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6.7 Post Messages, Redirect, and Search

Joomla has many components, and in this lesson we’ll cover some of the smaller examples. Firstly we have the post installation messages. Then the redirects component, which also can help us detect 404 errors. Finally we have the search component for SEO data, and smart search for a more in-depth view of what your users are searching for.

6.7 Post Messages, Redirect, and Search

Hi guys. Welcome back to a Beginners Guide to using Joomla! And in this lesson, we want to carry on learning about the components in Joomla! So the first component we're gonna take a look at is the Post-installation Messages. This component is fairly small and simple that allows us to view post installation messages and also reset the messages. So when we first installed Joomla!, we had some messages that showed up in the control panel. So I can go ahead and reset those messages. And if I go back to the control panel, we now have the post-installation messages again and we can review them. We can also, from here, hide these post-installation messages and reset them again. Also, we can take a look at the configurations. So which User Group is allowed to access the post-installation messages component in the administrator interface. And who is allowed to edit the state. So reset the messages again. So now that we have this, let's move on and take a look at the redirect component. This component simply allows us to take a source URL and redirect it. Now also this component is very good for finding out 404 errors, where visitors have gone to a particular page and come up with an error saying, sorry, the content hasn't been found. Now, this component is a little bit different from the other components we've looked at, because it requires a plugin to function. So, in order to enable this plugin, we're gonna drop down the extensions menu and go to the plugin manager. And from there, we need to find the plugin with redirect in the title. When we do that, you can see that system redirect now appears and we can simply click on the x right here to enable the plugin. Now when we go back to the redirect component. You'll notice the plugin is now enabled, and we can start to use this component. So the redirect plugin is good for rerouting pages that don't exist. For example, let's say, I create an article. I delete it, and then users try to access that article again. And they remember the URL, and they go to the URL. And they get a 404 error. Well, this will actually show up in the redirect plugin. So, what I can do is. Let's say, I go to the about page, and then the user goes, there was an Envato article. So I can say, \envato. And hopefully, it'll show me the article. But it doesn't, because it no longer exists. So I get a 404 Article Not Found. Now, the redirect plugin automatically updates the 404 errored URL. So, if I hit refresh, you'll now notice that we have this URL that errored and it shows us how many 404 hits there has been, and this indicates a very problematic URL if we have more 404 hits. So if I keep refreshing, you'll notice those hits will keep going up. So now we need to provide a destination URL where we'd like to redirect the users. So what I'm going to do, is take a look at the Admins Contacts category page. Now this is gonna be the redirect. So if the user tries to go to \envato, it's gonna take them to this page. So, I'm gonna copy the URL out, and now what we need to do is take a look at clicking on this URL, and then we need to provide a destination URL this way. Or what we could do is provide a destination URL, right here, where I can tick a particular URL or all the URLs that are erroring. And then I can provide the destination URL and optionally, you can provide a comment, if you wish. Then what I can do is update all the links that have been selected, so I'm just gonna update. And now you'll notice we have, under new URL, where this URL is gonna be rerouted. On top of that, we have the ability to enable this, redirect, disable it, archive it, and also stick it in the trash, as well. So let's go ahead and visit the source URL. So I'm going to go to the homepage and then let's go to the about page and then let's say, \envato, hit return and there we go. We now go to the Admins Contact category page. Also, we don't have to wait for the user to produce a 404 error. We could create a whole new redirect for URLs that are erroring. Now please do note, for your source URLs, you can't redirect pages that do exist. This is for pages that have a 404 error and then it will redirect the user to the destination URL. So the options for this component is just the permissions. So, who get so configure the component, who gets to access the component in the back-end, who gets to create redirects, delete redirects. Edit redirects and also edit the states of an individual redirect item. So now that we have this, we can take a look at the search component, that allows us to analyze search terms, from the search module. So in order to use this component, we need to, first of all, make sure that we enable gathering statistics. This is under the configuration options for the search component. And from here, we can enable the search statistics, and save and close. Now we can see gathering searched statistics is enabled. We can now go over to the front-end and start typing in a few searched terms. Such as helloworld, envarto, and also tutsplus. So, now we've put in three search terms. And we can go back and hit refresh and those search terms will appear in the search manager component. So I can see, immediately, the search phrase that was typed. How many times it was typed in. So how many hits and also, the results returned. So zero results for helloworld, envato, we got five results back. And tutsplus, we got three results back. This is great for site marketers that want to know what the user base is searching for. On top of that, we can take a look at these options again. So the next option is whether we want to show the search areas, so if I set that to no and save it. This will get rid of the chat boxes that allow us to search only for certain pieces of content. If we hit refresh, it'll disappear. Also, we can say whether we want to show the created date within the search results, which I can hide and save. And you'll notice with each search item returned, we say, created on. And it hasn't actually got a date anyway, so we're better off hiding it. And then on top of that, we can also provide an OpenSearch Name. This is the name displayed for this site as a search provider, and an OpenSearch description, this is the description displayed for this site as a search provider. On top of that, we also have some permissions, so who gets to configure the component. And also, who gets to access the component in the back-end, and also, who can edit the state. Because we can hit the reset button to clear out or of the search results. Now with the search manager component, we also have a menu item associated with the search manager, so I'm gonna go to the test menu and add in a new menu item. From here, I can select the item type, and underneath search, we can say Search Form or Search Results. Then on top of there, we can provide a default search term, so I can say something like, envato. And the title will be Search. So I can save and close and that menu item has now been added to the test menu. Now we can go over and hit refresh. There is our menu item, and you'll notice the default search term is envato. It's already producing the results that we're asking. And then, on top of that, we can go ahead and change the search term. Now, we also have a module associated with the search manager, which is the module that we've already used where we provide a search term and then we hit return and then it automatically takes us to the search page. So if we take a look at the search module, we need to go out of there and go underneath extensions, go to the Module Manager and then we need to take a look at the search module. So if you want to create another search module. All you need to do is hit new, scroll down, and there is the search module. And I'm gonna go ahead and click cancel, go back. From here, we can provide a Box Label, Box Text as well. And then, on top of that, we can say whether we wanna show a search button and also the button's position. Right, left, top, bottom. And then, if you wanna show the Search Button Image, Button Text. And so on and so forth. So I can go ahead and save it now. Hit refresh. And now we have the search button which I can say, tutsplus and then hit search and there we go. And it's producing the results that we're asking. Now that we've discovered the search component, we have a better component to search through our content, which isn't enabled by default, and that is the Smart Search component. This component is more intricate, it's not the same as the previous search component, because this component indexes the items within your Joomla! Installation. So it looks at all of the items such as categories, articles, and so on and so forth. And it builds up a nice database. And when the user searches with the smart search, it goes through that indexed information with a fine toothed comb to give precise results. So the first thing we must do is enable the smart search content plugin. So underneath extensions, we're gonna go to the plugin manager. And then from there, we're gonna find the plug in. So I'm just gonna type in smart and from there, we can enable the contents smart search. I'm gonna enable the plug in and then go back to the smart search component. So now that we're back in the smart search component, we can now start the indexing process. The reason why we have the indexing process, is because the smart search does such an analytical view of the content that it's looking for, it needs to index it in order for it to produce the results in a timely manner. Otherwise, it would simply take too long to produce the results, and the user may leave and go on to another page. So now I'm gonna start the indexing process. This may take a while, so I'm going to let this finish. Now the indexing is complete, I can close out of this dialogue. And it shows me all of the different pieces of content that's it's managed to index. And we have articles, categories, web links and a lot of other content as being indexed, in order for the smart search to find what the user is looking for, with accuracy. Now what we can do is change the state of these indexed items. So, for example, we can take these three items and change them to unpublished. This does not change the content. It doesn't unpublish the item. Rather, what it does is exclude these items in the smart search. On top of that, we can also delete out the index for an item. And we can say purge, which means that it will delete all of the indexes and no items will show up in the final search. On top of that, we can look at the statistics data, such as how many articles, categories, contacts, and so forth, have been indexed. So now that we have this, I'd like to take a look at creating a menu item, that shows the advanced search page. So I'm gonna drop the menus, go to test menu, add a new menu item, let's now give it the title of Advanced search. And then, I'm going to select the menu item type. Under Smart Search this time. We're gonna say search. And then, we can also provide a predefined default search query, which I'm not gonna do. And go ahead and save it. So now, we can scooch on over to the front-end. Hit refresh and now we have Advanced Search, and inside of there you can now see we have the Advance Search drop-down where we can select an author, select a category, and so on and so forth. And we can see that this search page is different from the previous search page for this standard search component. Now on top of this, we can provide a module for the smart search component. So instead of having a menu item, I'm gonna close out of there. We're gonna drop down extensions and go to the Module Manager. Now from here, I'm gonna add in a new module. And we scroll down and we go to the smart search module. Again, it's not the standard search module. It's the smart search module we're looking for. And then, I can provide a title. And then on top of that, we can say whether we want to select a filter, which we don't have any filters to select from currently. Then we can say search suggestions, show them, and also advance search, which I can show. And I'm gonna place this in the search bar, so let's search for our theme, Protostar. And then, we want to set it to right position seven. Go ahead and save it. And then, when we hit refresh, we now have a module that's generating content for the smart search component. Now you'll notice we have the filter fields right here, which is the Advanced Search, which doesn't really fit in the side bar. So I can go ahead and hide it, save it. And now you'll notice all of these drop-downs will disappear. So now we have our smart search module, which allows us to search for, let's say envato, or something like that. And it will automatically take us to the smart search page, without having to link to it directly. So now, let's take a look at some of the setting we have for the smart search component. So now I'd like to go back to the smart search component and from here, we can take a look at the content maps. The content maps consist of multiple branches. So each branch such as author, category and country are all classed as branches. These branches make up the advanced search section on the front-end. So now I'm going to disable the category branch. This will remove the Search by Category drop down. So if I refresh the page, you'll notice that drop down then disappears. Now, I don't have to disable the branch entirely, I can click on the branch and disable a node within the branch, so this is going to disable the Admins node category. So now when we go back over to the front-end. We have this search by category drop down, but we will not have in that list, the admin's contact category, listed. And that's because we disabled that specific node. Now please do note, that even though we've disabled the admin's contact category. All it's doing is saying you can't use that as way of finding content. However, the contacts associated with the admins category can still show up in the search results. If you want to disable specific items, such as contacts, from showing up in the search results, you need to go to Index Content and disable those specific items. So thank you for watching me in this lesson, and please join me in the next lesson, where we'll carry on learning about the smart search component.

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