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By RBA - August 30th, 2007, 21:44, Category: General

Do you have a coRank site? (if not, you should :-)

Have you customized it but wish you could do more?

  • Would you like being able to edit the menu on the left?

  • Or add/remove options there? Perhaps move it to the right?

  • Would you like to get rid of some functionality (such as the sources, or favorites, etc)?

  • How about completely redesign the block that shows each submitted entry?

  • Or modify the forms used to submit stories?

  • Add new functionality via the coRank API right where you want it?

  • Or, to put it simple, being able to edit virtually every template used by your coRank site?

Up until now, you've been able to edit a handful of files. These include the CSS definitions, headers, footers and index pages.That gave you the power to give your coRank site a unique look. But still, you couldn't do any of the things mentioned above.

Not anymore.

Starting today we're launching a new advanced feature (available so far only upon request) that allows you to edit however you want the almost 150 templates used by your coRank site.

That gives you the power to truly customize your site, not only at the CSS/header/footer level as it's been the case so far, but reaching almost every single detail.

For example, right now a story box may have this structure:

And by editing your CSS file you could actually change its look considerably:

That's quite a makeup! However, although different in design, you're stuck with some restrictions, such as having the Submitted by, Tags, Category, etc. lines at the bottom, the "Join discussion" text link is where it is no matter what, the associated image goes all the way to the right, etc. In essence, you are still limited to live with the same elements and their positioning - more or less. What if, using the first example, you'd rather present it like this?

In this case, we've removed the URL under the title and the "Join discussion" link, we've moved the Tags and Category links to the top under the title, we've also removed the time, reformatted and moved the vote count, got rid of the submitters name in the "Add xxx as a source" and also moved that link to the top, and moved the associated image to the left.

Ok, this may or may not be your ideal way to present submitted items, but hopefully you get the idea. Full control over the way things are presented. And of course it's not limited to the submitted stories box, but, as I mentioned before, you now can edit almost all the templates used internally by your coRanking site.

Now, with power comes responsibility. By being able to edit almost every template used by the site, you could screw things up royally in just minutes. Obviously not only you need to know where each template is used and how, but you also must have at least a basic-medium understanding of HTML/CSS. Also, although the feature is fully functional, we have not written the documentation yet - that's where we'll explain how each template is used, what are the variable names used in the templates, and provide examples about how to do the most commonly edits people will be interested in doing.

That's one of the reasons today we're making available this feature only upon request, and will only make it available to everyone after a brief closed beta period. That will allow us to better identify the most common issues, so when the feature is rolled out for everyone, we already have answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Of course, you don't have to use this feature if you're happy with the current look of your site. The main idea of coRank is to provide the best framework, hosting and technology for you to create a coRanking site without having to install anything or deal with any programming, editing, etc. but at the same time we want you to have the freedom to customize your site the way you want it, if you want. And because you can also interact programatically with your coRank site via the coRank API, you can now do almost anything you want.

So... If you would like to try out this feature, let us know!

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