Personal tools

Changing MiniPortal Options

Document Actions
Describes how to change your site's options, including homepage text, contact addresses, headers and footers.

Getting Started

If you haven't already done so, log in to your site. Navigate to its "home" page and look for the "Edit" tab at the top of the green content-area box. (If you're not seeing the green box, then you're either not logged in, or don't have permission to edit the currently displayed content item.

The options presented on the edit tab of your site are more complex than those for simple content items like pages or news items. They are organized into several sub-forms. (If you're reading the Plone documentation, these sub-forms are referred to as "schema.")

MiniPortal Editing Schemata

You may select among the sub-forms by clicking on the bracketed links at the top of the tab. Each sub-form allows you to set a different type of options:

  • Default: the site's major title, description and homepage text.
  • Admin: major policy options including administrative and public contact e-mail addresses; license and public listing options.
  • Layout: options to turn on and off major page elements like columns and tabs.
  • Style: options governing the appearance of the site, for example colors.
  • Banner: this is where you may upload a banner image for page tops.
  • Footer: allows you to set up the page-bottom footer text.
  • News/Events: options allowing you to control display of news and event tabs and portlets (side boxes).

Working with Sub-Forms

Next/Save ButtonsEach of the sub-forms of the edit tab is a real web form. That means in particular that you should not navigate away from the sub-form before using one of the buttons at the bottom of the form to save your changes. These buttons include some extras beyond "Save" that are meant to help you navigate the sub-forms.

Pressing the "Save" button will save your changes and return you to the "View" tab. The "Next" button will also save your changes, but will navigate to the next sub-form. Once you're past the first sub-form, the "Next" button will be joined by a "Previous" button that will save your changes and navigate to the previous sub-form.

Form Details


This sub-form has three fields:

This is the overall title for your site. You'll usually wish to put your organization's name here. This site title will be appended to the title of every content item that you add to your site.
The description text is displayed in bold text under the page title. It's also part of the metadata for the site, and is made available to search engines that index your site. Keep it short, and make sure it includes the most important words about your organization.
Home Page Body Text
This will be the body (or main content) text on your site's home page. If you're using a recommended browser, you should be able to edit this text with a visual editor that allows rich styling of the text.

This sub-form gathers together several important policy options.

Public E-Mail Contact
Submissions to the contact-info form (a standard part of your site) will be sent here. This should be the e-mail address of a person who may represent your organization to the public.
Admin E-Mail Contact
Contact information, including email, for a person responsible for this site. This information is not part of the site web pages, but will be used by the host administrator if there are questions about the site. Please Note: if this information is missing, or if mail to this address is not answered promptly, your site may be deleted without notice.

Would you like others to be able to republish the material on your site? And, if so, under what restrictions? You should answer these questions with a copyright or licensing notice.

A good way to license republication is to use a Creative Commons license. We have chosen among the most popular Creative Commons license several that you may choose among. The chosen license will be automatically displayed at the bottom of each of your site's pages.

If you don't wish to use a Creative Commons License, you may wish to add a license or copyright notice to your footer.

Credit DCN
If you check this option, a message will display at page bottom crediting DCN for site assistance. This publicity helps other community groups find out about DCN services.
Preferred URL
If you wish to have your site listed in an automatically generated list of our sites, and you are using a domain/host name other than, enter your preferred URL here. The URL must be a valid web address, including "http://".
Exclude From Site List
Check this box to exclude your site from our automatically generated list of sites. The most common reason to do this is because your site isn't yet ready for public consumption. Please note: our list of sites is the way that most group sites get found by search engines.

This sub-form consists of a set of option checkboxes that you may use to turn on or off major page elements like columns and tabs.

Show Left Column
The site's left column is used for navigation. Turn it off and the center-column text will expand to fill the space. If you do so, you'll need to supply links to navigate to any other site content. This option is most useful if you have a single page site.
Show Right Column
The right column of the site's home page is used for news and events portlets. Turn it off and the center-column text will expand to fill the space.
Show Search Form
When turned on, a site search form will show up in the upper-left corner of every page. If you don't have many pages in your site, this really isn't useful.
Show Navigation Folders
When turned on, a navigation tabs will be displayed in a horizontal bar in the top-of-page banner. If it isn't helpful, turn it off.
Show Folders as Tabs
When turned on, this causes your top-level folders to appear as navigation tabs in the banner area of your site. This may help organize your site, but if you have many top-level folders, you'll want to turn this off so that there aren't a confusing number of tabs.
Show Breadcrumbs
When turned on, a "you are here" line will appear under the tab area. This is a navigational device that can help orient users who find themselves deep in a site folder hierarchy. You may wish to turn off breadcrumb display if your site is very shallow (in form, not substance) to reduce visual clutter.

This sub-form gathers up options related to the appearance of your site. Please note that most of these changes are achieved by changing the underlying style sheet for your site. You may not see these style changes until you force your web browser to fully refresh the page; this is usually done by holding tdown the shift key while choosing the browser's "refresh" or "reload" option.

Page Background Color

Overall background color for the page. Click on the marquee box to choose a color from a handy pop-up widget. If you enter color's yourself, they must be valid CSS color designations. We recommend using the #rrggbb form.

General Color Recommendations: Use very light, washed-out colors for backgrounds and very dark colors for text and borders. Don't use standard linked text colors for any other purpose.

Contrast Background Color
Background color for boxed elements like column headers.
Contrast Border Color
Border color for boxed elements like column headers.
Alternating Row Shading
This color will be used as the background color in alternate table rows. A slightly different shade of the Page Background Color is a good choice.
Custom CSS

Cascading Style Sheet style-tag definitions. Whatever you specify will override the site's default style sheet. Please note: you do not need to include the tags. They are supplied for you.

This is a very advanced option for those who know, or are willing to learn, Cascading Style Sheet markup. To do anything serious, you'll need to study the XHTML source of your site's web pages to find element, class and id selectors for the content you wish to style.


When your site is freshly created, your site title will be displayed in the top, or banner, section of each page. You may replace this title text with a graphical banner by uploading a web image file via this sub-form.

Your banner image should be created with an image editor and should be in GIF, PNG or JPG (JPEG) format. Maximum dimensions should be 550px wide, 100px high. Keep it's file size small (5kb to 15kb) to help your pages load quickly.

Use this sub-form to edit the text that appears in the shaded horizontal bar at each page's bottom. Footers are most commonly used for the organization's full name and contact information.

Event and news content items that you add to your site are special. They are aggregated together for display on side-column portlets and on special listing pages accessed by banner navigation tabs. Use the options on this sub-form to enable or disable these displays.

This How-to applies to: Any version.