Customizing the Backend

Customizing the Backend of Magento:
Now that we have created our custom Magento theme, we are going to learn how to customize the Magento admin panel. The default backend theme of Magento is pretty ugly; in this chapter, we are going to see how to create a custom skin for it.
The following is a list of topics that will be covered in this chapter:
• An overview of the admin design
• Changing the default admin panel
• Creating a custom Magento admin theme
• Creating a custom login page
• Installing the Magento Go admin theme

An overview of the admin design:
The skin of the admin section is structured almost like the frontend area.Sometimes, you have the need to adapt the admin color scheme and logo to customer requests.

In this chapter, we will see how to transform the admin skin in order to adapt the design to the customer brand. In this case, we are going to customize it with the colors of the logo that we created in the last chapter: black, white, grey, and orange.

Changing the default admin panel:
To customize the admin, we need the AdminTheme module provided by Inchoo,one of the most popular companies that provides great Magento tutorials and services.The module simply gives you the possibility to define the theme folder of the admin skin in the admin configuration.

Installing the module to change the folder path:
You can download the module from http://inchoo.net/ecommerce/magento/
custom-admin-theme-in-magento/. The following screenshot shows the module page on the Inchoo website, where you can download the module:

Read the article that opens on the website, and there you will find the link to download the module. After downloading it, use the following steps to install it and to create the admin theme folder:

1.Extract the folder and copy all the files into your Magento [root]/ folder.
2.Refresh the cache unless you had disabled the cache entirely during development.
3.Now, create your admin theme folder, for example, bookstore in the
app/design/adminhtml/default/bookstore folder.
4. Also, create the skin admin folder under skin/adminhtml/default/bookstore.
5. If you have already logged in the admin, log out and log in again in the admin to avoid the 404 error in the theme module page. You can experience this error even if the cache is disabled.
6. Now go to the admin and navigate to System | Configuration | General | Design (Default Config scope). As you can see, a new tab named Admin Theme appears on the right with a new input text field.
7. That field will allow you to define the admin theme folder, similar to the frontend package. So insert the name of your theme folder, bookstore,
inside the field as shown in the following screenshot:

178328823X_Mastering (2)

8.Save the configuration.

Done. Now the admin theme will take the files from the bookstore folder.If you refresh the page, you will not notice any change, because the fallback system will always take the files from the default admin theme.Thus, it doesn’t need to download all the base theme files to customize the admin
skin, but just the files you need to edit.

Creating a custom Magento admin theme:
Now that the module is installed and the folders of the new admin theme are ready,let’s start creating the files that will overwrite the design.

Creating the custom.css file:
We will begin by copying the custom.css file under skin/adminhtml/default/default/ into the new theme folder, bookstore, under skin/adminhtml/default/bookstore/. In fact, if you take a look at the main.xml file located under app/design/adminhtml/default/default/layout/, you can see that there are some CSS files declared, and one of those is custom.css. The content of the custom.css file is as follows:

<action method="addCss">
	<name>custom.css</name>
</action>

Checking the CSS overriding:
Now, to run a quick test and check whether the module is working and if the fallback loads our file correctly, insert the following code inside custom.css to color the header background in black:

.header { background: #000; }

Now save the file. If everything is working, you will see the header color switching to black, as shown in the following screenshot:

178328823X_Mastering2

Now that we’ve defined the location of our custom admin panel theme, we’re ready to customize the look of the admin panel!

Changing the logo:
The first thing that we are going to customize is the header. We start by changing the logo using the following steps:
1.To change the logo, simply save your logo in .gif format under skin/adminhtml/bookstore/images/.
2.Now open the custom.css file and add the following to overwrite the default logo header set into the default theme:

.logo {height: auto;}

3.Then refresh the page to see your logo in the header of the admin panel, as shown in the following screenshot:

Using a different logo name or extension:
Let’s suppose that you want to use a .png format logo so that you can have more flexibility while changing and customizing the header.

Using a different logo name or extension
Let’s suppose that you want to use a .png format logo so that you can have more flexibility while changing and customizing the header.

The logo declaration is in the header.phtml file, which is located under app/
design/adminhtml/default/default/template/page/. Copy it from that folder to the relative folder of the new admin theme, which is under app/design/adminhtml/default/bookstore/template/page/. The following is the current path of the logo:

<img src="<?php echo $this->getSkinUrl('images/logo.gif) ?>" alt="<?php echo $this->__('Magento Logo') ?>" class="logo"/>
  In place of the preceding path, enter the following new path:
<img src="<?php echo $this->getSkinUrl('images/logo.png') ?>" alt="<?php echo $this->__('Magento Logo') ?>" class="logo"/>

Creating CSS3 gradients without images With CSS3, we can add a background gradient in a few seconds and without using images. To create your own gradient, you can use an online service called Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator, provided by ColorZilla, and available at http://www.colorzilla.com/gradient-editor/. The following screenshot shows you the ColorZilla website:

Changing the background color of the header:
Once you have selected and copied the text, add the following CSS code into the header:

.header {
	/* Old browsers */
	background: #ffa84c;
	/* FF3.6+ */
	background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #ffa84c 0%, #ff7b0d 100%);
	/* Chrome,Safari4+ */
	background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom,
	color-stop(0%,#ffa84c), color-stop(100%,#ff7b0d));
	/* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */
	background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, #ffa84c 0%,
	#ff7b0d 100%);
	/* Opera 11.10+ */
	background: -o-linear-gradient(top, #ffa84c 0%,#ff7b0d 100%);
	/* IE10+ */
	background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, #ffa84c 0%,#ff7b0d 100%);
	/* W3C */
	background: linear-gradient(to bottom, #ffa84c 0%,#ff7b0d 100%);
	/* IE6-9 */
	filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(
	startColorstr='#ffa84c', endColorstr='#ff7b0d',	GradientType=0);
}

Customizing the navigation:
Now, let’s customize the navigation, by adding a padding to the navigation bar and changing the color of the active button using the following code:

/* navbar */
.nav-bar {
	background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #000000 !important;
	border: 0 none;
	padding: 10px 30px !important;
}
#nav li {
	border-radius: 3px;
}
#nav li.active {
	background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #FF9733 !important;
	color: #FFFFFF !important;
	font-weight: bold !important;
	margin-left: -1px !important;
}

Customizing the footer:
You can customize the footer by overriding a class on the custom CSS. In this case,we are going to provide a black gradient and white text to the background of the footer using the following CSS code:

/* footer */
.footer {
	/* Old browsers */
	background: #45484d;
	/* FF3.6+ */
	background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, #45484d 0%, #000000 100%);
	background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom,
	color-stop(0%, #45484d), color-stop(100%, #000000));
	/* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */
	background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, #45484d 0%,
	#000000 100%);
	/* Opera 11.10+ */
	background: -o-linear-gradient(top, #45484d 0%, #000000 100%);
	/* IE10+ */
	background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, #45484d 0%, #000000 100%);
	/* W3C */
	background: linear-gradient(to bottom, #45484d 0%,
	#000000 100%);
	/* IE6-9 */
	filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(
	startColorstr='#45484d', endColorstr='#000000',
	GradientType=0 );
	color:#888;
	padding: 30px;
}

Also, we want to remove the Magento .gif icon on the right side of the footer bar,which has been highlighted in the following screenshot:
To do so, copy the footer.phtml file under app/design/adminhtml/default/default/template/page/ and paste it under app/design/adminhtml/default/bookstore/template/page/.Then remove the following line:

<img src="<?php echo $this->getSkinUrl('images/varien_logo.gif')?>" class="v-middle" alt="" />&nbsp;&nbsp;

Pretty cool, isn’t it? Now you can create your own design for the admin panel,adapting it to the theme color, or based on the customer brand identity.

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