How to Set the Format for Your WordPress Blog

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

In addition to setting your personal settings on the WordPress Dashboard, you can manage the day-to-day maintenance of your blog. Here is a guide through the links to these sections in the navigation menu, directly underneath the Dashboard link.

Posts

Hover your mouse pointer over the Posts menu and a submenu appears with four links: All Posts, Add New, Categories, and Tags. Each link gives you the tools you need to publish content to your blog:

  • All Posts: This link opens the Posts page, where you see a listing of all the saved posts you’ve written on your blog. On this page, you can search for posts by date, category, or keyword. You can view all posts, only posts that have been published, or just posts that have been saved but not yet published (drafts). You can also edit and delete posts from this page.

  • Add New: This link opens the Add New Post page, where you compose your blog posts, set the options for each post (such as assigning a post to a category, or making it a private or public post), and publish the post to your blog.

    You can also get to the Add New Post page by clicking the Posts menu.

  • Categories: This link opens the Categories page, where you can view, edit, add, and delete categories on your blog.

  • Tags: This link opens the Tags page, where you can view, add, edit, and delete tags on your blog.

Media

Hover your mouse pointer over the Media menu link to expand the submenu of links for this section:

  • Library: This link opens the Media Library page. On this page, you view, search, and manage all the media files you’ve ever uploaded to your WordPress blog.

  • Add New: This link opens the Upload New Media page, where you can use the built-in uploader to transfer media files from your computer to the media directory in WordPress.

    You can also get to the Upload New Media page by clicking the Media menu.

Pages

People use this feature to create pages on their sites such as an About Me or Contact Me page. Click the Pages menu to reveal the submenu links:

  • All Pages: This link opens the Pages page, where you can search, view, edit, and delete pages in your WordPress blog.

  • Add New: This link opens the Add New Page page, where you can compose, save, and publish a new page on your blog. The differences between a page and a post seem subtle, but the two are very different from one another!

    You can also get to the Add New Page page by clicking the Pages menu.

    WordPress Options Page Post
    Appears in blog post listings No Yes
    Appears as a static page Yes No
    Appears in category archives No Yes
    Appears in monthly archives No Yes
    Appears in Recent Posts listings No Yes
    Appears in site RSS feed No Yes
    Appears in search results Yes Yes

Comments

The Comments menu doesn’t have a submenu of links. You simply click the Comments menu title to open the Comments page, where WordPress gives you the options to view:

  • All: Shows all comments that currently exist on your blog. This includes approved, pending, and spam comments.

  • Pending: Shows comments that are not yet approved by you but are pending in the moderation queue.

  • Approved: Shows all comments that have been previously approved by you.

  • Spam: Shows all the comments that are marked as spam.

  • Trash: Shows comments that you have marked as Trash, but have not yet been deleted permanently from your blog.

Plugins

The next menu in the navigation menu is Plugins. Click the Plugins menu to expand the submenu of links:

  • Installed Plugins: This link opens the Plugins page, where you can view all the plugins currently installed on your blog. On this page, you also have the ability to activate, deactivate, and delete plugins on your blog.

  • Add New: This link opens the Install Plugins page, where you can search for plugins from the official WordPress Plugin Directory by keyword, author, or tag. You can also install plugins directly to your blog from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

  • Editor: The Edit Plugins page allows you to edit the plugin files in a text editor. It is highly recommended that you don’t edit plugin files unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

Users

The Users menu has three links:

  • All Users: Click this link to go to the Users page, where you can view, edit, and delete users on your WordPress blog. Each user has a unique login name and password, as well as an e-mail address assigned to her account. You can view and edit a user’s information on the Users page.

  • Add New: This link opens the Add New User page, where you can add new users to your WordPress blog. Simply type the user’s username, first name, last name, e-mail (required), website, and a password into the fields provided and then click the Add User button. You can also select whether you want WordPress to send login information to the new user by e-mail.

  • Your Profile: This link allows you to personalize your profile.

Tools

The last menu item in the navigation menu is Tools. Click the Tools menu to drop down the submenu of links that includes:

  • Available Tools: WordPress comes packaged with two extra features that you can use on your blog: Press This and Category/Tag Conversion.

  • Import: WordPress gives you the ability to import from a different blog platform.

  • Export: WordPress also allows you to export your content from WordPress so that you can import it into a different platform or another WordPress blog.