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 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.
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
For example, users only need limited capabilities when logging into your website to perform tasks like these:
- Writing a guest post on your blog
- Helping you with troubleshooting WordPress errors
- Getting access to exclusive content on your membership site
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.
Here are what users with the default roles can do when logged in to your website’s backend:
- Subscribers can log in to your WordPress website, edit their user profiles, view published content, and no more.
- Contributors can add new posts and edit their own posts. They can’t publish posts, delete posts, or upload files.
- 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.
- Editors can write, edit, publish, and delete posts written by themselves and others. They can upload files, create new categories, and moderate comments.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
- Beginner’s Guide: How to Find Your WordPress Login URL
- Front End
- How to Hide Unnecessary Menu Items From WordPress Admin
- How to Add or Remove Capabilities to User Roles in WordPress
- Admin Area
- 14 Vital Tips to Protect Your WordPress Admin Area (Updated)
- User Role
- Beginner’s Guide to WordPress User Roles and Permissions
- How to Customize WordPress Admin Dashboard (6 Tips)
- How to Change the Admin Color Scheme in WordPress (Quick & Easy)