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TOPIC: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" ..

Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #1

  • vhhawk
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.. immediately after logging in?

I think I know the answer (nope) but just in case I'm missing something wanted to ask anyway.

My own bookmark is the site home page (/webtrees), and when I go through the login process it sends me to My Page. Can I make it so that when I (and my users) log in like this, I get the Home page instead of My Page? I realize users can bookmark any page in the site and return there, so I know I can't grab them. Just hoping I can grab those who do as I do.

Thanks,
Vic

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #2

  • ToyGuy
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What would prevent them from bookmarking any page they desired and then simply logging in if it required access rights?
The short answer is NO and the explanation is that this is by design.
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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #3

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My first question is "why?"

If you could explain what, exactly, you are trying to accomplish, maybe we could come up with a solution.

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #4

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Boomn4x4 wrote: My first question is "why?"

If you could explain what, exactly, you are trying to accomplish, maybe we could come up with a solution.


I simply want my users to see the news updates on the Home page whenever they stop by. Very much aligned with what Stephen does via methods and practices outlined in his response on your moderating-edits thread the other day. When I come to the site, my eyes go straight to the Login link and I click it without so much as scanning the Home page. And then of course after logging in I'm taken directly to My Page, forget the Home page, and go about my work. Now of course I'm the admin, so I create the news items and have no pressing need to reread them aside from error checking, but if I myself am so habituated to move straight to the login function I wonder if my users are doing the same thing.

The flip side of that is that I've always wondered why I have a My Page. I only ever used it for journal entries, which have now evolved into News entries on the home page. When I land on My Page, I'm always straight off to the Search bar to find the person I'm looking to update.

You know, I guess what it gets down to is that I don't understand the utility of My Page. Is it something that once served a purpose but does no more? How do you folks, and your users, utilize My Page?

Vic

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #5

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Victor

I've always wondered why I have a My Page

If so, I believe you are underutilizing the page and perhaps abusing the Welcome/Main page.
• The only place I put the ON THIS DAY block is on MY PAGE.
• The only place I put UPCOMING EVENTS is on MY PAGE.
• The only place I put RECENT CHANGES is on MY PAGE.
• The only place MY MESSAGES appears is on MY PAGE.
• The only place MY FAVORITES appear is on MY PAGE.
• The only place RANDOM MEDIA block appears is on MY PAGE.
• The only place MY TODO LIST appears is on MY PAGE.
• The only place My JOURNAL appears is on MY PAGE.

IMO, to add too much to the Welcome page distracts from it's usefulness, which I believe is two-fold:
1) To communicate important news to my users about site conditions, software updates and important family announcements or finds, and
2) To provide general family statistics and links for the bots to improve spidering.

There has been plentiful discussion, and there remains open an NFR (New Feature Request) that would somehow incorporate both a 'critical announcement' dialog that would have to be dismissed upon log-in, as well as a 'news-like' block that could again be dismissed to appear on the MY PAGE page. However, this NFR remains a low priority.

My recommendation to force a page would be to lock-down your site and use a redirect from any attempt to enter your domain directly to an HTML-PHP "Log-In" page which contains important information about your site and news you feel you need to communicate (substitute Log-In page, http://yourWEBTREESdomain/login.php?url=index.php), as well as then a log-in page that sends people to their My Page. However, this could be problematic and will certainly lead to little or no access by bots nor would it allow casual visitors.
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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #6

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I see the utiliity of the MyPage as being a source of a user's information, where as the Home Page is a place for generic information for the public.

I would suggest breaking your messages into two categories, messages intended for the public and messages intended to your specific users. If it is a public message post it to the news feed on the Home Page as you are doing today. However, if the message is something that you users really need to know and you want to force them into reading it, send it as a message to their MyPage. You do this using the "broadcast message" from the admin control panel. First of all, the users will get an email sent directly to their email account notifiying them of the message, secondly that message will be on their personal page, and they can delete it once they receive the message. And thrid, this keeps your Home Page clutter free of messages that a random user who falls upon your site really dosen't care about. This is also a big help to search engines as the more specific and focused your content is, the better its ranking is and the easier it is to index.


As a few examples, in looking at your webtrees site, the first News message about DNA revealing a new branch. I would say that is an interesting "news" message, but isn't something that all of your users need to know. If they don't fall on that information for a week or two, its no big deal. This is best left on the Home Page as it is now. They can read it when they get a chance. The next item on the list, "A new home" talking about a sever move... that really isn't something the genearal public cares to know about, and it isn't something you need search engines indexing. This is more of a message to your users, so send something like that in a message. Your users will pretty much be forced into reading it.

Worse case scenario, you have something that you want the general public to see AND you want to make sure all of your users read it. Type it in the news feed, highlight text, CTRL C, click, click, CTRL V, click... and send it in a message too.

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Last edit: by Boomn4x4.

Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #7

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Michael
If I may, I' would like to add your thoughts (as well as some of mine) to the pending:
Operating a webtrees site WIKI page I'm developing.

For such a new user, I'm impressed with your analysis of the purpose of these pages, and enjoyed reading your description thereof.
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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #8

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@Vic
Carrying on from Michael's comments, I noticed that you do not yet have a site FAQ. I can not stress enough my feelings that a clear outline of the site's purpose, its history, and your site's T&C (Terms and Conditions of Use) and Privacy Policy, as well as your preferred data entry conventions, are critical to advising your users what you expect from them. A well-crafted FAQ can eliminate many start-up problems and be a useful tool to which to point when further 'educating' your errant webtrees users.
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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #9

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ToyGuy wrote: Michael
If I may, I' would like to add your thoughts (as well as some of mine) to the pending:
Operating a webtrees site WIKI page I'm developing.


Certainly.

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 1 day ago #10

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If you can find a way to force people to read things that they are not especially interested in, then perhaps you need to switch careers to advertising :-)

Half the websites on the planet try to force visitors to read adverts, and most web users have developed the ability to "tune them out".

If you try *really* hard to force them - bold flashing text, popup windows, click-through screens, etc. - you will just annoy/upset them, and they *still* won't read it.

I have found only one guaranteed way to make you visitors read a given webpage.......

..... and that it to fill it with interesting, relevant and regularly updated content :-)
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 19 hours ago #11

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fisharebest wrote: If you can find a way to force people to read things that they are not especially interested in, then perhaps you need to switch careers to advertising :-)

Half the websites on the planet try to force visitors to read adverts, and most web users have developed the ability to "tune them out".

If you try *really* hard to force them - bold flashing text, popup windows, click-through screens, etc. - you will just annoy/upset them, and they *still* won't read it.

I have found only one guaranteed way to make you visitors read a given webpage.......

..... and that it to fill it with interesting, relevant and regularly updated content :-)


Greg, you have nailed exactly the source of my irritation. webtrees forces me to go to My Page upon login, instead of Home page, which is where I am when I press the Login link. I want, and expect, to return to where I was when I clicked the login link. It's a minor nuisance, but it's been a minor nuisance for five years.

@Stephen, I've tried many different layouts for both My Page and the Home page and as I said above my only real use for My Page has been the journal feature. I've since rolled journal entries into News items to make my work, progress, and thoughts available to my users, and to any visitor who happens by. But I now understand that you and others find the My Page useful, which really was a big part of my wondering. And I'm glad you brought up the FAQ. I once had extensive FAQs, but I have lost them somewhere along the way and I didn't realize they were gone. Good item.

@Michael, I draw a distinction from you on the use of the Home/Welcome page. For me, it's a blog, with a history, at least in terms of the News portion. I don't care to blast messages into my users' inboxes very often, but I do appreciate when they stop by the newsstand and check what's going on. As far as indexing, my site has plenty of unique content, is very well indexed, and I've laid the Home page out in such a way that the "Public" is quite welcome to peruse any and all of it. Why should it not? Who am I to prejudge what would be of interest to Everyman? This is the point at which both you and Stephen lose me a bit.

So, I was hoping there may be an option I was overlooking, which is why I posted in this forum rather than feature requests. I have my answer, and some good discussion to think about. And a FAQ list to go find in an offline archive.

Thanks for the feedback,
Vic

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 9 years 17 minutes ago #12

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vhhawk wrote: For me, it's a blog


Simply put, webtrees isn't designed to be used as blog. It is intended to be used as a "family tree".

With that being said, I would suggest making a request to have a "News" module added to the My Page. In fact, unless I have missed it as already being an option with webtrees, I think a better suggesting would be to make the MyPage customizable from an admistrators standpoint so that you could put a News block, by default, on all users MyPage. I think this would be a great add-on myself as I wish I could put an HTML block on all users' my page.

Another suggestion, I have psudo worked around the very problem you have by incorporating Facebook into my site. Facebook IS designed to be utilized as a blog. I have created a Facebook page for my webtrees site and then have put a "Like Box" on my webtrees so that users can subscribe to my Facebook page. I use the Facebook page as my blog. When I put information out that I want my users to see, they will see it posted to their facebook wall. At least in my case, most everyone that uses webtrees also has a facebook account and they check their facebook account more often than they check webtrees. On top of that, search engines index facebook like crazy and give content there great page rankings. Yes, I'm missing out on the users that don't use facebook... but the people who use my webtrees that do have a facebook, will have a much greater exposure to my blogging.

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 8 years 11 months ago #13

Hi,

With that being said, I would suggest making a request to have a "News" module added to the My Page.


This had been discussed heavily on the forum. "My Page" is "The" user page. Users can set it the way they want.

Home page is the page set by admin.

You can't force your users to enter a specific page ! What if they have as favourite link to enter the site, their own ID file ?

As Greg said :

I have found only one guaranteed way to make your visitors read a given webpage.......

..... and that it to fill it with interesting, relevant and regularly updated content :-)

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Last edit: by Jackie.

Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 8 years 11 months ago #14

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For newcomers or just those thinking of this issue, here's a link to an animated conversation on these issues:
webtrees.net/index.php/en/forum/15-deman...c-qnouvelles-gedcomq
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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 8 years 11 months ago #15

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Jackie wrote: Hi,

With that being said, I would suggest making a request to have a "News" module added to the My Page.


This had been discussed heavily on the forum. "My Page" is "The" user page. Users can set it the way they want.


But shouldn't the admin have the ability to set what that page looks like by default? Say, for example, I want to put the journal on everyone's My Page?

And the "News" block isn't even available. Even if a user wanted to put it on their MyPage, they couldn't

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 8 years 11 months ago #16

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I don't know about the latest code, but IIRC the reason it hasn't worked historically is that each block was a separate instance, and had its own data.

For example, if you have TWO html blocks on the same page, they will obviously have different data. If you have TWO html blocks on different user's pages, again they will have different data.

The News block was similar. If you installed it on each user's home page, they each have their own copy of the news. There was no global / shared data store.

I don't *think* the latest code has the same restrictions. You'd need someone with the time and inclination to investigate.

You'd also have to decide what to do on multi family-tree installations. Do you show the news for the current tree, the default tree, a specified tree?

You'd need to check the access. Users can edit all the blocks on their "My Page". Would they be able to add/remove news from the "global" block?

There is no mechanism for "locking" blocks. A user could always remove this from their "My Page" - which would defeat the purpose of putting it there.
Greg Roach - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - fisharebest.webtrees.net

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Re: Can I force my users to land on the "Home page" .. 8 years 11 months ago #17

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<<But shouldn't the admin have the ability to set what that page looks like by default? Say, for example, I want to put the journal on everyone's My Page?>>

I started coding this once. It created a "default user" and "default tree" in the database. You could edit the settings the same as "real" users and trees. When you created a new user or tree, the default settings were copied across.

But I got distracted by more urgent changes, and abandoned it...
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