Using The List Breaks Feature

Overview

List breaks are a way for you to insert any HTML that you want within the listing of ranked sites. This is useful for inserting advertisements or link trades. It is important that you have a solid understanding of HTML at the source level when you are setting up your list breaks. All of the HTML that you use in your list breaks must be compatible with the rest of the HTML you have setup for your ranking pages. Failure to use compatible HTML will result in your list breaks appearing incorrectly.

Setting Up List Breaks

Say you want your ranked sites to look like the sample provided below, but after the second ranked site you want to insert an advertisement to one of your commision partner sites.

Rank Title and Description In/Out
1 Site Title
Description
152/189
2 Site Title
Description
118/124
3 Site Title
Description
99/102

This is actually very easy to do. In setup.php enter a 2 in the List Breaks field and then save your variables. In the administrative script, use the Edit List Breaks function to setup the HTML you want to use. Remember, no list break will be inserted until you setup the HTML for it. For our example, we would use the following HTML to get the look we want.

<tr bgcolor="#ffffff"> <td align="center" colspan="3"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> OUR ADVERTISEMENT HERE </font> </td> </tr> The results of using this HTML are:

Rank Title and Description In/Out
1 Site Title
Description
152/189
2 Site Title
Description
118/124
OUR ADVERTISEMENT HERE
3 Site Title
Description
99/102

If you wanted to get rid of the black lines on each side of the list break, you will need to use more complex HTML. For this we would use the following HTML.
</table> </td> </tr> </table> <br> <div align="center"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> OUR ADVERTISEMENT HERE </font> </div> <br> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="300"> <tr> <td bgcolor="#aaaaaa"> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1" width="300"> <tr bgcolor="#004080"> <td align="center" width="60"> <font face="Verdana,Arial" Size="1" color="#ffffff"> <b>Rank</b> </font> </td> <td align="center" width="180"> <font face="Verdana,Arial" Size="1" color="#ffffff"> <b>Title and Description</b> </font> </td> <td align="center" width="60"> <font face="Verdana,Arial" Size="1" color="#ffffff"> <b>In/Out</b> </font> </td> </tr> The results of using the above HTML are:

Rank Title and Description In/Out
1 Site Title
Description
152/189
2 Site Title
Description
118/124

OUR ADVERTISEMENT HERE

Rank Title and Description In/Out
3 Site Title
Description
99/102

There are many different looks you can get depending on the HTML you use in your list break, but the main thing to remember is that you have to use HTML in your list break that works with the rest of the HTML on your page. If you are using a table to display your rankings, you have to use the proper table tags in your list break so that the HTML works with the rest of the table. Remember that the software will only insert the HTML you tell it to, it has no idea what type of look you are going after and will not insert any tags for you.

Common Mistakes

The most common mistake of all is not using HTML that is compatible with the rest of the HTML on your page. 99% of the time this is caused by not using the correct table HTML code in your list break. It is absolutely essential that you have a solid understanding of HTML at the source level when setting up your list breaks. If you do not have this type of knowledge, contact an HTML professional to assist you.

By far the most often problem we hear about list breaks is that they are appearing at the top of the list instead of the location they should be. This is not a bug or problem with the software, it is a problem with the HTML you are using. We will give you a quick example to explain. Say your list looks like the following.

Rank Title and Description In/Out
1 Site Title
Description
152/189
2 Site Title
Description
118/124
3 Site Title
Description
99/102


You go into the administrative interface to setup your list breaks, and enter the following HTML for the list break at position 2.

<font face="Arial" size="3"> <b><a href="breaks.html" class="orange">Visit Our Sponsor</a></b> </font> After you rerank the list, you look at your page and see the following.

Visit Our Sponsor
Rank Title and Description In/Out
1 Site Title
Description
152/189
2 Site Title
Description
118/124
3 Site Title
Description
99/102


So what is the problem? You forgot to use the necessary table code so that the browser can correctly render your page. Have a look at the HTML that is produced on your ranking page. Below is the code that produces the #2 rank, the list break, and the #3 rank.

<tr bgcolor="#ffffff"> <td align="center" width="60"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> 2 </font> </td> <td align="center" width="180"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> <a href="#" class="orange">Site Title</a><br> Description </font> </td> <td align="center" width="60"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> 118/124 </font> </td> </tr> <font face="Arial" size="3"> <b><a href="breaks.html" class="orange">Visit Our Sponsor</a></b> </font> <tr bgcolor="#ffffff"> <td align="center" width="60"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> 3 </font> </td> <td align="center" width="180"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> <a href="#" class="orange">Site Title</a><br> Description </font> </td> <td align="center" width="60"> <font face="Verdana" Size="1"> 99/102 </font> </td> </tr> As you can see, the software inserted your HTML exactly where you told it to: after the 2nd rank. The problem is that you did not use any table code so that the browser would render the list break inside the table. Anyone who knows HTML knows that the above section of HTML code is not valid. To correct this problem, you need to use something similar to the HTML shown below for your list break.
<tr bgcolor="#ffffff"> <td align="center" colspan="3"> <font face="Arial" size="3"> <b><a href="breaks.html" class="orange">Visit Our Sponsor</a></b> </font> </td> </tr> Using the correct HTML produces the correct results:

Rank Title and Description In/Out
1 Site Title
Description
152/189
2 Site Title
Description
118/124
Visit Our Sponsor
3 Site Title
Description
99/102


The main thing to keep in mind is that the software does not produce any HTML for you. It will only use the HTML that you tell it to, so you must provide it with valid HTML code. The software will always insert your list breaks in the correct location, but if you are using invalid HTML there is no telling how your browser will render the page.