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Frequently Asked Questions


Can I control the web address filename part?

When I create a page, folder or orther content object, the SimpleSite is using the item's title to create the last part of the URL (i.e., the file or folder name part). Can I change this?

The underlying content-management system, Plone, calls these URL parts -- which are file or folder names in traditional file systems -- "short names". To simplify content creation, the system usually creates these short names for you by replacing all the spaces with dashes and converting to all lower case.

You may fix the short name for an individual item by going to the folder containing it, choosing the "contents" view from the green content bar, checking the box beside the item and pressing the "rename" button.

If you find yourself doing this frequently, visit your "preferences" page (a link on the personal bar, next to "log out"), choose "Personal Preferences" and check the box for "Allow editing of Short Names" in the form. Then, a short name field will appear with every item creation form.

Create E-Mail Links?

I'd like to create a 'hot' e-mail link for our website - the kind of email address that automatically starts up an e-mail program. Is this possible using the SimpleSite 2.0 software?

Yes, this is possible. You just create an external link with the format:

rather than the format that would link to a web page (e.g.,

There's a great video tutorial on this subject at:

It's about two minutes of viewing.

How do I cut and paste?

I have ten folders I want to place in a single, new folder without going back and creating ten new folders and uploading the contents of each. Is there a way I can "cut and paste" an existing folder (and its contents) into a new folder?

Log in and navigate to the folder currently containing the ten folders. Choose the "contents" view from the green content action bar. Then, check the boxes beside the folders you wish to move; push the "cut" button. Then, navigate to the target folder. Click on the "actions" pull-down menu on the content bar and choose "paste". (As an alternative to the last part, you may switch to the "contents" view of the target folder and press the "paste" button.)

Note that the objects that you are moving will not move until you execute the paste action. The "cut" really just selects objects for potential moving.

How do I control the default view of the homepage?

I used the display pull-down on my homepage and selected a content item as the default view. Sadly this turned out not to be what I wanted. How do I restore the homepage?

Use the display pull-down again, and select "miniportal default view."

Can I use the DCN web calendar?

How may I incorporate the DCN web calendar into my site?

Ask the DCN web team to enable it.

When this is set up, the "Upcoming Events" portlet and "Events" tab will be filled by your DCN event calendar. You should then avoid use of the "event" content type, as it will no longer be useful.

Selective Security

Can a site manager set the security level for specific folders created under a site?

If your goal is to be able to hide content from others, you may do so by setting the state of folders or other content items to "private."

However, if what you want to do is to make particular content available to some logged in users, but not others, it's a different issue. We normally set up site owners with a security profile that doesn't allow this. This isn't so much to restrict you as to hide some complexity. Ask the web team to elevate your security profile and you'll gain a "Sharing" tab that will allow you to set permissions.

This may not be quite as useful as you hope, as site owners have no way to add users. But, the web team may add a limited number of login ids that you may use for this purpose.

How do I add an attachment to a page?

Is it possible to attach a PDF (or presentation or spreadsheet ...) file to a page?

First, upload the file by adding a "file" content item to a desired folder in your site.

Then, edit the page to which you wish to attach the file. Look at the bottom of the editing form for the Related Item(s) control. Use the Browse... button and find the file you just uploaded. Click on Insert to attach it to the page.

Why are my printouts plain?

Page printouts contain just page content. I want to show off the banner and sidebars.

When a page from your site is printed, the browser should employ a special print stylesheet to present the page. The print presentation emphasizes the page content, and suppresses most graphics and sidebar clutter.

This is deliberate, and we think it serves well the purposes of folks who want an optimally useful hard copy of the page's content. It occasionally dismays the proud site maintainer, though, who wants to print a page with all the decoration.

If you need to print a copy of the web page as it looks on a browser, use your computer's copy window feature (Alt-PrtScn on a Windows PC) to copy an image of the current window; then past that into a graphics program.

How do we use our own domain name?

Rather than using the, I'd like to register a domain name for my group and use it to access the web site.

Can do. This is a three-step process:

  1. Register your group's domain name with a domain name registration service. Make sure that the registrar you choose provides DNS services. Note that when you register, most registrars will try to sell you a great many services that you don't need. All you'll need for this purpose is name registration and DNS services.
  2. Use your registrar's account management interface to set up DNS records. In particular, if your domain name is, you should set up A records pointing and to (the DCN groups web server).
  3. Let the DCN webteam know that you need to have virtual hosting set up for your site.

Please note that these steps may take a few days to complete.

Where is my event?

I've added an event to the site, and it's not showing in the site's event lists.

This is most likely because your site has been set up to use the DCN community event calendar for its event listings. When your site is set up like this, only events added via your organization's event calendar (at will show up in event lists.

Another possibility if you're not using the DCN calendar: your event may have "private" publication status. If so, change it to "visible" or "published".

Differences between versions

What are the differences between SimpleSites 2.0 and the earlier SimpleSites?

Major differences are:

  • Availability of folders to organize larger sites;
  • A What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor for page texts. Forget about StructuredText (unless you liked it; it’s still available);
  • Automatic site indexing and search;
  • Improved aesthetics and accessibility;
  • Integration with DCN’s Community Calendar.

There are many other new features.

Switch from old version

Can I switch from SimplesSites 1 to SimpleSites 2.0?

Yes, but there’s no automated conversion of your old content. If you already have a DCN SimpleSite 1, just ask the web team, and we’ll create a SimpleSite 2.0 for you. You’ll need to copy the content from the old to the new site yourself. When the new site is ready to go, let us know and we’ll make the old address point to the new site.

Hide a page?

How do I hide a page I might re-use later?

Login and navigate to the page. Look for the “State” drop-down menu in the green-shaded actions. Click on the drop-down and select “Private.” When you want to make the page visible again, choose the “Public” state.

Make my site a blog?

How can I make my site operate as a blog?

A blog, or web log, features a homepage with a list of news items, ordered from most-recent to oldest.

To make your site operate as a blog, login choose the "Edit" tab in the green-shaded actions. Click on the [news/events] link to display news options. Check the Show News on Homepage box and uncheck the Show News Portlet box.

Pick a number of news items to display on the home page via the Homepage News Item Limit option.

How do I re-order the contents of the site?

How do I re-order the contents of the site?

Navigate to the folder containing the items you wish to re-order (this may be the site home). Select the “Contents” tab from the green shaded actions.

Position your cursor pointer over the listing for the item you wish to move. The pointer should change to your computer's "move" icon. Now, hold down your mouse button and drag the item to the desired position. Release the mouse button.

If your browser doesn't support this function, look for the up and down position buttons on the right of each item. Use these to move your item around. Yes, we know it can be tedious if the list is long.

Why isn't my site listed?

Why isn't my group's site listed on the main groups page at

Probably because it has been marked for exclusion from the site list. When we first create SimpleSites, we mark them "Exclude From Site List" so that you may get them into shape before they're public.

To have your site listed, log in and go to your home page. Choose the edit tab, then go to the "admin" sub-form. Uncheck the "Exclude From Site List" box and save.

How do I create a photo gallery?

How do I create a photo gallery that will display a set of photos in thumbnail form, and allow viewers to see the larger or full-sized photos?

Add a folder to your site to contain the photos. After creating the folder, navigate to it and click on the "display" drop-down menu. Choose the "thumbnail" view. The, upload your photos to the folder.

Please note, your SimpleSite isn't really meant to contain truly large photo collections. Please investigate one of the many excellent free and low-cost photo sharing services for this purpose. Then, create links from your site to your photo collection.