Jennifer Lampton Guest Trainer
December 13, 2009

Total Control, for those of you who are not familiar, is my administrative dashboard module. When enabled, it immediately gives you a panel page with panes showing some statistics on your site. These statistics include counts for the number of users, posts of each type of content, comments, vocabularies and taxonomy terms. I've also included default views content panes that can show you the most recently created content, most recently edited posts, and content type-specific panes, for example: most recent blogs. Though the dashboard itself is handy, giving administrators one place to go to see an overview of all activity on the site, the real utility comes from the default page views included with Total Control. Using the Views Bulk Operations module, these pages attempt to replace the admin/content/node page that I've found so limiting for so long. You can perform all the operations that you could historically perform on your new admin/dashboard/content page, but it get's better. Because these administrative pages are now built with views, I was able to include similar pages for taxonomy terms and files, and this format can be extended for anything else views supports.

Total Control is not meant to be exactly what your site needs as-is. It's designed to be a starting-point that will get you 90 percent of the way there in no time flat. To get that last 10 percent, use the power of Views to override what's provided, add exactly the panes your administrators need to see on your dashboard, and make it your own. Include CCK fields, additional exposed filters, or anything else you can add with views.

Total Control is a also great starting point if you have many levels of administrator. One panel page is included by default, but if you would prefer that users with different roles get different content on their dashboards, all you need to do is use the power of Panels. Create a new variant for your page, add some selection rules, choose a new layout, and add some Total Control panes, and voila: you have two administrative dashboards!

The biggest improvement to this latest release is that the creation of content-type specific (and soon, user-role specific) administration pages and panel panes is no longer automatic. If you have a site with a lot of content types, your administrative content view doesn't get too big to edit (well, not unless you ask it to). You can now add pages and panes for each type by opting in on the settings page. Don't worry - the automatic option is still available, just in case you liked it. I've also split the pages and panes into separate views, so they can more easily inherit defaults, and be overridden.

Want to make your administrators happy? Give them Total Control, today!