Colwich Computer Club. 

Using Gadgets, RSS Feeds, Etc On Your Web-site.

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Amateur Web-sites are becoming easier to build all the time with more and more FREE web-sites available along with various Web-site building programs. Sometimes the site is free, but incorporates the HOSTS own advertising schedule, so that they can make some money out of you. Other so called FREE web-sites charge for the use of a building program, or alternatively charge you to remove their own adverts from your site. Some Internet Service Providers such as Tiscali will give you a totally free web-site with the only catch that you have no real help in building the site and it must not be used for commercial purposes. Again many FREE sites are available to organisations for things like sports that even come ready built with ready made league calculation tables, etc. All you have basically to do is fill in the blanks. You can buy a WWW Domain Name for a few pounds and pay for it to be hosted on contract for only a few pounds a month depending on the length of your contract. Then you can buy one of many web-site building programs and build your own site with virtually no restrictions other than storage capacity.

When you have built your web-site you might want to liven it up with "FEEDS" from elsewhere on the Internet, or with a "GADGET".

Google, in their wisdom, have encouraged the public to build and then made available tens of thousands of "GADGETS" that just about anybody can incorporate into their web-site with virtually no knowledge of HTML.


They include things like weather forecasts, horoscopes, daily cartoons, news items and many, many, simple games. The clock on this sites homepage is one such "GADGET." Many other commercial companies produce similar things such as the Bravenet Hit Counter, (again on the Homepage) and the Internet Connection  Speed Tester Click Here for page. The Free Dictionary also provide a lot of fun, word based games and information gadgets as do Brainy Quote (see Funny Quote Above). Nearly all of these gadgets will have some commercial angle built into them as regards advertising, because as we all know you don't get something for nothing.

However, it is possible if you are clever enough to build your own "GADGETS" completely from scratch, or at least with a little help from Google.

Google also offer some ready made AJAX APIS that can very simply be modified just a little bit to make them more specific to your site.

These do include a very useful Google Map which I include on one of my darts web-sites so that players can find where the pubs are. Also is a varying Videos display from Google Videos and Random books display from Google Book Search that I include at the bottom of my books web-site.

If you go to the main AJAX pages you can find out how to make your own.  

RSS feeds are quite commonplace now and normally enable you to place a "FEED," typically from your favourite horoscope, or weather forecast, straight onto your computer when you start it up and it is connected to the Internet. It is also possible to put them onto some Blogs, but using AJAX APIS you can relatively easily import RSS feeds to your web-site. The following page explains how to construct an API from scratch, but it is rather technical and there is a WIZARD designed to help you alter a ready made one at When the wizard requires a "feeds expression," all you need to do is fill in a correct feed name such as The Gadget Show or BBC and the wizard does the rest creating the code for you. As with any "Gadget" from any source, all you have to do then is copy and paste the code into your web-page. Obviously it is in code so you will need to be able to access the source code, or HTML of you page. Many web-site building programs will help you construct your site in a normal every day type program and will then convert it to code, and some will give you the ability to add snippets of code to your page during the process. When you have added the code you may well not see anything on your page at all (even in preview mode) until it is loaded up live on the Net as the code pulls the information it displays from elsewhere on the Internet. This may all sound very complicated to use the first time, but with a little experience "Gadgets" of one sort or another can be great fun and liven up what might otherwise be a dull web-site.
Please Note;-
If you COPY and PASTE your code (HTML or Java Script) into a WORD Document, before pasting it into your Web-site, the code will NOT work. You must paste code into a Microsoft NOTEPAD document, or other non formatted type file to save it if not straight away in a Web-page, otherwise it will be converted into Text that will look the same, but will not work!