User interface

  • Updated

The toolbar and the panes in the Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) edit view provide easy access to functions when working with content. When entering the edit view, you have the top menu and the toolbar at the top, and adjustable panes to the left and right.

Main window layout


  1. Left navigation bar – provide access to the following:
  2. Content tree – Contains the page tree structure (Pages)language branch (Sites) navigation, tasks management (Tasks), and project items (Project Items) by default.
  3. Recent – A gadget that can be added to the navigation pane. It can be expanded and collapsed with the arrow.
  4. Project – You will only see this toolbar if the projects feature is enabled. From the toolbar, you can create and delete projects, activate an existing project and access the project overview.
  5. Content functions – 
    • Toggle Navigation pane (content tree)
    • Create Content
    • Toggle view settings
    • Toggle preview mode
    • Compare different versions
  6. Options – When you have unpublished content open, this button says Publish? Otherwise it is called Options. When there is unpublished content, you can publish it (if you have publishing rights) from this button. You can also schedule it for later publishing or revert to publish. In that latter case, the current draft is discarded and the last published version is displayed instead.
  7. On-page edit and All Properties views – On-Page Editing view provides quick access to direct editing of a selection of content properties. All Properties view provides access to available properties including more advanced ones such as access rights and language settings.
  8. Properties – Scrolling up from the content page exposes properties for the content. These are basic info properties where you can add a simple address, set access rights for a page or to change the name in the URL and so on. Additional properties are displayed in the All Properties view. 
  9. Content page – This is the main content area. What you see and can do here depends on the selected page type and how your access rights were set up.
  10. Assets tree – Contains the Media and Blocks folder structures. Drag and drop one or multiple items from the assets pane into the content you are currently working on.
  11. Assets – Displays assets associated with the selected Blocks or Media folder.

The toolbar contains features like preview and view options, and lets you add items such as pages or blocks.


The page information area below the toolbar displays the page name, the path to the page and when it was last autosaved. If it is possible to undo the latest changes you did to the content, there is also an Undo link.

A notification toolbar may be displayed below the toolbar showing information, confirmation, error messages and so on.



The user interface has a left-hand and a right-hand pane, which can be adjusted and extended with additional gadgets.

CMS12-pin.pngPane pin is used for expanding and locking the panes in an open position.

CMS12-settings.pngSettings for a pane or a gadget allow you to configure or remove a gadget, or rearrange gadgets in a pane.

Content tree

Left-hand navigation pane.

Contains the page tree structure (Pages), language branch (Sites) navigation, tasks management (Tasks), and project items (Project Items) by default.

Assets pane 

Right-hand navigation pane.

Contains the Media and Blocks folder structures by default. Drag and drop one or multiple items from the assets pane into the content you are currently working on.

You can also drag and drop multiple items within the assets pane, and delete, cut or copy and paste them, from the context menu or with standard keyboard shortcuts. Any unselected children folders are also moved, copied or deleted.

If you copy and paste multiple folders on different levels, they will be on the same level when pasted.

If you have Optimizely Customized Commerce or Optimizely Forms installed, the assets pane also displays the Catalogs and Forms gadgets per default.


You must have at least CMS edit privileges to see the CMS dashboard.

The Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) dashboard displays information about your content that lets you quickly access from one place. 

  • Click on any of the Workflow Status tabs, and click any of the link names to go directly to editing the page. You can also select the options menu (...) to edit the page, or to edit the workflow for that page. See Approval sequences.
  • You can sort the Name, Last modified, and Modified by columns by clicking on them.
  • The following image shows activity on 12 pages: nine Drafts, and one each of Approved, Scheduled, or Rejected status. It also shows no broken links. When the dashboard is loaded, numbers display on each tab; to update the numbers, click on the tabs.


  • Click View Full Report to open the Reports tab to see broken links.

    Broken links shows the number of broken links in the database, and lists the pages with at least one broken link. If there is more than one broken link on a page, the page is listed only once. For example, if you have only one page with 25 broken links, it displays 25 broken links with a list of only one page. But if you have 25 pages with one broken link each, it displays 25 broken links with a list of 25 pages (five at a time). Also, only content that you can edit is shown so you can click to go to the content to fix the links.


    Broken links are not automatically updated. You need to refresh the dashboard to get the broken links gadget updated.
  • Select from the available languages to see the Dashboard in that language. The content list in every tab in the workflow status displays only content of that language.


    Administrators can enable the language filter options. Also, if you go to the dashboard and select Swedish (for example), you can go to another page and Swedish is maintained when you return to the dashboard. However, if you log out, the language filter is reset to the default language.


The toolbar on top displays an actions menu with context-sensitive publishing options which vary depending on content status and user access rights. During editing, content status and autosave information are displayed.


When working with content such as pages and blocks in CMS, or catalog content in Optimizely Customized Commerce, there are two editing views, On-Page Editing and All Properties, with buttons to switch between them.

Image: On-page editing button – On-Page Editing view provides quick access to direct editing of a selection of content properties.

Image: All properties button – All Properties view provides access to all available properties including more advanced ones such as access rights and language settings.

When editing content properties, these options are common when adding, deleting, or selecting items:

Image: Add button – Click to select (a category, for example).

Image: Browse button – Click to select (an image in a media folder, or a page in the page tree).

Image: Remove button – Click to remove (a category, for example).

Add-ons (apps)

An add-on (or application (app)) is a plug-in or module, developed by Optimizely or Optimizely partners, to extend the capabilities of CMS. A developer (or someone with Access rights) installs most add-ons. See Optimizely World for installation, configuration, and customizing details for each add-on.


A gadget is a small application that you can add to the assets and navigation panes in Optimizely Content Management System (CMS). There are built-in gadgets for CMS and product-specific ones, such as gadgets for forms viewing, version management, and the product catalog, if you have Optimizely Customized Commerce installed. As a developer, you can develop custom gadgets to extend the features of your CMS solution.

When they are installed on the website, you can add some of the add-ons as gadgets to the navigation or assets panes in edit view. Some gadgets are available by default in the user interface, while others need to be added manually.

Select Add Gadgets, and select a gadget to add from the list of available gadgets.


The Gadgets dialog box displays.


  • Blocks – used to access blocks (default in the assets pane).
  • Form Elements – displays the forms elements that can be used when creating a form (default in the assets pane if the Forms add-on is installed).
  • Forms – used to access forms (default in the assets pane if the Forms add-on is installed).
  • Media – used to access media files (default in the assets pane).
  • Project Items – used to view items belonging to a project. You can multi-select and mark items as Ready to Publish from this gadget.
  • Sites – displays the page tree for the website.
  • Recent – displays items you have viewed during your current browser session.
  • Recently changed – displays recently changed content on the website.
  • Tasks – displays tasks to be done on the website. This gadget lets you filter items on status. You can, for example, see a list of all items set as Ready to Publish.
  • Versions – used to manage content versions. See also Compare versions of content for more information on working with versions.

To move or remove a gadget:

  • Select Rearrange Gadgets, select a gadget, and drag it to the desired position on the dashboard or in a pane.
  • Select Rearrange Gadgets, and click the Remove gadget symbol next to the gadget you want to remove from the dashboard or pane.

My settings

Under the top menu > your avatar > My settings, you can change some of your account settings. User name and password are usually set in an external system, such as Windows or an SQL database, and cannot be changed in CMS in that case.


In the Display Options tab, you find the following settings:

  • Personal language – Select your desired user interface language from the drop-down list. This settings affects the language of the user interface, such as texts in buttons and dialog boxes. It does not affect the language of your website.
  • Views – Limit touch support – On touch-screen devices, browsers may have difficulties prioritizing between input from the screen and from the computer mouse, which may cause problems such as making it impossible to resize panes using the computer mouse. If you experience problems with CMS and the touch screen, enable the Limit touch support feature. This feature prioritizes computer mouse input over touch screen input and enables the computer mouse for interactions such as drag and drop, resizing of panes, and so on.


  • Reset Views – You can reset your user interface views to the settings. If you have changes to the user interfaces, such as added, moved or deleted gadgets, these changes are undone and the default views are displayed.

General features

  • Context-sensitive actions – Some features are only available in certain context. The toolbar (for example) presents relevant actions depending on what you are currently doing, and the add (+) button also offers context-sensitive options.
  • Primary actions – Some actions open in a new window, for example, a page delete confirmation. The background is then dimmed, meaning that you must finish the primary action to continue.
  • Action feedback and notifications – Successful actions are confirmed by a message in the notification bar. A notification may also appear in case of an error requiring you to take action.
  • Drag-and-drop operations – Drag and drop is supported in many areas. For example, you can drag pages, media files and blocks into the rich-text area or content areas, or rearrange the page tree structure using drag-and-drop.
  • Tooltips – Hover over a button or field and a short tooltip appears.
  • Keyboard commands – Standard keyboard commands are supported in many areas, such as when you move pages in the page tree or in the rich-text editor.
  • Search – Supported in many areas to locate, such as pages in the page tree or media in the folder structure.
  • Adaptable work environment – Resize and pin the panes depending on what you are currently doing, and add and remove gadgets of your choice for quick access to functionality.
  • Support for time zones – Publishing actions in the edit view are done in your local time zone, whereas administrative actions are based on server time.
  • Context menus are available in many areas, such as in the panes, the page tree and in item listings. The menu displays different available options depending on where in the interface you are and what you are doing.


Real-time updates

CMS displays project comments and changes to projects in the user interface immediately. If CMS experiences problems with the these immediate updates, the following dialog box appears.

Image: Real-time Updates dialog box

The Real-time Updates dialog box can have two main reasons. It appears because CMS has encountered a network problem and cannot connect to the web server, or because your system does not have the WebSocket protocol enabled, which is used for the real-time updates of the user interface.

Network problems

Network problems occur if there is an error in the web server configuration, or if there are problems with your corporate network or the with Internet connection. As long as there is a problem, you are unable to continue working with CMS.

Whatever the reason, CMS will try to reconnect to the web server. If it still cannot connect after a number of attempts, you get an error message saying: "The server has been unavailable for an extended period of time. Please verify the internet connection and refresh the browser."

Contact your IT department or Internet service provider if the problem persists.

WebSocket support

WebSocket is an Internet protocol used to automatically update the CMS user interface.

If you are using the projects feature, the WebSocket protocol is used to check for new or updated comments and project items from other users. As soon as one of your colleagues adds a comment or project item, CMS automatically updates your user interface and displays the comment or item (assuming you have the projects interface open).

However, the WebSocket protocol must be enabled for your system by an administrator for the real-time updates to work. If it was not enabled, you can still work with CMS and with projects and comments but you need to manually refresh the user interface with the Refresh button to see new comments or items.

Depending on the system configuration when the WebSocket protocol is disabled, you may or may not see the Real-time Updates dialog box.