You’ve successfully created a site for your Liferay instance, but you may need to add new pages or edit existing pages. From the Site Administration → Navigation section of the Menu, your site pages can be accessed and configured. If you’re not currently on the site you’d like to edit, click the Site Selector button () next to your current site name in the Menu and select your desired site. The edits you make to your pages are only made to the scope you’ve selected in the Menu.
To add new pages to your site, click the Options icon () for the page or page set you’d like to add a page to and select Add Public Page. Likewise, you can select Add Private Page to add a private site page. You can manage a plethora of options from the Navigation menu including page name, page layout, and page template.
You can also edit pages from the Navigation menu. To do this, select Configure from the Options icon next to a page or page set, which allows you to edit the page’s basic information and configuration options.
In summary, the Navigation menu is used to navigate to pages, create new pages, and edit existing pages. Note that you can also switch to managing a set of pages in the Pages menu. Click on Public Pages or Private Pages (if private pages exist in your site) to manage that page group.
Liferay Portal’s page groups are always associated with sites. Even users’ personal pages are part of their personal sites. All pages belong to one of two types of page sets: public pages and private pages. By default, public pages are accessible to anyone, even non-logged in users (guests). Private pages are accessible only to users who are members of the site which owns the pages. This means the private pages of an organization’s site would only be viewable by site members and members of the organization.
Regardless of whether the pages are public or private, Liferay Portal uses the same interface to manage them. You’ll look at this interface more closely next.
From the Navigation sub-menu in the main Menu, you can add a page or child page to any existing page or page set by clicking the Add Page button. Because Public Pages is selected on the left, clicking Add Page here adds a top level page making it a sibling page of the Welcome page. You can, however, nest pages as deeply as you like. To create a sub-page under the Welcome page, select the Add Child Page button next to Welcome.
The Add Child Page button lets you create child pages underneath the page you’ve selected. You can nest pages as deep as you like but for every page below the top level hierarchy you should provide navigation to it via a Navigation or Breadcrumb app, at least with most themes (including the default). Developers can create themes which have cascading menu bars which show the full hierarchy. Some examples of that are in Liferay’s plugin repositories.
Once you’ve selected the Add Page or Add Child Page button, you’re directed to an Add New Page interface that lets you configure the page to your liking. If you later decide you don’t like the order of your pages, you can drag and drop them in the list to put them in whatever order you want. Go ahead and add another top level page and name it Community.
When you create a new page, you can create either a blank page or a page prepopulated with apps from a page template. When you’re entering the name of the page, you can select from a list of page templates that are currently available. You can learn more about Page Templates and how to use them in the Creating Pages from Templates section. To view the page you’ve added, click the page name from the left panel. By default, all pages are created as an empty page but in some situations, you might want to use one of the other options. You can take a look at all the page options you have below, along with their respective descriptions.
Empty Page: the default pages that are used. They have a layout which you can drag and drop portlets into. This page type creates an empty page with configurable column sizes.
Content Display Page: are used to search available content, explore related content with tags, and browse content catagories. This is a specialized page dedicated to managing web content from a page.
Blog: display content related to blogs. This is a specialized page dedicated to creating, editing, and viewing blogs.
Wiki: display content related to wikis. This is a specialized page dedicated to creating, managing, and viewing wiki articles from a page.
Page Set: exists as a container that holds child pages. These pages are not intended to hold content. Because the page holds no content and has no purpose but to hold other child pages, there is no friendly URL for this page. It also cannot serve as a landing page for a site.
Panel: can have any number of portlets on them, as selected by an administrator, but only one will be displayed at a time. Users select which portlet they want to use from a menu on the left side of the page and the selected portlet takes up the entire page.
Link to URL: are redirects to any URL specified by an administrator. You can use URL pages to create links to pages belonging to other sites of your Liferay instance or to pages of an external site. Use URL pages cautiously since blind redirects create a poor user experience.
Embedded: display content from another website inside of your instance. An administrator can set a URL from in the page management interface and that page will appear in the context and within the navigation of your Liferay instance.
Full Page Application: creates a page with one column that displays a single full page application.
Link to a Page of This Site: creates a page which functions as an immediate redirect to another page within the same site. You can select which page to link to from a dropdown in the page management interface. You could use a Link to a Page of This Site to place a deeply nested page in the primary navigation menu of your site, for example.
Copy of a Page of This Site: displays a copy of a pre-existing page in your Liferay instance.
Now that you know the basics of adding site pages, you can start working on the Lunar Resort site. If you’re not currently on the site you’re interested in adding pages to, navigate to Site Administration in the Menu, select the compass icon next to the current site name, and select the site you wish to edit.
If you’re creating a site with many pages and sub-pages, the side panel view may seem constricted. In the Navigation menu, you have the option to expand the Pages view to allow for more room to work. Select the page set’s Options icon and select Expand to see a full view of your page hierarchy.
As stated previously, if you ever need to modify the page you’ve created for your site, select the Configure Page button from the Options button from the Navigation menu in the Menu. When configuring a specific page, you’re given more options than when you were creating a new page. These extended options for configuring specific pages are covered in more detail later in this section.
There are also configuration options that are only available for either indiviual pages or page groups only. You’ll learn about options available for both instances.
You should be able to define and manage pages in Liferay at this point so next, you’ll look at the options you have available for configuring your public or private pages as a whole, and the individual pages residing within those groups.
Customizing the Look and Feel of Site Pages
When you select Configure for a page set, it defaults to the Look and Feel tab. On this tab, you’re presented with an interface that allows you to choose a theme for the current site. Themes can transform the entire look of the portal. They are created by developers and are easily installed using the Liferay Marketplace. Since you don’t have any themes beyond the default one installed yet, you’ll use the default theme for your pages.
You can apply themes to individual pages as well by selecting the Configure Page option for a page and selecting the Define a specific look and feel for this page option under the Look and Feel category.
Many themes include more than one color scheme. This allows you to keep the existing look and feel while giving your site a different flavor. The Color Schemes option is not available for the default theme.
There are a few more configurable settings for your theme. You can switch the bullet style between dots and arrows and you can choose whether or not to show maximize/minimize application links by default. The CSS section allows you to enter custom CSS that will also be served up by your theme. In this way, you can tweak a theme in real time by adding new styles or overriding existing ones.
The next option configures the logo that appears for your site.
Using a Custom Logo for a Site
By default, the Liferay logo is used for your site pages’ logo. If you want to use your own logo for a specific site, use the Logo tab. Adding a custom logo is easy: select the Logo tab from the Configure interface and browse to the location of your logo. Make sure your logo fits the space in the top left corner of the theme you’re using for your web site. If you don’t, you could wind up with a site that’s difficult to navigate, as other page elements are pushed aside to make way for the logo.
In the logo tab, you can also choose whether or not to display the site name on the site. If you check the box labeled Show Site Name, the site name will appear next to the logo. This option is enabled by default and cannot be disabled if the Allow Site Administrators to set their own logo option is disabled in Instance Settings. Removing the site name is not available for the default site – only newly created sites and user pages have the option to have the name display.
Next, you’ll look at an advanced features of the Configure interface: merging the current site’s pages with the pages of the default site.
Merging Pages From Other Sites
If you click on Advanced → Advanced from the Edit Public Pages interface, you’ll find an option to merge the public pages of your instance’s default site with the public pages of the current site. If you enable this option, the pages of the default site appear in the current site’s navigation menu, along with the current site’s pages. Also, the pages of the current site appear in the navigation menu of the default site, along with the default site’s pages. This “merging” of pages only affects the list of pages in the default site’s and the current site’s navigation menus. This lets users more easily navigate from the current site to the default site, and vice versa. This option can be enabled for the public pages of both personal sites and regular sites.
Note that this merging of pages is not a “hard merge”. For example, suppose that the site administrators of twenty different sites on your Liferay instance all enabled the Merge Liferay public pages option. Would the pages of all these different sites be merged into each site’s navigation menu? No, that would make a mess! Instead, Liferay Portal keeps track of the current
scopeGroupId (the ID of the current site) and the previous
scopeGroupId (the ID of the previously visited site). If the Merge Liferay public pages option is enabled for either the current site or the previous site, the pages of the default site are merged in the pages of the other site.
For example, suppose that your Liferay instance has three sites: the default site, site A, and site B. All three sites have some public pages. Site A has the Merge Liferay public pages option enabled; site B does not. When a user first logs in, he’s directed to the default site. The
scopeGroupId is that of the default site and there is no previous
scopeGroupId, so no additional pages appear in the default site’s navigation menu. Then suppose the user navigates to site A. Site A has the Merge Liferay public pages option enabled, so the default site’s pages are added to site A’s navigation menu. Now if the user goes back to the default site, site A becomes the previous site so site A’s pages are added to the default site’s navigation menu. If the user navigates to site B, no additional pages appear in site B’s navigation menu because site B does not have the Merge Liferay public pages option enabled. And if the user navigates back to the default site, site B becomes the previous site, and, again, since site B does not have the Merge Liferay public pages option enabled, no additional pages are added to the default site’s navigation menu.
Rendering Pages for Mobile Devices
You can configure your page set for mobile devices by selecting the Advanced tab and selecting Mobile Device Rules option. The ability to modify themes for regular browsers and mobile devices can only be accomplished by using this option. Mobile device rules are inherited from your Public Pages, but you can define specific rules per page. With the ability to define different rules per page, you can edit the Look and Feel of specific pages for mobile devices, including the theme.
Configuring Rules for Virtual Hosting
If you’re using virtual hosting for this site, you can configure
robots.txt rules for the domain by selecting the Robots option from the Advanced tab. The Robots page gives you the option to configure your
robots.txt for both public and private pages on a site. If you don’t have Virtual Hosting set up, this tab is rather boring.
Notifying Search Engines of Site Pages
If you select the Sitemap option from the Advanced tab for a page set, you can send a sitemap to some search engines so they can crawl your site. It uses the sitemap protocol, which is an industry standard. You can publish your site to Yahoo or Google and their web crawlers will use the sitemap to index your site. Liferay Portal makes this very simple for administrators by generating the sitemap XML for all public web sites.
By selecting one of the search engine links, the sitemap will be sent to them. It’s only necessary to do this once per site. The search engine crawler will periodically crawl the sitemap once you’ve made the initial request.
If you’re interested in seeing what is being sent to the search engines, select the preview link to see the generated XML.
Next, you’ll learn how to customize individual site pages.
When you decide to customize a single page, some different options that were not available when initially creating a page appear. Customizing a specific page can be done by navigating to the Navigation menu in the main Menu and selecting the Options icon next to the specific page you’d like to edit from the navigation tree. From the Options dropdown, select Configure Page. There are three groups that the options for customizing a specific page can be defined under. You’ll learn what each group offers for your site pages.
Managing Page Content
Managing your page’s content drastically improves your page’s organization and user experience. The site page’s configuration options offers some oppurtunities to organize page content for your Lunar Resort site.
You can explore ways to tag and categorize your page by clicking the SEO tab, which shows how the categorization options by default. These tools help administrators organize the page and allows for users to easily find your page and its content through search and navigation. For more information on using tags and categories, visit the Organizing Content with Tags and Categories section.
Custom Fields lets you edit the custom fields you already have configured for the Page resource, which is accessible from the Advanced tab. If you don’t have any custom fields configured in your site, this option is not available. If you don’t have any custom fields configured for the Page resource, you can navigate to the Control Panel → Custom Fields located under the Configuration tab. These are metadata about the page and can be anything you like, such as author or creation date. For more information on Custom Fields, see the Custom Fields section.
Improving Page Usability
One of the most important tasks for administrators is ensuring the user experience is easy and enjoyable. There are configuration options that aid in providing a seamless user experience for your site page.
The first option you’re given (and the default option selected when customizing an individual page) is Details. This option lets you name the page for any localizations you need, set whether the page is hidden on the navigation menu, set an easy to remember, friendly URL for the page, and select the page type. Plus you can specify how apps are arranged on a page. Choose from the available installed templates to modify the layout.
It’s easy for developers to define custom layouts and add them to the list. This is covered more thoroughly in the tutorial Layout Templates with the Liferay Theme Generator.
Look and Feel
The Look and Feel option lets you set a page-specific theme. You can inherit what you already have configured for your page sets’ theme, or you can uniquely define them per page. You can see the Page Set’s Customizing the Look and Feel of Site Pages section for more details.
Mobile Device Rules
This option allows you to apply rules for how this page should be rendered for various mobile devices. You can set these up by navigating to your Site Administration dropdown menu and selecting Configuration → Mobile Device Families.
This option only appears if you have embedded one or more portlets on the page. Previous to Liferay Portal 7.0, you were able to embed portlets on a page by acquiring their portlet ID and using a
runtime-portlet tag in the Web Content Display app to embed a portlet on a page. This is no longer possible.
Applications can now be embedded on a page via web content template. To learn more about this, see the Adding Templates section. Also, you can embed a portlet in themes programmatically. If you’re interested in learning more about this, visit the Embedding Portlets in Themes tutorial.
This configuration option located in the Advanced tab lets you mark specific sections of the page you want users to be able to customize. You can learn more about page customizations in the Personalizing Pages section.
Enhancing Page Intelligence
SEO provides several means of optimizing the data the page provides to an indexer that’s crawling the page, which is accessible from the SEO tab. You can set the various meta tags for description, keywords and robots. There’s also a separate Robots section that lets you tell indexing robots how frequently the page is updated and how it should be prioritized. If the page is localized, you can select a box to make Liferay Portal generate canonical links by language. If you want to set some of these settings for the entire site, you can specify them from the Sitemaps and Robots tabs of the Manage Site Settings dialog box (see below).
In previous versions of Liferay, it was possible that a single page could be indexed multiple times. In Liferay Portal 6.1, all URLs that direct to the same page will only create one entry in the index. Previously, the simple URL http://www.lunar-resort.com/web/guest/blog/-/blogs/themoon and different versions of the URL which provided additional information about the referring page had different entries in the index. In Liferay Portal 7.0, each asset (web content article, blog entry, etc.) has a unique URL. From the search engine’s point of view, this will make your pages rank higher since any references to variations of a specific URL will all be considered references to the same page.
The Advanced option contains several optional features. You can set a query string to provide parameters to the page. This can become useful to web content templates, which you’ll see in the next chapter. You can set a target for the page so that it either pops up in a particularly named window or appears in a frameset. And you can set an icon for the page that appears in the navigation menu.
Next you’ll learn how to add applications to a site page.
Adding Applications to a Page
Liferay Portal pages are composed of applications. All of your site’s functionality, from blogs to shopping, is composed of apps. Even static web content can be displayed through Web Content Display apps. To add an app to a page, just click the Add button () from the top menu and select the Applications tab. You can either browse through the categories of available apps until you find the one you’re looking for or you can search for apps by name. Once you’ve found an app, click the Add button to add it to the current page. Once it’s been added to the page, you can drag it to a new position. Alternatively, you can drag the app directly from the Applications menu to a specific location on the page. Follow the steps below to add some Collaboration apps to the Lunar Resort site.
- From the top menu, select Add → Applications.
- In the menu that appears, expand the Collaboration category.
- Drag the Blogs Aggregator app from the Add Application window to the right column of your page.
- Next, drag the Wiki app to the left column.
See how easy it is to add applications to your pages? You’ve added the Wiki app and Blogs Aggregator app to a page.
It’s easy to make your pages look exactly the way you want them to. If the default layout options provided aren’t enough, you can even develop your own. For more information about developing custom layout templates, see the tutorial Layout Templates with the Liferay Theme Generator.
Next, you’ll practice personalizing pages using page customizations!
Administrators can designate pages or sections of pages to be customizable. When a user visits such a page, a notification appears stating that the user can customize the page. Users can make customizations only in the sections of pages designated by administrators. Customizations are based on the rows and columns of a page layout. Page customizations are only visible to the user who made the customizations. By default, site members can make page customizations but non-site members and guests can’t.
To enable page customizations as an administrator, first click Configure Page from the Options button next to the Page you’d like to let site members modify. Then select the Advanced tab at the top of the page, expand the Customization Settings area, and click on the Customizable selector button.
Once you’ve enabled the Customizable selector, you can select the sections of the page you’d like to enable customization for, depending on the layout template of your page. Enable one or more of the Customizable sections to allow site members to customize certain sections of the page. Regions that you’ve designated as customizable are colored blue.
When site members visit your customizable page, they’ll see an extended Control Menu with a notification saying You can customize this page. Site members can toggle whether to view or hide the customizable regions. If you toggle the selector to view customizable regions, the regions on the page are color-coded to help distinguish customizable vs. non-customizable sections of the page.
Site members can also choose between viewing their customized page and viewing the default page by selecting the Options button () from the Control Menu and clicking the View Page without my customizations or View My Customized Page.
There’s also a Reset My Customizations option available from the Options button that restores a user’s customized page to match the default page. This allows users to discard one set of customizations and start a new set without having to manually undo each customization that they’d previously made.
Note that non-administrator site members can access the Add menu from the top right side of the screen when viewing their customizable page even if they don’t ordinarily have permission to view this menu. This allows them to add apps to the sections of the page that they’re allowed to customize. If they click View Page without my customizations, the Add menu will disappear from the menu since they’re not allowed to modify the default page.
Administrators of customizable pages have the same two views as site members: the default page view and the customized page view. Changes made to the default page affect all users, whereas changes made to the customized page affect only the administrator who made the changes. Changes made by administrators to non-customizable sections in the default view are immediately applied for all users. Changes made by administrators to customizable sections, however, do not overwrite users’ customizations.
Users can make two kinds of customizations to customizable regions. First, they can configure applications within the customizable regions. Second, they can add apps to or remove apps from the customizable regions.
Liferay Portal doesn’t allow users to change a non-instanceable app’s configuration inside a customizable region since those kinds of apps are tied to the site to which they’ve been added. If this were allowed, the customization would affect all users, not just the one who customized the region. Therefore, changes to the app configuration in a customizable region are only possible for instanceable apps, whose app configuration only affects that one user.
For example, suppose that you, as an administrator, selected the right column of the Welcome page of the Lunar Resort site to be customizable. A member of the Lunar Resort site could take the following steps to make a personal customization of the Welcome page:
- Navigate to the Welcome homepage by clicking the Site Administration’s Site Selector button () and selecting the Lunar Resort site.
- Add the Language Selector app to the right column of the page by clicking the Add icon, clicking on Applications, searching for Language Selector, and clicking Add next to its name.
The Language Selector application is useful to have on your homepage if you expect users who speak different languages to access your instance. Users can select their language in the Language Selector app to view a translation of your site into their native language. After closing the Configuration dialog box of the Language Selector app, the customized Welcome page looks like this:
To allow users to customize a page, administrators must grant users permission to Customize pages under the Site section. This can be achieved by assigning permission to a role, then assigning this role to the appropriate users. For example, if you want any logged user to be able to customize your customizable pages, you could assign the Customize permission to the role User. If you want site members to be able to customize the customizable pages of their sites, you would accept the default setting. By default, the Customize permission is assigned to the role Site Member.
In addition to granting the ability to customize app configurations, the Customize permission allows users to customize the look and feel of apps and to import or export app settings. Next, you’ll look at how to change page permissions.
Changing Page Permissions
By default, public pages are just that: public. They can be viewed by anybody, logged in or not logged in. And private pages are really only private from non-members of the site. If someone has joined your site or is a member of your organization, that person can see all the private pages. You can, however, modify the permissions on individual pages in either page group so only certain users can view them.
Suppose you want to create a page only for administrators to see. You can do this with the following procedure:
- Go to your site’s Site Administration dropdown and select Navigation → Private Pages. If you don’t have the Private Pages option available, select the Options button next to Public Pages and click Add Private Page. Remember, these pages by default are viewable only by members of the site.
- Create a page called Admin Tips.
- Click Configure Page from the Options button dropdown for the page in the left menu.
- Select Permissions from the Options icon () in the top right corner of the screen.
- Uncheck the View and Add Discussion permissions next to the Site Member role.
- Click the Save button.
Congratulations! You’ve changed the permissions for this page so only site administrators can view it. Any users you add to this role can now see the page. Other users, even members of this site, won’t have permission to see it.
Pages in Liferay Portal are as flexible as pages you’d create manually without a Liferay instance. Using a point and click interface, you can define your site any way you want. You can create and remove pages, export and import them, set their layouts, define how they are indexed by search engines, and more.
You now understand how to manage pages in Liferay Portal. It’s time to move on to further customizing those pages for mobile devices and building standardized pages using custom templates.