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How to Use Sections
Library > How To > Sections  
You can allow your visitors to search only in a specific part of your site by dividing your search index into sections.

You might want to do this if, for example, your site is a hobby store with "how-to" articles and you want to allow your visitors to be able to, a) search your entire site, b) search just your products for sale, or c) search just your "how-to" articles. This how-to shows you how to accomplish this.  
Contents
Overview
Dividing your Index into Sections
Use a Search Panel with Sections
Customize your Search Panel with Sections
[top]

This tutorial is not a web/html primer and assumes that you already know how the process of "web surfing" is accomplished (i.e. a browser requests a page from a server which then returns the page to be viewed), what HTML tags are and how to use them. If you are not familiar with these concepts please read a basic web/html primer.

Overview(top)

There are two general steps involved in allowing your visitors to search by section:
  • Divide your index into multiple sections, and
  • Use a search panel to access those sections
Each of these steps is discussed in more detail below.

Dividing your Index into Sections(top)

To do this, you simply log in to your account, go to the build index page and use the define subsections link. When the wizard appears add your list of "section specifications", one per line (browser wrapping may be ignored), and press the finish button to save your changes.

Each section specification consists of a "URL mask" and a list of single-word section names each with an optional modifier. Here are a few quick examples:
   http://mysite.com/store/* products
   http://mysite.com/store/test/* products=exclude
   http://mysite.com/store/art/* products artsupplies
   http://mysite.com/articles/* howto

The URL mask is simply a standard web address, but may contain the common wildcards "*" and "?" to make it match more than one web address. The "*" will match any number of any character and the "?" will match any single character. Non-wildcard characters are matched without regard to case (case-insensitive). URL masks which do not begin with "http://" are treated as if they begin with "*". Because of this it is recommended that you include the "http://" in your URL masks.

The URL mask is followed by one or more single-word section names. Your visitors will never see these names, they are just used by the search engine to identify each section. Each section name may by followed by an equals sign ("=") and then one of the modifiers:
   include
   exclude
to control whether web addresses which match the URL mask are included or excluded from that section. The default is "include".

Note: The section name "web" is reserved. You cannot use it as your own section name. It is used by search panels to indicate a web search (not a site search) should be performed.

When determining which section specification to apply, entire list is considered and the last matching section specification is used. This allows convenient expression of "include everything but..." logic. For example, to include everything in your "http://mysite.com/store/" directory in a section except pages in the "/store/test/" subdirectory you can use the following:
   http://mysite.com/store/* products
   http://mysite.com/store/test/* products=exclude

After you have specified all of your sections your site will be reindexed before the new sections are active.

Use a Search Panel with Sections(top)

Now that you have an index with various sections you need to use an appropriate search panel to allow your visitors to use those sections. To do this just go to the html page and choose the panel with sections. Add it to your web site in the usual manner. To review instructions for this see the chapter Adding your Panel to your Site in the tutorial Page Search Setup.

You may want to change the labels of the sections as they appear in the drop down list. This is fine, just be sure to change the option text only, not the option value itself. To see an example of this, and more information on customizing any search panel to support sections, see Customizing Your Search Panel with Sections, below.

Customizing Your Search Panel with Sections(top)

There are a couple common ways to allow a visitor to select which section(s) to search. You can add a drop-down menu to your search panel, or you can also provide checkboxes (or radio buttons) for the user to check. Details on how to do both of these are provided below.

Using a drop-down menu to choose which section to search
To add a drop-down menu to your search panel, add HTML code similar to this:

   <select name="s">
   <option value="" selected>Entire site</option>
   <option value="products">Products for sale</option>
   <option value="howto">How-to articles</option>
   <option value="web">The entire web</option>
   </select>
The select name must be "s". For the "search entire site" option, the value should be an empty string (""). For a web search option the value should be "web". This is a reserved section name which may only be used for this purpose. Other selections should have option values which correspond to the single-word section names you used when specifying the sections.

Note: The section name "web" is reserved. It is used by search panels to indicate a web search (not a site search) should be performed.

Using checkboxes to choose which section(s) to search
To add a drop-down menu to your search panel, use HTML code similar to this:

   <input type="checkbox" name="s" value="products">Things for Sale
   <input type="checkbox" name="s" value="howto">How-to articles
   <input type="checkbox" name="s" value="web">The entire web
Each checkbox must have the name "s". The value should be the single-word section name you used when specifying the section. For web search the value should be "web". This is a reserved section name which may only be used for this purpose. If it is checked a web search (only) will be performed even if other sections are checked as well. If nothing is checked by the user, the entire index will be used.

Additional points

  1. The HTML must be placed after the search panel's initial
       <form ...
    tag and before it's ending
       </form>
    tag, otherwise it will not work.

  2. We recommend using a text editor to modify your search panel as many HTML editors modify added html code without notifying you, giving unpredictable results.

 

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