Knowledgebase: General
How do I use Database Feeds?

 

The "Database Feeds" is a helpful tool that allows you to add FAQs, News, Articles, Press Releases, Testimonials, etc. into your site.

You can accomplish this by creating your own HTML and adding the information on the content section, however, with the "Database Feeds" you can keep all your information organized and have the system generate the index, paging, sorting, summary and next/previous links.

You can easily add new articles, delete outdated information or just update a specific record.

It also allows you to generate RSS feeds with the records.

Managing Database Feeds

To start creating a "Database Feeds" page you need to use an Extra Page. Using the left hand navigation, go Content =>Site Content and look towards the Extra Pages section on the right hand side.

Note:
The Database Feed function cannot be used with a "Menu Link" page.

You can either use an existing Extra Page or you can add a new one using the "+Add" button at the top right. To edit an exisiting Extra Page, click on the "Action ->Content" button located on the far right of the page you want to edit.

Check the "Use Database Feed " checkbox and click on the "Save" button at the top right. This action will enable the database feeds for the extra page.

Note:
Even if you're using the database feeds, the Meta Tags and Page Content fields will still display on your page.

Once the page is saved (as described above), you will have the following settings available to you

  • Records per page:
    Specified how many records you want to show per page. Pagination for the feeds will be automatically generated.
  • Style:
    Specifies the template that will be used for the page.

Tip:
The HTML files used for the feeds are:

  • feed_page_0.html (Style 1)
  • feed_page_1.html (Style 2) - and -
  • feed_page_2.html (Style 3)

You can modify these pages using your FTP account and an HTML editor. You can also add additional files (feed_page_3.html (Style 4), feed_page_4.html (Style 5), etc. for additional styles.

  • Show Index
    When checked, this box will generate an index at the top of the Database Feed page with bookmarks to each of the records
  • Sort by:
    Defines the default sorting for the records
    • title asc/title desc
      Sorting will be determined by the title of the feed record (ascendeing or descending)
    • author asc/author desc
      Sorting will be determined by the name of the author of the feed record (ascending or descending)
    • creation asc/creation desc
      Sorting will be determined by the creation date of the feed record (ascending or descending)
    • expiration asc/expiration desc
      Sorting will be determined by the expiration date of the feed record (ascending or descending)

The rest of the settings on the page will correspond to the normal extra page creation functionality outlined in our Site Content KB article.

Create/Manage Database Feeds

We'll now describe how to create the database feeds.

After enabling the Database Feed option and clicking on the save button (as described at the start of this article), you should now see a green "Database Feed" button on the page. To add a database feed record:

  1. Click the green "Database Feed" button
  2. Click on the "Add New" button located at the top of the page.

For each record you have the following fields:

  • Title:
    This is the name of the record, it'll be used for the index, url of the page and the next/previous link.
  • Short Description:
    This allows up to a max. of 250 characters and is display on the main Feeds page. Use it as a summary of the article.

Note:
Avoid using HTML on this short description field since this is also included on the RSS feeds.

  • Created on
    Creation date for the feed. This can be use to sort the articles and is also included when using the RSS feeds.
  • Expires on 
    Expiration date for the article. The feed will be only display until the specified date. If the information doesn't expire then keep the same as date as what you list for "Created on."
  • Created by 
    Specify the author of the record (optional).
  • Message
    Here's where you'll enter the full content of the feed. It can include HTML and will be displayed on the detail page of the feed.
  • Additional Field 1 through 5
    These can be included on the page for additional information such as an icon, location, alttags, time, etc.

Tip
For the Message you also have the option of using WYSIWYG mode.

  1. Click "Save" at the top of the page to add the new feed.

Displaying Database Feeds

The look of the page depends on the Style selected. Database feeds can display in two pages - the main page that provides the summary and the details page.

  • The main page
    or summary will display the Titles, Short Descriptions, Creation Dates, Authors and a link labled "More Info" which will take the reader to the detail page. This page can also include the Index (when enabled), the paging and the RSS feed link.
  • The detail page
    is accessed by clicking the "More Info" link on the summary page, this link is only displayed when the feed has content on the "Message" field. This page also includes the Next and Previous link to navigate through the different feeds.

RSS Feeds

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is a relatively easy way to distribute content on the Internet. It's useful in distributing messages to your customers while avoiding common spam filters. Typical uses include email newsletters and blogs. Similar to newsgroups, RSS feeds require a special readers which are available on many of today's popular browsers.

With the Database Feed function, you can create an RSS formatted link for your feed content.

Once the feed page is added in the Content ->Site Content area as described above, go into the "Actions ->Content" options of that page. You will need to be sure to click the 'Show Index' box. Once you do this, look at the "Target" box (located right above the database feed button) and select the "rss_reader" option

Note:
The RSS/Database Feed link is available only in styles 2 and 3 by default.

The Database Feeds page will then dynamically generate via an RSS feed.


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