There are two sides to wordpress. The frontend/public side and the backend/private side or admin area.

The FrontEnd or Public Side

When you type in your website’s address in the browser address bar, you will see the home page which is the front door to your website. Since it’s available to the public, we call it the public side or, also called, the ‘front end’ of your site. It includes any web pages that anyone who comes to the site can see without logging in with a username and password.

The front end, or public side, usually contains pages like the home, about, contact, pricing, login and registration pages. You do not have to be logged in to see these pages.

When you add a blog post or another page to your site and publish it, it will be available to the world and therefore becomes part of the front end or public side.

From now on, we will call it the ‘front end’ since that’s what you will probably see most often when looking for jobs. A ‘front end programmer’ is someone who is well-versed in making the site look and work well for visitors to the site. They deal with the public side of the website so that it is visually appealing to the public and gives the visitor a great experience on the site.

The BackEnd or Private Side – Admin Area

Once you login to the website, you will enter the private side of your site, often called the backend. This is not available to anyone who doesn’t have a username and password to your site. It’s hidden from them.

We will talk more about users later, but for now you just need to understand that the first user created when WordPress is installed is set up as the administrator. WordPress allows for users to have different roles such as subscriber, author, administrator, etc. The first user created when WordPress is installed is the ‘admin’ user or administrator. You can assign this role to other users too, but there should always be at least one administrator so that someone has access to all settings.

Each role will be able to access different things. As administrator, you can access everything. For this reason, the backend may become a little overwhelming. Don’t let it scare you, we’ll go over each item.

To log in to your site, you can (replace example.com in the list below with your domain or subdomain name):

Click the ‘login’ link on the home page of your website
Type in http://example.com/wp-admin in your browser address bar (this will take you to the backend if you are already logged in)
Type in http://example.com/login in your browser address bar
Type in http://example.com/wp-login.php in your browser address bar

My preference is using http://example.com/wp-admin because if I’m already logged in and don’t realize it, it will take me straight to the dashboard.

To log out, hover your mouse over your name at the top right on the Admin bar, then choose ‘Log Out’.

When you first login, you will most likely be taken to the Dashboard which shows you certain messages, events and statistics.

You can customize how your dashboard looks using the ‘Screen Options’ tab at the top of the page, just under the black Admin Bar. Unchecking any of the checkboxes will hide that section of the dashboard.

You can also drag and drop the different sections around on the page to display the sections in any order you want. Just click and hold on the title bar of any section and drag it where you want it to stay, then release the mouse button.

Clicking on the small triangle in the title box of each section will collapse the box to save room. Clicking the triangle again will show the contents of the section again.

Anytime you want to get to the Dashboard while in the back end of the site, just click on the Dashboard link at the top of the sidebar at the left.

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