Volusion Admin Terms to Know

When contacting our Support team, have you ever struggled to properly explain the issue you’re having? Or, worse yet—have you ever received a response that sounded like complete gibberish? This confusion is often a result of inconsistent terminology; it’s hard to understand each other when we all use different words to describe the same thing!

In an effort to facilitate more efficient communication, we’ve created a glossary of common terms related to the Volusion Platform. Once you’ve taken a look, be sure to bookmark this page for future reference!

Admin Area

Admin Area – The password protected administrative area for your store. You’ll need to log in to this area in order to make changes to your products, categories, and site content. This area, sometimes referred to as the “back end” of your store, is also where you’ll process orders, create reports, and perform a variety of store maintenance functions.

Affiliates - Customers who registered to participate in your store’s Affiliate program. Affiliates can receive commission in exchange for promoting your store and driving traffic via a custom URL. You can choose the commission your affiliates will receive for each sale they generate.

Dashboard - The first page you see when you log in to your Admin Area. The Dashboard contains a variety of customizable widgets that display recent store activity and trends, as well as links to store setup tutorials, release notes, and more.

Easy Editor - A tool bar used for formatting page content, such as text, links, and images. The Easy Editor tool bar appears above various fields in your Admin Area, including the product description and article body fields. When you add content using this tool bar, the Easy Editor automatically generates the appropriate HTML code on the storefront—without you needing to write the code yourself!

Super Admin - An administrator account that has access permissions for every part of the Admin Area. Unlike regular administrator accounts, Super Admins have the ability to create new administrators and edit permissions for existing accounts. They can also use the storefront editor to make global changes to the site.


Article - Any page on your store that isn’t a category, subcategory, or product page. Article pages usually contain generic “site content”, such as text and images.

Article 2 - This specific article holds the majority of your homepage content—the portion between the header and footer of your template. Note that most Volusion templates use Article 2 for homepage content, but certain custom templates may use a different area.

Featured Products - A select group of products that display below Article 2 on your store’s homepage. After you assign the “featured” designation to specific products in your Admin Area, they’ll display in a random order each time the customer refreshes your home page.

Homepage Slideshow - A built-in tool used to display a rotating set of images on your homepage. With this feature, you can upload slide images and define a link for each image to redirect to when clicked. Note that if you’re using Article 2 to display additional content on the homepage, it will appear below the slideshow.

Navigation Menu - The organization structure that dictates where your categories display. Your template can contain up to eight navigation menus, but it’s unlikely that you’ll need more than one or two. New and responsive templates typically utilize Nav Menu 1 only, displayed as a horizontal menu at the top of your storefront. Older templates may use Nav Menu 1 at the top and then use additional menus on the left hand side of the page.

Storefront Editor - An editing tool for global content that appears in multiple places on your storefront. When hovering over editable content on your storefront, this tool appears in the form of a blue box with an ‘Edit’ button in the upper right corner.


Child Products - Auto-generated products that represent different option combinations assigned to a parent product. These products make it possible to track stock for different product variants.

Options - A specific product variation that a customer can select. If you offer a shirt in multiple colors, each color is considered an option.

Option Categories - A group of individual options that display together for organizational purposes. If you offer a shirt in multiple colors and sizes, you can group color options together in one option category and size options in another option category.

Payment Processing

Authorization/Authorized - An electronic gateway response confirming that a cardholder's account has enough available credit to cover the cost of a specific transaction. When a gateway “authorizes” a payment amount, it shows as a pending transaction in your customer’s bank account and places a temporary “hold” on the funds to be collected. However, no funds are transferred to your credit card processor until you capture them.

Capture - An action that initiates the collection of funds from an authorized transaction. Note that the movement of funds from your customer’s account is not instantaneous. Once you “capture” a payment, you’ll typically see the money in your account within three business days.

Debit – An action that authorizes and captures funds at the same time.

Credit - A partial or complete refund for a captured transaction.

Gateway - An electronic payment processing tool that performs the authorization step for credit card transactions.

Merchant Services Provider – The company that helps you set up and manage your credit card processing account, including your payment processor and gateway. If you use Volusion Payments, Volusion is your Merchant Services provider and Authorize.Net is your gateway.

PayPal Express - An alternative form of accepting credit card payments without a gateway. When this payment method is enabled, customers are redirected from your checkout page to PayPal in order to enter their payment information. After making a payment, the customer is redirected to your store to complete the order.

Paypal Pro - A form of PayPal that operates as a true gateway. When you enable this service, customers will enter payment information on your store just as they would with any credit card gateway. The transaction is seamless, and the customer is not redirected to a separate PayPal site at any point.

Paypal Standard - An alternative payment method that uses PayPal to process credit cards outside of your store. When you enable this payment method, customers will skip your checkout page entirely and complete the entire process on PayPal’s site. By contrast, PayPal Express only redirects customers to PayPal for the payment portion of the transaction, then returns them to your store for order completion.

RMA - An acronym for “Returned Merchandise Authorization.” When a customer returns an item after their order was completed, you can generate an RMA to track and replenish the relevant inventory being returned.


Bandwidth - The amount of data that your store is using. Data increases occur with high traffic to your store, large or high-resolution images, a large amount of content on one page, or excessive use of API tools.

MyVolusion - The area where you manage your relationship with Volusion, including your hosting plan details, payment and contact information, DNS records, and Support tickets. Note that this area is separate from your store’s Admin Area, and often uses different login credentials.

Rackspace – An email hosting company that partners with Volusion to offer low-cost, secure mailboxes for your store. If you pay for monthly email hosting as part of your plan, your accounts are hosted on Rackspace’s servers.

Servertrust/Temporary URL - The unique, static URL assigned to each Volusion store. You can use this URL to access your store at any time, even when you haven’t pointed your domain name to Volusion. Servertrust addresses are always formatted as: xxxxx.xxxxx.servertrust.com

SmarterStats - A built-in analytics tool that helps you monitor trends and traffic on your store. This integration, accessible through your MyVolusion account, can help you determine how much traffic you’re receiving, where the traffic is coming from, and which resources are using the most bandwidth on your store.

SSL Certificate – Short for “Secure Socket Layer”, an SSL certificate encrypts data on your store in order to protect sensitive personal and financial data. SSL certificates are a requirement for stores that process credit card transactions. Additionally, the presence of an SSL certificate increases customer confidence in your store.

Subdomain - An extension of an existing domain name, often used to create a store or blog “offshoot” that still retains the original domain name. For example, if your domain name was “volusionboutique.com”, you could create subdomains such as “store.volusionboutique.com” and “blog.volusionboutique.com”, each of which can host separate content from “volusionboutique.com”.


It may take a little time to “come to terms” with the words in this glossary, but once you do, your Support experience will be even more fruitful. By learning and using the same language as our team, you can get more answers in less time. That’s a benefit we can all understand!