Getting Started with the Dashboard

Dashboard Overview

This image shows an overview of the dashboard work area

The Dashboard is the first screen you see after you log into the administration area of your WordPress site. It is a place where you can get a convenient at-a-glance overview of what’s happening on your site and in the world of WordPress. You can catch up on WordPress news, view your draft posts, see who’s linking to you, quickly create a blog post, or check out and moderate your latest comments. It’s like a bird’s-eye view of operations, from which you can swoop down into the particular details.

Dashboard Modules

The Dashboard contains the following modules installed as default:

  • Right Now
  • Recent Comments
  • Incoming Links
  • Plugins
  • QuickPress
  • Recent Drafts
  • WordPress Blog
  • Other WordPress News

Right Now

This image shows the Right Now dashboard module

The Right Now module offers an “at-a-glance” look at what is on your site. The Content column displays a total count of the blog posts, pages, categories, and tags of your site. The Discussion column displays a count of total, approved, pending, and spam comments on your site. Clicking on either the name of the section, or the number of items, will take you directly to the administration screen for that section. Below this, important info about the name of the theme you are using, the number of widgets, as well as the version of WordPress your site is running. Clicking on the theme name or the number of plugins will take you directly to the administration screen for that section as well.

Recent Comments

The Recent Comments module displays a list of the most Recent Comments on your blog, as well as trackbacks and pingbacks. Comments that are held in moderation (pending your approval) are highlighted in yellow, as well as marked[pending], to distinguish them from ones you have already approved for publication.

This image shows the actions that are available by hovering over the comment in the Recent Comments module

Hovering the mouse cursor over each comment also activates a menu of choices below to Approve (or Unapprove) the comment, Edit the comment, Reply to the comment author, Spam (marks the comment as spam), or Trash the selected comment. You may also click on the post title itself if you wish to edit the post instead.

If you click on the Reply action link, a form will appear directly below the selected comment, allowing you to quickly reply to the comment directly from the Dashboard.

This image shows the comment work area navigation quick-links that are at the bottom of the Recent Comments module

At the bottom of the module, counts for total Comments, Pending comments, Approved comments, Spam comments, and number of comments in the Trash are displayed. Clicking on these section names will take you directly to the administration screen for that section.

Note: You can change the settings on this module to customize it’s display.

An image of the Incoming Links dasboard module

The Incoming Links module displays notifications letting you know when another blog links to your site. This module queries Google Blog Search, so that when another blog links to your site, the site that linked to you will show up here. If there are no Incoming links, the message, “[Google Blog Search] has found no incoming links… yet. It’s okay — there is no rush.” will display.

Note: You can change the settings on this module to customize it’s display.


An image of the Plugins dashboard module

The Plugins module displays the Most Popular and Newest WordPress Plugins, as taken directly from WordPress.orgPlugins Directory. Click on the plugin title to visit that Plugin’s page in the WordPress Plugin Directory for more information about that plugin. Click on the Install link instead, if you wish to install the selected plugin.


An image of the quick press dashboard module

The QuickPress module is a miniature “post editor” that allows you to quickly create a blog post from directly within the Dashboard. You can include a title, body text, media files, and tags in the post. You also have the option of saving your QuickPress post as a draft or publishing it immediately.

Recent Drafts

An image of the recent drafts dashboard module

The Recent Drafts module displays links to your most recent drafts, allowing one-click access to the posts you’ve been working on most from directly within the Dashboard. If you create drafts using QuickPress, they will also appear in this module immediately. Clicking on the View all link, will take you to a view of all your draft blog posts.

WordPress Blog

An image of the WordPress Blog dashboard widget

The WordPress Blog module lists the latest news from the official WordPress blog. Here you can find out what the WordPress core developers have been up to, and keep up with related WordPress news. In addition to software developments such as version announcements and security notices, news about the WordPress community in general is posted in this feed.

Note: You can change the settings on this module to customize it’s display.

Other WordPress News

An image of the Other News dashboard module

The Other WordPress News module lists a feed of other blogs talking about WordPress from around the world. This feed is taken from

Note: You can change the settings on this module to customize it’s display.