Owner-Editable Status Area
A small business website is an excellent way to provide current and potential customers with information about upcoming specials deals or other news about the business. To be most effective, this information should be regularly updated but that can be difficult if all changes to a web page have to be made by the website designer.
An owner-editable status area provides a simple and direct way to regularly update such information on a website. The information in status areas can update in less than five minutes using any computer with internet access. Such updates are done without assistance from the website designer and require no modification to the website.
Below is an example of an owner-editable status area found on a website we created for a kennel selling AKC Pomeranians.
The information in this status area is generated from the following text block.
The text block primarily contains the words to be displayed in the status area. The text block can also include formatting instructions, called tags, which are used to specify special formatting attributes like text color, bold or italic text, or text paragraph spacing.
A tag consists of one or more letters or words which are surrounded by angle brackets like <b>. Most tags come in pairs with the first tag specifying the start of the special formatting and the second tag, the end of the special formatting. The second tag is written like the first tag except that a forward slash directly follows the left angle bracket like </b>.
Individual tags can be nested within other tags to specify multiple formatting attributes for text. For example, the text Updated Dec 2, 2012 shown above was created by nesting tags that specify font color and bold text.
The text block is updated via a special webpage. That webpage includes the text block in an editable area along with a help area with a summary of the available tags.
Below is a typical help area which shows the summary of available text paragraph and formatting tags.
Other websites have incorporated more elaborate tags. For example, the owner-editable status area on Teson Barber Shop's Specials & News page includes a tag to generate customer coupons as shown below.
The following text block was used to generate the coupons and the thank you text shown above.
The tag mechanism used in the owner-editable status area is very flexible and can be easily tailored and expanded to the unique needs of any small business.