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Area Home Page

This resource has the following sections:

Your site homepage may be customized, but generally will contain the following elements:

  • A left navigation column that includes Login links, navigation to other practice areas, an FCKeditor box and your Admin tool tray
  • A horizontal tool navigation bar with your primary tool pages
  • Beige announcement FCKeditor boxes at the top of the main content area
  • The center content area which can contain FCKeditor boxes as well as sponsorship widgets; and
  • A stack of editable boxes at the right of the main column: FCKeditor boxes, tool and/or sponsor widgets, and RSS feed widgets.

FCKeditor Widgets

FCKeditor boxes allow administrators to enter content using a What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) interface. Admins can create styled text, upload images and create hyperlinks using FCKeditor's visuals tools. There are four default locations with FCKeditor content on your home page.

Welcome notifications
Beige Welcome boxes at the top of the page, in which you may post a welcome message, the name and mission of your site, or other content you deem appropriate. The purpose of Welcome boxes is to use their display options to reveal them either to site members, non-members, or both.

See the example below of two Welcome boxes with different messages. The top one has been set to only show to logged-in site members while the one below it displays only to non-logged in members and the public. Admins will always see both.

Center column
FCKeditor boxes in the center column of the Geo and PA home pages should convey bigger themes: your site's purpose, how to join it, who uses it, acknowledgment of organizations that help maintain it, materials and tool resources the site holds (e.g., listservs, news articles, library resources, etc.) and even links to other PAs connected to the Geo site.

Note: any fixed width element that you add to this column (such as pictures, charts, etc.) should be no wider than 390 pixels in order to not break the site design. Elements larger than this will force the Callout Box to be pushed out to the right or the bottom of the page for users with 1024x768 screen resolution (which is still the most common resolution).

Callout box
To the right of the center column, widgets can be used to highlight site content, display external RSS feeds and automatically draw content for your advocate site. Examples include new library resources, links to updated or important publications, job opportunities, web resources for attorneys, help links for your site, and announcements of any sort.

Left navigation column
The left navigation column contains tools for user's to login and manage their site membership. It also contains likes to practice areas if applicable, as well as FCKeditor widgets.

To add and manage content in FCKeditor boxes, follow these steps:

  1. Click the pencil and paper edit icon in the upper left of the box.
  2. An FCKeditor form will open. Select the Content tab to enter or paste text. Format it using the tool bar menu along the top of the form.
  3. Alternatively, if you are comfortable with HTML you can select "Source" to add and edit HTML directly. 
  4. Click the Settings tab to enter a title for the box, opt to display or hide the title, and choose whom to display the box to.
  5. Click Save. Click the close box icon .
  6. Refresh the page to see your changes.

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Content Widgets

Content widgets automatically draw content headlines from the local website tools, and provide access to substantive content from your home page. They are identified by the RSS icon and grey cog edit icon in their title. The RSS icon is automatically added to tool widgets and when clicked, opens an RSS feed URL for users to add to a web page or subscribe in their news readers.

The screen shot below shows the edit form on tool widgets:

Admins can edit the title of a widget, the type of content to display, and the number of items it generates in its list by following these steps:

  1. Click the grey cog icon
  2. The setting pages will display as an overlay.
  3. Make edits in the Title, Content Type and Display fields.
  4. Click Save and click the close box icon .
  5. Refresh your page to see your changes.
  • NOTE: If there is no content posted on the Calendar or News tool page, the widget will disapear for site users. It will immediately reappear when current content is available in its respective tool.

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Sponsorship/Image Widgets

Sponsor widgets have a grey cog icon in their header bar and they display and rotate logos or images. You can use them to acknowledge or thank organizations that contribute toward your site's creation or continued development, or for any other reason you might want to rotate images on your site. Sponsor/image widgets may be added to the left hand navigation, the center column, or the right side stack of updates and announcements boxes.

See the screen shot below showing the edit form on sponsor widgets:

Admins can manage the logos in sponsor/image widgets by following these steps:

  1. Click the grey cog icon at the upper left. A form will open, with the "Manage Current" tab selected by default. Here you may edit the existing widget's title bar, change the number of logos on display per rotation, and opt whether to open the clicked logo links in a new window.
  2. Click the Add Image tab if you wish to add logos to the existing set.
  3. Click Choose File to locate the logo image on your computer's hard drive.
  4. Enter Alt Text* in the next field.
  5. Select whether or not to display the title used in the alt text field under the logo.
  6. Enter a URL for the logo to link to when clicked.
  7. Click Save, then click the close box icon.
  8. Refresh your page to see your changes.

* Alt Text is text that appears if a user's browser is set to not display images. It should be a short description of the image (staff photo, MSLA logo, etc.) and never be blank for disability accessibility purposes.

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RSS Widgets

An RSS widget will display headlines from RSS feeds from external websites. Websites with RSS news feeds will have an RSS icon in your browsers toolbar that you can click to view its contents. To add an RSS news feed to your site, copy the address to the feed in your address bar and follow the directions below. For more information about RSS news feeds, check out Pro Bono Net's What is RSS help page.

To edit the properties of an RSS Feed box, follow these steps:

  1. Click the grey cog icon to open the edit form.
  2. Change the Title, paste the Feed URL and adjust the number of feed items to display.
  3. Click Save and click the close box icon .
  4. Refresh your page to see your changes.

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Horizontal Tool Navigation

Email to add, hide, and remove tools, change tool names, and add flexible content pages.

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