A local (site-wide) search is a standard UBCMS feature, common on larger or more complex sites.
Last reviewed: May 13, 2022
To host a local site-wide 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.
In the SItes Console, look in your websites folder (e.g. /content/www/your-site) for a page called 'Search Results' (/content/www/your-site/searchresults).
If your site does not have this page, one can easily be added.
People like to search, but not every site needs one—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 within your site.
If your site does not have a 'Search Results' page, your Unit Web Leader or Site Manager can request it through by contacting the DCT Help Team.
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 component.
Once you have a Search Results page, and it is configured, you are ready to adjust the search box in the site's header.
Use the Finder tool to enter the correct location of the Search Results page. A bad path can 'break' your site.
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.
Please note, a new, 'soft-launched' site is often hidden from search engines so it does not unexpectedly show up in search returns until it has cleared final accessibility and optimization tests and been formally launched. You may need to This is done in the Properties' Advanced tab under Site Visibility. ('No index' should be 'search engines can index site'.)
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 our custom search appliance.
These suggestions cannot be adjusted, but they can be turned off on a site by site basis. Contact the DCT Help Team 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.
Searches can only 'see' published content. (They also cannot see into secure pages, or pages that are completely hidden from navigation.)
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 can take up to 48 hours (up to a day to enter the next indexing queue, and then up to a day for indexing and return of search results).
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 normally.
Please note, you can hide a new, 'soft-launched' site from search engines so it does not unexpectedly show up in search returns until it has cleared final accessibility and optimization tests and been formally launched. This is done in the Properties' Advanced tab under Site Visibility. ('No index' should be 'site will not be indexed by search engines'.)
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 search results).
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 error ('no such 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 DCT Help Team.
Just like the commercial Google search engine, our local search 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. But it cannot log into secure areas or see completely hidden content.
Beware if you use any of the following custom features:
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. However, using this as a workaround for secure content would thus make that content public, including to public search engines like Google.
The Dynamic List components include a search feature that can run inside secure pages. This path will require several components. > Read more about the Dynamic List Search
If you intentionally wish to block a page from being indexed by our search engine or Google/Yahoo/Bing, etc., adjust your page's Properties' Advanced tab under Site Visibility. ('No index' should be 'site will not be indexed by search engines'.)
Please note, you can hide a new, 'soft-launched' site from search engines so it does not unexpectedly show up in search returns until it has cleard final accessibility and optimization tests and been formally launched.
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 normal pages.)
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 component.