Administration

The following chapters describe how to best administer your Snap! Website. We have done our best to make it simple, but all systems always have a tricky feature that is not so easy to fathom. This documentation exposes all the tricks that you can use to make your website go ahead of your competition.

AdSense Setup

Setup Snap! AdSense

(Small Snap! Logo) Snap! Websites offers Google AdSense as a feature to help you monetize your website.

Google AdSense
Click to Enlarge

The Google AdSense feature eases the setup of your ads on your website. Instead of having to deal with HTML, you only have to copy your publisher number and ad slot numbers in the right places.

The publisher number is found at the top-right of your Google AdSense control page. It starts with pub- followed by a rather long number.

To find your ad slot numbers, click on AdSense Setup. By default, the tab brings you to the Get Ads screen, where you can create new ads. If you do not yet an ad, then go ahead and create one now. Note that Google AdSense gives you a last screen with HTML in a text area. Please ignore that screen!

Once you have ads, click on the Manage Ads tab. This gives you a table of your ads with their name and their slot number in parenthesis.

Click on the AdSense screenshot at the top-right. We marked the publisher identifier with a red arrow and the slot ads with green arrows.

Administer » Site configuration » AdSense
PublisherID tab
Google AdSense Settings (publisher number)
Click to Enlarge
      Administer » Site building » Blocks
Configure any AdSense Block

Click to Enlarge

Administrator, Authors & Editors

Privileges

The (Small Snap! Logo) Snap! Website system gives different people different privileges on your website. As the administrator, you can offer other users to become authors and editors.

The privileges are defined in each user account.

IMPORTANT

You want to watch out who you offer to become an author or an editor. Although, a little hand here and there can greatly help you enhance your work, offering the wrong person to help can be disastrous.

Authors

An author can create a new post, and later: edit or delete his own posts. Whenever you find high level contributors, it is a good idea to give them direct access so they can contribute faster.

Authors can also post non-moderated comments.

Editors

There are two kinds of editors. The moderators and actual editors (i.e. people who verify your writing.)

Editors can edit any page on your website, which in effect empowers them to moderate any post from any user such as your authors. They cannot otherwise administer the website (i.e. edit other users, change the slogan or title, choose the RSS capabilities, etc.)

Moderators

Moderators are people who can help you moderate your website by verifying all the changes: new posts by authors, new comments, new support requests, etc.

Editors

An editors on your website can also be a person who verifies that posts are well written. Computers can generally tell you about improper spelling such as badlie writen. However, it will not tell you whether you used the wrong word or misplaced a word on your web sight personal1.

Administrator

You are the only administrator on your website. You cannot assign someone else administration rights and you shouldn't need to anyway.

Made to Order Software also has administrative rights to access your website for support purposes. We do not otherwise use our rights, except if we find unwanted content or activities.

Assigning these roles

The Author and Editor privileges are offered using roles. A role acts as a group. You can thus put different people in a group or another.

As the administrator, you can review the accounts of all your users. There are several ways to find users as follow.

Administration: List of users (Administer » User management » Users)

Administration toolbarGo to the User management screen by clicking on Admin and then Users as found in your toolbar.  Search the user to visit and click on edit to reach the edit screen for that user.

This list sorts users in the order they registered an account, the newest registration first. You can also filter users using different categories.

User identifier number

With the user identifier (a number such as 123), you can reach his or her account with a URL similar to the following:

   http://my-site.example.com/user/<uid>

<uid> is always a number.

User name

The user log in name can be used with a URL similar to the following:

   http://my-site.example.com/member/<name>

For instance, the user John Smith who used his own name to create his account will be found at /member/john-smith2.

Post or comment with the user information

Whenever a user posts something on your website while he's logged in, he leaves his user account information behind. Generally, the link to the author will appear at the top of the post or comment. Some themes may move that information at the bottom.

Clicking on that link directly brings you to the user's page.

Note that hidden accounts (from users who do not want to share their information) do not generate that link. Since you are the administrator, you should still see the link, but that depends on the theme.

Editing

The user page shows a set of tabs at the top. The second one is Edit. That tab let you modify the user's settings3.

Once on the Edit page, scroll down until you see the Roles entry as shown in the following figure:

Sample screenshot showing the role selection area.

The Roles area has two checkboxes: author user, and editor user. The checkboxes can be clicked to select one or the other. Note that an editor has all the rights that an author has so it is not required to give an editor both permissions.

NOTE

You can see these flags in your own account. You already have all those permissions so marking yourself as an author and/or an editor will have no effect.

  • 1. Note that the word personal would be found at the end of the sentence in French.
  • 2. To make URLs as portable as possible (i.e. so they work with as many systems as possible,) all special characters are either removed or transformed to a dash and uppercase characters are changed to lowercase.
  • 3. We suggest that you do not make changes to user accounts without letting them know, unless you are blocking a user.

Snap! Site Information

The Info icon on the Snap! Toolbar sends you to your Snap! Website Information page.

This page includes a few site wide entries that you may want to tweak once in a while.

Name

The name of the website. This name appears in the title at the top and in the <title> tag in the HTML header1.

A name is mandatory so when you create a Snap! Website, we enter a default name for you. You are more than welcome to change the name to your liking.

E-Mail Address

This is your email address by default. If you get a new email address and want to enter it here, feel free to do so. This email is used in several different areas on the website but it is rarely used. This email address is considered the best email address to use to contact the primary administrator of the website.

Slogan

Your website slogan. It is okay if you do not have one.

Different themes will show your slogan in different ways. The slogan is a simple string such as "Just Do It!"

Mission

Your website mission, why did you create it, etc.

This is most often shown at the top of a page, maybe only on the front page.

This feature is seldom used because it often doesn't get rendered the way you'd like to it to be rendered. Most of the time, using a block is a better solution.

Footer Message

Message shown in the footer of your website. Although some themes do not include a footer, most do.

The footer is often the name of your company, contact information, and a copyright line.

Anonymous User

The name used to represent an anonymous user. By default, this is set to Anonymous.

For example, if you are using Snap! for your restaurant, you could call your anonymous users Patron.

Default front page

By default, Snap! works in a way very similar to a blog. This means the front page shows a list of the latest 10 articles.

Most often, if you are creating a business website, you will want a front page that shows you a very specific Home page or what is often referenced as the HTML Index.

This option let you change the page to any other one you created on your website. The page needs to exist and be published for this feature to work right. You can enter the path of the page and the system will take care of transforming it to the node number as required internally.

For example, the page you are reading now has this URL:

   http://snapwebsites.info/snap-documentation/administration/snap-site-inf...

If I were to make it the front page of the Snap! Websites, then I would use the full path like this:

   /snap-documentation/administration/snap-site-information

(i.e. I removed the domain and first slash (/) character from the URL.)

It is safe to change the home page at any time. Note however that the Snap! system makes use of caches to ensure a faster response to queries by your viewers. This means the change is immediate for you, but not to your users. Depending on the cache duration, the front page may change in a few minutes or within a few days. If you have a problem in that regard, don't hesitate to contact us and we'll reset the cache for you.

  • 1. See the title information and Page Title Meta Tag for more details about your website name.

Snap! Toolbar

Snap! Toolbar & Simplemenu

In order to manage your website, we offer two menus: Toolbar and Simplemenu. By default, you will see the toolbar. If you'd rather use a regular menu (like those menus available on your desktop) then go to your controller panel and unselect the Toolbar feature. Within 5 minutes the toolbar should be gone.

The following shows you how each item looks. Depending on your account, it may look different as you may have more or less features available and thus more or less icons in the toolbar.

Content tab

Toolbar: Content Tab

The content tab lets you create new pages, manage your existing pages and comments. You have one icon per type of page you can create. Those have a plus (+) sign at the bottom right corner. The Draft icon displays a list of your drafts. Whenever you create a new page, you can either publish it immediately or save it as a draft. This icon lets you manage those pages you did not yet publish. The Pages icon shows you a list of published pages. This list has a filter capability which lets you sort pages by type, status, etc. The Comments icon sends you to the list of comments present on your website. In that window, there is a tab at the top Approval queue. Click on that tab to see the list of comments you did not yet approve.

As you get more and more features for your website, you get new icons. Most of the time it will be a new type of page you can create. For instance, you can create a primary page which is automatically inserted in your primary menu. The following screenshot shows you the toolbar with additional page types:

Toolbar: Additional page types

Administration tab

Toolbar: administration tab

The administration tab shows you the most used/accessed administration pages. The Settings icon lets you access all the administration pages available on your website. Feel free to click on that button and change anything you want there.

The Blocks icon brings you to the block administration. This page allows you to change the blocks on the sides, your header and footer. It also lets you create new blocks including blocks if HTML.

The Info icon sends you to the page where you can change the global website information.

The Menu icon sends you to the menus of your website. A menu is a block you can display by going to the Blocks administration screen. By default menus are hidden. The Menu administration screen especially gives you an opportunity to easily reorder your menu items (instead of trying to adjust their weight.)

The Themes icon is used to choose a new theme. A theme defines the look of your website.

The To do icon sends you to the list of tasks you still have to do to complete your website installation. Most are really quick to do! You can also use that feature to add your own To do tasks so as to keep track of what you need to do next.

The Users icon lets you manage your users. By default, your website will not let new users create accounts automatically. However, you can still create accounts for your editor and authors if you work with other people (delegate!)

The Log out is obviously to log out of your website account. If you are using a public or friend's computer, you should log out before leaving the computer. Otherwise the system keeps you logged in for 2 or 3 days after the last time you accessed the website.

Buttons

You may have noticed that there are buttons at the top-right of the toolbar. These buttons are used to move the toolbar around (arrows) or hide it (cross). The little light bulb is the help button that opens this documentation in a new window.

Adding, removing, re-ordering toolbar items

The toolbar is created from a regular menu. When you click on the Menu icon of the administration tab you get to a complete list of your menus. One of them is called Toolbar. That's the menu used to display your toolbar.

Although the default should be sufficient and should include pretty much everything you need, yet, each one of us have different needs...

To add a a new item, go to Menu, click on Toolbar, and then click on the Add item tab at the top. By default items will not be assigned an icon. A default error icon will appear instead. To assign an icon, you can use the drop-down menu which by default includes the system icons. You can also use the Browse button to upload new icons from your computer. For this purpose, you can get free icons from the Internet (see our Pictures category in our Directory.)

Adding a button

A button is a stand-along top item. With the default menu, you will see the Help item as a stand alone item.

Note that the arrows and close buttons are internal features and thus they do not appear in your Toolbar menu.

Buttons are 16x16 pixels images. The default is to use a black circle with a graphic inside. One reason for doing this is that some themes have a black or white background in different locations. Having such an icon makes it visible whatever the background.

Adding a new tab

A tab is created once a stand alone item is assigned sub-items. So first you want to create a new stand alone item which is first going to appear as button. Then create another item and assign that new stand alone item as its parent. Now that the new tab has a child item, it is rendered as a tab!

Tabs use icons that are 16x16 pixels. Full color with transparency PNGs work with your toolbar. The background of the tabs change from a gradient going from light gray to white to a dark gray gradient. Icons show shine when they are on the white background.

Adding a new item in the tab

Once you've got a new tab, you can add new items within that tab. You have to make sure to assign the tab as the parent of the new item so it appears as the icon of that tab.

Note that the number of items is not limited. If more than about 8 (depending on the length of the title) are used, then the height of the menu will grow to show two lines of icons.

The icon of an item is 32x32 pixels. Full color transparency PNGs work with your toolbar. The toolbar background is always white.

Adding a sub-item in an item drop down1

This is an advanced feature.

The toolbar supports a 3rd level, although it isn't used by default. This 3rd level appears as a drop down of an item. This gives you the possibility to have many more functions right there in your toolbar.

Note that the item is changed so clicking on it does not send you anywhere. Instead we will open the drop-down menu. This means if you want to go to the place where that item would otherwise bring you, you'll have to add an item in the drop-down menu with that same link.

  • 1. This feature is available but may not always work. If you experience any problem, send us feedback or enter a support ticket.

Snap! and Caching

Introduction about Caches

In order to make you and your viewers web experience as good as possible when visiting a Snap! Website, we use different cache technologies which at times can end up in your way.

The following documentation is expected to help you deal with the caches while you work on your website.

Note that by default everything is automatic and you should not have to do anything. However, once in a while a page needs to quickly be changed and the following should give you all the necessary tools to fix such problems.

If you still cannot figure it out or you think that there is another problem, do not hesitate to contact us for support.

Server Side Caches or Snap! Caches

On the Snap! server, we make use of 3 levels of caches. One of which you can control very effectively.

Snap! Static Cache

This Cache is also called Boost.

When the first anonymous user comes to your website, the Snap! system builds the page and saves the resulting HTML on disk. The result is that all the following anonymous users do not see much latency at all when visiting the same pages as previous visitors. This makes for a close to instantaneous browsing.

This cache lasts between 1 whole day and 1 whole week. After that amount of time, the page is automatically deleted and rebuilt. This means that for that long period of time, all the anonymous users see the same thing, whether you make changes to the blocks on the sides or not.

We offer a set of blocks that allow you to reduce the amount of time such pages are cached (although the minimum remains 1 day) and a way for you to erase this cache on a per page basis. This is done with the Boost Blocks.

Boost: Pages cache configuration

Use the Pages Cache Configuration block to change the duration of the cache for a page. You may want to change the cache for your front page or your most visited page, whichever page this might be.

Boost Flush Page and information.Boost: Pages cache status

Use the Pages Cache Status block to know whether a page is cached in the Snap! Static Cache. If so, you will be shown a Flush Page button.

Multiple Domains

When we create your new Snap! Website we assign it a free Snap! Sub-domain using your new website number. It looks something like this:

http://snap123.snapwebsites.info/

If you own a domain name, then you will want to use it instead. (How to do so is a different topic...) Once you assigned your own domain to your website, the pages are saved in a new Snap! Static Cache named after your domain. In other words, you end up with two somewhat different websites (although both show you the exact same thing when you are logged in, if you are not, the caches being different you may see quite different things on both sites!)

The full clear the static cache you want to log in both websites and click the Flush Page button on each page that needs to be refreshed. In general, the site using the Snap! Sub-Domain doesn't need to be flushed, it will happen automatically and it can always be late, it shouldn't matter. Just use your domain name to access your site.

Snap! Dynamic Caches

Snap! runs with a strong database system which is used to cache pages and forms shown in a Snap! Website. These caches are handled by the system and you have no direct access to them.

It is really rare that these caches cause problems as the system is really robust and knows perfectly when such caches need to be deleted.

Snap! File Caches

Snap! compresses all the JavaScript and CSS files used by your website. This saves a lot of space and generally renders the upload of the pages as a whole faster. Again, these caches are handled by the system and you have no direct access to them.

It is really rare that these caches cause problems to end users like you. Web designers who create themes may run into problems when this cache system is activated. Deactivating this cache capability is their best bet. In our case, however, there should be no problem related to these files.

Client Side Caches or Your Browser Caches

Whenever a website is loaded, the pages are cached by your browser. In most cases, those pages go out of scope and thus get reloaded only when the date they were assigned when loaded is past, although most browsers will keep any one file only for a set amount of time (i.e. 2 weeks.)

When you are logged in your Snap! website, the pages of content (the HTML code) is always marked as out of date. In other words, your browser will never cache those pages. However, when you are navigating to your website before logging in, you are likely to see pages from the Snap! Static Cache which are remembered for a while (1 to 7 days.) If you want to reset your browser cache for those pages, there are a few things you can do1:

  • First you'll want to hit Reload to make sure that the page is considered up to date by your browser
  • Assuming the page still looks out of date, try clicking on the Flush Page button from the Boost: Page cache status block (Remember that you need to be logged in and have the Boost: Page cache status block setup to see that button! By default that button is hidden.)
  • The browser Reload button is expected to clear the browser cache but that does not always work; to fix that last problem, you will want to clear the browser caches, how to do so varies from browser to browser (they even use different terminology for the cache data such as "offline data"!)
    • Clear your Firefox Cache
  • 1. Do not forget that testing your cache needs to be done as an anonymous user, so if you are currently logged in (you see your toolbar on your pages) then log out first! On my end, I generally make use of two different browsers such as Chrome and Firefox. I am logged in with say Firefox, and check as an anonymous with Chrome.

Clear your Firefox Cache

Please follow these steps to clear the cache of Firefox on your computer.

Note: The screenshots are from MS-Windows. The menus may vary on other platforms such as Mac OS/X or Linux.

1. Select the Options menu item in the Tools menu

Select the Options window in the Tools menu

 

2. Select the Privacy tab and click on clear your recent history

Privacy tab with the "clear your recent history"

 

3. Select Everything in the drop down at the top and select what you want to delete then click Clear Now

This window is the one allowing you to clear your Firefox cache (or history).

Firefox caches:

  • Browsing & Download History — This cache is not important in regard to your display it is your history (Back button) and the list of websites you visited before.
  • Form & Search History — In most cases you can leave this content alone although the forms auto-fill can be a problem in some circumstances and thus deleting it may be useful.
  • Cookies — I suggest you do not delete your cookies; if you are logged in an account on some website, deleting all your cookies will log you out! Cookies very rarely participate in a rendering problem of your Snap! pages.
  • Cache — You definitively want to clear this cache as well, these are the HTML files, images, CSS data, JavaScript, etc. This is the part that in most cases generate a visual problem
  • Active Logins — Like cookies, I suggest you don't delete those; active logins are similar to cookies used to keep connected with different websites.
  • Offline Website Data — I would delete offline website data because like the standard cache, it may get used if data is missing from the source website, which is not what we want.
  • Site Preferences — In most cases you do not want to delete this data. It includes your Firefox preferences when using different websites and it will not affect the rarely rendering of the site.

How to clear the entire cache of Firefox

Once you are satisfied with your selection, click on the Clear Now button.