Managing Your Site in the WordPress Admin Panel

All WordPress sites, including any that you make or participate in on the Commons, can be managed in the admin area of WordPress, known as the WordPress Admin Panel or WP-Admin. This is where content on a site is created and maintained; it’s where you write what everyone else sees. You can only access this admin area if you have an administrative or other managerial or contributing role on the site. If you created a site you are automatically an administrator of it.

You can access the Admin Panel via its URL, which is simply your site’s URL followed by “/wp-admin.” So, if you need to edit the site at “,” you would point your browser to “

You can also access it by going to My Sites in the admin toolbar that runs across the top of your screen, hovering over the name of your site and clicking on “dashboard.” This will take you to your WordPress dashboard, which is the landing page for the Admin Panel.

Here’s an example of what you see when you access an Admin Panel for a site:


The Welcome to WordPress! block at the top will tell you all about WordPress. The At a Glance gives you some statistics on your site, like how many posts and comments you have. On the right, you can see a block concerned with drafts of posts that you’re writing.

You’ll see that our MLA toolbar (the black bar that runs across the top of the page) is still there. If you click on MLA Commons, you can go back to the MLA Commons home page, and if you click on your icon/photo in the top-right-hand corner, you can go back to your portfolio. So, we’re still in MLA Commons, even though things look a little different.

The left-hand menu contains the most useful parts of the page.

The three items you should know about for producing and editing content are Posts, Pages, and Comments. You can read more about them here.

The most important items for customizing your site’s appearance can be found under Appearance and Settings. Read more about these items here.

Plugins allow you to add extra features to your site. Read about available plugins and how to use them in our plugins guide.

Finally, Users allows you to open your site to other contributors. Follow the guidelines at the end of our Group Roles tutorial to help you determine how and when to invite other users.