Content Administration Control Panel


The control panel being discussed here is configured to show by default for our Cloud clients. Anyone else will need to enable this control panel to show, using the instructions below. 

When enabled, the content administration control panel will be display itself to authorized end-users when they're logged in. This control panel gives you an in-context editing experience for all of your content administration needs.

The control panel will only be shown if you have some kind of editing permissions while logged in. The number of the features you see below will depend upon the permissions that have been assigned to your user account.


The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:

  • Have permissions to edit the entire site or at least one page

Getting Started

The control panel will only be available to those who have editing rights to either a page or the entire site.  Otherwise, you won't see or have access to any of the features discussed here.

Content Administration Control Panel

The content administration control panel has a number of features that make managing your website super-simple.  These features are described below, but details for many of these features will be found throughout the documentation area.


The branding section of the control panel does nothing more than confirm for you that you're using Hotcakes Commerce.  It serves no other function for you.


The administration area contains several menus that help you and others to do their daily jobs.  Each are described below.

Feature Description
Commerce The commerce menu contains all of the items you'll need direct access to if you have the responsibility to manage the store aspect of your site.  You can hover over it to see the various areas in your e-commerce administration area.  Clicking on it directly instead of hovering over it will immediately take you to the e-commerce dashboard.
Content If you're in charge of the content of the site, this is the primary menu that you might use.  This menu will only be available to those who have administrative permissions.
Host The host menu contains highly technical features that generally only need to be set upon the onset of installing and configuring your website.  It's rare that anyone needs to editing anything in this menu once your website is live.  The host menu is only available to superuser user accounts.
Tools The tools menu contains a few helpful and common management features that are otherwise only available by navigating into specific views in other menus.  Some of these items will only be available to superuser user accounts.
Help The help menu with either take you to the documentation area, or to your ticket listing, depending on whether you're already authenticated in the support system or not.

Administration:  Commerce

The commerce menu contains all of the e-commerce administrative views that you'll need to manage your store.  Clicking on the commerce menu label instead of hovering over it will take you directly to the store dashboard.


Each of the tabs represent the various areas that you'll find in the e-commerce administration.  You can learn more about those tabs and what they mean and map to by reviewing the e-commerce administration control panel documentation.  Clicking on each tab will reveal the respective administration views for that tab.

Administration:  Content

The content menu contains all of the administrative features and settings you need to manage the content on your site.  Simply hover over this menu item to begin using the content menu features.


There are three tabs in the content menu that segment the various features available.  The first tab contains all of the most common administrative features you might end up using day-to-day.  The next tab contains additional content management features that might be used less commonly.  The third tab is for bookmarking and is discussed below.

Menu Items

The various menu items are discussed below. Some of these menu items may not be present in your installation.  They may have been made obsolete and removed.

Feature Description
Event Viewer This is the area where all of the errors and notifications you need to know about will be available. Support will often ask you to review the information found here.
File Management This area is an online file manager that enables you to created folders and store files for your site.
Page Management This is an administrative tool to manage all of your pages all in the same place, without having to navigate to each page.
Recycle Bin If you need to restore a module or page you previously deleted, you'll be able to do that here.
Security Roles Often you might need to create groups of people to assign permissions with, or otherwise manage them.  This feature allows you to do that.
Site Settings Each site on your installation could potentially be managed separately, and this is where you begin to do that.  You can edit how and if customers can register and login, how e-mails are delivered, and much more.
User Accounts This is an admin view that allows you to review and manage all of the user accounts on your website.
Advanced Configuration Settings This is an aggregation of some of the common site configuration settings all in a single place.  These settings can all be managed in other places.
Device Preview Management This is a previewer tool that allows you to define the parameters by which you can emulate how your site might look on a variety of devices.  Those definitions will be available in the page editor menu.
Extensions Your site will have a large number of extensions installed.  This view allows you to edit the permissions of who on your site can place these extensions on pages.
Google Analytics Your site can quickly be configured to use Google Analytics on this page.
Hotcakes Administration This menu item will take you directly to the e-commerce dashboard.  It's the same as clicking on the commerce menu item.
Language This is where you'd go to install and manage translations for the current language and any others you wish to support on your site.
Lists Lists are used throughout your site.  This is the site-level lists that may or may not exist to edit.  By default, this is where you'll find the profanity filter and banned passwords.
Newsletters If you need a quick and dirty way to generate bulk e-mails to your end-users, this feature will help you do that, but it will lack many of the robust features found in commercial e-mail marketing tools.  This will be removed from the Hotcakes Cloud.
Search Admin You can fine tune the content search engine on this page.
Search Engine Sitemap Search engines will often allow you to supply an XML sitemap to help define and refine how your site's pages appear in their respective search results.  You can manage how that sitemap is generated here.
Site Log The site log is an obsolete feature that will be removed from the Hotcakes Cloud.  It's highly suggested that you not use this feature, as it doesn't add much value to any site and it causes an almost guaranteed performance issue.
Site Redirection Management If you are using different sites for different purposes, this feature may help you define how and when a customer is redirected to one of those other sites.
Site Wizard This feature is removed from the Hotcakes Cloud.  On a brand new website, this feature allows you to completely overwrite all of the pages and content on a site.  Using it is very risky.  We suggest removing this feature if you still have it on your site.
Taxonomy Taxonomy is a feature that's generally used by developers to categorize content. You'll find the tags and module categories lists here initially.
Themes The themes page is where you can go to manage how your installed themes are using and applied to your site.
Vendors This page should not in anyway be confused with vendors in your store. If you have this page in your site, feel free to remove it.  It's not used any longer and is removed from Hotcakes Cloud sites.

Administration:  Host

The host menu is only made available if you're logged in with a superuser account.  All of the features in this menu are either very technical, or have an irreversible effect on your entire site and all other sites that this installation might have created.  Access to this menu should be given an an extremely cautious basis.  Simply hover over this menu item to begin using the host menu features.


These tabs work and have the same meaning as the content menu above.

Menu Items

The following menu items allow you to potentially change everything about how your site functions.

Feature Description
Dashboard This should not be confused with the e-commerce dashboard.  It's a content dashboard for high-level technical administrators.  It gives you some critical information about your site and how it works.  Support may ask you to come here to report on one or more metrics.
Extensions Your site comes preinstalled with a large number of features for you to enjoy, but if you need to install new ones or uninstall any others, this is where you go to do that.
File Management This tool is removed from the Hotcakes Cloud. It allows you to manage files at the "host" level of your website instance.  However, this kind of requirement is rarely necessary for any site.
Host Settings These are the highest level configuration options that you can set for your site, including SMTP and file upload whitelist settings.
Site Management This is a multi-tenant solution, allowing you to host multiple sites on the same instance of Hotcakes. This makes it easy for you to have and manage your e-commerce presence alongside other marketing lead generation sites, or any other kind of site you need to create.
Configuration Manager If you need to manage any of the configuration files on your site, this feature will allow you to do that.  This includes the website and site analytics configuration files.
Device Detection Management By default, device detection is disabled, because few sites use this feature and it also brings a significant performance issue with it on most sites.  You can enable this feature here.
Hotcakes Administration This menu item will take you directly to the e-commerce dashboard.  It's the same as clicking on the commerce menu item.
HTML Editor Manager You'll be able to edit which HTML editor is being used by those who manage the content on your site.  You can also edit how that editor is configured.  This configuration doesn't impact the merchants who might be editing your catalog.
Lists There are a large number of lists that are used throughout the content areas of your configuration and content itself.  This view allows you to manage those lists and what's in them.
Schedule There's a scheduled that runs various tasks that need to occur on some kind of known recurring interval.  An example of this is the content search engine indexer.  You can come here to see the history of and run any specific scheduled job.
Security Analyzer This analyzing tool will help you to determine any commonly known issues on your site, such as common configuration risks.
SQL If you need to run any SQL statements against your database, this tool will allow you to do that.
Superuser Accounts Superuser accounts are only managed here.  It works the same way as the User Accounts feature in the content menu, but for superusers.
Vendors This page should not in anyway be confused with vendors in your store. If you have this page in your site, feel free to remove it.  It's not used any longer and is removed from Hotcakes Cloud sites.

Administration:  Tools

The tools menu item gives you quick access for other features you'd otherwise have to dig for.  Some of these menu items will only be available to superuser accounts.  Simply hover over this menu item to begin using these tools.

Feature Description
Upload File You can upload files in many places, including the file manager. This is a quick way to do it if you don't want to navigate to any of the other methods of uploading.
Clear Cache Clearing the cache here will release all information stored in memory that makes your site run fast.  It's a great troubleshooting tool - especially during development.  However, you should use this feature sparingly on a production website, as it will give the impression of your site performing poorly.
Recycle Application Domain This is another great troubleshooting tool that's generally only used by developers.  It's the code-centric equivalent of recycling the application pool for your site.
Switch Sites In most instances, this will not be a useful feature. However, if you're running multiple sites on your installation, this will allow you to easily switch between the sites.

Administration:  Help

The help menu currently exposes a single help item.  This help item will either direct you to the Hotcakes documentation, or a listing of your support requests, depending on if you're already logged in at the support area or not.

Module Management

This menu allows you to add modules to the current page or add more module functionality to your site.  The latter requires superuser access.  This menu is only available if you have permissions to edit the current page, or if you're an administrator.  Simply hover over this menu item to begin managing modules.

Feature Description
Add New Module Whenever you're building a new page on your site, you'll likely use this feature at least once or twice to add content to that page.  Clicking it opens an area that allows you to drag and drop modules onto various areas of your page.
Add Existing Module If you already have a module preconfigured and/or it has the content you need, this option allows you to copy or share that content from page to page, instead of recreating it from scratch.
Create Module This feature should only be used by highly technical end-users and/or developers.  It's a built-in way to build a module without using a programming tool like Visual Studio.
Find More Modules There's a marketplace full of extensions that you can browse through and install onto your site.  This feature allows you to do that.

Page Management

There's a comprehensive page manager tool in the content menu, but this menu allows you to add new pages to the site.  Simply hover over this menu item to begin adding pages to your site.

Feature Description
Add New Page This is the most commonly used of the three options. When you click this, a new page dialog appears, allowing you to define what the new page is and where it lives in your site.
Copy Page This option allows you to do the same thing as the previous option, but you can start it off by copying modules and other aspects of another page.
Import Page When you are creating the same page over and over, it's more useful to export the page.  When you do, you can then choose to import the page using the export configuration here. This makes creating new pages a quick task, and it's similar to using the copy page option.

User Management

The users menu helps you accomplish all of the daily tasks you might need to manage as it relates to the user accounts on your site.  Simply hover over this menu item to begin managing users.

Feature Description
Add New User When you click this option, a new dialog will appear that allows you to manually add a new user account to your site.  This generally should only be done for other employee user accounts on your site, if that.  You really should allow all of your end-users to create their own user accounts if at all possible.
Manage Users This option will take you to the user accounts page you find in the content menu.
Manage Roles This option will take you to the security roles page you find in the content menu.

Page Editor

This menu is found on the right-most edge of the control panel, and it allows you to edit the current page in a multitude of ways.  To begin using this menu, simply hover over the "Edit Page" text.

Feature Description
Edit This Page If you click this button, the page will enter an edit mode, where you'll be able to move modules on the page, as well as edit any individual module on the page.
Stay in Edit Mode If you click this option, you'll remain in edit mode, even when moving to another page.
View in Layout Mode If you simply want to view what the layout of the page is, click this option. Your layout is defined by your designer.
Mobile Preview Use this feature to preview what this page might look like when viewing it using the selected device preview definition.
Page Settings If you need to edit any aspect of the settings of the page that you can't already see, use this option.
Page Appearance This option will also take you to the page settings view, but it will automatically select the page appearance section.
Page Permissions This option will also take you to the page settings view, but it will automatically select the page permissions section, where you can define who can view and/or edit the page.
Export Page If you plan on recreating this page over and over, consider exporting it first, so that you can use the import page option in the page management menu.  This could make your task go by faster.


The content and host menus allow you to bookmark configuration pages so that the most common things you do over and over are more quickly or easily accessed, making your job easier.  You'll see the bookmark icon whenever you hover over a specific page, like shown below.

When you click this icon, it will put a reference to the configuration page into the bookmarked tab section of the menu.

If you wish to remove the bookmark at anytime, click the remove bookmark icon you see highlighted below, and the bookmark will be deleted.  Don't worry... you can revert either of these actions at anytime, repeatedly.

Enabling this Control Panel

On premise installations may not have this control panel available to them right away. You might be using another one altogether.  You'll need to enable this one to use it.  In order to do this, first login using a superuser account, then navigate to the host settings described above.

Move to the Other Settings tab.

Now, select the "HOTCAKESBAR" option in the "Control Panel" setting as shown below.

All you have to do now is click the "Update" button at the bottom of the page.  You'll now see the control panel we've been discussing here applied to your site.

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