306: Using third party software along with the Premium Website Builder
The Premium Website Builder includes many modules that give the software additional features. For example, if you wanted to blog or run an online store, there are modules for that. Sometimes you may run into a scenario however in which either the Builder does not include a module you need or your need a similar module but with more functionality. There are many free programs available online that you can install and use on your account if you need additional features beyond what the Builder provides.
If you install third party software, it will live in a separate folder. For example, you can use the Premium Website Builder to manage domain.com, and then use WordPress to run a blog at domain.com/blog.
After you have installed the other software, you have a few options on how to use it along with your current Premium Website Builder website.
Because you're using two different applications, they won't always look and function the same way. For example, if you install WebCalendar, it's not going to look the same as your current website nor will it include links to all of the other pages in your current site. For some scenarios, this could be a problem.
Option 1 - Using an iframe
Using an iframe to incorporate third party software with the Builder is optimal when:
- The other software cannot easily be modified to link to all the other pages in your current site
- The other software is not very busy with navigation or other features that would otherwise make it look out of place with your current site
Let's examine the following scenario:
We have a website and need to post an online calendar to notify our members of upcoming events. The builder does not include such a module however. As Fantastico includes WebCalendar, we decide to install and use it. We installed WebCalendar in a subfolder named calendar, so the URL to it is domain.com/calendar.
To insert an iframe in the Premium Website Builder:
- Determine the URL to your other software. In our example, the calendar is located at http://domain.com/calendar
- Log into your Premium Website Builder
- Create a new page or open the existing page you want to include the software in
- Drag and Drop the script module into your page
- Click the "Properties" link in the script module and paste in the following code, then click OK:
<iframe src='http://domain.com/calendar' style='width:100%; height:500px;'></iframe>
- The code that you enter above cannot be tested in the Builder until you publish (you cannot see it in preview mode). Publish your website and review the results.
If the iframe that you added is too wide or too tall, you can adjust the size by editing the values within the style. For example, if the iframe is too tall, you can change the height to 400px or 300px and then test again. Also, instead of using pixels (px), you can use a percentage to define the sizes. Here are a few examples below with different values set as the width / height:
<iframe src='http://domain.com/calendar' style='width:50%; height:50%;'></iframe> <iframe src='http://domain.com/calendar' style='width:400px; height:400px;'></iframe> <iframe src='http://domain.com/calendar' style='width:500px; height:30%;'></iframe>
Option 2 - Using an External Link
Linking to another application is optimal when:
- You don't mind the user seeing a section of your website that looks different (very different in some cases) compared to your current website
- The third party software you're using does not look ideal in a iframe. For example, the calendar example above looks OK because it's just a calendar. If however the calendar had a menu, large header image, etc., it may look cramped in an iframe
Let's look at the following example:
We have a website that's been online for years that describes our business and what we sell. We now want to incorporate an online shopping cart, but we need to keep everything else that we've already built, such as our blog and photo gallery. In this example, we'll install OpenCart to store.domain.com and put a link to our shopping cart in our website's main navigation.
When linking directly to third party software, the process is very simple:
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