Front Page Notices

Let me explain how the “Notices” on the Admin page work. You’ll start off with an edited copy of our notices that together make up the front page. Each piece can be edited separately, and you can change the ordering up and down as you like. Also, each notice has a ‘lifetime’ in terms of number of days before/after the auction date, so you can pre-program a “thanks for coming” message, for example. There’s a
preview feature on the admin page that lets you test this out by putting in a future date and seeing what the site will look like on that date.

This is probably a good time to explain that each auction is “active” for a certain number of days before and after - these can't overlap, so on any given date a single auction should be the default 'active' auction - that's the one the catalog will show, that's the one new donated items will go against - but you can always hit the links from each catalog or statement to visit past/future ones you've set up - it's
always good to have one future one setup for those advance planners out there.

The “language” each notice uses should look familiar if you’ve ever done a “view Source” on their favorite webpage – it’s HTML. There are many books and online
available on this subject. The “Theme” notice uses some advanced stuff to put a scrolling banner of movie quotes over a graphic. Other notices are far simpler. Start with basic tags like

Make a phrase <b>bold</b> and
<p>Mark paragraphs</p>

The emails work the same way, except there is a variable feature that allows you to plug in things like Click on the email’s number to edit it.

I can’t really offer to be your ‘webmaster’ for the long haul in this regard, so I’ll toss you in the water now and see how you swim – I tried to give you some good templates to follow. If you’ve got specific questions, just let me know.

I can recommend for some basic HTML advice – if you want to be able to make stuff look good on the web, that’s the way to do it. You can get pretty far with just a few basic font size/weight changes with less effort than you might think.

Note there are some 'current auction' variables like %daysTill% listed below the edit box you can use in your messages. There are also some CSS styles that require a percent sign - such as style="width: 80%;". Because both of these require the percent sign in different ways, you need to write a percent sign as %percent% and it will turn into just the plain symbol.

If you totally goof up the front page, it's conceivable you might not be able to get back to the admin menu to fix it.
Here's a trick that will help - Make a shortcut/bookmark to your sales page. It's a page you can only see with admin or volunteer, so if you come back to it much later, it will make you sign in first, but without first stopping at the usual front page (so it should keep working regardless of what notices you've entered). From there, you can hop over to the admin menu (again without loading the front page), and get back to the front page notice editor that way.

There are some handy tools out there to preview HTML changes to avoid suprises like this - in this case, I think the culprit was a quotation mark from a word processor that does those nice looking open/close quotes - word is good for some things, but not writing HTML.

Have a look at this page:

If you copy a notice between the .... tags in the online editor, you can get a preview of how it will look - I sometimes use this method before I hit save.

The notices all have position numbers - that controls which ones go first - you can also edit them to re-arrange the ordering if you like.

There is a new feature to allow you to enter Custom CSS on Home Page by entering a notice at position -1 - That will put it in the page section. If you don't know what that is, you can safely skip it; if you do, it allows you to (among other things) turn off some of the buttons and/or menu options and replace them with links to your own website.

If you can find a place to host (upload) images online, you can link them to notices too. For example, here's one we used: