The first thing a user sees when logging into WordPress is the WordPress Dashboard. The dashboard displays an overview of everything going on with your WordPress website including any actions you need to take.

Everyone’s dashboard will look different. Some WordPress plugins add additional items and you can pick and choose what is shown on the dashboard. By default, WordPress has four boxes displayed on the dashboard.

At a Glance – The At a Glance box displays the number of posts published, number of pages published, number of comments waiting to be approved, and the version of WordPress being used as well as the theme.

Quick Draft – The Quick Draft box allows you to quickly create a blog post and save it as a draft. This is great for jotting down post ideas or links to research to use in upcoming blog posts.

Activity – The Activity box shows you recently published comments, tracebacks, and pingbacks on your blog posts.

WordPress Events and News – The WordPress Events and News box lets you stay up-to-date with the ongoings in the WordPress world. It shows events and meetups in your area where you can meet other WordPress users.

Luckily users can customize what is shown on the dashboard so you only see the information you want. To remove boxes from the dashboard simple follow these instructions:

1. From the dashboard page click on the “Screen Options” button at the top right-hand corner.

2. A menu will appear allowing you to pick and choose which boxes will be shown on the dashboard. Uncheck any box you do not wish to be shown.

3. Changes to the dashboard will happen as you check or uncheck options.

You also have the ability to move the boxes around and display them in any order you wish. Just hover over the title of the box, “At a Glance” for example, until you see the mouse cursor turn into a cross with 4 arrows. Then you can drag and drop the box to any space you wish.

As mentioned earlier, a lot of WordPress plugins add boxes to the dashboard as well. If a plugin adds a box you don’t want, just remember it is easy to remove it by unchecking the box in the “Screen Options” area.

Take 5 minutes and make the dashboard useful for your business. Only display the information you need so you don’t get distracted from what you are really working on.

In addition to the actual dashboard, WordPress updates are shown under the same menu heading.

The number next to the “Updates” on the menu is the number of plugins and themes that need to be updated. Click on the “Updates” menu option to view all the updates needed.

To update any plugin or theme simply check the box next to the item to be updated and then select either the “Update Plugins” or “Update Themes” button.

Please make sure to backup your site before you do any updates! Some people ignore the dashboard completely while others use it to its full capacity. It’s up to you. Just remember the dashboard is designed to be the spot to get a quick glimpse of what is going on with your WordPress site.

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