Visual Best Bets in SharePoint 2010 without FAST

Using visual best bets is a very simple way to make your best bets stand out, if you don’t have Fast Server setup on your SharePoint environment this is not available out of the box. If you have FAST this is a good article on how to setup visual best bets.  For those of us without FAST here is how I did it.

To show best bests on the search results page you will either need to use a search center or create a custom search page and add the best bets web part to it. Here is what best bets look like out of the box.

SharePoint 2010 Visual Best Bets

Visual Best Bets without FAST

  1. Put the page in edit mode and then edit the best bets web part
  2. Click on the XSL Editor button
    SharePoint Edit XSl Button
  3. You can either or the little editor window or copy the code into an editor like Dreamweaver or Notepad
  4. On line 45 you will see this code
    <xsl:value-of select="Description"/>
  5. We are going to change the code to render the description field as HTML and not just plain text. Change the code on line 45 to this:
    <xsl:value-of disable-output-escaping="yes" select="Description"/>
  6. Save the changes to the web part and save the page.
  7. Now we need to setup our best bets to show images. If you dont already have best bets setup you can follow the steps outlined here
  8. Once you have a best bet setup edit it and in the description use HTML to show the image you want to display.
    <img src="URLofImage" alt="description of image"/>

    SharePoint 2010 search best bets setup

  9. Save the best bet and run a test search.

SharePoint 2010 Search best bets with images and no FAST

Visual best bets not only look better than the other results but can allow you to show more detailed information about the result without them having to click. Using this same solution you could include other HTML to show multiple image, the top pages from a site or other information useful to the person searching.

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Adding Suggestions to the Sharepoint search box

Search Suggestions

I got the idea for this from here: http://cssglobe.com/lab/searchfield/. The idea is that by giving users suggestions of what they should be searching for they can be guided to the most important information. When I am searching for something many times I am unsure what what search terms will give me the best results.

To get started we will need a search box to work with.  The out of the box search box could work but I prefer to use the one mentioned here by Kyle Schaeffer because it gives me a lot more flexibility with the design.    (more…)

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WordPress as a CMS

I have been usin wordpress for about two weeks now and never thought of using it as a CMS solution. In most cases I use Joomla, Drupal or DotNetNuke for CMS sites. I built my first non-blog WordPress site. It was alot esier than I expected and customizing the template to act like a regular site was easy. Here is a link to the site (I did not do the design just the implementation)  http://givetomorgan.com/

Here are some additional resources on using WordPress as a CMS

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