TelliTip 21: Migrate from dasBlog to GraffitiCMS with 1.1

GraffitiOne of the many improvements to make it’s way into Graffiti 1.1 is the support for migrating content from dasBlog into GraffitiCMS.  Omar posted about this the other day.


To find this simply use the migrator tool by logging into the control panel, clicking site options, then utilities, then migrator.  Pick dasBlog and import away.  

Omar has also written a handy 301 redirector plugin for Graffiti that will ensure your old link still function.

One tip about migrating content is that you should be sure to create the categories you want to migrate posts into before you begin the migration process.

TelliTip 20: Add Custom Links to your Navigation Bar in Graffiti CMS


So you use Graffiti for your content management, but you want to create top level links on your site to a non-Graffiti page.  This is easy to to.  Lets pretend, in my case, that I want to create a top level link to my personal site from   

  1. Open the control panel on your site as a site administrator. 
  2. Click the presentation tab.
  3. Click Navigation
  4. Click the custom links sub tab.
  5. Add the text for your link and the link itself
  6. Click add to Navigation
  7. Position the link where you want it in the navigation links control.


TelliTip 17: Exposing trackbacks on your content in GraffitiCMS

GraffitiIf you are using the Blog Extensions plug-in for Graffiti you may start seeing comments on your site that are not being published. This is likely because the theme you choose did not support showing trackbacks by default since they weren’t part of the core GraffitiCMS app.   Kudo’s goes to Jeff, who did an outstanding job explaining how to enable all of the cool functionality of the blog extensions here.  This post will borrow from that to show you how to enable trackbacks/pingbacks showing in a theme that did not support them.

  1. Log into your control panel as an admin.
  2. Go to the theme customization with Presentation > Themes > Personalize on your current theme.
  3. Click on the post.view file to open it.
  4. I recommend saving your existing copying the current post.view content into a new next file as a back-up at this point.
  5. Insert the following code where you want trackbacks to appear and save.  NOTE: I’m using the Skittlish theme so your CSS mileage may vary.  The basic concept would be to borrow as much as you can from your theme’s comment section.

<!–Loop through trackbacks –>
#foreach($trackback in $trackbacks)
<!–denote as a comment list with your CSS and title –>
    <div id="commentslist">
    <h3 class="content">Trackbacks </h3>
    <li class="comment  by-guest">
    <p class="meta"><strong><cite>
    <!–Insert Trackback Title & Link –>
    <a href="$trackback.WebSite" title="$trackback.Name">$trackback.Name</a></strong><br>
    <!– insert date/time posted –>
    <em>Posted on  $trackback.Published.ToString("M.dd.yyyy") at $trackback.Published.ToString("h:mm tt")</em>
    <!– Insert trackback body –>
    <div class="body">
    <!– Insert check to see if you have rights to delete trackback –>
    [<a href="javascript:void(0);" onclick="Comments.deleteComment(‘$urls.AdminAjax’, $trackback.Id,’comment-$trackback.Id’,’comment-body-$trackback.Id’); return false">Delete Pingback</a>]

#end <!– end loop –>

Of, if you like the way my site looks, you can download my theme here:

TelliTip 16: Get free stats with web analytics tools in GraffitiCMS

Graffiti I moved this post up after a comment on Tellitip 15 reminded me that if you are using the free version of Graffiti you don’t get stats built in.  You still have an option, however, to use any number of stat tracking utilities on the web.  Graffiti allows you to insert tracking scripts into the header of every page from the control panel with these steps:

  1. Sign up for a free analytics service such as google analytics.
  2. Copy the Tracking Code from the service into your clipboard.
  3. Log into your site’s control panel as an admin
  4. Click the site options tab
  5. Click the settings panel


6. Scroll down to the “Web Analytics” form and paste the tracking code there. 


7. Click update settings

At this point it usually takes a couple of hours for the metrics to start showing up in the analytics tool, but you’ll be getting some great data.


TelliTip 13: Check what version of GraffitiCMS you are running & upgrade to V1.0.1 if needed.

GraffitiIf you’ve recently downloaded Graffiti then you are likely running the most recent version, but how can you find out for sure?  To verify the version of Graffiti you are running you can view the page properties on your site.

In Firefox right click on your site and click "Page Info".  You’ll see the following dialog.  The version is stored in the "Generator" meta-tag.



In IE you’ll need to right click to "view source" and look for the following line at the top of the source…

<meta name="generator" content="Graffiti CMS 1.0 (build" />

This means that I’m now running V1.0.1. 

If you find you are running something less at the moment you can find upgrade instructions here.

To see what’s new in the V1.0.1 release you can see the release notes here.  

TelliTip 12: Post Silverlight Streaming Media Easy


Jim Martin spent the weekend creating a great plug-in for Graffiti that makes it super simple to insert streaming Silverlight media into your posts.  The download and usage instructions are here.

Note that this should be considered a beta/demo/(however you say not officially supported).

I should also not that because of that installing this plug-in, similar to the Silverlight photos plug-in that Kevin created, requires manually dropping the DLL onto your sites BIN directory. The shortcut to doing this without server access is to use the GraffitiCMS file uploader: In Graffiti, as an admin, you can do this with Site Options > Utilities > File Browser.  Open the Bin directory and click Add Files.


TelliTip 11: It’s ok to re-categorize

GraffitiSo you’ve  been posting pages and content for a while with GraffitiCMS and realized that your original categorization of posts was incorrect. That’s OK, blogging and content generation are organic things and as your site grows you’ll discover what information architecture works best for your visitors.  But now you might be afraid to change your Categories since they are built into the URLs. 

Fear not, those awesome GraffitiCMS developers built a nifty URL rewriting engine so you can change page URLs and categories at will.  Simply choose to edit a post, change the category, and publish it again. Anyone that comes from a link that referenced the post under the old category will be redirected to the new one.

Tellitip 10: Take advantage of excerpts when posting


This tip really comes from Jeftek who left a comment on my tip for showing full post content in Graffiti. He has some great suggestions on how you can improve what’s shown in excerpts.

Essentially you can tell Graffiti exactly what to put in the excerpt by filling out both the body and extended body in the post form. This nice thing about this, as Jeff points out, is that you have more control over the character count and HTML per post.

There are two ways you can control this.

A. Using the Graffiti Post UI.

1. When writing a post and click extended body below the category selection.


2. Fill out the body with the part of the post you want in the excerpt and full out the extended body with the rest of the post to be merged with the above when reading the full post view.


3. Publish.

B. Using Windows Live Writer

1. Create a new post in Windows Live Writer

2. Insert the “Split Post” through the Format -> Split Post option where you want the break to be in your post.


3. You should end up with something like this:


4. Publish

Thanks Jeff for the tip!

TelliTip 9: Show full post content on the home page in Graffiti

I saw this question in the Graffiti Support forums and figured I’d turn it into a tip.  By default most Graffiti themes only publish the post excerpt on the home or other index pages (like tags) because, for SEO reasons, most search engines don’t like duplicate content on sites.  But lets pretend you are throwing caution to the wind and want to show full post content on the home page and only use the actual post page for comments.  On with the tip…

  1. Log into your control panel as an admin.
  2. Go to the theme customization with Presentation > Themes > Personalize on your current theme.
  3. Click on the index.view file to open it.
  4. I recommend saving your existing copying the current index.view content into a new next file as a back-up at this point.
  5. Find the line with the $Post.Excerpt(…) script
  6. Replace this script with $Post.Body()
  7. Save the file
  8. Verify


Note: Every theme is different and your mileage may very depending on the theme.  Just swapping the excerpt for the full post.body content worked well in most of the default themes I tried this on. 

TelliTip 8: Easily find an archived post for editing


The control panel post lists in Graffiti and Community server don’t offer a search functionality (yet) that would make it easy to find and edit existing posts. 



imageThe easy work around for this problem is to make sure you are signed into your account and use the site search to find your post. Once you find the post most themes will have a direct link to the editor for that particular post.