The Five Minute Scoop on Front End and Back End in WordPress
With any new endeavor comes a new vocabulary of jargon. It’s the same with using WordPress to create your first website. The terms front end and back end are common culprits that confuse new users.
Here’s the short version. The front end of WordPress refers to your published site. This is what people see when they visit your url (https://blog.mojomarketplace.com).
And the back end is your WordPress admin panel where all the behind the scenes actions take place.
This includes things like setting up users, writing posts and pages, installing plugins and themes, and configuring other settings like layouts and colors.
The WordPress Front End and What You Need to Know
Here are the three main concepts you need to understand about your website’s front end.
1. You can always access the live, public front end at your url.
For example, here’s the MOJO Marketplace blog front end.
You may notice the admin bar up top. That will only show when you’re logged in to WordPress and you visit your site. This bar features some commands that will direct you to the back end.
For example, if you click edit page, you’ll be directed to the dashboard page editor.
2. Changes to the front end are made in the back end through the admin dashboard.
Whoa, I know, that’s almost a brain teaser. But it’s very simple in practice.
Depending on your WordPress theme, settings that affect the appearance of your website can be configured from the dashboard and/or the visual customizer.
Here’s where you access those settings. (Example from the MOJO Marketplace blog, which uses the Highend Multipurpose WordPress theme).
3. You can preview and make changes to the front end using the visual customizer.
Want to try a different layout or color scheme without pushing it live? Using the visual customizer, you can adjust and preview settings.
Those settings won’t go live until you hit save and publish. But this way, you can see what the front end looks like as you make changes.
The (un)Mysterious Back End of WordPress
When developers refer to the back end, there’s a shroud of mystery for most of us. With WordPress, it’s different.
The back end is simply the control center or dashboard for your website. Here are the things you need to know as a budding WordPress creator.
1. You need to log in to WordPress to make changes in the back end (dashboard).
You can access the admin panel by typing in your url with /wp-admin added to the end. For example, https://blog.mojomarketplace.com/wp-admin.
This all depends on where WordPress is installed in your website directory. If WordPress was installed to a subdirectory (i.e. https://yourdomain.com/wordpress), you will need to add /wp-admin after that.
Once you get there, you can log in on this screen.
2. It all starts with the back end.
Everything you need to customize or create for your website is done through the back end.
Let’s say you want to write a blog post. Log in to your dashboard, click posts and add new. Then start writing!
What about installing a plugin? Dashboard > plugins > add new.
In other words, when you hear “Configure your layout in the back end of WordPress” or something to that effect, it means go to the dashboard.
Navigating the WordPress Admin Dashboard
As you continue to develop your website, you will seamlessly dance between the front end and back end.
Because WordPress is an open-source software (which means that anyone can develop software for the platform), the location of certain settings will vary.
For instance, one theme may have layout settings (such as grid or full width page) in the dashboard. And others may have the same setting in a different location, such as the visual customizer.
This is why it’s important to reference documentation for a specific theme or plugin. That way, you won’t have to spend time searching for the change you want to make.
Pro tip: Can’t find a setting or change you’d like to make? Ask one of our WP Live WordPress developers where it’s at. Call 855-464-5345