Accessing and structure of the back end

Accessing the back end

You can access the back end of your Contao installation by appending /contao the URL of your website. The complete address looks like this:

Enter your Username and your Password. The default language of the browser is also used for the back end. Confirm your entries by clicking the button Continue.

Registration in the Contao back end

The back end login is protected against brute force attacks with a time delay mechanism. If you enter an incorrect password more than three times in a row, your account will automatically be locked for 5 minutes. This prevents a hacker from trying a large number of passwords in succession until he finds the right one.

Structure of the back end

The back end is divided into three areas. At the top is the info area, on the left is the navigation and on the right is the work area.

Distribution of the Contao back end

The information area

The info area shows some important links that are needed when working with Contao.

Homepage: A click on the Contao logo takes you back to the homepage of the back end.

Manual: Clicking this link opens the manual.

Save Favorite: since 5.1 By clicking on this link you can save the current back end URL as a favorite entry. Existing favorite links are listed in the navigation area.

Notes: Clicking this link opens a modal and displays possible hints (e.g. maintenance mode).

Design: since 5.1 You can choose between light and dark mode.

Debug Mode: since 4.8 Clicking this link will switch the debug mode on or off.

Preview: This link opens the frontend, i.e. the actual website, in a new window. If you edit a specific page or article in the back end, you will be automatically forwarded to the corresponding page in the frontend.

User: When you click on User, the following links are displayed:

  • Profile: This link leads to the personal settings of your user account. There you can change your password or change the language.

  • Security: since 4.8 Activate the two-factor authentication for your back end.

  • Favorites: since 5.1 This link will take you to your favorite management.

  • Log out: Log out of the back end here.

The navigation area

The navigation area contains links to the different back end modules, each of which fulfills a specific task. For a better overview, the modules are organized in groups that you can expand and collapse as needed.

Contents: This group contains all modules that manage any kind of content. In Contao, content includes not only articles, but also e.g. news items, events, comments or forms.

Layout: This group contains all design-relevant modules that you can use to define the look and structure of your website.

User management: This group contains all modules that are related to the management of users and user groups. In Contao, we distinguish between “users” (back end users) and “members” (frontend users).

System: This group contains different modules for the configuration and maintenance of your Contao installation and the file management.

The workspace

In the workspace, you do all your work within Contao. Depending on the module, different functions are available.

Immediately after logging in, the back end homepage will show you the date of your last login, an overview of the back end keyboard shortcuts and the versions of the last edited content.

The preview area

You can access the front end preview via the “Preview” link in the information area.

The front end preview can be recognized on the one hand by the front end preview bar and on the other hand by preview.php in the URL.

Front end preview

since 4.13 Copy URL: When you click on the link, the URL without preview.php is copied to the clipboard and can be pasted at the desired position.

since 4.13 Share URL: When you click on the link, the back end will open in a new window and you can activate the link.

Member: If you have set up a protected area on your website and you want to preview for a specific member, you can enter the username.

Unpublished: Here you can choose whether to show or hide unpublished elements and pages.