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Finding your way around

This section describes the different pages that you will see as you navigate around the CMS, and how you can find the content that you are looking for.

The dashboard

The Wagtail dashboard is the main hub of a Wagtail website. From the dashboard, you can access all of the content you create in Wagtail as well as reports, settings, and other content management tools.

If you access a new version of Wagtail for the first time, you will notice a banner on your dashboard, notifying you of new changes to Wagtail. It also provides a link to the Editor guide where you can learn more about these changes.

Wagtail dashboard with new "Things in Wagtail 4 have changed" banner

Now let's walk through the different panels and tools you will find in the dashboard.


What you see in your dashboard will depend on the user role you have been given. Common user roles include editors, moderators, and administrators.

Because Wagtail is highly customisable, your Wagtail dashboard may look different from the one we are using in the demonstration. We are using the Wagtail Bakery for demonstration purposes. If you have trouble locating a panel or feature, you may want to ask your webmaster or developer if they added any customisations.

How to reach the dashboard

You will be automatically taken to the dashboard whenever you log into Wagtail. If you navigate away from the dashboard, you can return to it at any time by clicking on the Wagtail logo in the top-left section of your screen.

The Wagtail sidebar

On the left hand side of the dashboard and throughout Wagtail is a menu called the Wagtail toolbar. You can use the toolbar to navigate to different parts of Wagtail.

The dashboard panels

Screenshot of Wagtail’s dashboard, with sidebar, header, summary metrics, and listing for pages in different states

Your pages in a workflow

The Your pages in a workflow panel shows you any pages in moderation that you own or submitted for moderation yourself, along with the moderation tasks that are pending and how long that task has been open.

Awaiting your review

The Awaiting your review panel will only be displayed if you have been given permission to perform moderation actions. This panel will show you content that is ready for you to review.

From the panel, you can:

  • Click the name of a page to edit that page.
  • Use the buttons to move the page to the next stage in your workflow by requesting changes to a page, approving the page, or approve the page with a comment.
  • Get a quick view of the page status by hovering over the indicator circles to get more information about the pending task. The indicator circles will show a tick for a completed task or an empty circle for an incomplete one.
  • See how long a page has been waiting for review.

Your most recent edits

The Your most recent edits panel displays the five pages that you most recently edited.

This panel will show you the date that you last edited a page as well as the current status of a page.

Your locked pages

The Your locked pages panel shows all of the pages you've locked so that only you can edit them. From this panel, you can quickly view the date you locked a page and click on the name of a locked page to edit it.

The sidebar

The Wagtail sidebar helps you quickly access your content as well as tools and Wagtail settings. The items on the sidebar can vary depending on what your developer or webmaster has decided to give you access to. A standard Wagtail installation has a few main items in the sidebar. Let's walk through each of those items and how to use them.


If you want the toolbar to take up less space, you can click the little white arrow near the top of the toolbar to switch it into "slim" mode and give yourself more space for writing.

The top item in the Wagtail toolbar is a search bar you can use to quickly search for content in Wagtail.


Click on Pages to access the explorer menu for your content. You can use the explorer to navigate through different sections of content on your website.

Wagtail’s explorer menu, with 7 entries. One is marked "Live + moderation". There is a button with a left-pointing arrow to the top
  • Click the name of a page to access the Explorer page for that section.
  • Click the edit icon for a page to reach the edit screen for that page
  • Click the arrows to reach sub-sections of your website.
  • To return to a particular section, click the section title.


Click on Images to navigate to your image library and manage all of the images you have uploaded to Wagtail.


Click on Documents to navigate to your document library and manage all of the documents you have uploaded to Wagtail.


Click on Reports to access the following reports:

  • Locked pages: Pages that only you may update.
  • Workflows: Pages that have been submitted for moderation.
  • Workflow tasks: Task orders in a certain workflow.
  • Site history
  • Aging page


Click on Settings to access Wagtail settings. If you have the correct role, you'll be able to add users, add usergroups, and perform other administrative tasks.


Click on Help to access links to the user documentation and new features of the latest version of Wagtail.

Some other common menus you might see include:


Snippets allow you to create elements on a website once and reuse them in multiple places.


If your website uses forms, then you can click on Forms to access the forms section of Wagtail to create, update, and edit your forms.

Search screen, with "bread" typed in focused field, and "There are 6 matching pages" underneath. The results show filters, and, sorting options, and four results rows are visible underneath
  • A very easy way to find the page that you want is to use the main search feature, accessible from the left-hand menu.
  • Simply type in part or all of the name of the page you are looking for, and the results below will automatically update as you type.
  • Clicking the page title in the results will take you to the Edit page for that result. You can differentiate between similar named pages using the Parent column, which tells you what the parent page of that page is.

Explorer pages

The Explorer page allows you to view a page’s children and perform actions on them. From here you can publish/unpublish pages, move pages to other sections, drill down further into the content tree, or reorder pages under the parent for the purposes of display in menus.

Listing of pages, with heading at the top and icon buttons. Underneath is a header row with a checkbox and column names, and then rows for different pages
  • The name of the section you are looking at is displayed at the top. Each section is also itself a page (in this case the homepage). Clicking the title of the section takes you to the Edit screen for the section page.
  • As the heading suggests, below are the child pages of the section. Clicking the titles of each child page will take you to its Edit screen.
  • Clicking the arrows will display a further level of child pages.
Close-up of the page’s breadcrumb, with icon buttons next to it. The breadcrumb reads: "Root > Welcome to the Wagtail bakery! > Breads
  • As you drill down through the site, the breadcrumb (the row of pages beginning with the home icon) will display the path you have taken. Clicking on the page titles in the breadcrumb will take you to the Explorer screen for that page.
Screenshot of the Breads page listing, with expanded "three dots" Actions menu in the header, showing 7 different page actions. One, "Add child page", is highlighted in red
  • Clicking on the Actions dropdown will show a list of actions for the parent page, like Move, Copy, Delete, Unpublish, History. There will also be a Sort menu order button that will take you to the ordering page (see below)
  • To add further child pages press the Add child page button. You can view the parent page on the live site by pressing the View live button. The Edit button will take you to the page edit screen.
The page listing, with checkboxes in the first column, two of which are checked. At the bottom is an actions menu with different buttons and a "2 pages selected" label
  • There is a checkbox on the left of each page row, hovering over the row will make it visible. There is also a checkbox at the top left of the header, used to select or deselect all other checkboxes.
  • Selecting at least one checkbox will popup an action bar at the bottom, which will list all the available bulk actions for pages.
  • Clicking on any action will take you to a separate view with all the selected pages, for confirmation
  • Similar buttons are available for each child page. These are made visible on hover.

Reordering pages

The page listing, with a "grip" control in the first column for each row, preceded by a "Sort" column label
  • Clicking the “Sort menu order” button in the More dropdown will take you to a page with the reordering handles. This allows you to reorder the way that content displays in the main menu of your website.
  • Reorder by dragging the pages by the handles on the far left (the icon made up of 6 dots).
  • Your new order will be automatically saved each time you drag and drop an item.