FAQ content

Look & Feel: Customize your LibAnswers homepage

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Out of the box, your LibAnswers system starts with a single, default FAQ group, which serves as the primary homepage for your LibAnswers system and provides system-wide search results (for all public FAQ groups). And while you can add as many additional groups as you'd like, this default group will always act as your main landing page for your site. 

With that in mind, you can still customize this FAQ group, and specifically the homepage, as you would with any other groups that you create. The group's settings allow you to adjust its look and feel (with its own header, footer, and custom JavaScript/CSS code, user access on the admin side, and the layout of the pages in the group.


Customizing your default group and homepage

To edit your default FAQ group, go to Admin > FAQ Groups and click on its Edit Group Settings () icon in the Actions column. If you have more than one FAQ group, you can identify your default group by the lack of the Delete Group () icon -- the default group cannot be deleted.

Manage FAQ groups page highlighting default group screenshot

Look & feel options

Pages

Your FAQ group's public pages are what allow users to browse, search, and view the group's FAQs. The group has a homepage (your LibAnswers landing page), FAQ page template, and search results page, all of which can be customized using either the default or advanced customization options.

Default (simple) customization options

When initially customizing the default FAQ group, your pages will be ready to go right out of the box. That's because the default customization options automatically apply a user-friendly layout to each page of your group. This not only makes it easy to get your group up and running but it also greatly simplifies the customization process. Instead of having to build each page from scratch, you can control the layout and content of your pages with just a few straightforward options. 

Advanced customization options

If you'd like to get more hands-on with customizing the layout and content of your pages, consider enabling the advanced customization options. Unlike the default customization options, which more or less lock you into a default layout for each page, these will allow you to customize each page of your group individually -- from the number of columns on each page to the content inside of each box.

Pro Tip: before enabling the advanced options for your default group, consider creating a sandbox/testing FAQ group to fine-tune your customizations. When advanced customizations are enabled for a group all customizations and content are wiped out -- leaving only blank pages. Knowing how you want to set up the group with the prep work you've done in a sandbox group can ensure that your LibAnswers homepage is only 'offline' for a limited amount of time.

User access

A group's user access settings control who has the ability to view, add, and edit FAQs in that group. By default, all system-level admin users will have admin access to each group. However, the user access settings also give you the ability to designate regular-level users who can manage the group's settings, as well. In the case of Restricted Internal groups, a Regular user must be given at least Read-only access to a group in order to view its FAQs.


Customizing the group's public availability

The group's availability is a very important setting, as it determines who has the ability to view your LibAnswers site (from your base URL) and search for the group's FAQs. If you opt to set your default group's availability to something other than Public/Open, it will have an impact on how your patrons access your site. Here's a brief summary of each option.

Availability Pages publicly accessible? FAQs appear in general search results? FAQs appear in question lists?
Public/Open Yes Yes Yes
Hidden Only to users who know the friendly URL No No
Internal Only to logged-in users No No
Restricted Internal Only to logged-in users who have been given access to the group No No

Unless you plan on configuring your LibAnswers site to not have a public landing page, keeping the default group set to the Public/Open availability is recommended.

Additionally, if you would prefer to have only users with an account in your SSO to be able to access your LibAnswers site you can choose to enable LibAuth authentication for the group.  If you place your default group behind LibAuth, it will require any users visiting the public side of your site to authenticate before they can view any public pages.