Beginner's Guide for WordPress / Start your WordPress Blog in minutes

What is: Backend

In WordPress, the backend is the administration area of the website that can only be accessed by logged in users. Here, the site owner and their team can create content, install plugins, manage design settings, and more.

Once logged in, a user is limited to the tasks they can do by their user role. While the site owner has complete control, other users may only be able to perform certain tasks, such as creating new content.

What Is Backend in WordPress?

What Is the Backend in WordPress?

In WordPress, the backend of your website is also known as the dashboard or admin area. It allows users who have logged in to your website to configure the website and create content.

You can log in to the WordPress backend by adding /wp-admin/ to the end of your URL.

WordPress Login Screen

The WordPress backend consists of the following pages:

  • ‘Posts’ is where you draft, edit, publish, or delete articles
  • ‘Media’ is where you upload, view, search, edit, and manage media files
  • ‘Pages’ is where you view, create, and manage static pages
  • ‘Comments’ is where you moderate and manage comments left by your visitors
  • ‘Appearance’ is where you change themes, and manage menus and widgets
  • ‘Plugins’ is where you install and activate apps that extend your website’s capabilities
  • ‘Users’ is where you add, view, edit, and define user roles on your site
  • ‘Tools’ is where you import and export content and manage personal data
  • ‘Settings’ is a central location where you configure your site’s basic settings

Depending on the WordPress plugins and themes you use, there may be other settings and options in your WordPress backend.

You can make the admin sidebar smaller by clicking on the ‘Collapse menu’ link at the bottom. To expand it to the default size, just click on it once more.

What Is the Difference Between Front End and Backend?

While the backend can only be seen by users who can log in to your website, the front end of your website is publicly visible.

You can think of it like the front door and back door to a restaurant. The front door is where customers enter so they can order food and be seated. The back door is where the restaurant owner and other staff enter, and gives access to the kitchen, offices, and storerooms that customers will never see.

In the same way, the backend is where the website owner and their team set up the website and create content. The front end is the result, the actual website that can be viewed by visitors without having to log in.

User Roles Limit What Users Can Do and Access on the Backend

As the owner of your WordPress website, you have complete control. To keep your site secure, you shouldn’t give that same level of access to all other users.

For example, users only need limited capabilities when logging into your website to perform tasks like these:

Luckily, WordPress has a built in way to control what your users can access, with user roles. Some helpful roles are available by default, and you can customize them or add more depending on your needs.

Adding a New Author in WordPress

Here are what users with the default roles can do when logged in to your website’s backend:

  1. Subscribers can log in to your WordPress website, edit their user profiles, view published content, and no more.
  2. Contributors can add new posts and edit their own posts. They can’t publish posts, delete posts, or upload files.
  3. Authors can write, edit, publish, and delete their own posts, but not posts written by others. They can upload files and view comments, but not moderate comments.
  4. Editors can write, edit, publish, and delete posts written by themselves and others. They can upload files, create new categories, and moderate comments.
  5. Administrators have complete control over a website. This is the only role that can change site settings, install themes and plugins, add users, and other administrative tasks.
  6. Super administrators have admin access to every site on a WordPress multisite network.

How to Customize the WordPress Backend

There are a number of ways you can customize your WordPress admin area.

For example, you can change its appearance by selecting a different admin color scheme or enabling dark mode with a plugin. You can also hide any unnecessary menu items.

You might like to change the ‘Howdy Admin’ greeting on the admin toolbar or add a notebook to the dashboard to encourage team communication.

For more information, see our beginner’s guide on how to customize the WordPress admin area (dashboard).

What Is Backend Development?

Backend developers create and maintain the technology necessary to make your website operate properly, such as the WordPress core and plugins. They use databases, server scripts, APIs (application programming interfaces), and other behind the scenes systems.

Backend languages are used so that servers, applications, and databases can communicate with each other. Backend developers on various platforms use special coding languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, and .NET to create server-side applications.

WordPress uses PHP and Javascript as its backend languages. These languages communicate with the WordPress database used to store and organize your website’s data.

We hope this article helped you learn more about the backend in WordPress. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

If you liked this guide, then please consider subscribing to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Additional Reading

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!