In my last post I introduced you to the main Sims 3 Stories site and the various functions available to members. In this post I’m going to show you some of the tools you’ll find in your blog’s “back end” — the Admin area.
We’ll start with the prompt across the top to get an API key from Sucuri. Please do this. Sooner is better. I’m sure you’re aware that the world is full of spammers and hackers and other folks who would love to use your blog as a base of operations for the un-pleasantries they like to inflict upon the Internet. Sucuri is one of the top security plugins to stop them from being able to gain access. Sims3Stories.com is also equipped another top rated security plugin to further minimize the chances of the network being vulnerable to attack.Obtaining the API key from Sucuri is as easy as clicking on the button and entering your email address. Everything else is done for you. From there, the basic settings should be enough to protect your blog. You may, however, want to change to the email alert settings. They’re set to make you aware of every single change that is made to your blog — in case the evildoers get through and start changing files to make them do evil things. This is good, but it can get annoying to receive an email whenever you add a new post, update an old one, or do just about anything else. And I do mean every. single. time.
One other setting you might want to change will be found on the Sucuri Security / Settings / Trust IP tab. Here, you can set your computer’s IP address to be trusted in the event that you ever have difficulty logging in. This will prevent your computer from being blocked by this plugin.
Select Your Viewing Options
Next, let’s take a look at the “Screen Options” tab located at the top of the page. Click on this link to find out what additional options are available for the screen you’re looking at — you’ll find these options change depending on what page you’re viewing.
If there are additional viewing options for the page, you’ll see a list of widgets with check boxes in front of them. Those that are checked appear on the screen, while those that are unchecked don’t. What you do with them is entirely your choice.
On the dashboard screen (shown in the image above), your options include being able to turn off the Welcome Message — a feat that can also be accomplished by clicking on “Dismiss.”
Help Me Please
In the top, right corner of every page you should see a Help tab. When opened, you’ll find a menu on the left with links to all the video tutorials. A second route to the videos exists in the left hand column, thinly veiled under the guise of Video Tutorials.
These tutorials cover practically every conceivable aspect of getting started with your blog. From writing and publishing your first posts and pages, to learning how to create and use categories and tags, to adding images and videos, and much more. This should be your first stop if you need assistance with the basics.
Unfortunately, these videos don’t cover the vast assortment of plugins available, or even the slightly more modest collection added to this site, so if you have any questions about using the plugins feel free to contact me either through the bottom corner chat (when I’m online) or by creating a support ticket using the Support link in the left hand column.
Coming Up On The Left
I don’t have an image ready for this one, but on the left hand side of the admin area is the main navigation menu. This is where you’ll find the links to all the active plugins that have settings available to be changed, as well as numerous other tools such as Posts, Pages, Appearance, Settings, etc. Take a look at everything and find out what it does. Play around with the settings if you want. If you have any questions about anything you see, just ask.
The Admin Bar
Found at the top of the screen, the admin bar holds a variety of tools for you. From left to right, you should find: the main Sims3Stories.com icon which also serves as a link back to the main site; a link to your dashboard and other frequently used pages; a link to the front end of your site; the Comments alert button; the “+ New” link to start a new post, page, or whatever; a “View Post” link to view the post you’re currently working on; your chat availability status; the Simsational Upgrade button; the site notifications tag; the Easy Blogger button; and finally, the Aloha, [Username] link to the drop down menu with a host of options.
Depending on what plugins you activate for your site, you may see additional links appear in your admin bar.
Shown below are a few of the buttons that may come in handy:
The Activate Easy Mode button will give your admin area a complete makeover. The purpose of this handy plugin is to reduce the clutter on your desktop so that you aren’t overwhelmed by all the links and settings and miscellaneous stuff that normally appears in the dashboard and left hand menu. It’s a great way to get started since you’ll be able to easily access the tools you need most, while not getting lost trying to figure out what all the other links are for. As you grow more comfortable with the environment, you can easily switch back to the standard mode and play around with all those plugins.
That’s A Wrap
So now you’ve had a chance to see the basic elements of the Admin area and you should be able to navigate your way around and get your first posts and pages published. Once again, I’d like to say that I’m available to answer questions either through live chat (the bottom corner chat box) or through the support system. For the sake of being able to create a FAQ page that will help others, the more questions you send through the support system, the better.
Now……… get out there and start blogging! 🙂