How Do I Log In to My WordPress Website?
You have just finished installing WordPress, or at least you think you did. You follow all the instructions and click the “Install WordPress” button at the appropriate moment. Suddenly, you are dropped back to the home screen and there is no login option. You type in the wrong credentials or click the wrong button by mistake. Now what?
You will have to take some time to learn how to log in to WordPress and make sense of the dashboard. The following steps will help you get started:
Find The Right Credentials
When you click the “Install WordPress” button, you are taken to a page that asks for your username and password. These are the credentials you will use to log in to your WordPress website. If you forget them, you will have to reinstall WordPress. So, take the time to write them down now.
If you are taking the time to read this, you should already know what your username and password are. If you are struggling, take a look at our guide to help you find your password reset email.
Log In To The Dashboard
After you logged in for the first time, you are brought to the dashboard. On the left-hand side, you will see the menu with the links to all the tools and features built into WordPress. At the top, in light blue, you will see the heading “Welcome to WordPress.com!”. Click on this to get to the home page. Your dashboard will look different depending on which WordPress.com plan you signed up for when you installed WordPress. If you need help, look at our step-by-step guide to the WordPress dashboard.
Explore The Dashboard
After you logged in for the first time, you are presented with a menu of general options at the top of the dashboard. On the left-hand side below that, you will see four columns. The first two columns are reserved for widgets (small boxes that sit on the page and contain small pieces of code or content). The last two columns are designed to display posts from your WordPress blog. In between those two columns, you will see a box that gives you quick access to your blog’s dashboard.
To the right of that box are four more boxes. The top two boxes are tabs that you can click on to switch quickly between the different sections of your site. The bottom two boxes are clickable as well but these are more like windows than tabs. When you click on them, the section of your site will expand or contract.
The first section you will want to explore is Settings. Here, you can change the font, size, and color of the text on the site. To the right of Settings, you will see three dots. Click on these to access the WordPress admin area. From here, you can do all the things you need to do to manage the content of your website.
Explore The Admin Area
The admin area is where you will do all the work of maintaining your blog. From here, you can go back to the dashboard, browse through your blog’s content, add and edit posts, and do just about everything else necessary to run a successful blog. You can click on the gear icon () next to the login box at the top of the page to get to the WordPress admin area. Once you are logged in, you can click on the gear icon to the right of the login box to go back to the dashboard.
To start exploring the WordPress admin area, click on the Settings gear icon () to the right of the login box. Here, you will find the settings for the site as well as other features. The first area you will want to explore is Permalinks. This is the system used by WordPress to generate the links on your blog’s posts and pages. It is set to “Automatic” by default which means it will take care of any updates you make automatically.
Change Permalinks To Be Customized
When you click on Settings () to the right of the login box, you will see a drop-down menu. Clicking on this menu will let you choose from three Permalinks settings:
- Post Name
- Post Url
If you are running a business blog, you will want to set up your blog so that the links to your blog’s content are customized to be SEO-friendly and relevant to your target audience. Let’s look at each of these settings in detail.
Use The Post Name
By default, WordPress will use the first part of your post’s content (the “title”) to generate a permalink to the post. For example, let’s say you have a post titled “How to Make the Perfect Margarita”. When you click on that post’s permalink, you will see “margarita” in the address bar. If you want the perfect margarita recipe to be properly linked to, you will want to use the post’s name (
How to Make the Perfect Margarita
in this case) instead of the short post’s title (margarita).
To set up your blog so that its permalink uses the post name instead of the short title, click on the Settings gear icon () to the right of the login box. Next, enter the post name you would like to use for the blog’s Permalink in the field that pops up. Then, click on Save Changes.
Use The Post Url
Instead of using the post’s title for the blog’s permalink, WordPress allows you to use the post’s URL. In our example above, we can use “https://inspiringblogger.com/how-to-make-the-perfect-margarita/” as the blog’s permalink. If you click on this link, you will be taken to our post about the perfect margarita recipe. The advantage of using the post’s URL is that it will always point to the right place even if someone links to your blog article. If you do not want to use the post’s URL for some reason, you can use the post’s title instead.
To set up your blog so that its permalink uses the post URL instead of the post’s title, click on the Settings gear icon () to the right of the login box. Next, enter the post URL you would like to use for the blog’s Permalink in the field that pops up. Then, click on Save Changes.
Use The Default Permalink
If you have not created a single post yet and you want to have a permalink set up for your blog automatically, you can use the default permalink setting. For our example above, the permalink is “margarita” because we did not change any of the default settings. If you want to use the default permalink, click on the Settings gear icon () to the right of the login box. Then, click on the “Save Changes” button at the top of the page to make the change.
You can add custom arguments to the default permalink settings so that they are more relevant to your target audience. For example, if you are writing an article about fashion, you might want to use the following permalink:
If you add a slash at the end of each item in the list above, each link will look like this:
Now you can explore the different parts of your blog’s admin area.