#1: Accessing the Control Panel
Welcome to Small Farm Central's website services!
This article will teach you about accessing your website's Control Panel. This is the administration area of your website. It holds all the tools you will need to build and customize your website with pages, photos, and content, as well as manage all aspects of your Small Farm Central account.
Only you can see the Control Panel. Your customers will not be able to see or access this section of your website. However, you may allow other staff members to access your website's Control Panel, if you so choose.
This will take you to the following screen which requests your login information:
Figure 1. The Control Panel Login Screen
Use the username and password which we provided you to log in to your account for the first time. Once logged in, you may change your username and password in the 'Administrate' section.
(Can't find your login information? Don't worry! Give us a call us at: 412-567-3864 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Once you are logged in you will be taken to the Control Panel homepage, which will look something like this:
Figure 2. The Control Panel Homepage
If this is the first time you are logging in to the Control Panel you will find some helpful messages posted on the homepage. Follow them to become familiar with the available tools and to get started building your website!
On this page, you will also find the Small Farm Central Blog. Updated weekly, it features strategies for marketing your farm on the web.
On the left side of the page, directly under the Small Farm Central logo, you will find a menu which contains all the tools you will need to create and manage your website. Depending on your account subscription, some of these options may not appear and/or may not be available. The following are short descriptions of what you will find under each category:
Administrate is where all of your important account information is stored. It contains options such as changing your password, altering your email address, viewing your Small Farm Central subscription information. You can also view statistics, manage comments & billing, and download data.
Connect allows you to reach out to your customers. You can manage you emails and view comments from your customers, if your plan level allows.
Create Content contains all the options relating to your website's content such as pages, photos, recipes, maps, calendars, and more.
Display determines how your website looks to customers. In this heading, you can really customize your site by editing a template or adding applications known as "widgets"
Member Assembler is Small Farms Central's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and farm membership program management software. Here you can set up weekly orders, bill members and gather customer information.
Sell contains all options for the Ecommerce extension software. Here you can set up a shopping cart, create coupons, add a shipping calculator and more.
Social is a section that helps you tell your friends and fellow farmers about Small Farm Central!
Take some time to explore the Control Panel to see what options you have available with your SFC plan. Then, begin to build your website by using the tools to add features and content.
Visit the 'Account Settings' tab in the 'Administrate' category. Here you can add basic information about your farm like it's name and address.
In the 'Display' section you can select and customize a template to fit your farm's style. For instructions on this, read the "Getting Started: Choose and Customize Your Template" article.
The 'Create Content' section is where you can start adding features to your website. Many Small Farms Central pages are already formatted so items like maps, recipes, calendars, or blog entries are easy to create.
Tip: If you add content or change something about your website and would like to see how it looks, click the 'Open Public Site' link in the top right corner of the Control Panel. A new window will open up in your browser where you can view the public version of your website. This is an easy way to check to see how things will look on the website and still be able to make administrative changes in the Control Panel.
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