The Orchid Admin panel provides a great way to view everything that can be done with your current site, and helping you set up your site most effectively. Since Orchid is self-documenting by its very nature, it is able to inspect your current plugins and themes and generate a reference of all the available generators, components, etc. that you can use and all the options available on them. And since it is self documenting, everything you see in the Admin Panel is guaranteed to be the most up-to-date info available for your current plugin versions, so you never again have to trust that the plugin developers are keeping their documentation relevant over time.

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Using the Admin Panel

With your Orchid site running locally in serve mode (./gradlew orchidServe) and the OrchidPluginDocs plugin installed, all you have to do is visit http://localhost:8080/admin in your browser to access the Admin Panel. On the left you'll see a list of the most common components of your site that you will be configuring, under the Configuration menu item.

If you click the hamburger icon on the right, you will open up the full list of everything in Orchid that can possibly be extended, along with the classes that are currently registered for those types. You can switch tabs in that side panel to view all the events that are being sent within Orchid, so you can inspect places in the Orchid lifecycle that you could run your code. Most importantly with these displayed events is some basic info showing the progress of a build and how long it took to render each page. A progress bar is also displayed near the top of the screen showing progress for the build as well.

On the bottom of the screen is a command bar, where you can enter commands that Orchid will respond to. Most commonly, you might want to run the build command to force a rebuild of your site, but plugins may add additional commands to do things like generating boilerplate content files or anything else.

Effectively Using the Admin Panel

The admin panel is currently designed to be a generated reference manual for you to see the options available to your site. It is certainly possible that plugins may eventually turn the Admin Panel into a full control center for managing all your content and all site options, but for now it is best left as a generated reference. If you want to write content with a WYSIWYG interface, you should check out the Netlify CMS plugin.

The classes that have options that can be set in your config.yml or a page's Front Matter will show a code snippet on their Admin Panel page, demonstrating their unique usage. There will also be tabs showing the full description of all the options that are special for that class, as well as the options inherited by all objects of that type. For example, all Components have an option for templates where you can set a custom template to use for the component, which is shown in the "Inherited Options" tab. The FormComponent has a special option field named form, and its description is shown in the "Own Options" tab, as well as showing up on the "Overview" tab as a code snippet.