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A Customized Preview Section

Garrett already has a great article about previewing your posts in Textpattern by creating a private section. However, by creating one more page template (or adding some conditional statements), you can create a specialized admin section with just the stats and information you need.

My template for this website is set up pretty cleanly so I was able to quickly set up a new page template and modify a few forms to get the features I wanted.

Adding these features and other modifications will be a lot simpler if you build your templates to use “misc” type forms as includes. An example template for a “Preview” section can be found below.

<txp:output_form form="Temp_header" />
       <div id="page">
<txp:sitename /></txp:link_to_home></h1>
              <txp:article_custom form="preview" 
section="preview" />
              <txp:output_form form="Temp_sidebar
_preview" />
              <txp:output_form form="Temp_footer" />

Another useful addition I made to my preview section (other than having a customized sidebar with important information) is a “Bookmarks” area. Using the “Links” content section, you can add and output site-related bookmarks that will only be seen in your preview section.

By adding the following code to your customized sidebar and modifying your existing link output tag (if you’re using it) to exclude your special category, you can have your own admin bookmarks.

<txp:linklist form="bookmarks" category="bookmarks"
 limit="10" wraptag="ul" break="li" label="Bookmarks"
labeltag="h4" />

I’ve set up an example section if you want to see what’s possible.


  1. Jérémie

    Mar 18, 09:17 AM

    I don’t see the need. I also don’t see myself registering, monitoring, etc. to another forum when we have the Textpattern’s forums.

  2. Vladimir

    Mar 18, 09:34 AM

    I like Vanilla very much and feel very comfortable with it, so I would like to see it on Texplates.

  3. Phil McCrackin

    Mar 18, 11:19 AM

    You claim to want to help people Jérémie but continue to discourage people who have ideas that differ from yours. I for one think this site could become an excellent resource for templating Textpattern.

    It\’s funny, you say you don\’t see yourself monitoring this site but yet you keep reading and commenting here.

    So, seems like the site is a success already. Great job Thame!

  4. Aaron T.

    Mar 18, 03:05 PM

    PunBB might be a good choice (same as Textpattern forums). It’s my favourite forum system.

  5. Jérémie

    Mar 18, 03:53 PM

    Absolutely F A N T A S T I C.

    So now we got the Theme forum, the Textpattern ressource website, Textgarden, and another one on top of that.

    Great, just great.

    It’s all about ego you know.

  6. Phil McCrackin

    Mar 18, 05:00 PM

    Oh look, you\’re back again spreading more joy and words of encouragement.

    What do you care what people do? If you\\\’re not interested in helping, stop reading and stop commenting.

    Yet another TXP resource site is a lot more productive than your whining and complaining.

  7. tom

    Mar 18, 05:07 PM

    Um… Allll right…

    Vanilla & phpBB (which is kind of old-school nowadays, ah, I remember the days modding that…) are both great. I can help out with some of the intricacies of phpBB.

    As far as sharing sites made with the templates, there might be a more efficient way than a forum, (a quick app, a social links manager, etc), but it seems like a good idea.

    But uh, guys… whether a support forum for some templates and software and stuff comes to fruition or whether it doesn’t… it isn’t a huge deal. Just chill out.

  8. Thame

    Mar 18, 05:54 PM

    I did not want this to be a big deal, I just thought that a dedicated forum for Textplates would be a good idea. Template developers would not be obligated to join or contribute, I and anyone else willing would provide whatever support we could.

    I questioned earlier whether or not anyone believed that a Textplates forum would be infringing on any other TXP resources, but nobody was vocally against it so I decided to move forward with the idea.

    I’m really sorry that you (Jérémie) are against the idea, but the addition of a forum won’t affect you at all. I might make an announcement post and add a permanent link to the forum somewhere, but if you ignore those, you’ll have the same Textplates you had before.

    I have set up test forums of phpBB and Vanilla (I run punBB on my main site’s forum) and am still leaning towards Vanilla for this project. I will set the forum up to allow for public viewing and in instant registration form (no e-mail verification or lengthy “application” process).

  9. Garri

    Mar 18, 11:51 PM

    Jérémie, calm down matey boy, it’s only a website, no-one is gonna get killed ;-)

    Personally, I’m into the idea of another forum as it will focus on templates and since this will be an ongoing project for Thame it would be a sensible thing to do. Question is not if there should be a forum but rather which forum system to use.

    Phil, I like your surname – is that for real? ;-D

  10. Rob

    Mar 19, 02:10 AM

    I think a forum is a good idea Thame. I’ll put in a vote for Vanilla too. It looks pretty nice although I’ve never used it much. At the least it would help to avoid confusion with the regular TXP forum because it will look totally different.

  11. shishira

    Mar 19, 02:42 AM

    theres nothing like SMF

  12. Angelo Ashmore

    Mar 19, 05:39 AM

    I think phpBB and SMF would be a little too much for a forum like this.

    Vanilla would be perfect, although it does get a little confusing to use.

  13. Evdawg

    Mar 19, 05:40 AM

    I vote for Vanilla. I think it would be a slightly better fit for this community than PunBB, but PunBB is a great choice also.

    Whatever you do, avoid phpBB. It was a great product circa 2001 but it’s really starting to show it’s age.

  14. Evdawg

    Mar 19, 06:58 AM

    Sorry for double posting, but I forgot to note that people who used Vanilla for similar purposes have decided to move to either punBB or vBulletin. See Dan Ruben and his Thisaway blogger template forum, as well as Michael Heilemann and his K2 Wordpress theme forum.

    I still think Vanilla is the best choice for us, but I just wanted to put that out there.

  15. Markus Merz

    Jun 24, 03:22 AM

    Please make sure when publishing a forum that the forum software is able to post all new entries as one RSS Feed. Not only the first/main article but all new entries from all the threads.

    As far as I know Vanilla does not offer such a main feed! Or call it dashboard feed, you name it :)

    For testing puposes (my eperiences):
    Vanilla: (no main feed)
    PunBB: (perfect to follow all discussions via RSS)

Make your own

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