Adding pages to your website
One of the great advantages to a WOBBookSite is the ability to easily create your own pages on your website that by default include the look and feel of the rest of your website.
This article will go into detail on how to create your own user pages that follow the look & feel of your website. 4 areas will be covered: Creating a basic page, making the page available to your users, adding content to the page, and special page types.
I – Creating a Basic Page
1. Log into your Website Control Panel.
2. Click the ‘Add & Configure User Pages’ link under the User Pages & Menu Setup header.
3. You will see a list of standard non-inventory pages you can enable and any already created user pages.
4. On the lower left side of the list of pages there will be a box you can enter text into and a button next to it that says: ‘Add New Page’
5. To create a new user page and the page text into that box and click the button. This name cannot contain spaces and will be the name that shows up in the URL. i.e. www.whiteoakbooks.com/TestUserPage.aspx (bolded is the name)
6. Once you click the ‘Add New Page’ button (or click the ‘Edit’ button next to the name you will see the page on the right hand side of the screen. We will now go through the 5 major parts of the page that you edit:
a. Edit General Page Settings
i. This Page Enabled – until checked the page will not show up on any menus.
ii. Link Text – If this page is to show up on the standard menus this is the Text that will display.
iii. Link Image – If you are using images on your top menu instead of text you would put the image file name here.
iv. Browser Title Bar Text – This should be filled in. It will show up on the top of the users browser, in the task manager and will be supplied to the search engines.
v. Meta keywords – Keywords for the page… these are not very important anymore to search engines.
vi. Meta Description – A longer description of what this page is about to search engines. In many cases this is what shows up in Search Engine results.
vii. Show on various menus – The standard menus are: Top Bar, Under the Bottom Bar, Side Menu (shows up above categories), above/below the category list, and under the ‘Add to Cart’ button. In all cases you can check whether this page shows up on these menus.
viii. Sort on various menus – By default the pages are added to the various menus in the same order they were created. You can sort the menu items. You might have to sort all your menu pages to get them to look like you want them.
ix. The rest of the options will be discussed under the ‘Special Page Types’
x. Click ‘Save & Close Page’ to save your choices.
b. Edit Left Column
i. Left Column Enabled – A left column will not show on this page if this is not checked.
ii. Search Box, Side Menu, Print Normal Categories – Pretty self explanatory. Checking all these options make the page look like all the standard pages of the website.
iii. User Menu Name – This will be addressed in the next section of the article (making the page available to your users)
iv. Use Default Left Column – If checked the left column defined in the General Look & Feel area will be used.
v. Font, Font Size, Text – if iv above is not checked this is what will be displayed.
c. Edit Right Column
i. Right Column Enabled – A right column will not show on this page if this is not checked.
ii. Use Default Right Column – If checked the right column defined in the General Look & Feel area will be used.
iii. All other options – if ii above is not checked this is what will be displayed.
d. Edit Page Header
i. This is the area that shows up right below the top menu.
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i. This is where all the page information (content) goes.
ii. Text, inventory items and searches, Amazon items all can go here. More detail will be given in the 3rd part of this article: adding content to the page.
7. Your page is now created and available to the general public once you ‘Copy All Changes To Live Website’
II - Making the page available to your users
Once your user page is created how do you make it available to the public. There are 4 ways.
- Don’t – At least not from the website itself. The new page is always available as a direct link: www.YourDomain.com/PageName.aspx. You can post that link in other places. For example one of my customers created a page that had all the USPS shipping rates. It really did not apply to anyone browsing the website and the link was only posted on Bookseller forums.
- On the Standard Menus – When you created the user page you had (in the general settings area) the option of having a link to that page show up on the Top/Bottom/Side menu along with several special options such as right above/below the inventory category list and under the ‘Add To Cart’ button.
- Manually link to the Page from other pages on the website – There are cases where you do not want to link to the new page from every page on the website which is the case if you add it to one of the standard menus. You might only want to link to the user page from your home page or from the right menu or most likely from other user pages. This is similar to 1. above. You are just adding a standard HTML link to the page. To create a link to the new page:
- In any of the page/section editors in the control panel type the text of the link…
- Highlight the text…
- Click the ‘Create Link’ icon of the editor. (that is the globe image with a chain underneath it)…
- Add the URL in these format: http://www.YourDomain.com/PageName.aspx (always add the http:// to links)
- The title shows up in a tool tip and the Target tells the browser if it should open the new page in a new window.
- Group similar pages together in a menu – This option allows you to create any number of side menus which is useful in creating sections of your website. An example of why you would want to do this: Say you have reviewed 10 Rex Stout books. From any Rex Stout review you would like to have a side menu that allows the users to see a list of all 10 of those reviews. In this case you would create a custom user menu with links to all 10 of the reviews. How to create and use a custom menu:
- Click the ‘Add & Configure User Menus’ from your website control panel.
- On the left side of the page is a list of any currently defined menus. To create a new one enter a name in the Menu Name box and click the ‘Add New Menu’ button.
- After adding a new menu (or clicking ‘Edit’) you will see the menu options listed to the right.
- To add an item –
i. Enter the link – If the link is to a web page you created in your website control panel you just enter the internal name. You can add links to other pages… both in your domain or anywhere on the web. In this case enter the full URL (including the http)
ii. Enter the link text – This is the text that the user sees.
- Once the link (and other links) are added you see a list of all the links at under the add link area where you can order, edit and delete the menu links.
- Once you have created a user menu… you can add that menu to any other user pages you have created. Back under the ‘Edit Left Column’ button under the ‘Edit & Configure User Pages’ link there was a text box titled: ‘User Menu Name’. Enter your user menu internal name here and that page will now display that menu.
As you can see it is very easy to create a simple user page that shows up on the standard menus. For example you have your own B&M store and you want to have a page that describes it and has a map to its location. You would just create a user page and add it to the top/bottom menus.
But it gets a little more complicated if you want to create an entire new section for your website.
For example… perhaps you want to create a Featured Author review every month.
Creating the individual monthly article page is easy. You create a new user page named for the author… add all the bio and review text to the page… maybe add a search of your inventory by that author (see next section)… and save it.
But how do your users get to it?
You could add it to the top menu but after a few months the menu will have so many items that it will start to wrap around to multiple lines.
The standard side menu is an option but after about 10 featured authors that menu starts getting too big. And if you also have other sections such as book reviews it is overwhelming to add all those pages to the side menu.
What you want to do is break up your website into sections and use Custom User menus to help organize your website.
So let us say you have about 10 book reviews written and 10 featured author reviews written. You want a section for each group of reviews.
For each of those 20 pages you have created a Custom User page.
Here is how you would create 2 new sections for these user pages:
1. Create 2 user menus… 1 for the book reviews and 1 for the featured author reviews.
2. On all the 10 book review pages you would add the book review menu and on all of the 10 featured author reviews you would add the featured author menu.
3. Now each of the reviews link to each other…. You still need a way for your users to initially get into the new sections:
a. On your home page you could have a little blub about your reviews and a link to the latest one.
b. You could create a ‘lead in page’ for each section. Consider all your book reviews their own mini-website and this page will act like a home page to that section explaining to the user what the section is. Then you could add a link to the menus (or home page) to the home page for each section.
c. You could do both a & b
III - Adding content to the page
The most important and visible part of a new custom user page. There are very few limitations on what can go on a page.
1. Text – Obviously you can enter any text you want into the editor.
2. Images – In the editor click the little mountain picture icon.
a. Image Source – This is the URL of the image. If you uploaded the image to your website (Upload Files & Images to your website from your control panel) the format would be: http://www.YourDomain.com/images/imagename . Always include the http.
b. Alternate Text – This is what shows up one a user puts the mouse over the image. It is also used by the search engines to help understand what the image is.
c. Alignment – This tells the browser how text will flow around the image. In general left or right alignment will allow the text to wrap around the image.
d. Border Thickness – Exactly what it says. Enter a 0 for no border.
e. Spacing – Spaces items around the image.
f. Dimensions – The size of the image you want displayed. It is best to size the image before you upload it and leave these blank otherwise you are trusting the browsers to re-size the image properly.
3. Items from your Inventory – The Featured Item Builder helps generate the code needed to display up to 10 items from your inventory. When items are displayed through this code images and all item detail are automatically shown without you having to do it your self.
4. Product Links to your Inventory – This also allows access to your inventory. The difference between this and Featured Items is these create just links… the actual product detail is not shown.
a. Individual Product – This creates a link to the products detail page.
b. Inventory Search – This create a link that does a keyword search. i.e. If you do an article on Rex Stout you could create a search link that automatically searches your inventory for Rex Stout.
c. Individual Amazon Product – You can review books/authors that you do not have in your inventory and provide an Amazon Affiliate link to that item.
These links are html and you must enter them into your editor in the html mode.
5. Almost Any Affiliate code or widget – Since you have access to the HTML mode of your editor most can just be copied and pasted.
IV - Special page types
There are some special page types you can add to your website. Here I will cover some of them.
1. Any HTML, PHP, ASP pages. Your service includes a true hosting account and your have FTP access to your website. This means you can upload any webpage to your server. The only restriction is that you cannot upload any ASP.Net pages.
2. Special categories set in the User Page General Settings:
b. AStore – You can embed your AStore within your website. We do not recommend this. To do so enter your AStore code and set the Width/Height.
c. Non WOB WebPage – If you want a link in one of your menus to go to a webpage not on your website ( or 1. above on your website) enter the FULL url here. None of the other settings will apply.
d. Link is Email – This will popup the standard users email send message window. By default the email address will be your standard email. If you want to special email address put it in the Non WOB WebPage text box.
e. HTML Only – Very rarely used. This allows you to define HTML in the Center Text and only that HTML will be loaded into another page using the [** Include - FileNamefilename); **] code.