Monthly Archives: May 2012

Viewing a Cached Copy of a Webpage with Google

Have you ever wanted to roll back the clock. Maybe to a time when you were younger, more fit, and had more energy. I know I have. Now Google can’t help you with that, but it can roll back the clock on the internet. Google automatically caches copies of each webpage it scrapes. It does this for many reasons that are unimportant to us, but it can be helpful to see how things were. The resulting view is not always perfect, but neither is time travel.

Step One: Search for Your Site

Simply go to google and search for your site. I am using Tooele as my example so I am searching for USU Tooele in my Google search. The website should be the top result. Hit the quite large double arrow to the right of the search result as shown here. Then click on “Cached”.

Step Two: You’re Done

And that’s pretty much it. You can now review the old links and add them back to your new homepage menu in case you forgot to do so. Who said time travel wasn’t possible?

The Switch to TinyMCE

To put it bluntly our content editor is junk. There really are almost no options and you can’t style any CSS unless you know CSS. About the only thing that is has going for it is the fact that you can make links to existing pages within the websites pretty easily, and it creates new pages that way. I am considering making the switch to a more mainstream WYSIWYG editor called TinyMCE.

What is TinyMCE

TinyMCE is a very popular editor, if not the most popular and has tons of customization options as well as extensibility. You can see this editor and even mess around with it on the TinyMCE website.¬† Don’t be afraid by the sheer number of buttons, a lot of them will be hidden because we won’t use them. We don’t have to make the switch, so I am asking for your input. Go to the site and mess around with it and see if you like it, and then let me know. I will tell you one “bad” thing about it. If we switch it will most likely take me some time to get it so you can add links the same way we can now.

You will still be able to add new pages from the left menu or other menus, but from TinyMCE you will only be able to add links, not actually “new pages” if that makes sense. I will add the functionality later, but from the get go it will not be there.

Things to Try Out

On the demo page there are some features that I would like to point out that really showcase some of the extra functionality that you will get if we make the switch.

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How to Use the USU Template

You may or may not know but in order to facilitate university wide web design efforts, the USU web designer has provided a template that can be referenced in order to implement his design styles on our pages. It uses a method known as class declarations that you may or may not be familiar with. I’ll first quickly explain a bit about class declarations and how they are used and then show you how to use the USU template on your own content pages.

Classes & Styles

In the most basic sense, each piece of a webpage is made up of html elements. Paragraphs elements are assigned with the <p> tag, containers are assigned with the <div> and <span> tags, ordered lists are specified by the <ol> tag, un-ordered lists by the <ul> tag and so on and so forth. These elements are read by the browser and then displayed appropriately. These elements have some default styling defined by each browser and then can be overridden by using CSS style sheets.

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The Missing Link

It has been brought to my attention there are some common dead links on some of the sites. The most common one is the contact the webmaster link and the other that is missing on some sites is the contact us link. Both of these links are found in the footer of the websites on all pages at the bottom right corner. I think almost everyone does have the Contact Us link working, but I thought when I checked a while back some were not. I know a ton of sites, I dare to say all of them, have broken webmaster links.

This most likely stemmed from the way these were initially setup in the first place. I’ll explain where these two links are pointing to and how to fix them.

How to Tell Where The Links Point

If you hover over either link in most browsers (my example uses Firefox) you should see a tiny bit of text show up in the bottom left corner of your browser that shows the link location. You can see where these two links point to in the screen shots below:

Link

Contact Us

Webmaster

So the first link ends in a / which means it is looking for an index.cfm file in the contact directory. The Webmaster link is looking for a webmaster.cfm file in the contact directory. If you click on one of them and it doesn’t exist then you need to make the one that does not exist.

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