Web-Procreate.Com - Datafeed and WebMerge Section

Index Pages Tab

Settings on the Index Pages Tab, control where the index pages will be written to, where the index template is located, how the new index pages will be named, the type of file extension,

Assigning a destination folder:
By checking the Create index pages in checkbox, a dialog box appears asking in what directory (folder) WebMerge should create the new index pages in. This should be a directory used only for the index pages. The files will be easier to keep track of if they are in a location without other files.

Figure 1 "Create Index Pages in" dialog
Fig. 13 - "Create Index Pages in" dialog

Index Template:

Affiliates normally need to use the Use one template file for index pages: radio button. When selected, a dialog box appears asking where WebMerge can find the index template already designed for this data feed. A more detailed explanation of the other choices in this area can be found in the documentation accompanying the WebMerge application help files.

Generated File Names

Naming Generated Index Pages:
How do you want to name the index pages? The first choice concerns what file extension should be used. The default is .html. This can easily be changed to .htm if this is the standard naming convention for the web site.

Page names based on a category can also be used. If this is selected, then the Base Name: field will be grayed out. After selecting either Make only one index page, or Serialized names starting with: the Base name should be typed in.

Avoiding Too Many Links on an Index Page:
In most cases, a two-tier site design will not support the number of links to detail pages that will need to reside on the index page. As an example; if there are 500 records in the feed, then there will be 500 links on the index page. This is impractical. A three or four-tiered site design should be considered when utilizing a data feed with more than eighty records. Using a large feed in a two-tiered design may result in a page that visitors will have trouble navigating, and will take and extremely long time to load.

Two-Tier design, with a single index page.
Fig. 14 - Two-Tier design, with a single index page.

Three or Four-Tiered Site Design Required:
Part of the process in creating a multiple tiered site, is to use a single index file for the main category page (Tier 1 in figure 15). The main category page has links to index pages based on sub-categories (Tier 2 in figure 15). The category-based index pages have in-turn, links to individual detail pages (Multiple detail pages in figure 15).

Three-tier design with multiple index pages linked from a single "main Category" index page.
Fig. 15 - Three-tier design with multiple index pages linked from a single "main Category" index page.

Serialized Names:
Building pages based on a numbering scheme is simple. If this works for your data feed, then check the Serialized names starting with #: radio button. This is another place where good advance planning comes in.

Figure 4 "Generated File Names" (Serialized names) selected
Fig. 16 - "Generated File Names" (Serialized names) selected

For example, if the base name "index" is used, and type in 001 (the default), index pages will start with name index0001.htm. These sequentially numbered names will continue until WebMerge reaches the number of different categories in the feed. This varies according to the merchant, and can be as few as ten, or as many as 300 - or more. With 300 categories, a decision should be made as to whether these can be broken down further if there are sub-categories in the feed.

Name Based on Contents of Field:
As with the serialized names option above, this option allows the use of many index pages, based on category (or other) names. This method can be more challenging to keep track of, but has other benefits, including possible Search Engine results. The practical result is the naming of index files so that they resemble things like the products found in categories, instead of numbers that do not hint at the contents of an HTML file.

Figure 4 "Generated File Names" (Name Based) selected
Fig. 17 - "Generated File Names" (Name Based) selected

Regardless of your selection, WebMerge provides an example of the index file name displayed in the upper right (see figure 18). If you have selected the contents option, then the first record is displayed in the example. Please note where WebMerge inserts underscores between words in the file name.

Test Mode
The detail pages tab has the same checkbox that is displayed in other tabs, allowing a test to be completed, limited by the number of records you wish to process. For example, a test run can be completed by building the site based on a limited number of records (for example: 50 or 100). This is a time saver, as WebMerge only needs to complete a few records, instead of the entire data feed file. The completed pages can then be examined to see if they are being built as planned.

Settings File
Save the Settings File according to the type of web site to be built, and the tier that is being built.


Revision 4 (2014)


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