Domain Camp is committed to staying open til the end of summer. Are you ready for more? Since the app most people will use is WordPress, and we think WordPress is awesome, we will finish this month with activities to help you get more familiar with its capabilities and features.

So we will have 3 more weeks of a WordPress Retreat, but we are going forward…

If you just wandered into this place, welcome to Domain Camp, a place to learn about many things you can do in your own Internet Domain. To get started, see Getting Ready for Domain Camp and check out what happened in weeks one (learning about cpanel), two (where we learned how to install WordPress), three (where we got to try some new sites with calling card and SPLOT themes), and four (exploring non WordPress apps).

But let’s say you have a new WordPress site and all it is sporting is the default Twenty-Seventeen theme and a Hello World post. Where to go from there?

We know most people get focused on the theme, the look of the site. That’s like painting your house before the framing is finished. We will leave themes til later.

Because there is a lot of construction at camp and the staff is scurrying around to build the new WordPress Non Retreat center. There will not be any live events this week, but up on the announcement board look for — we really think campers should spend more time sharing in the community area

Up on the activity board for this week is:

Popping Your WordPress Open to Access the Dashboard

Enter the magic kingdom of managing your WordPress site, the dashboard, where you pop the hood of your blog and touch the engine.

Of course the most important thing to know is where the hood release is.

As often it goes with technology, you have a few different options to do the same thing. The easiest route to your dashboard is via your Reclaim Hosting cpanel:

  • Log in to your Reclaim Client area.
  • Follow the top menu link for cpanel
  • Under Applications, follow the link for My Apps
  • Look for the entry for your wordpress blog; use the second link (it ends in /wp-admin) in the list to open your Dashboard.

Access your WordPress Dashboard via cpanel > My Apps. An advantage here is you do not have to remember or enter user names and passwords.

If you do not mind entering passwords (better use password manager software), a more direct route is to use the URL that displays your blog, e.g. http://reflecting.extandlabs.ca and append it with /wp-admin or directly http://reflecting.extandlabs.ca/wp-admin.

Here you can log directly into your WordPress Dashboard.

Either way, you should end up inside something that looks as warm and friendly as this:

The WordPress dashboard

The tools you will use often are on the left side. You go to see the site by hovering over the name of your blog in the top menu bar (next to the icon of the home), and select Visit Site from the item on the menu below the blog. When your blog loads, notice the top black menu bar stays visible. This offers access to tools only you see as owner of the site.

Under the name of your blog (in the same place), Select Visit Dashboard to pop the hood and return to the inside of your site’s engine.

Animation showing how to navigate between the dashboard and the site as listed above

Adjusting a Few Key Settings in WordPress

In a new WordPress site you first want to twiddle a few knobs and enter some settings that will make your blog engine run smoothly. Keep in mind these can be modified at anytime, but for a few of them, it’s better to do this before we start writing anything.

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Organizing Your WordPress Site With Categories and Tags

WordPress offers two powerful ways to organize your site content. We suggest setting up a system / approach for doing this from the start. There is no one “right” way to organize your blog, and you can always modify and change as you use it more.

But if you start using categories and tags, you will end up with better ways to find and share blog posts later.

Do this activity now

For Next Week

Look next week to start exploring Plugins, Menus, and Widgets. That’s on our schedule. But let us know in the Newbies Corner of the community area of what WordPress things you’d like to see included.


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Featured Image:

camping.jpg flickr photo by kylemac shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license modified by adding and warping a WordPress logo.