Zones are a key element to the structure of any ocPortal built website and are a great way of sectioning off your content into different areas. For example a games related website might have a zone for PC games, one for Xbox games another for PS3 and so on. A business site may have sections dedicated to the different spheres of influence it deals with. A zone will traditionally have a URL similar to this:-
http://Yoursite.com/Zone-name/start.htm if you have set up the new style Short URLS. Adding a new zone is a fairly simple process which I will show below.
Adding a new zone step by step process
Here is the step by step process of adding a new zone followed by a look at the adding a new zone form in more detail.
- Log in to your adminzone
- Navigate to the structure section of the adminzone
- Choose the Zones option
- Choose add Zone
- Fill in the form (which I will go through in detail below)
- Click add zone
Important! – Remember if you have set up short URLs for your ocPortal site you will need to make sure you follow the process detailed in the short URLs tutorial or your new zone will not work. Read the Setting up short URLs in ocPortal tutorial before going any further with this process.
The adding a new zone form in detail
The adding a new zone form is split into three sections which are a zone which deals with the general details of the zone, an advanced options section and a section which deals with the permissions of the zone.
The main section
The first section of the form is where you will fill in the main details of your new zone. The options in this section are
Codename – The codename of the zone is the code which ocPortal will reference your new zone and this should not have any spaces. As a general SEO rule if you are using multiple words they should be separated by a hyphen instead of an underscore as Google understands hyphens as space and doesn’t with underscores. The codename will also be used as part of your URL for your new zone so a zone with a codename of “zone-a” would have a URL such as:
Title – this is the title which will be used for the new zone
Default page – This will be set as default to start which means the starting page will be start.htm. You can set this to whatever you want but I recommend sticking with start or using index but which ever you choose you should try to stick to the same system for all of your site zones.
Header text – this is some text which will be appended as a slogan to all new pages in the new zone.
Opt to hide the left and right panels – Whether the zone will hide the left and right panels where there is no information for them. The options are yes or no or to allow each member to set this.
Display in menus – If you have kept the default menu as part of your site you can automatically add the new zone to the site navigation or not. As a default this is selected. If you have changed the menu which makes up your primary navigation then this option may not work.
Theme – This option allows you to set the theme which is displayed in this zone. This is useful if you have a slightly tweaked theme for each section. For example you may have a custom background for each zone related to the main subject of the zone.
This section only has one option which is a tick box. This option allows you to designate the zone as including sensitive information. If you choose to activate this option it will force a user to re-log in or confirm their details when attempting to access the zone. As an example the adminzone makes use of this feature.
The final part of the form deals with the permissions for the zone and whether members of each usergroup can see and have access to the zone. You may choose to set up a member’s only zone which has the access limited to it for most usergroups. If this is the case you can simply un-tick the usergroups which you do not want to be able to access the new zone.