What is the WordPress Toolbar and how do you use it?

Originally known as the Admin Bar (introduced in WordPress v3.1), the WordPress Toolbar (WP v3.3) is a solid black bar at the top of your admin area screens.

The Toolbar connects the front end (your ‘live’ site) to the back end (your site admin area) of your website and enables you to perform specific functions from either end. It is only visible if you are logged into your admin area Dashboard.

Tip: You can enable or disable the Toolbar by going to Users > Your Profile (in the Sidebar) and checking or unchecking the box ‘Toolbar’ – Show Toolbar when viewing site. Click ‘Update Profile’ to save your changes. Note that it is no longer possible to hide the Toolbar when viewing the admin area screens using standard WordPress settings.

The Toolbar or Admin Bar

Toolbar tools and quick-links

Some people think the Toolbar is unnecessary but it can save you time by giving you quick access your Dashboard while viewing your live website. It also provides a range of other quick-links which you might find useful too.

The content of the WordPress Toolbar varies, depending on whether you are viewing a Dashboard admin screen or looking at a page or blog post, whilst logged as admin. Here are some of the elements accessible from the Toolbar:

  • WordPress logo – Provides links to WordPress documentation and support forums.
  • Website name – Your website name provides quick links for viewing your ‘live’ website or various screens in your Dashboard area.
  • Customize – Introduced in WP v3.4 and depending on your theme, you may have a Customize link which enables you to edit the appearance of your website.
  • Speech bubble – The speech bubble icon is a quick link to your Comments page.
  • + New – The ‘Add New’ drop-down menu is where you can quickly add new posts, media or pages. Once your website is up and running, you may also find other links to different facilities within your WordPress Dashboard admin area.
  • View Page/Post – A quick-link to view the page or post you are currently working on.
  • Your Nickname – In the top right corner of your WordPress Dashboard you will see your Nickname, which is also a drop-down menu where you can access the Editor to edit your Profile or log out.
  • Search bar – The Search icon on the far-right toggles to a Search bar which allows you to search for anything on your website, and is only visible on the front end of your website when you are logged in to your admin area (Dashboard, or back end). The Search bar is not visible in the Dashboard screens.
  • Your Nickname and Avatar – Your Nickname can be unique or the username with which you have logged in to your Dashboard, and is a drop-down menu where you can access the Editor to edit your Profile or log out. The Avatar is your profile picture which can be changed in your Profile via Gravatar.

Tip: If you have disabled the WordPress Toolbar, you may be wondering how to get back to your Dashboard! You can use the back buttons on your browser, which is fine if you haven’t explored too far through the site, but the easiest way is to bookmark the Dashboard web address in your browser bar.

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Services we use & recommend

We use the software and services below in our own and most of our client websites. We recommend them because we use and believe in what they can do to improve the experience you provide your website’s visitors and even your rankings in search engines such as Google. For your information, the links are affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. There is no extra cost to you and we only recommend products and services we use and have had good results with.

‘Green’ Website Hosting

Why we use it…

Kualo is a website hosting company that uses 100% renewable energy. Data centres consume huge amounts of energy so Kualo’s 100% green energy policy ensures a cleaner and greener future for us all. Using renewable energy is also good for business as customers love buying from ‘green’ suppliers.

Faster Websites

Why we use it…

WP Rocket makes your WordPress website faster. This means your website will load quicker on your visitor’s computer, smartphone or tablet. Visitors read and buy more from fast websites. Google likes fast websites too, so WP Rocket can also help improve your search engine rankings!

Website Security

Why we use it…

iThemes Security Pro is a comprehensive and easy-to-use security plugin which helps keep your WordPress website secure and the bad guys out. ‘Hacked’ websites are bad for business, bad for visitor experience and can negatively affect your Google rankings if flagged. iTSP helps you stay secure.

Project Communication

Why we use it…

ProjectHuddle helps web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, photographers and other creatives, get targeted feedback from clients on projects they are working on together. It’s easy for clients to use and an efficient way for you to manage their changes and corrections. Our clients love it and it’s more affordable for us, which is a bonus!

Simple CMS – No Database!

Why we use it…

Sitecake CMS is very easy to implement into a static HTML or PHP websites and even easier for website admins (your clients) to use. WordPress is overkill for most small businesses websites and has many hidden costs. However, when a client wants to edit their site a simple CMS is essential, and this is when we use Sitecake. Try a demo here.

Best WordPress Page Builder

Why we use it…

Elementor is the best and easiest to use WordPress page builder on the market today and we know because we’ve used almost all the others! We use it for almost all our own and our client websites. We cannot recommend it highly enough, as it gives you so much flexibility and makes creating and updating a website very quick and easy.