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An Overview of the Blogs Dashboard

Log in to Your Blog

All UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff have access to Blogs at UMass Amherst. To log into your personal blog, go to and enter your UMass Amherst IT Account NetID and password.

Some members of the UMass community are administrators for more than one blog. Be sure to use the username and password for the blog you wish to edit.  For example, an instructor might have a blog for a course, or a staff member for a department and the logins for these would not be their personal NetID. For convenience, you can set up your NetID login as an administrator of your other blogs.  See Add Co-Authors and Members to Your Blog.

When you log in to a blog, the Dashboard screen will open. This screen provides access to the administrative tools for your blog.

The Welcome Panel

On your first login, WordPress displays a Welcome panel with links to some of the first actions you may wish to take towards starting up your blog.

The Welcome Panel  (click to enlarge)

  • To prevent the Welcome screen from loading in the future and make your Dashboard more compact: at the bottom right of the Welcome panel, click Dismiss. The Welcome panel will no longer load on login. (To reopen the Welcome panel, click Screen Options (top right), and check Welcome.)
  • To open the WordPress Contextual Help panel on any page, click Help (at top right).
  • To link to the UMass Amherst IT Support Center with help tailored to Blogs at UMass Amherst, click Blogs at UMass Amherst Help at the top of any administration screen.

Dashboard Overview

The front page of the Dashboard shows you an overview of recent activity in your blog, your themes and settings:

An Overview of the Dashboard

  1. Admin Bar: appears across the top of your browser window and displays your most used links. The Admin bar is available whenever you are logged in to your blog—even when viewing your blog pages. Roll-over Admin bar links for fly-out menus of options.
  2. My Sites: If you edit more than one blog on Blogs at UMass Amherst, you can access their Dashboards from here.
  3. Dashboard Toolbar: Access the administration screens where you add content, or change options and settings for your blog. Click or roll-over a topic to expand the menu for additional options.
  4. At a Glance: Quick links to posts, pages, and comments, and tells which theme is currently used and the who can view your site.
  5. Comments: Go here to Approve, Un-approve, Edit, Reply, Mark as Spam, or Delete comments. When comments are pending, a red spot with the number of new comments appears on the Comments tab.
  6. Settings: Configure settings for your blogs title, visibility, whether you allow comments, and much more.
  7. Activity: A short list of recently published pages and posts, especially useful when there are multiple contributors to the site.
  8. Quick Draft: A mini post editor that allows instant content creation from the Dashboard, and lets you open recent drafts.
  9. Screen Options: Customize which panels to show on this page (At a Glance, Quick Draft, Recently Published, etc.). To rearrange the panels, just drag and drop them to a new position.
  10. Help: On any administrative screen, access contextualized on-screen WordPress tips for that topic. Click Blogs at UMass Amherst Help for tutorials tailored to the UMass Amherst installation of WordPress.
  11. Log out of your blog or edit your profile.