.
Step 2: edit settings
Next, use appropriate settings for your gallery: Link to media file, choose columns according to image count and select your chosen image size. Make sure to add the required alternative text to each of your images. Click Insert gallery button and update your post.
We hope this manual is useful as general introduction to the admin interface of a standard WordPress setup. Please do feel free to get in touch if you get stuck or have any further questions - always happy to help :)