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ASK_WEBSITE_SETUP

OVERVIEW:

This feature is for setting up how your web site is designed. Koala Software provides a number of standard 'templates' of web sites that you can use immediately or customized as desired. In addition, if you are qualified, you may design your web site from 'scratch'.

This web site design tool will create web pages in several groups. The creation of each group of pages is controlled by LocPlus design 'templates'. These design 'templates' determine the way the pages in that group look. Each 'template' is HTML code. Koala Software's LocPlus MLS then will substitute into your template the approprate information for your inventory.

For example, on an invetory description window, if you want the price of the equipment displayed in a certain location, you would insert the field ~~AV_SELL~~ at that location. When your web site is built, the selling price will be substituted for that word. For a complete list of 'substitution variables' find Koala Software's help page with that information.

LocPlus creates on main index web page that will have a link to a web page for each sub-index page. There are many sub-index pages. There is a sub-index page for each equipment classification, equipment manufacturer, and UED code. Each sub-index page will have links to all of the individual equipment inventory pages in that group. (i.e. Since most inventory items will be assigned to an equipment classification, a manufacturer, and a UED code, there will be a link to that items web page on a total of three different index pages) Finally, each inventory item will have a separate web page.

NOTE: This is the recommended structure, but it is possible to create sites that vary from this structure.



FIELD INFORMATION:

Website setup folder:
LocPlus MLS first creates your web site on a local folder before using FTP to transfer the site to your web server. Put the location of the local folder where you want the site created. If this folder does not exist, you will get an error message when the web site is built. You may use relative references and server references. Koala Software suggest using '.\WebSite\' so that the web site will be written to a sub folder of where LocPlus is installed.

Show quantities on index pages:
If this box is checked, then the number of items in each catagory will be displayed next to the title of the category. If you do not want visitors to your web site to see the number of items in each category, then do not check this box.

MAIN Inventory index page:
This controls the look of one page. This page is the central index page listing all of the equipment classifications, manufactures, and UED catagories. An entry is placed on this page for each equipment classification, manufacture, and UED catagory. The page template field has the HTML code for the full page. There is a special 'substitution variable' named ~~SYS_INDEXTABLE~~ where the links to all of the special equipment classification, manufacture, and UED catagory index pages are placed.

The look of each of these links is controled by the 'Line template' field. Press the 'View/Modify line template >>' button to view and change the HTML code for those links.

Index webpage - for Classification:
There is web page created for each equipment classification in the LocPlus MLS system. That web page is called an index web page because it has an entry for each inventory item in that classification. (NOTE: if you do not have any equipment for that classification, the web page will not be generated . . and of course the entry will be removed from the index page so you won't have any invalid links on your site) The special variable '~~CLASS_INDEXTABLE~~' is used in the HTML code to indicate the position (and look) of the links to individual equipment pages.

The 'line template' displays the look of each equipment display entry on the equipment page. Finnally, the 'Sort order:' controls the order of the equipment on this page.

Index webpage - for Manufacturers:
This works almost identically to the set of Classification index pages except for each manufacturer. The special variable used in the HTML code to indicate the position (and look) equipment page links is '~~MF_INDEXTABLE~~'.

Index webpage - for UED code:
Again, this is almost identically to the set of Classification index pages except for each manufacturer. The special variable used in the HTML code to indicate the position (and look) equipment page links is '~~UED_INDEXTABLE~~'.

Webpage for specials:
LocPlus MLS allows you to identify equipment as a 'special'. Items designated as 'specials' will be displayed on this single inventory page.

Again, the control of this index page is very similar to the each of the other index pages. The special variable used in the HTML code to indicate the position (and look) equipment page links is '~~SPECIAL_INDEXTABLE~~'.

Note: The design of the 'line template' of the special page usually often will have the price (~~AV_SELL~~) where most dealers will not want that displayed for other index pages. But of course, that decision is up to you.

Equipment template:
The create web site feature will create a web page for each inventory item in your system. As previously discussed, that page is linked from several index pages. The web page for each inventory item can display detailed specificaitons and a featured picture for that item. It can also contain links to additional pictures. These templates control the look of these equipment pages and what information they display. Information displayed is controled by the 'substitution variables' discussed in the introduction. The special substitution variable '~~EQUIP_FEATUREPIC~~' is used to control the position of the 'featured picture'. There is also a button for the 'Featured pic template' which is HTML code indicating how the picture should look.

The 'Picture line' and 'Picture paragraph' buttons reveal HTML code which control the format of links to additional pictures.

Picture template:
Additional pictures (other than the 'featured picture') will be displayed on a separate web page. This template controls the look of these web pages. These pages may be linked from just the individual equipment pages or from the index pages (if the line templates are setup with the proper substitution variable)

Upload file list:
A list of files may be entered here. This list is intended for 'support' files to your web site design. 'Support' files may be files like pictures, icons, or other graphics that you may use with your web site design. A good example is your logo. If you add your logo to the web site, this is your way of telling LocPlus MLS so that it can upload that file with the rest of site.

Although you can manually put these support files on your site, it may be more convienient for you to have LocPlus keep track of these files so that they won't be inadvertantly be missing. You must also place these support files in the LocPlus MLS 'setup' folder. LocPlus will expect these files to be in that folder and will display an error (just a warning error) if the files are missing from the 'setup' folder.

HTML style template:
Koala Software uses CSS style templates for control of it's default web sites distributed with LocPlusMLS. These are convenient tools for web site developers. You do not have to use style templates. If you want to know more about HTML or these CSS style templates, there are many good reference tools available at bookstores, libraries, or even on the web.

Picture if no 'feature' picture:
Picture if no 'thumbnail' picture:
As discussed in some of the other material, LocPlus can use 'featured' pictures or 'thumbnail' pictures. If an equipment item doesn't have a designated picture for this feature, either nothing can be displayed, or LocPlus can substitute a graphic indicating that no picture is available. Koala Software distributes the graphics 'no_feature.jpg' and 'no_thumb.jpg' for this purpose. Of course, you may substitute your own graphics.



SUMMARY:

This design tool is a very powerful feature. Someone familiar with HTML and web site design may use it highly customize the look of your web site. Just remember, that you may use the standard Koala Software templates with little or no change to get a great site. The choice of how much you want to customize is yours.