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Help Manual

Help when you login to manage your website.

1. Office 365

2. How to?

2.1. Storing Searchable Municipal PDF Minutes

Power of Search

In TownLife we are very happy to include a universal search. This allows users to type a term and have results returned from webpages, photos, modules, and even inside PDF documents.

For this search to be able to index the PDF documents tey must be converted straight from word (.doc) files into PDF.  If the document is printed out.. signed and then scanned back it can still be saved as a PDF document but to the computer it is just like a photograph.  Essentially the letters and words become unsearchable.

PDF with No Signatures

As an industry example of how the signatures are not included I invite you to see
a) the Alberta Legislature http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=han&section=doc with a sample PDF http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files%5Cdocs%5Chansards%5Chan%5Clegislature_28%5Csession_3%5C20141210_1930_01_han.pdf
b) the City of Edmonton http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/urban_planning_and_design/edc-minutes-and-agendas.aspx with sample PDF

You will see with both of these examples I can search the text.

But when we look at minutes with handwriting stored with them this powerful feature is disabled because it was not saved directly as a searchable PDF.

More Information:

2.2. Report a Problem

How do I report a problem?

TownLife needs the information necessary to REPRODUCE the bug/problem in order to fix it. If you do not include all the information necessary this could cause a delays in resolution.

Key pieces of information to incude:

  • what page are you on? what is the URL? (example http://www.townlife.com/what)
  • what button are you clicking
  • what is happening
  • what do you expect to happen

Other information that works really well:


The best way to send in the request is via our Help Desk.

2.3. Using the Administration Menu

Administration Menu

While you are logged in and managing your website you will find the Adminitration Menu along the top.


    • This is where you start when you first login, the dashboard is where the system gives you updates on any pressing requests you need to answer (for example moderating portions of your website).

    • If you wish to create something NEW, this is the command you will want to use.
  3. EDIT

    • If you wish to modify something that already exists on your website, this can be found in the edit portion of the administration pages.
  4. FILES

    • Any files that do not specifically fit within a module (for example word documents go in your document library, pictures go into the photo gallery etc...) can be found in this section.
    • This is best thought of as a miscellaneous file listing.  Template images, movies etc can be stored here.

    • If you wish to modify the settings of your site, such as colour, the action steps etc then you would want to check out the settings here.
    • Once your site is setup this should rarely need updating.
  6. VIEW

    • To allow you to view your website easily and quickly from any screen, just click this command.
  7. HELP?

    • If you require any assitance this links you to this helpdesk, where you can search for more information or submit a support ticket directly to our staff.
  8. LOG OFF

    • Once you have completed your website updates and changes, we recommend you log out of your site using this command.


While you are logged in as the administrator, and viewing your website you will also see a toolbar in the page body (see red arrow below).


This toolbar gives you options that are directly available to the content you are viewing.  For example if you are looking at the calendar you can create an event quickly using this toolbar, if you are viewing a page you can create a new page, etc...

TIP: The toolbar is a context relative shortcut for your commands.

2.4. Change my Password

Change my Password

There are 2 passwords for TownLife, your email password and the website password. These may or may not be the same, it is your choice.

When you go to www.townlife.com/login there is a forgot password, which will email you a new password.


Changing Website Password

All users who can administer your website are listed in SETTINGS - SECURITY.


Changing Email Password

Once logged into the TownLife website control panel you may go to SETTINGS - EMAIL and change any email account's password.


You can login to https://webmail.townlife.com for your email, and once logged in go to SETTINGS - CHANGE PASSWORD


If you are locked out of both your website and email, please contact our helpdesk.

2.5. Create/Modify a Webpage

Your webpages are the core component of your website.  The following describes some key components.

VIDEO: Building TownLife Webpages from TownLife on Vimeo.


Page Name - this is the title of your page to be used in the navigation, best make this a short 1 word term

Parent - if this page belongs as a subcategory of another page, we call the page a parent (for example your "About Us" page could be a parent for "Our History" and "Our Board Members")

Show / Hide - if you wish to modify a website but not have it appear in your navigation menu just HIDE the page.  If you give the URL to someone they can always load this page but it will remain 'hidden' from most visitors because it will not appear in your navigation menus.

Page Editor - this is the fully functional xHTML compliant website editor (please see the dedicated page for our editor help, noted below)


If you wish to have a custom banner (usually an image of max width 550 pixels) that only appears for this page, this can be modified using the "banner tab".

Quick Links

The quick links appear just above the Action Steps on your page.  The purpose of a quick link is to allow the readed a quick reference list of hyperlinks and attachments pertaining to your webpage (for example the policy manual may want to include links to the provincial legislation, another website, a pdf in your document library, and and application form - these would all be found in the quick links of your page).


Everytime you PUBLISH a webpage (which saves your changes) the old versions are kept in the "revisions tab" to allow you a historical record and archive.  Old versions of the webpage can be restored or viewed at your convienence.

2.6. Publicizing Your Events

Event Calendar Module

If you have any information that happens on a specific date, whether reoccuring or not - this should be entered into the EVENT CALENDAR.

There is a list of specific informarion required that help describe the essential information to all your visitors.  We even help publicize your events by publishing it to other event calendars.

TIP: Remember the more information your fill in the more likely your event is to succeed by attracting more visitors! Include the + Additional Information


Event Notification

To help promote events on your website an email notification will be sent to all your members that have subscribed to your entire website. With this self-serve option we see this as interested party in your organization, therefore we will send an email to these members 24 hours before the event's start date using the TownLife subscription service.

2.7. Create a Blog

What is a BLOG?

A Blog (or web log) is an invitiation for your visitors to comment on what you have published.  Where a webpage is a one-way piece of communication, in a Blog you post your ideas or opinions and the audience has the opportunity to leave comments.

Rest-assured as the owner of the website EVERY comment must be approved by your before it shows up on your website.  This moderation allows all TownLife customers confidence that your website will only show information after your approval.

Why Blog?

1. Announce Your Changes

When the home page shows your latest blogs, this allows you to show your latest changes as announcements. Blogs can be used as News feed to let your visitors know what has changed recently on your website.

2. Become a Leader

Each post your publish establishes your website as the source of information for that topic.  You have the opportunity to include aspects of your personality and things that matter to you.

3. Engage your Visitors in a Dialogue

When your audience is given the opportunity to comment they become a part of your website.  This allows you to continually add value and information to future customers and become the center of an industry-relevant dialogue with customers and partners.

How do you Blog?

Creating a Blog requires a subject, category and body of your ideas.  The subject allows a quick reference to your viewers about the article you have written, while categories allow you to sort/group ideas that are relevant to eachother.



2.8. Display your Photographs

Power of the Photo Album

If you have photographs you wish to display, create a photo album.  Multiple photo albums can exist to help keep your photos organized.

As a TownLife enhancement you can also allow your visitors to submit photos to a photo album.  The benefits of interactivity are profound, and help increase return visitors.

ACCEPTS VISITOR SUBMISSIONS? If you wish to open this album up to user submissions, check this box. Photos uploaded by users will need to be approved by an administrator before appearing on the site.

As a TownLife customer, any photo sent will only be displayed on your website AFTER your approval. 

Automatic Resizing

One of the many benefits of your photo album is the automatic resizing of your pictures.  Thumbnails, small, medium, large images are created right when you upload your precious images.


Note: If you require any photo touch-ups, cropping etc.  Please do this prior to uploading your photograph.

2.9. Add an Interactive Map

What is an Interactive Map?

A typical map is an artist drawing that can be printed or read, but not modified.  The maps on TownLife can be modified and you can receive driving directions to any point located within the map.

Example 1:

This is a simple example where the Millet Public Library has shown their location on an interactive map.

Example 2:

The option to add multiple points to a map, and even display it full screen also exists for TownLife customers.  This allows your community to collaborate for a truely unique and interactive visitor experience!

The ability to get directions to each point still exists, but now we can manage multiple points, and even group them into CATEGORIES!

2.10. Create a Document Library

Why use a Document Library?

The purpose of the document library allows for organization, sorting, storing and a consistent method for retrieving information.  The single most powerful benefit of using the TownLife document library is that when you upload a document every term within the file is searchable.

For example, if you upload July2009council_minutes.pdf to a standard website you could only find this if you search for a word in the file name.  On TownLife our search looks inside each document and retrieves information relevant to your search request.  So if you search for "dog bylaw" and this was amended during the July 2009 Council Minutes this would be returned on your TownLife search!

How to Create a Document Library?

The NAME of your document library becomes the name in your navigation menu, while the DESCRIPTION allows you to provide more information to your visitors (this is especially important if you have multiple document libraries).  Finally, the STATUS of your document library can be either:

  • Public - this shows the document library as an option in your module website navigation
  • Private - the only way to access a private document library is if you know the exact URL, this is used when creating a new document library but not wanting to release it to the public
  • Inactive - this will block access to everyone from seeing information inside this library

Standard File Type

It is important that you add industry standard documents to your library to allow your users to easily read the information.  Adobe PDF reader is free and available to the highest number of internet users!


TIP:  Normally when you are uploading documents to the library you would want each file to have a unique TITLE.  This is true only if you want to SORT by name.  When you have a category that you wish to sort by PUBLISH DATE (newsletters, council minutes etc...) the TITLE needs to be the exact same for all items.  When the search finds a list of information where the TITLE is the same, it then sorts by date (newest at the top).


2.11. Adding Videos

Uploading Videos

If you want to upload your videos directly to TownLife then you must realize the end user still needs a player to *watch* the video, otherwise it will simply download the raw file to their desktop. 

The best recommendation is use an online video service that displays/streams/plays the video in a player that is file extension indepenedent (see below).

Managing Videos

When you want to add videos to your website TownLife recommends using www.youtube.com, if your video is more like a PowerPoint slide with alot of text you may consider www.vimeo.com

  • After creating your account
  • Upload the video
  • Copy the HTML Code generated from the Embed Option
  • Paste this into any Webpage on your TownLife website (using the HTML button)

  • YouTUBE is FREE
  • Learn more from YouTube Help
  • Embed your video by clicking SHARE then EMBED and simply copy and paste the code into your website



While you could upload your videos to TownLife the benefit in using these services is for a cross-browser and lag-free video player, regardless of the viewers location!




2.12. Enable Right Click on a Mac

To right click on any Mac without changing any configuration:

  1. Click "crtl+Mouse button"
  2. A right click menu should pop up

To enable right click on an Apple desktop with an Apple mouse connected:

  1. Go to "System Preferences"
  2. Click "Keyboard & Mouse"
  3. Click the "Mouse" tab
  4. A picture of the mouse will show up. Click the drop down menu on the right hand side and select "Secondary Button"

  6. Now whenever you click on the right hand side of the mouse, a right click menu will appear

To enable right click on newer Apple laptops:

  1. Go to "System Preferences"
  2. Click "Keyboard & Mouse"
  3. Click the "Trackpad" tab
  4. Click the checkbox "For secondary clicks, place two fingers on the trackpad then click the button"
  5. Now whenever you have two fingers on the trackpad and click the mouse button, a right click menu will appear

2.13. Reorder Pages

Re-Ordering Pages in TownLife

Re-ordering pages is done by clicking EDIT - then the tab labelled "Reorder Pages", simply drag and drop your choices!

2.14. Pay Your Invoice

Payment of your TownLife Invoice

The lowest overhead cost is by paying your invoice with a cheque.



Pay your Invoice via Credit Card

  • We don't accept direct credit card payments, but you can send Paypal credit card payments to paypal@townlife.com
  • Pros: Great for making many online purchases online without revealing your credit card information to vendors.
  • Cons: Takes a few minutes to verify during setup.
  • More Information: http://www.paypal.com

Pay your Invoice via Interac


3. Email Newsletter

3.1. Who are my Subscribers?

Subscribers are people interested in your website.  The more the merrier!

Who are my subscribers?

When you log into your website the summary page displays the # of people subscribed to your website, or email newsletter.  To protect their privacy, this count is all you know.  The subscribers have the ability to be notified when your website is updated and this allows you to grow your list of fans without any extra work.

3.2. Test for Spam

Each of our customer email newsletters, are also sent to IS NOT SPAM, you will receive an email analyzing your newsletter.

While this may seem technical we believe that our members will appreciate having this detailed information to help ensure their messages are not marked as spam.

3.3. Send an Email Newsletter

Once you have a few people subscribed to your email newsletter it is time to send these people an update. This is at a time of your choosing. Just login to your website, click CREATE -> EMAIL NEWSLETTER and walk through the steps.

In order to be fully compliant with CAN-SPAM, we strongly urge you to make yourself very, very familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and it's associated details. An excellent start is the CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business page at the Bureau of Consumer Protection website.

Importing Subscribers

Note: - You can contact TownLife.com to help load your email newsletter with email addresses (50+) if you already have several people that would like receive this information, otherwise for smaller groups of people just ask them to go to your website and join using the SUBSCRIBE feature.


Sample Newsletter Layout

Following one of Canada's predominant business magazines, your newsletters should include a number of bullet points that include:

  • Title
  • 1-2 brief description
  • Link to your website for more information

This will ensure you don't duplicate your website in your newsletter, and drive traffic to your website which will allow the visitors to easily find more information if they desire.




4. Modules

4.1. Site Highlights

The site highlights section appears directly below the site navigation menu.

This section is limited to a 180 pixel width but no maximum height.

When we remove the header/footer in the fluid templates, the site highlight has the single position on the template that ALWAYS shows on EVERY page.  Therefore a logo should go there and any html code for counting the number of visitors etc.

Under the action steps we let the text flow under it, we don't do that under the navigation so it creates a large blank spot, hence the functional need was filled with the site highlight.


4.2. Event Calendar

This is potentially the most powerful feature available.

Fill in the fields to describe your event with as much detail as possible - the more detail the valuable the experience for your visitors.

Displaying Current Information

When someone clicks to see your 'UPCOMING EVENTS' the system knows not to display events in the distant past, but rather the 'upcoming/future' events and the ones that have just recently occured.  This helps automatically update/manage your list as long as your start/end dates are correct!

4.3. Web Pages

The core functionality of your site will be based on the content you provide in your web pages.  These is mostly text based information that conveys your organizations information, include history, about yourself, how people can find you, etc...

The added functionality of all webpages that your visitors benefit from include the action steps and a quick list of links for additional information (quick links).

4.4. Business Directory

Business and Community Directory Module

Municipalities and select regional associations may have the directory module available.


These are centrally managed and set by TownLife staff, if you require modification or a new category just let us know. This allows everyone to follow the same standard and share you listings on the TownLife portal.

Standard vs Premium

Currently there are 2 business listing standards and the manager of the directory may decide to charge more for the premium listings.

Basic get

  • short description
  • up to 3 categories
  • location information
  • phone number
  • email address

Premium get

  • all basic features
  • website URL
  • advertisement photo
  • large photo
  • unlimited HTML field (webpage)

4.5. Add Business to Directory

Adding an Organization to your Directory

  1. Manually
    • Can be done by logging into your website, clicking ADD -> then the DIRECTORY LISTING option. Simply fill in the blanks with as much information as you have available, the required fields are marked with a * character.
  2. From TownLife
    • Is the same as the manual method above, but instead of filling in the blanks you can click the OTHER BUSINESSES tab. This will list the entire TownLife directory and allow you to add these to your website directory.
  3. From Visitors
    • Under Settings - Technical Setup you have the option to allow anonymous visitors to submit and or edit listings in your directory. This gives you the powerful option to maintain your listings with credible user feedback. NO changes will appear on your website until you APPROVE these submitted requests.

Shared Listings

Each business added becomes a member on the TownLife.com portal business directory to help promote your members, and links directly to your website. This makes the TownLife directory the master, while each website each maintains and displays the listings they feel are valuable to them.

Please note, since your changes do affect the master TownLife directory and possibly other websites you are responsible for any and all changes from your website (either manually or if you approve user changes). Just make sure that you are keeping the actuall business/organizations best interests' in mind and everyone will benefit from the collaborative business directory updates!

5. EMAIL - Microsoft Exchange Users

5.1. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tutorials

Lesson 1: Getting Up to Speed on Outlook 2007

Where to find the commands you use most often. How to use new features such as the To-Do Bar and the new calendar navigation



Lesson 2: Getting out of your Inbox

Tips for finding and organizing the e-mail that's already in your Inbox



Lesson 3: Creating an Email Signature

Give your e-mail messages professional polish or personal pizzazz by learning how to create and manage e-mail signatures in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.



Lesson 4: Calendar I: Outlook Calendar Basics

Calendar basics such as entering items and setting reminders.



Lesson 5: Calendar II: Outlook See and use Multiple Calendars

Track multiple schedules at once.


  • Scheduling Assistant with Office Outlook 2007
  • Calendar Sharing with Office Outlook 2007


Lesson 6: Out of Office

Out of Office with Office Outlook 2007


Lesson 7: Search with Office Outlook 2007

Integrated, powerful searching functionality now available


Lesson 8: Voting and Creating a Poll

How to automatically tally the votes of your office co-workers.




5.2. Outlook Web Access (OWA) - Webmail Tutorials

To login to your Outlook webaccess the webpage address would be "http://webmail.domainname.com".


Demonstration Video


Search with Outlook Web Access 2007

Out of Office with Outlook Web Access 2007

Scheduling Assistant with Outlook Web Access 2007

E-mail and Meeting Experience with Outlook Web Access 2007

Self-Service Features in Outlook Web Access 2007



5.3. Multiple Calendar Views

How to view multiple calendars in Outlook?

I just wanted to share some information with you about viewing multiple calendars, one of the large benefits of Microsoft Exchange is the ability to see multiple calendars, either side-by-side or as an overlay.  To do so, make sure that person has set their permissions to allow you to see it (by right clicking on the calendar) then all you need to do to see it is go to FILE – OPEN OTHER FOLDER – type in their name and select type = “calendar”.


For more information view our tutorials!


5.4. Mailbox Full? How to Empty your Outlook?

The default size of your email account on our Exchange server is 25GB, if you start receiving messages about your account getting too large you will need to empty your folders, or enable AUTO-ARCHIVE.

  1. First, turn on Auto-Archive. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the Other tab, and then click Auto-Archive.
  3. Specify how often you want Auto-Archive to check your folders and where the default Auto-Archive location should be - example: C:\archive.pst. Click Ok and apply your changes and close out of the Outlook options.
    1. NOTE: Your archive file should NOT be stored on C:\ but rather a network server that has proper offside backup procedures!
  4. Once you configure your computer with an archive location, you can run the Auto-Archive by clicking Archive on the File menu.

5.5. How to Transfer Contacts?

Transfer Outlook / Exchange Contacts

If you want to transfer contacts from one mailbox (user) to another, please follow the instructions below:

You will be able to access and export contacts from inside of outlook.  I've included instructions on how to export the contacts from outlook to a .csv file and then how to import them.


1.            In Outlook, on the File menu, click Import and Export.

2.            Click Export to a file, and then click Next.

3.            Click Comma Separated Values (Windows), and then click Next.

4.            In the folder list, click the Contacts folder, and then click Next.

5.            Browse to the folder where you want to save the contacts as a .csv file.

6.            Type a name for the exported file, and then click OK.

7.            Click Next.

8.            Click Finish.


That gives you a comma separate list of your Outlook Contacts. Transfer that to your new computer, then you can import them into your new version of Outlook with the following steps:


1.            On the File menu, click Import and Export.

2.            Click Import from another program or file, and then click Next.

3.            In the list, click Comma Separated Values (Windows), and then click Next.

4.            Click Browse, locate your file, and then click Next.

5.            Click your Contacts folder or another folder that contains contacts, and then click Next.

6.            In the list, click the file that contains your address list, and then click Map Custom Fields.

6. EMAIL - Webmail Users

6.1. Auto-Reply and Vacation Email Messages

Use the auto-reply feature to set up messages that are automatically sent to any person who sends you an email.

Note: Each sender will receive the reply message only once.

Note: If mail forwarding is activated and copies of forwarded email are not being saved, auto-replies will not be sent.

  1. Click the Settings link, located in the upper right corner of the webmail window.
  2. In the left pane, click Incoming Email.
  3. Click the Auto-Reply tab.
  4. Turn the auto-reply feature on or off, as desired.
  5. If you turned the status to On, you can adjust the outgoing auto-reply message, as desired.
  6. To enable the auto-reply message only during a specific time frame, select the Enable only during the following time frame check box, and then select a start and end time.
  7. Click the Save button.

6.2. Webmail Help Manual

Quick Starting Guide


Start with the PDF webmail manual help, a document to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to use webmail.

6.3. Finding your Email/Webmail

Webmail Path

All users on TownLife have access to email accounts by going to http://webmail.domainname.com.  This means if your website is www.townlife.com you can log into your email by going to http://webmail.townlife.com.


6.4. Sharing Calendars

Thank you for contacting TownLife Email Support!


To setup calendar sharing, for a calendar created by an exchange user - access must be first granted to non-exchange users via the user control panel @ http://usercp.townlife.com


You can allow non-Exchange users to view your calendar in Webmail. To share your Exchange calendar with a non-Exchange user, log into the User Control Panel, and perform the following steps:


  1. Under Non-Exchange Calendar Sharing, select the option button for the desired permission level:
  2. A) None can view my calendar—Non-Exchange users will not be able to view your calendar.
  3. B) All on my domain can view my calendar—All non-Exchange users on your domain can view your calendar.
  4. C) Only specified users can view my calendar—A list of users will display. Click a user name, or Ctrl-click multiple users, and click the Add button. Once you have selected all users that should be allowed to view your calendar, click the Save button.
  5. Click the Log Out link to exit the User Control Panel.




Then, the exchange user, can create a new calendar in outlook for sharing, by completing the following - Share an Exchange Calendar - Outlook 2007


To share your Microsoft Exchange calendar, open Outlook, and perform the following steps:


  1. In the bottom left, click the Calendar tab.
  2. Click the Share My Calendar link.
  3. Enter the email address of the person with whom you want to share your calendar, or click on the to... box, and select the users from your global address book




To Add the Shared Calendar in webmail for regular Email Users



To add another user's shared calendar, perform the following steps:


  1. 1. In the Calendar, right-click a shared calendar and select Add Shared Calendars. Or, click the green plus + icon, located beside the Shared Calendars heading in the left pane.
  2. Choose one of the following:
  3. a) Select users from the Available Calendars box, and then click the Add button. To select multiple users, press and hold the Ctrl key while clicking the names.
  4. b)Enter an email address in the Email Address box and then click the Add button.
  5. If you want to stop viewing a shared calendar, select the user from the All Selected Calendars box, and then click the Remove button. To select multiple users, press and hold the Ctrl key while clicking the names.
  6. Click the Save button.
  7. To view a shared calendar, click once on the calendar name, as it appears in the Shared Calendars list.




Note: To view another Email user's calendar, the user must turn on the sharing feature and give you permission to view the calendar. To learn more, please see the help topic, "Share Personal Calendar."



7. Layout

7.1. Quick Links

What are Quick Links?

Quick Links are basically a list of links, usually provided to point the visitor to a list of references or more information regarding the subject of the webpage.

How do I add Quick Links to a page?

Every webpage has the opportunity to have its own list of resources. Simply click on the QUICK LINKS tab when you are editing the webpage.


7.2. Page Header


The page header on TownLife is defined as the top portion of your website and represents the maximum width of the layout you have choose. If your design is 960 pixels wide then the header (and footer) would also be this same width.

Header Default Options


By going to Settings -> Design Look'n Feel -> and clicking the Header tab you can modify the default header information. The Site Header box allows you to insert any HTML/image/text that you desire, and this will appear as the default content at the top of your website. If you would like a different default header for the inner pages (non-home pages) then select the checkbox "Use Interior Header" and you will be given a new option.

This is commonly used for a large, oversized header on the home page (default header), then a narrower image for the interior pages (interior header).

Overriding Header Defaults

Every webpage that exists (not modules) has the option to overwrite the default header. When you click EDIT PAGE multiple tabs will appear, if you click the HEADER tab this will provide you with the option to insert a custom header for this specific webpage. This is a great design option for that custom webpage that just wants to be different from the others!

Header vs Banner

While the header (and footer) represent the full width of your website, the banner is only as wide as the content (where your typed information goes).

7.3. Page Banner


The page banner on TownLife is defined as the top portion of your website content. If your design is 960 pixels wide, but your paragraph of editable content is 550 pixels then the banner would also be 550 pixels.

Banner Default Options


By going to Settings -> Design Look'n Feel -> and clicking the Banner tab you can modify the default banner information. The Site Banner box allows you to insert any HTML/image/text that you desire, and this will appear as the default content at the top of your website content. 

Overriding Banner Defaults

Every webpage that exists (not modules) has the option to overwrite the default banner. When you click EDIT PAGE multiple tabs will appear, if you click the BANNER tab this will provide you with the option to insert a custom banner for this specific webpage. This is a great design option for that custom webpage that just wants to be different from the others!

Header vs Banner

While the header (and footer) represent the full width of your website, the banner is only as wide as the content (where your typed information goes).

7.4. Customization

Looking for more CSS details to customize your website?

Please contact our design team for a quotation on how to upgrade your website to the latest HTML and CSS standards!

TownLife is designed to help our customers make day to day changes and updates easily to their website.

Let the professionals apply your design dreams and everyone will love the result!

8. Site Settings

8.1. Multiple User Access

If you would like to share access, simply add your co-workers to the user access section of the site settings.


Under SETTINGS - SECURITY you can add new website administrators. As a website administrator you can manage all aspects of the website and manage the email accounts.

9. Page Editor

9.1. Toolbar Buttons

The page editor includes a toolbar to easily add or edit your content.

Icon  What does it do?
  Insert Image
  Insert Table
  Undo the most recent action
  Redo the most recent action
  Insert Link
  Remove Link
  Insert a horizontal line
 HTML Reveals the Source code (ADVANCED)
  Preview the current page
  Maximize the editor to Full Screen
 Style Apply predetermined styles to text
  Bold the text
  Italicize the text
  Change the Text Colour
  Change the Background Colour
  Insert Numbered Bullets (List)
  Insert Bullets (List
  Indent Section
  Remove Indentation of Section
  Left Justification
  Right Justification
  Full Justification

9.2. Changing Text Colours


On the TownLife system we have removed the ability to change the text colours and backgrounds.  Most websites were not using this feature properly and damaging their websites as a result.

Colours Mean Importance

Normally when you wish to make something a different colour you are trying to bring attention to it so that the reader knows it is important.  If something is important you should use the Headings not text colours.  This will help your reader, maintain site consistency, and improve search engine optimization!  Please visit the link below to learn how to use headings.

9.3. Tables

Working with Tables 

To insert a table, use the button in your editor toolbar.  Once the table has been inserted you can then right-click the mouse on the appropriate row/column/cell you wish to modify.

Note: Right-click is an easy way to get more information and options for tables, images etc...


9.4. Making Text Important - Using the Headings


In the page editor, when you are modifying web page content there is a pull down menu with 6 heading choices.

  • Heading 1
  • Heading 2
  • Heading 3
  • Heading 4
  • Heading 5
  • Heading 6

Changing Text Colours and Styles

Each of these headings has their own specific look and feel.  So that if you wish to make a certain heading blue on your website just choose one of the headings to represent that specific type of information and consistently apply the same heading tag to that information throughout your website.  For our example we will use heading H5.

Once you have applied all the H5 tags to your website content, go to SETTINGS - LOOK'n FEEL and in the custom css section you just add the line:

#PageContent h6,#PageContent h6 a{color:blue !important; font-weight: normal;font-size: 1em;}

Now your website is consistently formatted and search engine optimized, since robots can now see what is important (h1 is more important then h6).  Another perk is if you wish to change this formatting, changing the CSS makes immediate and site wide changes promptly.

For more information on CSS context please visit w3schools.com

10. Usability and Accessibility

10.1. Uploading Images

File Limitations

Any file limits are really in place to ensure that the information you add can be accessed easily by the public. As internet speeds globally increase we raise the file limits.

Most importantly if you are having difficulty uploading files it is usually because your current home internet UPLOAD speed is too slow and simply timing out.

Normally your download is much faster then upload speeds, but it is your upload speed that is required to send the files from your computer to the TownLife server.

Best solution if you are having problems = reduce the file size.

Recommendations for PDF's (max 20MB) and Photos (max 6MB) are 3MB of size or smaller; again the faster the internet the larger the file you will be able to send to us.

10.2. Minimum Requirements

The requirements for the administration section are:

  • Internet Explorer 6+ or Firefox 1.0+
  • Javascript required
  • Cookies must be enabled

10.3. Benefits of Visitor Interaction

TownLife continues to add interaction to your website.

BLOGS - allow visitors to leave comments

PHOTO GALLERIES - allow visitors to post their pictures to your photo album

WEBPAGES - allow visitors to subscribe to receive automatic emails when your website is updated

INTERACTIVE MAPS - allow visitors to get directions to every point on the map


Moderated Content

Inviting the public to add to your website is a privillege you always have full control over.  When a comment or other user submission is submitted, you receive an automatic email and everything requires your approval before it is displayed on your website.  This allows you to control and moderate the information within your entire website.


11. Analytics

11.1. Dashboard Definitions

Summary Definitions

Visits: The number of visits your site receives is the most basic measure of how effectively you promote your site. Starting and stopping ads, changing your keyword buys, viral marketing events, and search rank are some examples of factors that influence the number of visits your site receives.

Pageviews: Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed on your site and is a general measure of how much your site is used. It is more useful as a basic indicator of the traffic load on your site and server than as a marketing measure.

Average Pageviews: Average pageviews is one way of measuring visit quality. A high Average Pageviews number suggests that visitors interact extensively with your site. A high Average Pageviews results from one or both of:

  1. Appropriately targeted traffic (i.e. visitors who are interested in what your site offers
  2. High quality content effectively presented on the site.

Conversely, a low average pageviews indicates that the traffic coming to the site has not been appropriately targeted to what the site offers or that the site does not deliver what was promised to the visitor.

Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page). Bounce rate is a measure of visit quality and a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance (landing) pages aren't relevant to your visitors. You can minimize Bounce Rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy.

Time on Site: Time on site is one way of measuring visit quality. If visitors spend a long time visiting your site, they may be interacting extensively with it. However, Time on site can be misleading because visitors often leave browser windows open when they are not actually viewing or using your site.

New vs. Returning: A high number of new visitors suggests that you are successful at driving traffic to your site while a high number of return visitors suggests that the site content is engaging enough to keep visitors coming back. You can see how frequently visitors return and how many times they return in ‘Recency’ report and the ‘Loyalty report’, both under ‘New vs. Returning’ in the Visitors section.

Visitors Overview: How many new and returning visitors came to your site and how extensively did they interact with your content? This traffic overview allows you to drill down into aspects of visit quality (i.e. average pageviews, time on site, bounce rate) and visit characteristics (i.e. first time visitors, returning visits).

Map Overlay: Use this map to visualize volume (visits, pageviews) and quality (pageviews per visit, conversion rates, per visit value, etc.) metrics by geographic region. Click on any region to zoom into the city level.

11.2. Traffic Sources

The Traffic Sources section contains the following reports:

Overview: This report provides an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your site. The graph shows traffic trends; the pie-chart and tables show what is driving the trends. "Direct Traffic" is visits from people who clicked a bookmark to come to your site or who typed your site URL directly into their browser. "Referring Sites" shows visits from people who clicked to your site from another site. "Search Engines" shows visits from people who clicked to your site from a search engine result page.

All Traffic Sources: How do people referred from search engines, sites, and tagged links compare to the "average" visitor to your site? The graph shows the overall trends while the table shows the specific sources (i.e. search engines, sites, and tagged links) driving the trends.

Direct Traffic: How do the people who clicked a bookmark to come to your site or typed your site URL into their browser compare to the "average" visitor to your site? Direct traffic can include visitors recruited via offline (i.e. print, television) campaigns.

Referring Sites: How do the people referred from other sites compare to the "average" visitor to your site? The graph shows the overall trends in traffic volume from referrals while the table lists the sites driving the trends.

11.3. Comparision

Visits vs. Visitors

Analytics measures both visits and visitors in your account. Visits represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original session.

The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional visit and an additional visitor. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitors.

Pageviews vs. Unique Pageviews

A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a visitor hits reload after reaching the page, this will be counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview will be recorded as well.

A unique pageview, as seen in the Top Content report, aggregates pageviews that are generated by the same user during the same session. A unique pageview represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.


11.4. Page Counters

Page Counters

Page counters are not displayed on TownLife, nor are "Last Updated dates.." since they are deemed as private information for the webmasters and unecessary for visitors.

Every monthly detailed page counters and website analytics are emailed to our website owners.

12. Administration

12.1. Account Status

The accounts on TownLife have 3 states:

  • Trial
  • Active
  • Inactive


When your account is first turned on, before payment is received you are in Trial mode.  You can preview what the website looks like without the public being able to see the construction underway.  This limitation does not allow you to send email newsletters, nor do you show up in the TownLife directory.


Once full payment has been received your account is made fully active.  Any features you have purchased will be fully operational and the maximum amount of traffic will be sent to your website (including listings in the TownLife directory).


This is the same as OFF.  The account is not accessible, can not be edited and is not available.  This may occur when an account is removed because of lack of payment etc.

For specific information about your account status, best contact billing@townlife.com.



Copyright © - TownLife by Econolution Inc.