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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS. ocPortal 9 is superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.

ocPortal Tutorial: Admin Zone overview

Written by Allen Ellis, ocProducts
As a webmaster, it is important that you are able to monitor and control every facet of your website. This is possible through the Admin Zone: the heart of your website. It can be accessed from anywhere by choosing the 'Admin Zone' zone link which appears at the bottom of every default-themed ocPortal page. You may be prompted to login again to confirm your current session – this is for added security.

First glance

Thumbnail: The Admin Zone at first glance

The Admin Zone at first glance

The Admin Zone is divided into sections, with links across the top-panel to allow easy access to each – most of the tabs will take you to an interface with icons that allows you to navigate throughout the system.

Content Management Zone

The Content Management Zone is the place to manage most of the categories and entries on the system.

A rough definition of what is considered content is anything you might expect to be readily added on-the-fly. Some forms of content are designed to be added from the main website (for example, comments and forum posts), so are not presented here.

Admin Zone

To-do list

Thumbnail: The to-do list

The to-do list

The first section in your content area is your to-do list. This is an automatically generated list of things that need to be done on your website. Some are day-to-day updates, such as changing your image of the day or adding news. Some are less frequent and more critical, such as making backups and sending newsletters.

ocPortal will attempt to mark whether or not these actions have been completely recently. For example, if it has been more than 24 hours since you updated your image of the day, it will be marked as 'not done'. You can choose how often you would like to do these activities (for example, making backups monthly instead of weekly) by going to the Setup Section then the 'Configuration' icon and then 'Administrative options'.

Version Information

This section shows information about the current version of ocPortal that you are using, and whether or not it is the most recent one. If not, you will be given a link to upgrade to the latest version.


Thumbnail: The note area

The note area

This is an area for you and your staff to make notes. You can write anything you need in this space, and it will be shared between you and all of your other staff.


You will be provided with a large number of handy tips. They are organised into 4 levels of increasing difficulty with a combined total of about 60 tips.


This section allows you to compare some statistics of your website, to others. The sites included can be changed via the edit button on the block.


This section provides a selection of useful links. The links may be edited via the edit button on the block.

Action log

This section shows recent administrative/content actions on your website.

Simplified Admin Zone

If a user who does not have permission to use many aspects of the Admin Zone enters either the Admin or CMS zones, then they will be presented with a simplified interface, consisting just of one screen of icons, and an informative front page. This feature is particularly useful if you are using ocPortal to create a website for somebody else, and you do not want them to be off-put by the full complexity of the Admin Zone. By using this feature you'll be able to tailor your clients administration experience to the extent that they won't really consider the website to be an ocPortal website, but rather a website built from scratch just for them.


It is not usually appropriate for a printed webpage to look like it does on the screen. For example, margins would want removing from each side of the site, social media links should not show, background images should be disabled, and so on.
There are 3 approaches to solving this problem that work together:
  1. Browsers automatically disable background images, when printing
  2. CSS provides a mechanism for specifying different display rules for the printed version; ocPortal makes use of this
  3. ocPortal has a parameter, wide_print, that will influence some aspects of how pages are put together

The ocPortal wide_print parameter is activated from either:
a) The link from the side_printer_friendly block
b) The link from the main_screen_actions block
c) Or, a link you've put together yourself


Admin Zone
The zone used to perform most site maintenance, accessible only by staff