After my posting about adding the Search feature to the blog, someone emailed me and asked how easy it was to do such a thing. Was there any HTML coding involved, or is there a nice and friendly way to do it?
The correct answer is: both! Blogware’s control panel lets you edit all sorts of style sheets which control every aspect of your blog’s look and feel. If you’ve got the time and know-how, you can make a blog complete unlike any other.
However, I’m short time, and I’ll bet you are too. I’ll show the quick-and-easy way of adding new components to your blog.
(Note: Blogware is still in development and some of these features are subject to change. This is largely for the benefit of current Blogware users who’d like to implement Search in their blogs now. However, this should be an indication of the sort of approach we’re taking to user-friendliness while working within the limits of a web-based interface.)
Let’s suppose we have a blog to which we’d like to add Search. Here’s the main page for such a blog:
Click on the picture above to see a larger version.
(All the screenshots show me doing the work in Mac OS X — I thought I’d take a break from doing all the examples in Windows.)
The Search feature is one of several building blocks of a blog called a component. There are all sorts of Blogware componments, including one that displays a list of the most recent entries, one that displays a list of the most recent comments, one that displays the calendar, and so on.
To add, edit, move and delete components, you must log into the Blogware control panel and go to the Layout Manager. Using the Layout Manager is the quickest way to customize the layout of your blog — you also have the option of editing style sheets, but the Layout Manager lets you set up your layout quickly, visually and without the having to know the mysteries of cascading style sheets.
You get to the Layout Manager by clicking the Look and Feel tab on the Navigation Bar, as shown below:
You should see the Component Layout for the main page of your blog. It should look something like this:
Each of the grey-and-white boxes with a label is a component. Here’s the one we want, the Search component:
It’s not on the blog page, and so neither is it on the Layout Manager. Let’s fix that.
The Add Component controls are near the lower left-hand side of the page and look like this:
Let’s suppose we want to add the Search component to the left sidebar. To do this, we:
- Select Search from the Component menu
- Select Left Sidebar from the Location menu
- Click Add
The new component will be added to the bottom of the left sidebar:
We’ve just added the Search component to the page. Suppose we want it to be the second component from the top of the left sidebar, just below the Welcome Text component. We can move it using the control.
Here’s the sidebar after clicking the control once. Note that Search and Logout Button have switched places.
A few more clicks of the control and the Search component is right where we want it:
If we were to view the blog now, it would look like this:
Click on the picture above to see a larger version with the Search component highlighted.