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Typically, the first screen you will see when logging on to your WordPress powered site is the dashboard. It is a great way to get updates on your website statistics and more.

In the main area of your dashboard, you will find a number of widgets that provide news and basic information about your site. You can drag and drop these widgets to position them however you would like. You can also roll them up by clicking the down arrow icon in the far right corner of the widget title.

Some of the widgets provide configuration options which you can access by hovering over the widget title and clicking on the Configure link that appears. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen you will see a couple of pull-down tabs labeled Screen Options and Help. Clicking on the Screen Options tab brings up customization options for your dashboard. Here you can turn off and on the widgets you desire to have hidden or shown at any given time. You can also select a number of widget columns you would like the widgets to display in. The Help tab provides some information about these customizations as well as some helpful links to documentation and support.

In the sidebar you will find a menu with buttons that provide you easy access to different areas of your website. When the menu item is selected, a list of submenus will appear below it. Hovering your mouse over any of these buttons will also display the submenu items. You can click these to easily access any of the subsections of your site.

The main menu items include the dashboard where you can receive updates and statistics about your website. Posts is where you can create and manage the posts on your blog as well as the categories and tags organizing them. The Media button is for managing the media content library for things like images, video and audio. The Pages button is for creating and managing pages on your site.

Comments is used to manage your visitors’ feedback, while the Appearance is where you can change your site’s theme, set up widgets, create and manage navigation menus and more. Plugins gives you the option of extending your website’s capabilities and allows you to manage them, activate them and deactivate them. Users allows you to manage and view all the site’s users and also allows you to edit your profile, giving you the options for changing your password, email address and screen name.

The Tools button provides a few useful tools as well as options for importing and exporting content, and the Settings button is where the bulk of your site’s options are maintained. Things like your website’s name, privacy and permalink settings can be configured to your liking. And finally, at the top of the page you will find the admin bar, which provides easy access to commonly used features and information. Refer to the admin bar tutorial for more information about the admin bar.