Spree Admin Bar

We’ve been using the Spree open source e-commerce framework on a website, and found that the owners would often be browsing the shop front-end and spot something that required a quick content change. However, it was not that straightforward to navigate to the relevant section and edit that content within the site admin.

For example, if you’re browsing your website and you spot a mistake in the description of a product, it may only require changing a few characters. However, if you have to remember (or copy to the clipboard) the name or sku of the product, type in the URL of your admin page, click on the products section, enter (or paste) in the details into the search box, click search, and then click edit for the corresponding product, it can take many times longer to navigate to the correct product in the admin than it does to actually make the change.

One of the things that is really useful when administering a website that has an admin section is the ability to easily go from reading the publicly accessible website to being able to edit the same content that you were reading in the admin section. Many frameworks, such as WordPress, have an “admin bar” at the top of the screen, which is only shown to users logged in as an admin. This allows them to easily jump to the relevant admin section and make changes to that page.

To help speed up administering the online shop, I wrote a quick and simple admin bar that gets displayed at the top of the publicly visible pages, such as product or taxon (category) pages, if you’re logged in as an admin user. The ability to quickly jump into the admin to edit the content has proven to be really useful to efficiently make edits to the content and makes the process feel much smoother.

spree admin bar screenshot

Screenshot of a Product page with the Spree Admin Bar highlighted

Initially, the code was just embedded within the application, but I have now moved the code out of the application and into the Spree Admin Bar plugin, which can be easily added to other Spree sites. You can find it on github: https://github.com/stefansenk/spree_admin_bar/. And on spreecommerce.com: http://spreecommerce.com/extensions/367-spree-admin-bar.

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