Magento Backoffice (Admin Panel) Options - [Part 1]

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.

4 comments on "Magento Backoffice (Admin Panel) Options - [Part 1]"

Jakub Ilczuk's picture
Jakub Ilczuk - Fri, 02/10/2009 - 15:47:

Just one small tip, that can be sometimes useful in practice. When you turn the "template path hints" in scope of storeview off, tick "use website" to on. Because someone else can turn it on for whole website scope and it won't work for him on this store view. It can be really confusing for less experienced developers :)

preeti's picture
preeti (visitor) - Tue, 20/04/2010 - 13:41:

how to check for back office templates???

Laurent Clouet's picture
Laurent Clouet - Wed, 21/04/2010 - 14:19:

Hi preeti,

You can use Magento Developer Toolbar extension for enabling hints on back office.


Paul's picture
Paul (visitor) - Fri, 04/03/2011 - 01:59:

I am trying to create a new module on magento admin panel,
I followed your example to create a new module which ia visible on the top menu, but when I click on the menu, I get "401 not found" error. I know something is wrong with the mapping of the template but could not figout where. Thank you for taking time consider this issue.