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Red Oak Tree - Ring System
The Ringmaster's Resource and FAQ Section

  What do I need on my webring's homepage?

While you can put whatever you like on your ring's homepage, here are a few things that we recommend:
  • A description of what your webring is all about, how it works, and how a member would join the ring.
  • Something telling prospective members what the requirements to join are.
  • A link or a join form for prospective members to submit their site to your webring.
  • Your webring's navpanel, with instructions on where it should be placed within their website.
  • A link to the Red Oak Tree - Ring System. You are provided this service absolutely free, and all we ask in return is that you link to us somewhere on your webring's homepage.
  • A few examples:   Example-1    Example-2
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What are the URLs to navigate my ring as entered in the 'Customize HTML code' in Ring Admin?

These are substitutes that can be used in the customized code:
[ringtitle] Ring title
[cgiURL] URL to folder with CGI files (next.pl etc.)
[siteid] Site ID
[sitetitle] Site title
[wmname] The site's webmaster name

Here are the navigation commands,
followed by their respective URLs:

Next Site
[cgiURL]/next.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
Previous Site
[cgiURL]/prev.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
Next 5 Sites
[cgiURL]/next5.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
Previous 5 Sites
[cgiURL]/prev5.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
Random Site
[cgiURL]/rand.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
List All Sites
[cgiURL]/list.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
Go To The Ring's Homepage
[cgiURL]/home.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
Search The Ring
[cgiURL]/search.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]
View The Ring's Statistics
[cgiURL]/stats.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=[siteid]

(You'll need to replace RINGID with your ring's id).

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What other URLs do I need to know?

The URL to submit a new site to your ring is:
http://www.rings.redoaktree.org/cgi-bin/ringlink/newsite.pl?ringid=RINGID
(if not placing a join form on your ring's home page)

The URL to manage your ring is:
http://www.rings.redoaktree.org/cgi-bin/ringlink/ringadmin.pl?ringid=RINGID
(if not using the ringadmin form on Red Oak Tree - Ring System's home page)

The URL for members to manage their site is:
http://www.rings.redoaktree.org/cgi-bin/ringlink/siteadmin.pl?ringid=RINGID;siteid=SITEID
(if not placing a siteadmin form on your ring's home page)

The URL for members to search your ring is:
http://www.rings.redoaktree.org/cgi-bin/ringlink/search.pl?ringid=RINGID

(You'll need to replace RINGID with your ring's id,
and SITEID with the site's id).

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How do I have the join form on my ring's homepage?

To have the join form on your homepage, you'll have to copy and paste some html: To get the html code click here.

Remember, you have to customize the code for your ring.

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How do I have the site admin form on my ring's homepage?

To have the site admin form on your homepage, you'll have to copy and paste some html: To get the html code click here.

Remember, you have to customize the code for your ring.

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How do I automatically list the number of member sites on my ring's homepage?

Example: "We currently have 48 member sites in this webring!" Where the number is updated automatically.

This JavaScript code displays the current number of member sites in your ring:

<script type="text/javascript"
src="http://www.rings.redoaktree.org/sitecount/RINGID.js">
</script>

(You'll need to replace RINGID with your ring's id,
remember it is case-sensitive!)

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How do I get sites to join my ring?

The best way to get sites to join your ring is to go out and invite them! Search for sites on the internet that would qualify for your ring. Email the webmaster, inviting them to join your ring. Explain the benefits of being in a webring, and that you would like their site to be apart of your webring. (an example email can be found at the Message Templates page under letter E). After you have an established ring, many sites will find it on their own, and join that way. You need to do some promoting first though!

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How else can I promote my ring?

  1. Once your webring has at least 3 member websites, then list it in the Ringlink Webring Directory, and the WOW Webring Directory. You can easily do this for the Ringlink Directory in Ring admin by clicking the "Directory" button.

  2. Post your webring's website to at least 2 search engines. (http://www.google.com/addurl.html, http://dmoz.org/, and ....)

  3. Announce your webring in the Show and Tell Forum.

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How does the "Check Sites" feature work in Ring admin?

The ring checker works by looking for certain lines of code on the "HTML Code URL' page that your members submitted. It will not work if the page is in frames or if it's an entrance page. Encourage your new members to put in the absolute URL of the HTML Code URL when submitting their sites so as to take care of this problem.

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Why can't I send my members an email from Ring admin?

The "Send email" feature will provide you with a list of all the email addresses of the members of your ring. (Actually, you can choose to get the active sites only, inactive sites only, or all email addresses) Then you need to copy and paste the addresses in your own email client. The reason for this is because we don't want to receive any complaints about spamming. We also recommend that you do not spam your members it's just not nice! Anyway, this feature is a useful way to get a hold of and make announcements to all the members of your webring.

[Return To FAQ]

How does the ring statistics feature work?

The sites are sorted descending by the number of hits they have generated when their visitors have clicked the links on their site's navpanel. The numbers are presented as hits per day, and the calculations are based on (max) a 30 days period. The stats for an average ring site are displayed as well. The stats feature adequately answers questions like "how is my site doing compared to the other sites in the ring", and "what additional traffic can I expect if I join this webring".

It is possible to include a link to the stats page in the navigation panel. It is also advisable to provide a link to the stats somewhere at the ring's homepage.

To reduce server load, the summary stats are not available in real time, but the numbers are calculated once a day (around 3:45 am local time).

You will find the stats for an individual site in "Site admin", and summary stats for a ring are available via:

http://www.rings.redoaktree.org/cgi-bin/ringlink/stats.pl?ringid=RINGID

(You'll need to replace RINGID with your ring's id)

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Why does it say "no summary statistics available yet"?

Don't worry about this. Since the stats is presented as average hits per day, it must be working a couple of days before there is any meaningful data to present.

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Why isn't my ring listed in the "Ring List" for Red Oak Tree - Ring System

You need to have at least 3 active sites in your ring to be listed in the Ring List.

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I entered my customized navpanel code in ringadmin, but the colors in my tables within my navpanel as displayed on the "Get code" and "Customize HTML" code pages are overridden by Red Oak Tree - Ring System's colors?

The HTML output generated by the Ringlink program that powers Red Oak Tree - Ring System makes use of style sheets for controlling the colors of background/text and links.

[ see http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/present/styles.html ]

The background color of the tables on the "Get code" and "Customize HTML" code pages are controlled by setting the background for the TD element using the STYLE element in the HEAD section. This setting overrides the "bgcolor" for any other table on the same page.

Because the use of "bgcolor" for setting the background color of tables is deprecated, style sheets were used instead. A similar result will occur if some of your ring's members also use style sheets for their wesites. If they do, your set background/text and link colors as displayed within your navpanel, will also NOT be displayed as you wished on their web pages either.

So, the best solution would be to use the style attribute style="background-color:#FBF09E; color:#000066" for controlling the colors of background/text and links in the ring code for your ring's navpanel, or better yet use a image map for your ring's navpanel!

See here for further explanation.

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How do I prevent my ring's members from loading my ring's navpanel image/s from my web server?

If you do not want your ring's members to load your ring's navpanel image/s from your web server, then you need to place your ring's navpanel image/s in the same directory as where your ring's home page is located! Ringlink the program that powers Red Oak Tree - Ring System will display navpanel image/s on the "Get code" and "Customize HTML" code pages if so located. In other words instead of listing the full url to the image, you can just enter the name of the image (<img src="YOURNAVPANEL_IMAGE.jpg"...>). You would then have to enter something like the following on your ring's home page:

Navpanel Images:

Members need to download the ring's 2 navpanel images (right click on them to do so), and then upload them to your web server. If you upload and store copies of these 2 navpanel images in the same directory as the web page where you have placed this ring's navpanel, then you do not need to make *any* changes in the HTML code for this webring's navpanel. However, if you store the images in a directory other than the directory where you have placed the web page on which this ring's navpanel is displayed, then you will have to change the path to the 2 images in the HTML code of this ring's navpanel.

For Example: If you placed the 2 images in a directory named img, you would then have to alter the path in the HTML code as shown in red below:

<img src="/img/YOURNAVPANEL_NEXT_IMAGE.jpg"... >
<img src="/img/YOURNAVPANEL_PREV_IMAGE.jpg"... >

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What is a Quality webring?
  1. No broken links in the webring.

  2. The webring's navpanel is displayed clearly on all member websites (preferably on the index page, or on a appropriate content page *if* for example the index page is not directly related to the topic of the ring), and not hidden on a lowly 'webring' page, or other page deep within the website.

  3. Member sites display the navpanels for no more than 3 webrings on any one page, and should never be stacked or have a link to 'My other Webrings' displayed nearby.

  4. The webring's home page is informative, well organized, user friendly, and pleasantly designed.

  5. The webring's home page and all member websites load quickly, are free of popups, 'screaming' banner adds, and are not hosted on 'free' web hosts such as Geocities and Tripod. Member sites should never include 'free' forum pages such as Yahoo! and MSN groups.

  6. The topic of all member websites clearly relates to the topic of the webring, and the ringmaster must surf his or her own ring occasionally to verify this.

  7. The webring has to have a topic. Webrings like 'Everything' and 'Whatever' only poison the concept further.

  8. Navpanels must be attractive, quick loading, user friendly, and have at least the 'next', 'home' and 'random' links displayed. They must also require no 'gimmicks' such as JavaScript.

  9. A ring must actually enhance a site instead of detracting from it. In other words, your average member is proud to be a member of the ring, and feels it makes an important contribution to his or her website.
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Are you working on any improvements for Red Oak Tree - Ring System?

Here at Red Oak Tree, we believe in the philosophy that any thing you can do, you can always do better. That is why we are continuously working on improving our system, and the Ringlink program that powers it. The following is a list of things that are being worked on, and some other suggestions that will be looked at:
  • Extended ring customization possibilities
  • Addition of a "notes" section to each site
  • Option to change site IDs from "Ring admin"
  • Option to let the checker look for a submitted string
  • Option to attach images for the navpanel to the add mail message
  • Possibility to register site language, and an option to restrict navigation of a ring to sites with a certain registered language
If you have a suggestion, feel free to share your ideas!
Let us know

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