A basic introduction to the TYPO3 content management system (CMS) backend

Written by Will Chidlow on 11th December 2016

(Last updated 2nd November 2018)

In this short video i will offering a brief introduction to the backend of typo3. Before I continue it is worth noting that typo3 is divided into 2 areas, the back end of the website where you are able to edit content and the front end of the website which is what all of your users will see when visiting your site.

in order to access the backend of the website you must have a username and password which will have been provided to you by your site administrator. Only you and you content contributors are able to access the back end of the website.

Once logged into the backend you can see that the screen is divided into three clear columns. The left hand column is the modules panel. This panel lists all of the CMS's modules which are used for managing different tasks on the website.

The central column is the page tree panel. This panel displays a hierarchical tree structure of the website. The page tree panel is where you manage the pages within the website. Each item within the page tree being a page.

The right hand column is the editing panel. The editing panel is where you will edit content and settings. This panel will update depending on which module you have selected from the left hand column and depending on which page you have selected page tree (central column).

It is also worth noting that the modules will vary depending on your access privileges. As an administrator account you will have access to more features that an editor account for example. The page tree can also show different options depending on your access privileges. A user may see the entire site tree however they may only see a small section of the sites structure if there account has been restricted.

So that is a quick introduction to the panels we have available to us, now let’s look a little more closely at the modules panel. There are a few things in the module panel that I’m not going to go into detail about in this tutorial as there are really only three main sections that most content editors use to manage a website’s content.

The first of these regularly used sections is page. When we select page mode we see our page tree list in the central column. When we then select a page from the tree the editing panel will display the elements that are on the page in a way that corresponds to their layout on the front end of the website. This display is the typo3 page builder tool. This layout is what is displayed when in page mode and is the most frequently used layout for editing content. Most content editors will spend the vast amount of their time in page mode.

The next mode in the module menu is list mode. This mode changes the view of any given page into a simple list of elements, rather than the structured page builder mode mentioned earlier. This view can be quite easy for quick quickly viewing the items that are on a page but when it comes to editing content we tend to prefer to use page view as it is easier to visualise the changes being made. The list view does have some other uses but they will be covered in more detail in a different tutorial.

The next most regularly used mode from within the module menu is the file manager. The file manager is where all images and documents live within the website. It is a central storage location for any files used on the website. Within the file manager you can create your own folder to better organise your resources.

Lets now look at the Page tree panel in more detail. This central panel is the backbone when it comes to editing content in typo3. It displays a hierarchical list of the pages which appear on the website. These are nested within their parent pages so you can see at anyone where within a sites structure a page sits. Sections within the site tree can be easily collapsed or expanding to help make viewing large site structures easier.

To edit a page, simply locate it within the page tree and click on it. This will now update the righthand editing panel to display the elements on that page, either within the page builder view if in page mode (selected from the left hand module menu) or as a list (if listview is selected in the module menu)

Also found in the page tree panel is a resources folder. The resources folder is used to store any catalog based items the site may use but I will cover this more in a future tutorial.

The final section of this tutorial is the page editing panel. This section has already been touched on briefly whilst discussing other sections but I will cover it quickly now. I will do a more in-depth look at all of the different elements found within this panel in another tutorial. The page editing panel updates to display different information depending on which route you have taken to it and what type of content you are viewing. When in page mode, and having selected a page from the page tree, the editing panel will display the typo3 page layout view which displays content in a similar way to how it is displayed on the front end.

If you were to select list view from the module menu, but keep the same page selected from the page tree, the editing panel will update to show a simple list of content blocks from the page. If you select the file manager from the module menu, you will see that the page tree panel now updates to display the folder structure of the file manager and the editing panel now displays folders and content from the file manager.

That is as far as I will go in this tutorial as there will be other tutorials to cover each of the elements discussed in more detail.

I hope you have found this guide to be helpful and please feel free to comment if you would like tutorials for other aspects of TYPO3 content management.

This article was posted in TYPO3 CMS by Will Chidlow