WordPress is built so that you can perform your administration and management duties from any place you have access to a web browser. You don’t have to be sitting at home or in your office in order to access your website to work on it. Uhhhh … this does not mean I’m promoting that you work on your website from your place of employment either! In fact, I recommend that you don’t because it could result in some nasty consequences for you. Remember, more and more employers are cracking down on web usage in the job place including installing “Big Daddy is Watching” type software on their computers. You may not even know your online use is being monitored until they hit you with a reprimand or worse … your walking papers.
Go to Your Login Page
Before you can do anything in your WordPress based site, you must login to the administration area. I would like to be able to tell you that the link to the login page is going to be the same for everyone, but that simply is not the case. Web hosting and website setup can be done in many different ways and in some instances is dependent upon the individual web host specifications. What this means is that your login link may differ from the example I give you and it will be up to you to obtain this information from your web site designer or web host if you have not set up your WordPress yourself. If you are one of my clients, I will provide you with your login link and login information.
For your own convenience, I suggest that you save our login page and the link to the home page of your website to your Bookmarks or Favorites. I personally have saved key pages on my own site to my own Bookmarks. If you have a website that displays a lot of pages like I do, you may find this suggestion simplifies navigating to pages on your own site. I do this because I quite often have to give quick link references to my clients such as how to get to a specific page for help for example.
So, open your favorite web browser and go to your login page.
You will of course replace the “yourwebsitedomainname” above with your own website name and if your site is not a .com site, you need to use whatever it is such as .org, .net, .biz etc. You should wind up on a page that has a login “box” similar to the sample. Enter your login information and click the LOG IN button.
Side Note: Always remember that any website is subject to a hacker attack and that no website is immune to this. WordPress is a very popular website making tool and thus has been targeted by hackers who are constantly trying to (and in some cases — succeeding in) gaining access to do damage. It’s very important that your login be something that is not simple for a hacker to figure out. It should not be your pet’s name, your kid’s name, your birthday, a favorite phrase or anything that someone could figure out easily. I know it’s not fun to have to look up your password each time you want to access your site but it’s very important to do what you can to keep the hackers out! You MUST put security above convenience on to top of your website’s priority list.
Your password should contain a combination of both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and characters — looking a lot like gibberish is a good way to put it. It’s even better if your login username is also something off the wall and hard to figure out — yes, more gibberish. It’s also a good idea to change your password on a random basis.
About Sharing Your Login
I tell every client that I do not recommend sharing their specific login with anyone else. Although it may be tempting for whatever reason you may have, it doesn’t matter who that “anyone else” is. If you absolutely need to provide login information to someone else, do not give them your login as you yourself may have more administration privileges than you want others to have. Instead, contact your web designer and ask them to give this person(s) their own login and discuss first with you designer specifically what you want this person to be able to do within your administration panel. Your designer can then set this person up with their own login and administration access so that they aren’t able to get into anything and everything that you have available to yourself.
When I tell you to keep your password(s) safe, that doesn’t mean to write them down on paper and leave them laying out on your desk or even to stash them in a place you think is safe such as your desk drawer or in a book on a shelf or anything at all like that. My suggestion is to get a password keeping program, one that you have one single login for that nobody would ever guess the login. This is a program you keep on your computer that requires YOU to login to IT before even YOU can access the passwords you keep in it. There are browser based password keepers such as Lastpass for example. I’m not particularly fond of stashing passwords on an online server, I prefer to keep them in my own password protected program that’s only accessible by me on my own computer, but many people just love these online solutions. It’s up to you how you accomplish this but I urge you to do something significant to secure your password.
Example of a WordPress Admin Area
After you’ve successfully logged in you should be looking at a screen that resembles the one below. Again, remember that your version of WordPress may look somewhat different and that after a major WordPress upgrade what you’re used to seeing might change as well. This page is known in WordPress lingo as the “Dashboard.“
I don’t find myself using the Dashboard screen itself to often but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to or need to. It depends on your own personal preferences, what you need to do to work on your site and to some degree how savvy you get at working in here. I find the links on the left to be my own most often used feature.
The Dashboard Navigation Links
The navigation links (located on the left in my own site) will contain any number of links and sub-links and probably won’t look exactly like mine because I have full admin rights on my site and you may not. I find that giving a client full admin rights opens them up for trouble and so they’re most often limited as to what they can “get into” in their websites. Many of them don’t want full admin rights to begin with — they only want to see what they will be working with in order to keep their confusion and work time to a minimum. If you hover the right side of the main links (links in the blue areas) you’ll see a down arrow on the right. Clicking the down arrow or the blue area links themselves, you will find the sub-links of each main area drop down. The red arrow indicator shows you the down arrow location and the sub-links you get for each section are in the white area.
Always Remember to LOG OUT!
The LOG OUT link is located at the very top far right of your admin screen. It’s very important that you DO log out each and every time you’ve accessed your website. Don’t just close your browser – USE THE LOG OUT link!
Ok, so now you’re “in” to your website (and can get out of it properly) and you know what to expect to see when you login, so let’s move on to the areas that you will most likely be using.