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Web Services

Category Archive: Technical Info

RSS Feeds for PHP based pages

We recently added a PHP based RSS reader in our includes folder for people to start using with their php based pages. It’s a simple tool to use, only 3 lines of code needed (well 2 if you don’t create the $url variable). Anyway here’s an example on how to use it.

<?php
require_once( $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/includes/rsslib.php');
$url = "http://news.uwgb.edu/headlines/feed/";
echo RSS_Display($url, 5, false, true, "D, M. j, Y g:i a");
?>

Now that we have seen it here’s how it works:

  1. The first line loads the library file that does all the heavy lifting
  2. The second line is the URL variable.  You simply need to put your news feed url here.  In this case we are displaying the headlines from the UWGB news site “Inside”.
  3. Last but now least we need to echo out the results of the RSS_Display funtion.

There are four parameters for the RSS_Display function:

  • $url – [Format = URL] – this parameter if the URL to the feed you want to display
  • $size – [Format = Integer] – this determines how many feed items to display (Default 15 items)
  • $site – [Format = True or False] – displays or hides the title and the description of the site (Default false)
  • $showDate [Format = True or False] – displays or hides dates (Default false)
  • $dateFormat [Format = String] – determines how dates are display using the PHP Time Format Manual (Default “Y-m-d H:i:s”)

If you have questions feel free to post comments below.

Avoiding “mailto” link use

It has been a common practice on campus for many years to simply throw an email address on a web page so people can easily be contacted. It’s convenient and makes us more available to our students. However, the practice of adding email addresses to pages has one detrimental side affect.  SPAM. By adding raw email address to pages bots (automated internet robot applications) scrape our pages and collect these email addresses and send them to spammers.

In an effort to make our website a better place we here in web service strongly recommend that anyone adding wanting to add an email address to a page use a technique called obfuscation. We have added a simple javascript based email obfuscation script to our core include folder which will allow you to easily do this.

First you need to add the script into the header (preferably) of your page. If your page is .asp based you’ve probably seen this at the top of your page:

<!-- #include virtual="/_template/head.asp" -->

<!-- #include virtual="/_template/endHead.asp" -->
<!-- #include virtual="/webdev/template/sidebar.asp" -->

Add the following under the “put extra head html /css after me” part.

<!-- #include virtual="/_template/head.asp" -->
<script src="http://www.uwgb.edu/includes/email-munge.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<!-- #include virtual="/_template/endHead.asp" -->
<!-- #include virtual="/webdev/template/sidebar.asp" -->

After that usage is a snap simply add in the following line instead of your typed email address.

<script>munge("webdev", "WebDev");</script>

The first parameter is the email address you want to use minus the @uwgb.edu portion.  The second parameter is the link text you want to display ( DO NOT USE THE ACTUAL EMAIL ADDRESS ) Even though at this point many of the email addresses that have been posted have already been harvested it’s never to late to start making things harder for the bots.

Siteimprove Webinars in February

Coming up:

February 12, 2:00 – Siteimprove for Higher Education
February 19, 2:00 – New User Training
February 26, 2:00 – Custom Reports
February 20, 10:00 – Accessibility 101

Tracking External Links

Did you know that links to downloadable files like PDFs and links to external sites are not tracked in Google Analytics? If you are including links to non uwgb.edu websites or downloadable files and want tracking data on the number of people clicking these links, there are two ways you can make them send tracking data to Google Analytics. Click here to read more »

Siteimprove Webinars in January

Just a reminder for Siteimprove users that you can always take advantage of their webinars to brush up on skills or learn new ones. Coming up:

January 15, 10:00 – New User Training
January 17, 10:00 – Accessibility Overview
January 24, 2:00 – New User Training
January 29, 10:00 – Reports Training

HTML Email Options at UW-Green Bay

We direct general email communication questions and HTML email template requests to Marketing/University Communication. The information below is provided as a courtesy to get you started.

Selecting an Email Service

Not sure where to start? Here is some insight on which email service options are being used on campus already. Click here to read more »

Exploiting EDU Domains for SEO

In the world of SEO (search engine optimization), an .EDU domain holds a lot of clout. Any URL linked-to from uwgb.edu to is raised up in their own search engine rankings simply because an .edu domain links to them. From the search engine’s point of view, our link adds credibility to that third-party website. This is well known among search engine marketers.

Creating Links to Outside Content

Because of the weight our links give to outside websites, you’ll want to carefully review any website you would like to link to and decide whether or not they are worthy of a link (“endorsement”) from us.

Any link that leaves our domain (uwgb.edu) is what you want to be aware of.

Requests for Links Back

Web Services receives several requests per week to provide outbound links to sites on all sorts of topics. These requests may not even be relevant to our site, but these advertisers are persistent. They’ll even offer to link back to uwgb.edu in return (“from 50 other websites!”). Click here to read more »