SiteOrbiter Help

Getting Started
SiteOrbiter is an application that helps you to manage the content and structure of web sites. It does this by collecting and storing information via a scan process. This information is called metadata, which is essentially information about information. You can use this data to better understand where a site might be broken, how it uses keywords, determine where the large dependencies are, how often it is updated and other aspects that are not normally seen. Additionally, SiteOrbiter enables you to produce reports, web pages, JavaScript files and other formats that can then be used by additional users and tools for enhanced access to the content and structure of a particular web site.

Scanning a Site
To get started, you need to let SiteOrbiter know what web site you are interested in. Do this by selecting Sites > Scan A Site... The scan settings will appear. In the URL to Scan field, enter the web site that you wish to scan, or choose a starting folder on the local file system. There are additional details that can be selected on this screen for the initial scan.

Once you have defined a site in the settings page, you will be able to re-scan a site without going through the initial settings process.

CommentsEnter any notes that you might want to keep about the site.
Scan Pause TimeIf you are scanning a remote HTTP site, this allows you to set a length of time between the requests that SiteOrbiter makes to the web server. This serves as a way to throttle bandwidth and server load.
Time Between Scans SiteOrbiter can automatically rescan a site at specific time intervals, to collect information over time.
Copy Site ContentChecking this box will indicate that you wish SiteOrbiter to download content to your local disk as part of the scan process. You will be prompted to select a folder where you want the content to be downloaded to. Note that due to security settings, for future scans you will need to reselect this flag and select the target folder.
Scans to KeepFor every site defined into SiteOrbiter, SiteOrbiter will keep a copy of the scan results. You can enable SiteOrbiter to keep previous scans (up to a maximum of 20) so that you can monitor how a site is changing over time. Note that SiteOrbiter doesn't keep the contents of the scanned site, just the metadata.
Depth To ScanThis setting tells SiteOrbiter how deep to go in the folder structure of a website. Essentially it is the distance, by links, from the initial starting page specified in the URL. This setting applies to resources only on the same server (or file system) as specified in the initial starting URL. URLs that do not share the same server location (hostname) will be considered external and only the referenced resource (URL) will be checked, but not crawled.
User AgentThis tells SiteOrbiter how to present itself to a web server. The default setting is to have SiteOrbiter identify as itself to the WebServer (i.e. SiteOrbiter 7). However, you can also mimic other web clients using SiteOrbiter, and a list of common settings are available to mimic Safari, Firefox, iPhone and iPad and Android. This allows you to detect how a site might respond differently to a mobile browser vs. a desktop browser. Note that, once you have scanned a website, if web pages are rendering differently than you might expect, check the user agent setting as this can impact what content is returned by the server.

Once you have determined the initial settings, click Start Scan at the bottom of the form and SiteOrbiter will save the settings and start to scan. Once the scan has completed, you will be able to view the collected information, or metadata, about the site.

Site Lists
You can move sites between different lists, accessed via the drop down list under the activity display. The default site list is My Sites, but you can add additional lists to keep your site list organized. Using the Sites menu item, you can move, rename and delete site lists.

Next: Exploring the Scan Results

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