Zone management - overview

Tiny Marbles CMS provides the concept of zones. A zone is an entity which encloses sub entities like users, groups, articles, media files and so on. That means, each sub entity of the system belongs to exactly one zone.

The system provides a 'Default zone', which is created automatically at installation time. It is possible to run the system with only this 'Default zone'. Each entity which is created, like images, articles, users etc. belong in this case automatically to the 'Default zone'. The administrator and the client users are working in this scenario all in the same zone.

However, it is possible to create new zones inside the 'Default zone'. In case you switch to the new generated zone, every new entity created in this new zone belongs automatically to the new zone. In this case the 'Default zone' acts as the home zone for the system administrator, and each new zone acts as client zone for different customers.

Tiny Marbles CMS uses the zone concept to set up different websites for different customers. As a rule you can say: each website with a specific set of domains is connected to a zone, and all zones are connected to the 'Default zone', where the system administrator can maintain all customer zones.


For a better understanding here some basic rules of the zone concept:

  • 'wsm' is the 'Default zone' and is the home zone of the administrator
  • It is possible to create new zones, but each new zone is a member of the 'Default zone wsm'.
  • New zones are helpul to maintain several domains with separate design and completey different content
  • A zone acts always as a container to the groups, users, articles and content inside the zone
  • Each object inside a new zone is related to its own zone and cannot be seen from other new created zones, except from the 'Default zone wsm'.
  • When a new zone is created, the system creates automatically basic groups, basic article categories and basic group permissions for the new zone
  • Rule of thumb: only one website, small project => use only 'Default zone'; only one website, big project: 'Default zone' + one client zone; more than one website: 'Default zone' + one zone for each client


Create a new zone

You need to create a new zone in case you decide to separate the admin part from the client part or you would like to set up more than one website on one deployment.

In the first scenario, the separation of the admin area and client area, the 'Default zone wsm' acts as the home zone for the system administrators, and the new created client zone as the client zone for the editors. This is useful for bigger project, because in this constellataion the editors only see what is related with content. 

In the second scenario, when you intend to maintain many websites on one installation, you have to create a new zone for each new website.

In the following screen you see how to create a new zone:


The field 'Zone name' and 'System ID' are mandatory, and both fields have to be unique for the complete installation. You have to choose a 'Scheme', which determines the layout and basic colors of the website. Right now Tiny Marbles CMS comes with three basic schemes: 'Financial theme', 'Horizontal tab system' and 'Flexible layout'. There might be more schemes in the future, or you decide to create a new additional scheme of your own. Thus the list of the schemes in the drop down menu might be longer.

The fields for Google are optional, the same the checkboxes for the allowed documents, where you can set which documents are allowed to upload from the user to the zone.

Click on 'Create zone' and the new zone will be created. The system creates automatically basic groups ('system admin', 'content admin', 'editor'), the related group permissions and a basic set of article categories.


Edit a zone

After you created a zone you have to edit the zone in order to set up the website properly. Basically the 'edit zone' page has three major parts:

  • basic zone configuration, which is the same for all schemes
  • the design area, which is different for all schemes
  • fonts, Google, player are, which have the same functionality for all schemes

Basic zone configuration
You can set a URL for each language of the public view part of the website. By default, the system supports English and German, but it is up to the system administrators decision to set up more languages at installation time when needed. You need to specify at least one URL in the form 'http://_yourdomainname_/wsm'. The public website starts with the language of the field where you specfied the URL. Assumimg the system administrator configured at installation time for the whole system three languages (English, French and German), then you can set for example the URLs and the related languages for the zone in the following way:

  • English: 'http://www.yourdomain.com/wsm' => the website shows the homepage of the zone in English when a user opens the URL 'http://www.yourdomain.com' with a browser
  • German: 'http://www.yourdomain.de/wsm' => the website shows the homepage of the zone in German when a user opens the URL 'http://www.yourdomain.de' with a browser
  • French: empty => This language doesn't appear on the public website of the zone



Here you define the basic look and feel of the website. Each design part is different and related to the chosen scheme. You can set colors, a set of basic images for the layout and the body font:


Article title, menu title
Here you define the look and feel of the main navigation and the article title. If you choose a font which is not a system font, the system creates automatically an image for the article or menu title to display them in the specific font type on the public website.

Google Maps, Google Analytics, reCaptcha
Here you define the behaviour for special features of the website, like for instance including a Google Map to the contact page or Google Analytics to the admin area. reCaptcha is included to the contact form, in case you would like to prevent SPAM. All these fields are not mandatory and completly optional. It works like that: in case the fields have content, and the content is valid, the according features are shown on the website or in the admin page automatically. In case they are not valid an error message appears. If you don't need these features, leave these fields empty.

Tiny Marbles CMS provides a basic set of players, like a video player and a podcast player. These player are the same for all schemes, but the color is flexible and is setted automatically from the system. In case you choose for example 'blue' for the theme color of the 'Financial theme', the color of the player will be blue too, in case you choose 'brown', the player appears 'brown' on the public website. If you intend to use your own player, you can set here the path, name and size of the customized player. 


List zones

The zones are listed alphabetically and can be sorted in the opposite direction by clicking on the arrow link next to the label 'Zone name'. On bottom of the list you can see the 'Default zone' wsm, which cannot be deactivated ot deleted. All other zones can be activated or deactivated. To activate or deactivate a zone simply click on the yellow or grey arrow in the list. A zone can be deleted as long as there are no users, images or articles in the zone. So you have to delete the images and articles manually first. All groups, article categories and permissions are deleted automatically from the system when a zone is deleted.

Attention: Since a user can only be deactivated, and not deleted physically from the system, a zone cannot be deleted once you created users in the zone.