Creating a Customized Web Site Search Feature in Dreamweaver MX
- Aug 23, 2002
With the proliferation of sites on the Internet, most people know that the exact information they want is probably on a web page somewhere. But how do they find it? If you can help your site's visitors find the information they need with a minimum number of clicks, you can make them very happy. We don't have time to cover your world-class content in this short article, but we can solve the other half of the equation by showing you how to create a search feature your visitors will love.
Atomz, along with a handful of other companies, have created amazingly robust online applications that perform specialized tasks for your web site. For this project, we're interested in Atomz, the company that created Atomz Search, a customizable site search service that automatically indexes your site (much like a "spider" in a traditional web search engine) and generates the results for your users.
So what's the catch? Well, your users will see the Powered by Atomz logo on each search results page, but that's about it.
Preparing to Work
To begin, you need to set up your site.
Install the Atomz Search command. You can find the latest updates to the extension at the Macromedia Exchange or directly from Atomz at http://center.atomz.com/dreamweaver/.
Because of the nature of this project, your site cannot be searched unless it is actually published on a web server with open access. An internal testing server will not get indexed because the web service can not find it. To see the project live on the web, go to http://www.design-link.org/DreamweaverMX_Magic/08_search_engine/.
Copy the project folder (found in the accompanying WinZip file) to your hard drive.
You need to set up a site on a live server, which requires a hosting provider, if you don't already have one. If you already have a live site, you can just create a folder on that server.
Open the Site Definition wizard by choosing Site>New Site and clicking the Basic tab. Define a new Dreamweaver site using the 08_search_engine copy as your local root folder.
Make sure that you set up the FTP connection for your site using the settings your hosting provider gives you. Specifically, you need the FTP host name (usually something like ftp.yourdomain.com or http://www.yourdomain.com); host directory (this often can be left blank if this is the root of your site, but it could also be a long path to your project folder, such as www/html/08_search_engine/); and your login/username and password.
If you are working behind a firewall, especially in a corporate environment, you may need to check the Use Passive FTP and/or Use Firewall options. After you have set everything according to your provider's specifications, test the connection and you're ready to go!