In the previous article you saw how to add the Riada Headline scrolling message applet to your pages.
Because of Headline's ability to read its messages from plain text files, it's easy to give your clients the ability to update these messages themselves with just a few mouse-clicks.
They need only to have a basic knowledge of Windows Explorer and NotePad.
Your client simply needs to edit the text files Headline uses and to upload these to the correct location on the web server.
You could provide them with an FTP client such as WS_FTP and train them in its use, but doing this is fraught with danger, as the many options in the program could be confusing for new users, and they may overwrite or change essential files.
Fortunately, there is an easier way - it's called TomaWeb FTP Uploader, and it's free.
(It does display banner ads, but I guess that's why it's free).
Here's what to do:
1. Download FTP Uploader from HERE and install it on your client's computer (it fits on a diskette).
It doesn't run as a stand-alone application, but installs as an additional option in the Windows Explorer context (right-click) menu.
2. Create a new folder on the desktop and place the text files containing your Headline messages into it.
3. Open the folder and right-click on one of the files - select TomaWeb FTP Uploader from the menu. FTP Uploader will load and you will see the file you selected in its lower window.
4. If this is the first time you have used FTP Uploader, you will be asked to add a new FTP destination - complete the required fields as you would in any other FTP client.
Make sure you have specified the correct Remote Directory for the files.
5. Once the FTP details have been added, it is simply a matter of clicking Send and the file will be sent to the destination you specified above.
Now, all your client needs to do is to edit the files as required, select and right-click those to be uploaded, choose TomaWeb FTP Uploader from the context menu and click Send. Easy!
Things to watch:
You MUST make sure that Windows Explorer is set NOT to hide extensions for known file types
(Tools > Folder Options > View).
There's a bug in FTP Uploader which causes it to upload zero-byte files if Windows does not display the .txt extension.
Some ISPs use persistent caching which calls recently accessed files from the server's cache to save bandwidth.
Files with the .txt extension should not normally be cached, but in some cases the caching server is incorrectly configured to do so.
If this is the case, you will not see the changes until the cache has flushed, which sometimes can take many hours. Unfortunately, the browser's refresh function will have no effect on this sort of caching, and all you can do is contact the ISP concerned and ask them to exclude .txt files from the cache.
Be sure to point out to your client that unauthorised or untrained users could severely damage their website with incorrect use of FTP Uploader. Point out that it is their responsibility to maintain adequate security.
This page was written and is maintained by Simon Lister.