Developers > Installation and Setup > Webtop Configuration

Webtop Configuration


The ExSite webtop shows all of your plug-in web applications that support administration functions (control panels). They are organized into categories, which by default are:

  • Content Management - apps for handling pages, libraries, and templates.
  • Database - apps for working directly with your database.
  • System - apps for managing ExSite itself.
  • Applications - all other apps.

The order that these categories are shown in is defined by the configuration settings "webtop.categories", and how they are labelled is defined by the configuration settings "webtop.headings". The default setup is:

webtop.categories = CMS
webtop.categories += Applications
webtop.categories += System
webtop.categories += Database

webtop.headings = Content Management
webtop.headings += Applications
webtop.headings += System
webtop.headings += Database

To change the order that the categories are shown, simply reorder the above settings in your exsite.conf file.

Custom categories

Each plug-in module can declare its category (via the ioctl("Category") call). To create a new category on the webtop, all you have to do is have your special apps declare their own special category. This category will be positioned in the sequence you defined above, or placed at the bottom if it is not mentioned in this sequence.

Some apps will declare different categories depending on the context. For instance, the e-commerce apps will look for an "Ecommerce" category to join, but if no such category has been pre-declared, will use "Applications" instead. (If you want a separate Ecommerce category, add "Ecommerce" to the above list of categories.)

Optional categories that will be recognized by existing plugins, if you choose to make use of them are:

  • Ecommerce
  • Social
  • Events


ExSite supports a special Favourites category, if you want to make use of it. The Favourites category is placed above all other categories, and you can place any plugins you want into it. Set it up using the following config settings:

# name the favourites category
webtop.favourites_heading = Frequently Used Tools # list the apps you want in this category
webtop.favourites = MySite,Blog,EvtReg,Pay

Your favourite apps will still appear in their regular places as well.

Customizing the applications that appear on the webtop

Some applications can define the permission level that is necessary to run them. If you do not have the required access level, you will not see the app. Downgrading casual admins from level 3 to level 2 will therefore hide some of the more advanced apps that are for advanced administration only.

For even more control over which apps to show your level 2 admins, use a whitelist in your exsite.conf file. For example:

webtop.whitelist = MySite
webtop.whitelist += Document
webtop.whitelist += PhotoAlbum
webtop.whitelist += EvtCal
webtop.whitelist += Webalizer
webtop.whitelist += Trash

Only the listed apps will be displayed to level 2 admins. (Note: this does not prevent them from running other apps that they are allowed to run, it merely hides them from the webtop to simplify their options.)

You can also re-name applications on the webtop. For example, if you would rather the Photo Albums application be called Images, use this setting:

webtop.module_name.PhotoAlbum = Images

If you set a modules name to blank using this method, it will be hidden from the webtop. (You can still run it, if you use a direct URL, but it will not be shown on the webtop options.)


There are different icon sets available, if you want a different look for your applications. Use the config setting

iconset = ...

to switch iconsets. Your options are:

<blank> - uses the default or classic icon set

Arty - uses a more stylized set of icons

Glass - shiny and translucent icons

Grey - low-colour icons

Not every plugin has options available in each iconset. If no icon is available, it will fall back on the default icon.

When installing icons, or creating new plugins, place your icons in the the plugin's html directory, and give them names like icon<ICONSET>.gif|png. For example, if you provide icon.gif and iconGlass.png, the latter would be used when the Glass iconset is requested, and the former would be used as the default in other cases.