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Monday, 12-Aug-02 01:56:57 EST Space Troubleshooting your site search set-up
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    Space Common areas that can create problems when setting up your search page.

    | Framesets | Customising the results screen | Absolute and relative links |

    If your website has frames be sure that you direct the results page to open in the correct TARGET. You will need to edit the first field in the search form code and define the TARGET.

    For example:

    <FORM ACTION="http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/search97cgi/s97_cgi" METHOD=post>

    Add the TARGET and name of your target to define in which frame you want the search results to appear. Here we have called the frame 'main'.

    <FORM ACTION="http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/search97cgi/s97_cgi" METHOD=POST TARGET=main>

    One of the troubles with framesets is the inability to bookmark particular screens of your site, therefore it is a good idea to have a specific frameset for your search page that people can bookmark. Also we can then link directly to your search page from our list of examples.

    Customising the results screen to your site's look and feel
    Does your site search work but the results screen is not displaying your look and feel? If so, there is probably an error in the HTML code syntax in your site search query screen. Its easy to fix. Here's why and how...

    Your site search query screen is on your website, on your server. Your site search results screen comes from our server. The code producing your site's look and feel on your search results screen is part of the code you submit (along with the actual search query) with your site search query screen form.

    For the whole thing to work you need to put a string of HTML code tags inside a single HTML tag, in the hidden input header tag in your site search query screen. This string can be as long as you like and include a menu and / or logo image for example (remember you must use absolute anchor references for links to your website in this string of code). However, for the customising to work, all the double quotes in your string of header and footer code must be changed to single quotes - and then the whole string is encolsed in one set of double quotes.

    For example:

    Replace the word 'Default' with the string of code which defines the look and feel of the header and footer in your screen:

    <INPUT TYPE=hidden NAME=Header VALUE="Default">
    <INPUT TYPE=hidden NAME=Footer VALUE=

    Be sure to change all the double quotes within your header and footer string to single quotes, that is, from
    " to ':

    <INPUT TYPE=hidden NAME=Header VALUE=
    "<HEAD><TITLE>Search our site</TITLE></HEAD>
    '#FFFFC6' LINK='#FF0000'ALINK='#FFC200' VLINK='#8F3802'>">

    A simple way to do this is to:

    • copy the string of header or footer code from one of your files and paste it into a new, temporary file
    • use the search and replace function of your editor to change all the double quotes to single quotes (if you are using any anchor references to your own website in either the header or footer string, make sure they are all absolute references, not relative)
    • copy the completed string to replace the word 'Default' in the appropriate hidden field (that is, your header code in the header field and footer code in the footer field)
    • make sure you retain the set of double quotes around the entire string and keep the closing angle bracket.

    *Tip* Include a 'Search again' link in your footer which refers back to your site search screen.

     Absolute and relative link references
    As the site search results screen comes from our server any links in either of the hidden header or footer fields in your site search form which refer back to your website must be absolute and not relative.

    For example, suppose your domain name is www.yourname.com.au and you have three main menu areas using the following addresses:

    Home http://www.yourname.com.au/

    About http://www.yourname.com.au/about/

    Events http://www.yourname.com.au/events/

    Shop http://www.yourname.com.au/shop/

    Within your own website you can use relative references for links within your site:

    <A HREF="/shop/">Shop</A>

    If you are including the same link in either of the hidden header or footer fields in your site search form you must use the full absolute reference:

    <A HREF="http://www.yourname.com.au/shop/">Shop</A>

    As your site search results come from our server, if you use a relative reference, whatever your link is - in this case '/shop/' - it will be added on to our address ( http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/shop/ ) and most likely cause an error. In any case it will not link back you your website, so remember to always use absolute references if you put any links in either of the hidden header or footer fields in your site search form which refer back to your website.

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