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Home: Documentation: Virtual Search Engine: Activate New Engine
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Activate Your New Virtual Search Engine

Once you received the confirmation letter by E-mail and activated it, your Virtual Search Engine (VSE) is ready to use. All you need is put 'Search-Box' on your site and test it. For details on how to create your 'Search-Box', please choose the 'Search-Box Design' link from the left side-menu or click here.

IMPORTANT: Your new Virtual Search Engine (VSE) comes ready to search with a default design. Once you have added Search-Box on your sites and tested your VSE by making some search you are done.

However, if you want more control and customize the entire result page layout and all the other bits you can (optionally) do so. Read on.

To customize your engine, you will need to go to your 'Administration Area' where you can customize the outlook of generated results (including Fonts, Sizes, Colors, Link-Bar and others). However, to customize the overall design of result pages; you will need to assign a html page with your own design, images, logos, links etc. We call this html page 'html Template'. This 'html Template' creates the overall design of the result pages.

Your Search Engine will work just fine without your own 'html Template'. If you do not assign your own 'html Template', it will generate results using a default Template. Even so, you will still be able to use all the available options in your Administration Area (including all other customization you can make from the Admin Area). But, to make your search engine generate results with your overall site design, you will need to assign your own 'html Template'. You can assign your own html Template any time you want. Please read the 'Result Page Customization' section below for details on how to create your own 'html Template'.

Result Page Customization:

Search results can be shown using a HTML page with your own design and layout. As mentioned earlier, we call it 'html Template' or 'Result Template' or simply 'Template'. You will need to create a 'html Template' to Replace the default Template with your own.

How to create 'html Template' (Result Template)

The easiest way is to take an existing HTML page from your web-site, keep the Header, Footer and other necessary links, images etc. Put the word $SEARCHRESULTS where you want to show the search-results. It is a good idea to leave a blank line before and after the line that contains the word '$SEARCHRESULTS'. See the following example:

<title>Your Website Title</title>
<body ........ >
<!-- Your HTML -->


<!-- Your HTML --->

Now save this file anywhere with your current web-site with any name. Write down the exact URL of this file. You will need to give us the URL of this page so that our 'auto installer' can fetch this file. Once your Search Engine activation is completed, you can delete this file. This file will be used to create your own, customized result page. You can use all HTML elements (images, links etc.) on this page BUT NO SSI (server side includes) calls.

IMPORTANT: All the Images and Links on your 'html Template' MUST have their full URL (absolute, not relative).

<img src="" ... >

How to create 'Result Page template' (Final step)

Your 'html Template' will generate result pages on our servers and show it to your site visitors in real time. Please be careful to the following things:

1. All the link URLs, image SRCs, applet classes etc. on this page must be absolute Full URL, like
NOT like ../image/etc/image.gif

2. DO NOT use any Server Side Includes (SSI), they will not work. You can put links to your cgi scripts as usual (use absolute URL).

3. When you upload this page to your website, make sure it is in a place/directory where your normal HTML pages are located and accessible with a browser. (Not in a password protected or cgi-bin directory)

4. Do not put any extra HTML around the Tag $SEARCHRESULTS.

5. By default the results will cover the full screen WIDTH. If you are using TABLES to control the width of your HTML page, you can do something similar to the following example:

<table border=0 width="Your Table Width" ... >



To show results at the center of the screen, simply CENTER the table, as shown above in blue color. In any case, make sure there are at least 480 pixels width space on the screen for search results to show-up properly formatted. A narrower space may spoil the beauty of result output. Check it after activation, as you can change the Template whenever you want. Take the same measure if you will be using Frames to show search results.

6. Contact VSE Technical Support Team if you are stuck.

7. Special NOTE for Geocities or similar Free hosting users: Please CHECK your Template again before you assign it to your Virtual Search Engine. You can use your browser to view it as a document. Some Free ISPs add some pop-up windows or similar codes automatically when you upload the Template to your document space (server). If this is the case, Upload your Template as a Text document (Example: save it as something like SearchEngineTemplate.txt using a text editor and upload it, not as a HTML document). If you are not sure what this means, please ask your Webmaster or contact our Support Team.

For, search results are generated using the HTML design of your 'html Template', it plays a VERY important role in overall performance and response-time of your search engine. You are well advised to familiarise with these Performance Enhancement issues.

If you don't know anything about HTML or using a graphical program that creates your web site: Choose one of your current page (probably the Homepage). Open it with a Plain Text Editor like 'Note Pad' if you are on Windows (other operating systems also have something like that). You will see the HTML code that creates that page. Save this file with a different name so that you do not lose your current information. Now, try to find the places where your HEADER ends and FOOTER starts. Delete everything between them. Type $SEARCHRESULTS on a single line. Save this file and upload it to anywhere on your web site. Don't forget to write down the exact URL as you upload it to your web site.

Final Check: Have you checked the links, images, background images, URLs on your 'html Template' if they are all Absolute (full URL)? If not, please read the above instructions again. Otherwise links will not work or images will not show-up and you will be wasting your time for nothing. If stuck, please contact VSE Technical Support Team.

After you have designed your 'html Template' and uploaded it to your own server, go to your VSE 'Administration Area' and use the 'Change Template' option to assign it to your Virtual Search Engine. You can always locate your 'Administration Area' by visiting the VSE Documentation/User-Guide site.

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