Throughout development of this system, the emphasis has always been on simplicity and ease of use. As a result, you should not find too much trouble in using the system. However, the system is targeted at people with a reasonable amount of technical knowledge in regards to the web.
There are some features, such as default content, that must be set up by a developer. Information on such processes is available in the developer documentation.
To use the system, you will need:
- A recent web browser (Firefox 3 or IE7 upwards recommended)
- Cookies enabled
- An open mind
Each FlatCMS installation is editable by accessing the /admin/ folder via a web browser. The default credentials are 'admin' and 'password'. This can be changed by following the setup guide in the developer documentation.
Each page comprises of fields and layout information. Pages can also be ordered up and down within their own section.
Pages are organised in a tree structure. New pages are created as children beneath a parent page. There are two ways to create a page:
- Right-click on the parent page and select "Create".
- Click on the parent page to edit it, and click the "Create new Page" button at the top of the edit screen
On the edit screen, select the content type ('content' will do for most pages), and then enter the page name. This name becomes the folder on which the page will appear on the site and also on the file system. Because of this there are a few rough rules to follow for page names:
- They should accurately describe the page or section
- Spaces should be avoided (use hyphens instead)
- Normal filesystem naming rules apply (avoid the characters / < > ? *)
Click 'Create Node' to create your page. You will then arrive on the edit screen for that page.
This is accessible by clicking on a page or right-clicking and selecting 'Edit'. Small difference I know.
Similar rules apply here as the rules in creating a page. The content type is listed and so is the page name. Beneath these fields are the fields for the content type. Each content type has it's own fields but for general purposes, here are some basic field data types:
- Simple: Appears as a single line text box.
- Text: Appears as a multiple line text box.
- HTML: Appears as an TinyMCE HTML editor. Documentation on using the editor is available at the Moxiecode wiki.
- Image/File: Appears as an upload field, usually with a preview of the existing file (if exists), and a button to browse for a file.
- Date/Time: Appears as a text field with a pop-out calendar control.
- Numeric: Appears as a small text field
When all fields are entered, click 'Save Node' to save the page.
Editing Page Layout
This is accessible by right-clicking the page in the tree and selecting 'Layout' or by clicking the 'Edit page layout' button above the page edit form. This section allows you to pick the 'views' that appear on the page. Views allow the content to be displayed in various ways, and can also be used to display common elements on different pages, or even as a way to include interactive controls onto the page.
This layout is reasonably simple, as long as you have used this type of interface before. Each area (or 'placeholder') on the page is listed, and for each two select boxes appear with some arrows in between them.
The available views are listed on the left, and can be moved to the views on the current page by selecting one or more views in the left-hand box clicking the green arrow pointing to the right box. Views can be removed by selecting the view(s) in the right-hand box and clicking the green arrow pointing to the left.Views can be moved up and down by selecting them in the right-hand box and clicking the up or down pointing green arrows.
Click 'Save layout' to save your changes and test.
WARNING: This facility can break your page if added view(s) are referencing fields that do not exist in the object or are just plain broken. Or, if you remove the default views, no content may appear on your page.
Pages can only be sorted by right-clicking a page in the tree and selecting 'Move Up' or 'Move Down'.
Pages can be deleted by right-clicking a page in the site tree and selecting 'Delete'.