If you start your experience with Magento, you may be confused with all the options available in the backoffice (also called "Admin Panel"). What you get after a typical fresh install is: Dashboard, Sales, Catalog, Customers, Promotions, Newsletter, CMS, Reports, and System (if you do not see all these menu items, be sure that you are connected with administrator privileges). You can add more menu entries later, and we will talk about it in next parts. All of the entries, but Dashboard, contain their sub-menus. Now, let's have a closer look at some of them.
Dashboard is the admin home page. What you see there, is a summary for a selected shop - last orders from selected time range, amounts form selected time range, bestsellers, most viewed products, new customers... Basically this is what you would expect to get on your admin home page. Sales contains all management modules for orders, invoices, shipments and taxes. This is the place where you manage all the orders put by your customers. You can browse, cancel, hold or unhold, and print them. What is less intuitive, it also contains Terms and Conditions.
System entry contains some items worth to remember. Inside Tools you will find a possibility to create backup. Well, certainly a useful option. There is also Cache Management. And last, but not least - Configuration. Check Design tab. This is the place to set skin for your store, choose layout, and default theme.Magento will switch back to the default theme if the one you selected cannot be found. This is also the place to add the image that will be used as a watermark for the images in your store. And at the end - the setting used most often by me.
Check the Developer tab, still being under Configuration. Choose your store in the Current Configuration Scope field at the left. Debug section will then contain fields named 'Template Path Hints', and 'Add Block Names to Hints'. Uncheck 'Use website' and set both to Yes. Now go back to frontoffice and refresh page. Make sure you are on the same store that you selected in Configuration Scope in the admin panel. What you get are names of templates used to render displayed page, with corresponding blocks names. The dashed lines show templates borders. Trust me - this option is really worth remembering.