Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Using a custom search result link on your home page

What do you do if you have a specific series or day of events that you want your users to be able to find easily without having to search through an entire list of upcoming events? It’s as simple as using the Advanced Search feature to find and create a link that will take your users to a “Results” page that will then list all of your specific events. This is a great feature if you have a group of events that are for a specific department, organization, cause, etc.

The most important thing is to use a unique “Keyword(s)” within your event title, but adding causes and/or skills is helpful too. Let’s say you had several Earth Day specific events, but that the company also has many other non Earth Day events scheduled on that same day. Place the words “Earth Day” in the title of each event. Select an appropriate cause and/or skill and create your events. Now go to the Advanced search page (from the home page), enter Earth Day into the “Keywords” box and set the date (or date range) to the date of your event. Select the causes and/or Skills that you chose when creating the events. Unless all of the events are in the same city and/or state, leave those fields blank. Now run the search. The result should be a listing of just your events. Copy the URL in your browsers address bar and save it in notepad (or any editor).

If you have System Manager access you can do this next part yourself, otherwise you will need to enlist the help of the System Manager to post the link. Edit your home page content to add a comment that makes it clear that this is where to click to find the events they are looking for, such as “Do you want to volunteer for one of our Earth Day events? If so, Click Here.” From within the content editor select the word “Here” then click on the add hyperlink button and paste in the URL you copied earlier. Hit update and you’re done. Now when your users are greeted with the welcome page, there will be a link right there in front of them to take them to the listing of your specified events.

Note: using the causes and skills is not necessary but it is a great way to insure that your search results will continually contain only your events, since the odds of someone else creating an event with the exact same parameters are very slim.