When Concrete5 released version 5.4.x they included a new feature in the dashboard that was called Composer Beta. Now Concrete5 has released it's ultra new and improved version 5.5.x and Composer dropped the Beta and has gone mainstream.
The Composer Feature of Concrete5 is basically a way to add pages and content to your site from the back-end or Dashboard. It's actually quite handy and will become how we at www.RynoMediaOnline.com add new Blog and Resource posts. However, getting the Composer Feature set up and ready to go can be a little tricky so we created this Tutorial to walk you through the steps.
This Tutorial uses Concrete5.5.0 in the screen shots but the steps will work the same for 5.4.x
Obviously you'll want to login to your site and navigate to the dashboard and click on Composer:
Now, because we haven't set up the Composer Feature what we find is this rather discouraging page/message.
So - lets go back to the Dashboard and navigate our way to "Page Types" found underneath the "Pages & Themes" Section:
You Should find a list of all your available page types. Because we are mainly interested in using Composer for blog type posts and are currently using Concrete5's core Blogging Feature we are going to focus on the Blog Entry page type. However it should be known that you can set up any page type and multiple page types as well.
From this page you want to select the "Composer Button"
From the dialog box you have to check the box "Yes, include this page type in composer".
This is also where you can indicate the other types of setting you want to be able to edit from the Composer page.
We like being able to give each page a specific title as well as descriptions and keywords. so we have checked these boxes as well. You can always come back and check or un-check these fields so don't stress about it now.
You now need to go back to Dashboard > Page Types [See Illustration #3]
From the Page Types page click the "Default" button of the page type you are editing.
On the next page look for the 'Edit' button in the top left corner and edit the page (put the page in edit mode).
After the page is in edit mode you need to add the block type you want to the area you want.
For example, we have a basic Content block in the 'main' area of our blog page type. We also use the Disqus Comment block in a lower area called 'blog post more'. However, I have no need to edit the Disqus Block from the Composer Page so there's no need for me to add it to the Composer settings.
But, I DO want to be able to edit the main content block so if there isn't already a content block (or whatever type of block you want to add) then you need to add one. After adding the block you will need to click on it and then from the dialog box choose the last option, "Composer Settings".
Now you simply need to give your block a name and check the box "include block in Composer". As a rule, keep the naming clear and simple such as "Blog Main" or "Main Content" or something like that. Hit the 'Update Button' and your almost there:
The changes you made take place immediately and from the edit page you can navigate back to Dashboard > Composer [see illustration 1] (for versions 5.4.x you will need to 'Exit Edit Mode' and then navigate to Composer)
What you should find is the Composer Page all set up and ready for you to start inputting information such as the page's name, publish date, description etc... As well as be able to edit any blocks you set in the previous step.
As you look at these options take special care to indicate the "Publish Location" so your new page(s) don't end up where you don't want them or worse - lost somewhere in your site.