Setting up a Site-Wide Search
UB uses a custom version of Google to run our local searches.
Site-wide search is a standard UBCMS feature, common on larger or
more complex sites.
Adding Search to Your Site
To host a search on your UBCMS website, you will first need a
'Search Results' page. Not all site templates have this page, so it
may not have been included when your site was first created.
Does Your Site Have a Search Results Page?
Location of the Search Results page in the Site Admin Console.
Look in your websites folder (e.g. /content/www/your-site) for a
page named "searchresults"
If your site does not yet have a site-wide search, one can be
Not every site needs a search — it all depends on how much
content you are providing, and how easy it is for your visitors to
find the information they are seeking.
If your site does not have a 'Search Results' page, your Unit
Web Leader or Site Manager can request it through the Special
Set Up Your Site's Search
1- Configure Your Search Results Page
Once your site has a Search Results page, any author can
configure it for you.
The page comes with a Search component preinstalled,
which is configured in the same way as the standard Search
2- Edit Your Site's Header
Once you have a Search Results page, and it is configured, you
are ready to adjust the search box in the site's header.
- From the website console, navigate to your site's Site-Wide
Configuration folder (for example,
- Open the Header page.
- Edit the search box component in the upper right of the page.
- Search results page - Enter the location of your Search
- Leave the other two fields blank.
Use the magnifying tool to enter the location of the Search
If you enter a bad path, you can 'break' your site.
Enter the location of your Search Results page in the settings for the search component of the Header page in Site-wide Configuration.
3- Activate Your Search
This assumes your website has been launched and all pages
you wish to be indexed are activated. If that is not
the case, hold off on activating your search until you are ready to
launch your website.
- Navigate to your site's Site-Wide Configuration folder (e.g.
- Re-activate the Header page.
- Navigate to your site's main folder (e.g.
- Select your new search results page (e.g.
- Activate your new search results page from the toolbar.
- See an Example
Search Suggestions and Tips for Users
Example of search box suggestions.
The standard UBCMS search box offers 'suggestions' as people
type in their search query. These suggestions are based on
actual search queries entered by visitors to ALL of our websites
that use the UB Google search appliance.
These suggestions cannot be adjusted, but they can be turned off
on a site by site basis. Contact DCT
Help if you wish to turn them off.
User Search Tips
Here are some additional tips for getting the most out a UBCMS
search. They are available as shared content so you can share
them with your site visitors.
1- When Will My Search Start to Work?
Searches can only 'see' published content. (They also cannot see
into secure pages, or pages that are completely hidden from
For a site that is already live, once you have a search results
page and that page is activated, our search engine will begin to
index your site. For most sites, this process will happen within a
day so you should expect to see the search 'working' within several
For a brand new site, to ensure that your search results are not
empty when your site first launches (before it is indexed by our
search engine), consider launching your site without activating the
search results page. Without the search results page, the search
box in the header will also not show. Then a day or two later,
activate the search results page. Your search will then function
2- How Quickly Does the Search Get Updated?
Changes to existing pages and new pages may also take time to
appear in search results, but you should expect to see them by the
next day. This process will occur faster if your site is known to
our search engine to change frequently (i.e. the more often you
change your site content, the sooner changes will be reflected in
Deleted pages will similarly continue to display in search
results for some time after the changes are made, although visitors
who attempt to click through to the deleted page will land on a 404
("content missing") page. Again you should expect these changes by
the next day, and this process will occur faster if your site is
known to our search engine to change frequently.
UB's search engine will not be able to find your site if it is
not linked from other UB pages it indexes. This situation is very
unusual, as most sites are linked to other UBCMS sites even if the
path to them is quite lengthy, but if your site is not being found
it may need to be added by special request to the list of "start
pages" for our search crawler. For assistance, contact the Help
3- Don't Hide Content
Just like the commercial Google search engine, our local Google
appliance creates an index of our UBCMS system by periodically
crawling through all live UBCMS sites. In essence, it crawls
through your site by following the links on your pages, including
links embedded in Flash content, and even in associated files like
PDF and Word documents.
For a page to be indexed it must be accessible by a direct path
of links from your home page. The search appliance will not follow
(so for example, your 'thanks' page may be hidden).
The crawler will find content in external embeds as long as the
external embed is just displaying HTML, but if the external embed
be indexed. (Your site must also be linked from other previously
published UBCMS sites, otherwise the search engine will not find it
to begin with, but only rarely is this not the case.)
Beware if you use any of the following custom
- Secure content and even links to secure pages are
normally hidden from the search engine. If you want them
visible in a search you will need to take extra steps.
- Be careful when you set Page Properties as 'hide in
navigation' or 'hide in lists' -- depending on how your
site is constructed, this may hide it from the search engine.
- Shared Content may be missed if it is only accessible
through a carousel, slide deck, or list that only reveals some of
the content (a random display of several slides from a large
collection, for example).
- Content that is only accessible through special scripting may
If your site utilizes some of these custom features, you may
benefit from setting up a master archive page that reveals all of
your site's content. You will need to make this archive page
clickable off another page on your site, perhaps in the footer. For
example, the News Center provides a "browsable archive" of old
news releases in its Media Kit.
If you have any questions, contact the Help
4- How Can I STOP a Page Being Indexed?
If you intentionally wish to block a page from being indexed by
our search engine, or Google, add one of the following codes
to your Page
Properties, in the Advanced tab, under Head Content:
- <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX">
This tells spiders not to index this page, period.
- <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW">
This tells spiders not to index this page, but it is ok to follow
links that lead off the page.
Only add one of these codes.
Add this code to every page that you wish not to be
> Read more about NOINDEX codes.
5- Custom (404) Error Pages
When someone tries to load a page that does not exist on your
site, perhaps after clicking an old bookmark, a 404 page appears in
its place. (404 is the name of a particular server error, in this
case, indicating that the page was 'not found').
We are able to install a custom 404 page (or other error pages)
for an entire virtualhost (e.g. all of mgt.buffalo.edu) by special
request. CIT will then place your version of the 404 page where it
will be generated automatically whenever one of your visitors tries
to load a non-existing page.
You’ll need to provide us with the complete HTML code for
your new page, such as by making a page in the UBCMS and then
copying and adjusting the HTML source until you are satisfied with
what people will see. (These error pages are served by the apache
proxy server, rather than the actual UBCMS servers and there is not
an automatic connection for the error pages like there is for
Use the Special
Request form to send us the details.
6- Adding a Second Search to a Site
In addition to your main search in the header, a second search
can be implemented for your forms or policies in a customer service
area. To add an additional search, use the Search