3 Steps to avoid WordPress overwhelm!

Are you running a self-hosted WordPress website for your business?

Chances are, if you said “NO” to that question, you’re going to follow it up with something like “I tried but WordPress is soooooo confusing!

Whether you gave a resounding “YES” or some variety of “NO” this post is designed to show you how to navigate the WordPress dashboard with confidence!

Get comfortable with the Post/Page editor

This is the most important place in your WordPress dashboard, because it’s where content is written (or placed if you wrote outside of WordPress) and then published for your audience to consume. There are some subtle ways in which the post/page editor experience can be improved:

  • The Toolbar Toggle button is used to display or hide the second line of formatting options in your main window toolbar. And within that second line is the paragraph/heading format box, which is the easiest way to take advantage of most of the formatting that your WordPress theme includes (like font size, color, alignment, etc). But even if the defaults aren’t correct for your purposes, this is where you can find the font color change utility and the “Paste as Text” functionality.toolbar-toggle
  • publish-post-boxPostdating or Predating your posts can be done within the Publish section, which is generally located at the top of the right hand column. By default your post will publish immediately after you press the publish button at the bottom of this box, but when you click on the Edit link, a date & time dropdown box will appear. This is extremely effective for when you batch write your blog posts!
  • One of the powerful elements of a blog post, or online content in general, is the power of linking to relevant content anywhere on the web. Adding a link is just a matter of highlighting the text you want to have associated with the link and then clicking on the link connection button. To remove the link, just push on the break connection button. Locate these buttons: links-in-wordpress

Staying Current

One reason I hear that people do not want a self-hosted WordPress website is that they are worried about the site being hacked or “breaking” in some way. The best way to minimize this risk is to stay current on WordPress, Theme and Plugin updates. I recommend doing so with a 3-pronged approach

  1. Use BackupBuddy to create and preserve backups of your entire website. Right now, the product is 35% off with the coupon code ITHEMESTURNS7. Have it scheduled to do both Database Only and Full System backups and also take advantage of the BackupBuddy Stash to keep a copy of your backup offsite.
  2. Pick a non-busy time to perform your upgrades. Run a fresh full system backup and download the backup file to your computer.
  3. Navigate to Dashboard –> Updates. If there is a new version of WordPress, install this first. Next, do Theme upgrades (even for non-active themes) and finally do your Plugin updates.

Limit your access

This one is a little counter-intuitive, but stick with me! There are several different levels of users available by default in WordPress. The site must have at least one administrator. No other users are required, so it would logically lead most website owners (and yes, you are a website owner!) to set themselves up as the Administrator and call it good… but then every time you head inside WordPress you are inundated with a ton of options running down the left side of your dashboard and they cause overwhelm!


Instead of logging in as the administrator for writing content, try using an Author or Editor profile! Not only will you have fewer options within the WordPress dashboard but it will help you to stay focused on writing your amazing content!

In the comments below, let me know which area of the WordPress dashboard causes you anxiety! And, be sure to leave a link to your website, I will come over and visit your site/comment on your blog posts and do whatever I can to help you attract more ideal clients!