Lessons: 13Length: 1.5 hours

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2.2 Quick Admin Panel Overview

It’s perfectly viable to run a Grav CMS file without using any admin panel at all. In fact, the admin panel was a recent addition to the system via its plugin API. However, to make things straightforward, we’ll be using the admin plugin, and in this lesson we’ll have a quick overview of the functionality it includes.

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2.2 Quick Admin Panel Overview

Hey, welcome back to Up and Running with Grav CMS. In this lesson, we're just gonna have a quick overview of the Admin Panel, what kind of features it includes, and how it interacts with your Grav site installation. So we're just on the dashboard here. Most of what you can see here is really self explanatory. You've just got some information about your site's gonna help you keep on top of managing it. But where things get really interesting is where you start move into the other sections in this Admin Panel. The most important thing to realize about this Admin Panel is the fact that, even though it is very convenient, it's 100% optional. When Grav was first released, it did not have an Admin Panel. And it became very popular without an Admin Panel among people who were just editing files directly. Now, this really good to know because it gives you freedom in how you decide to administer your website. If you want to use the Admin Panel to change something, you can. But if there are reasons that it is better for you to manually edit files, then that is an option for you. In most content management systems, if the Admin Panel doesn't give you a way to make changes to your site configuration or to your content, then you're out of luck. There's nothing you can do. With Grav, everything can directly edited. So it gives you that extra level of control and freedom. So, let's go through some of the ways that works. If we jump into the configuration section on the left here, you can see we have a few tabs. We've got this System tab with various settings, we have a Site settings area, we have a Media settings area. And as we change in between these tabs, you can see that we have this blue strip along the top that's displaying a file name. And these are the files that you're being given a graphical interface to edit. So if we're go into our grav-admin folder, anything that you are gonna want to edit while you are administering your site is gonna be inside this user subfolder. So we'll jump in there. Now we're gonna go into the config folder, and then in here we can find these files that correspond with each one of those tabs in the settings area. So we'll open up the media.yaml file. And we don't actually have settings saved in this, so let's just have a quick look at another one. Look at the site.yaml file, and this is the file that contains all of our site specific settings. Now if we go back into our Admin Panel and we go to the Site tab, I'll just drag this across so we can see it a bit more clearly. Now here you can see that the information in this graphical interface exactly matches the information in this site.yaml config file. For example, here the description field, you can see where that's being pulled from in the site.yaml file. The same thing goes with the system.yaml file and the system config tab. All of those settings are in this text based file with the graphical interface to give you another way to edit it. But it's not just config files that you can either edit manually or through the admin interface. The same thing goes for all of your content. The way that Grav works is, for every piece of content, so every page, every blog post, anything that's on your site, there's a Markdown file that stores that content. If you haven't worked with Markdown before, I'll include a link in the notes below this video where you can read about some of the syntax. So in the pages section of our Admin Panel here, you can see that we have one page right now, and that page is named Home. And if we go back into our grav-admin folder, drop a couple of levels back into the user folder, and then we go into the pages folder. This is where all of the site's content is gonna be found. So rather than each of your posts being in a database cell somewhere that is very, very difficult to directly edit with Grav, all of your posts are in this folder. Completely accessible for you to edit with any type of text editor or Markdown editing software that you prefer. You can edit through the admin interface. That's one of the biggest reasons that it's there. But if you don't want to, then you have options. Here you can see that we have a folder with a name that matches the page we were just looking at in our Admin Panel. Every piece of content has a folder that houses it. And then inside the folder, you have the actual Markdown file that contains the content. So I'm gonna open this up in my personal favorite Markdown editor, Typora. And here you can see all the content that you just saw earlier when we're looking at the front end of our website. Now if we go into our Admin Panel and go into the editing mode for that page, all the same content is there. So the Admin Panel gives you a really lovely Markdown editor that's integrated with all of your other site management tools. But you have the option to use your own Markdown editor if you prefer. All right, next up, let's have a quick look at plugins. Grav CMS is designed to be highly extensible. Even the Admin Panel itself operates as a plugin. If you hit to this plugin area in the Admin Panel, you'll see a list of all the currently installed plugins. And just like with the config files and the page files that we've looked at so far, everything is also directly accessible inside the user folder of your Grav site install. In this case, it's in the plugins subfolder. And here you can see we have a plugin folder corresponding with each one of those plugins that you just saw on the admins panel. So when it comes to installing or uninstalling plugins, you can work directly with your folder system here. So you can download a plugin and then just copy and paste the folder that contains its files into this plugins folder here. The same thing goes with uninstalling. If you want to, you can just come in here and just delete a folder that contains a plugin that you don't want. And when you're deciding what plugins you might want to install on your site, you can head to getgrav.org/downloads/plugins. And this gives you a really good listing of all the different types of plugins that you can install. From here, you can access the respective git GitHub repositories, you can see demos of the plugins, or you can download them directly. If you don't want to install directly through the file system, just like with everything else we've covered so far, you can work through the Admin Panel. For example, in the plugins listing page we were just at, we saw that there was a Vimeo plugin. To install that through the Admin Panel, we would click the Add button up at the top here. And then this actually lists all of the plugins that are available. So to filter those down to just the one that you want, just type your search phrase into the filter field. So we'll type in vimeo, and there is the Vimeo plugin. Now, if you wanted to install that, you'd just click the Install button and it would take care of downloading the files and putting them in the correct location for you automatically. And there is also a third option for installing and searching and managing plugins, and that is Grav's inbuilt CLI tool, or command line interface. Grav has its own package management system. So if working with command line is your preferred methodology, then you can use Grav CLI to search for the plugins that you want and handle installation, and uninstallation, and updating, and so on. And we're not gonna actually be working with this CLI during the course. So if you are interested in that, I will provide a link in the notes below the video where you can read more. And then finally, back in the Admin Panel, the last area is the Themes area. And this Themes area once again corresponds with the folder in the user folder that is the themes sub-folder. Right now we have just the one theme installed, antimatter. But throughout the duration of this course, we're gonna be creating a new theme from scratch. So you're gonna get pretty comfortable working inside this themes subfolder. So that is a quick overview of the administration panel, and we've just touched on things very briefly. So if you'd like to read in more detail about the Admin Panel, then check the notes below the video and you'll find a link to the documentation for the Admin Panel. So you briefly looked in this video at how the user slash pages folder is organized. But there's more detail that you're gonna need to know about how the files and the folders in your pages subdirectory need to be named in order to control how content is organized in your site and how it interacts with the template files in your themes. You really need to understand this before you move into theming because it's essential in order to make sure that the template files in your themes are named in a way that's going to work with your content. So we're gonna go through all of that in the next lesson. I'll see you there.

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