Gossamer Links: Features
Platform and Database Flexibility
Gossamer Links can be powered by most major databases; Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and MySQL are all supported. In addition, Gossamer Links is compliant with almost all platforms: Windows, Linux, BSD, Solaris, Unix, etc.
Offer your users more than just links. You can easily add file upload capabilities to Gossamer Links, making it ideal for any sort of resource centre: press releases, image galleries and extended product descriptions and reviews are just some of the possibilities.
Manage your directory more efficiently. Users can be given a broad range of editor privileges, allowing them to manage links in categories they have particular expertise in, ensuring quality management of your directory. Editors can be assigned as few or as many administrative privileges (adding, editing, validating or deleting categories and links) on an individual level as you deem appropriate.
Easy Installation and Updates
The Gossamer Links installation process is simple and web based (with optional shell support as well) with only two files: an install file and a data file. We also include free installation by our staff if you desire. Gossamer Links provides a convenient update system that alerts you to any updates to the program when you visit your admin panel. Without leaving your admin panel, you can download and install available updates from the Gossamer Threads update server. New program releases will also be displayed, allowing you to easily upgrade your installation to the latest Gossamer Links release. Updates are organized by priority and contain descriptions, allowing you to choose which updates to perform and when.
Search Engine Friendly URLs
Put your site on the map. Gossamer Links is designed to create easily indexed static HTML pages that are quickly and comprehensively spidered by search engines. Each link's URL includes the names of the category it is located in, ensuring that your site will be returned when a relevant search is performed.
XHTML & CSS Support
Control the look of your site in depth and detail. Gossamer Links' templates are written in XHTML and CSS, allowing you to make site-wide design changes by modifying just a single file. Our new CSS-based templates can be easily modified from within Gossamer Links using the built-in template and CSS editors. Web developers can feel at home creating designs that meet exacting specifications, all without affecting the functionality of Gossamer Links.
Gossamer Links supports an unlimited number of categories and links. Create as many levels of sub-categories as your directory requires.
Get help when you need it. Gossamer Links provides you, the administrator, with support at multiple levels. A 140+ page user's manual details all aspects of the admin panel and basic customization, while the program's in-line help provides quick, context-sensitive reference information. Our community-driven support forum can be consulted for questions regarding customization and user-created plugins.
Additionally, Gossamer Threads can be contracted to perform custom work on all of our applications, visit our support section for details.
With powerful template abilities, you can brand Gossamer Links to fit whatever look and feel you're looking for. All HTML and language data is stored within our easy to edit templates. Different template sets can be displayed based on the referring links to your directory, which allows for multiple brandings of the same database. Each category can display a different template set, giving the administrator the ability to customize the look and feel of each category to match up with its general theme. By creating globals, you can quickly add HTML and code to your pages with just a single line.
What's New Pages
Gossamer Links allows you to create pages containing the most recently added links to your site. You can also create an archive page of links organized by date, so that your users can chronologically browse additions made to categories.
Users can contribute detailed reviews of links in your directory and rate the value of other users' reviews. This can be especially valuable if you are using Gossamer Links as a product database.
User Ratings System
Rate your links. Users can rate your directory's links on a scale of 1-10, dynamically generating a "Top Rated" page containing the highest ranked links in your directory.
Inform your users. Users can sign up to receive newsletters that notify them of recent additions to your directory. Newsletters can be subscribed to on a per-category basis, allowing users to pick and choose their own areas of interest.
Users can review all links they have added to your directory and make changes to them to keep them up to date. Complete administrative control is given over how user modifications are handled: whether or not users must have signed up in order to modify links, the option to review and modify any link modifications before they are approved, and the option to automatically validate modifications made by users to links they own.
Users can have their passwords emailed to them in case theirs is lost or forgotten.
Let your users know what's cool. Gossamer Links records all visits made by your users to the sites in your directory, providing you with detailed hit tracking as well as a dynamically created "What's Cool" page, containing the most visited links in your directory.
Cookie & URL Sessions
Choose whether users will be logged into your directory using cookie or URL-based sessions. You have the option to configure the domains for which cookies will be set, their prefix (to allow multiple installations without conflicts), as well as how long user sessions should last before expiring.
Users can bookmark links on your directory that they've found especially valuable. Lists of these bookmarks can be collected and privately stored or shared with other directory users.
Users can search your entire directory or specific categories for any or all terms they enter. Depending on the indexing scheme chosen by the admin, additional search parameters such as substrings and search weights can be utilized.
Users can contribute to your directory by submitting their own links. Complete administrative control is given over how user submissions are handled: whether or not users must have signed up in order to add links, whether or not to automatically check for a valid URL in a user's submission, as well as the option to review and modify any submitted link before it is approved.
Monitor trends in your users' interests. View logs of the search terms that have been used to search your directory, allowing you to tailor it to better suit your users. Sort the logs by most recent searches, number of results, frequency of searches, and more.
Expand your system's functions quickly and easily. Gossamer Link's Plugin Manager gives access to a wide and expanding selection of free and pay plugins designed to extend the functionality of the program. In addition to accessing plugins created by Gossamer Threads and our developer’s community, you can create your own plugins to tailor Gossamer Link to your own site's specific needs. Direct modification of the code is not required and plugins are not affected by future program upgrades.
Gossamer Links can check all of your directory's links to see whether their URLs are still valid. Additionally, you can choose to only check those that haven't been checked within a certain time frame, links that haven't previously been verified, or links that return a specific status code.
Administrative options allow you to choose when and how links submitted to your database will be validated. Choose to automatically validate links submitted only by validated users, choose to review and validate all submitted links yourself, or delegate link validation to your editors.
Cater to users of all languages. Through its support of multiple template sets, Gossamer Links can be set up to display information in multiple languages. All language is kept separate from the code, meaning translations can be accomplished quickly and easily from the admin panel.
Customize your directory with design or feature content by creating your own tags. Globals are customizable sections of code or HTML that can quickly and easily be inserted into your Gossamer Links templates with just a single tag. Globals are preserved during upgrades, saving you the trouble of reapplying your customization after each upgrade.
View and manage your directory's structure with our powerful and intuitive category browser. Validate links, create sub-categories and manage your editors within a simple directory tree interface.
Framed pages can be enabled, providing your users with links back to your directory while they are browsing the sites linked to from your directory.
Fine-tune Gossamer Links to your needs. Creating custom fields allows you to customize Gossamer Links to store information most relevant to your directory's purpose and focus. Provide your users with detailed contact/location information for businesses listed in your directory, allow pictures or other files to be added to your links, or any other field that provides your users with information tailored to your directory's purpose. These custom fields can be displayed in multiple form types: select lists, checkboxes, radio buttons, text fields, etc.
Keep your directory up to date. Gossamer Links offers three different ways to build your directory and generate pages for new links. Choose to build only pages for those links that have changed or been added since the last build, build all links at once, or build your directory in staggered phases in order to minimize server load.