Shining a light on some small Backpage features you didn't know existed!
Alternate document content types
By default Backpage returns documents in a xHTML or HTML5 template depending on the preference / requirements of the designer. But it can just as easily return that content in a number of other formats:
Append ?json to a page url to return a JSON object
- Plain text
Append ?txt to get the page content (minus design template) without any of those pesky markup tags!
append ?xml to get an XML version of your selected document
- Microsoft Word
We balked about adding this one, but should you need to send a word document of a document simply append ?word
- Microsoft Excel
Append ?xls for a Microsoft Excel version of the current document. Very useful for table rich documents.
Uptime monitoring, the module
Typically third party uptime monitors visit a preset URL, and depending on the HTTP response code they realise the monitored website is a-ok or in distress and act accordingly. Depending on the nature of the page content this may be an expensive operation involving unnecessary database access and additional server load. The uptime module (located at /modules/uptime/) allows third party monitors to check application and database health in a quick, lightweight manner. YAY!
Good old Outline Processor Markup Language! Should you ever need to expose your feeds (ATOM, RSS, sitemap, shop products, property etc) to content aggregators in a quick and easy manner, simply point them to towards /modules/opml/.
Map legacy URLs
Upgraded from a flat site or other CMS and want to retain the Google Juice earned by the previous URLs? Don't want to create shortcuts for all of them? Take a deeper look at /modules/404/... we think you'll find all you '302 goodness you need :)
Sadly this will be missing the cut. This handy little feature (sitting in /modules/microsummary/) was rendered obsolete as of Firefox6.0. While we won't be throwing it out in the immediate future, there is a timer on it's inclusion with a default Backpage install.
Older Blog Entries
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Finding the items you want on the website you're visiting should be straightforward, but sometimes the information architect / UX lead may need a helping hand. We're often told that it's the "simple things" that make the difference. That kiss on the cheek in the morning, the barman who knows your order before you open your lips or the CMS ... [ read more ]
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A measure of spit and polish has been applied to the Web Manager and Blogging tools. The most obvious change is the addition of a date view and a cosmetic change to a number of icons, but the changes run deeper: Quick search can ... [ read more ]
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They say necessity is the mother of all invention. I'm going to add an addendum to that. Hatred works too! Backpage grew out of a frustration with repetitive tasks and a deep, vocal dislike for a mandatory three column layout. Most modern websites need templating, a data access ability ... [ read more ]
I've written many words in the past on the subject of comments and moderation. In truth I find myself flip-flopping - loving the idea of growing an unfettered community that accurately portrays 2% of a websites visiting audience but reeling with the knowledge there's an inevitable need for the iron fist of ... [ read more ]
Are you ready to hear the least imaginative name for an e.commerce platform ever? Shop! Yep, we called our main e.commerce module 'shop'! Not 'superZen', 'HyperBucksStoreCart' or 'profitMaker'. Just simple, boring 'shop'. We contend that all our imagination went into building it, so much so the ultimate christening became an afterthought. ... [ read more ]