Search Engine and Site Index

Brick River includes a built in search engine that has several advantages over third party embedded search tools (such as Google Custom Search Engine).   You control the searchable content of your sites using Site Index Entries - and we provide a Site Index Builder so you can create entries with just a few clicks.  We also provide a custom @BRT Helper and code snippets that let you build a Search Results page in less than a minute.

Creating Site Index Entries

You should carefully consider which pages and content you wish to be searchable and create indexes for the pages that display this content. 

By default, the static text on any published page is searchable.  A site index entry is not required.  If you wish to exclude a page from searches, check the "Hide in Sitemap" box in the page properties - documented here.

Pages designed to present dynamic content, such as news articles, require a site index entry to make the dynamic content searchable.

To create Site Index Entries:

  • click the Site Menu,
  • click My Site Indexes

The Site Indexes screen displays existing site index entries.  If no entries have been created use the Site Index Builder to quickly index the most important pages on your sites.

 

Using the Site Index Builder

The Site Index Builder creates a list of all the pages on a site that include  @BRTDetail(), @BRTLister(), and @BRTIndex() - the helpers used to present dynamic content lists and details pages. 

These are the most important pages to index - especially pages containing @BRTDetail().

The site builder does not display pages that already have an index entry.

Click the  button.

1 Select the site for which you are creating entries. The builder displays pages containing the target helpers.  Pages containing @BRTDetail() are highlighted in green - these pages are usually the most important pages to index.

2  The GoToPage button displays the page in a separate tab or window.

3  Click the show link to display the page code containing the helper.

4 Click the Create button to create an active index for the page

5 Click the Dismiss button to exclude the page from searches.  A page with Dismiss status will not be included when the site builder is used in the future

6 Click the Return link to return to the Site Indexes Screen

 

Managing Site Index Entries

  •  entries are currently included in the site index
  • entries are currently excluded.  You may want to exclude content from a search temporarily.  It's easier to toggle the active status than to delete and re-create entries.
  •  entries are excluded - and will not appear in the site builder.  If you have a site with LOTS of pages that should not be searched - this is a way to prevent them from showing up in the builder.

From the Site Index Screen, click the button to create a new entry (it's much easier to use the builder.  The Site Index Builder button is below the entries list. )  Click any existing entry to open it for editing.

 1 Save changes, Return to the previous screen, use the Actions button to Delete the entry or display the history of edits to the entry. Enter a field name in the Jump To to go to that field.

 2 the name of the Page being indexed

 3 the friendly name (URL) of the Page

 4 the name of the table storing the record(s) that populate the page.  Either Content or Contacts.

 5 the name of the View  that is referenced by @BRT helpers on the page

  an XML filter statement to add limits to the content returned by the search

 7 enter one or more saved filters for the designated View to add limits to the content returned by the search

 8 append a record ID to the URL the search engine will create to navigate to search result pages.  Choose YES for pages that use the @BRTDetail() helper to display content.

 9 the status of the entry.  This is either Active, Inactive, or Dismissed

   10   the website(s) to be searched.  If you maintain multiple sites that use Pages of the same name - you can create an index entry to search for content across multiple sites. (For example, let's say that you have five sites for five different youth camps and each site has a News Details page.  You can create a news search index to return results from all five sites.)

Creating a Search Results Page

Creating a Search results page simply requires adding a few lines of code to a page source.  When the page loads with an HTML querystring providing search terms - the @BRTSearchResultsScript() helper renders a list of content containing the search terms.

The HTML querystring should provide search terms in the format: q=search term or terms.

For example: www.website.com\searchresults?q=brick river

Code samples below demonstrate a few simple form fields for launching search results pages with the required query string.

In the following example we created the Search Results page (with a friendly URL of "searchresults")

This page includes:

1  Optional - a simple form to include a Search field at the top of the page, the name and value parameters load the page with the necessary querystring when the form is submitted.

2  Required - an empty <div> with an id="results" and the custom helper: @BRT.SearchResultsScript()

You can insert this code automatically - place the cursor in the editable Source area, click the  button to display a list of available snippets. Select Search Results to paste the required <div> and helper, or Search Form and Results to include the optional Search field form.

 A search performed on the page yields the number of hits, buttons to filter by the type of content found, and links to the content.

 

 Adding a Search Form to Site Pages

It's likely that you will want to display a Search form on each page of a website.  The following code example can be placed in a layout used by site pages to add a Search button to a Navbar or Header area.  Note the parameters action="searchresults" and name="q".

    <form class="form-inline my-2 my-lg-0">
      <button class="btn btn-sm btn-outline-danger my-2 my-sm-0" id="searchopener" type="button"><i class="fa fa-search" aria-hidden="true"></i></button>
    </form>
    <div id="searchdiv" style="display:none;">                                    
        <form id="cse-search-box" action="/searchresults">                                    
            <div class="input-group">
                <input type="text" name="q" class="form-control" id="searchbox"   />
                <span class="input-group-btn">
                    <button type="submit" class="btn btn-danger" id="searchbutton">Search</button>                                        
                </span>
            </div>
        </form>
    </div> 
Dear Paul,
I heard you were bragging that your search engine is better than google's.
Really bro?
Name three ways you're better than google...
- Searching in Seattle

 

Dear Searching,
Really bro!  You can always embed google's search utility in your site if you want, but...
Google will throw ad links in with your search results - yuck!
Google might index your site every few days - Brick River searches your site database directly - it's always up-to-the-second accurate.
Google doesn't always rank pages correctly.  You might see old content listed above new content.  Brick River always shows new content above old.
Our Search Engine is free, gives you more control over searchable content, and includes thumbnails in the results.
I know that's more than three reasons but I was on a roll!
Peace out,
Paul

 

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