As with Video Rules, the best method to filter sites is to recategorize them rather than adding them to the Custom Allow/Block list. The benefit of using Categories categories versus simply adding sites to an allowed list is you can add multiple websites and then turn them on and off per group. Additionally, categories do not have entry limitations so you can recategorize an unlimited amount of sites. However, with sites, we do not have to use the Dynamic Database Lookupdomains. To recategorize a site you can either change it to a different prebuilt category or set it to a custom one.
There are two ways to change a site's category, either from the Default Rules Site Check search bar or by viewing the domains of using the View Domains option on a category.
Default Rules Site Check
- To check how a site is categorized go to Default Rules, enter a URL in the search bar, then select Check.
- In the popup, select the desired prebuilt or custom category, enter an optional note, and select Save.
- To recategorize a site or multiple sites at one time click the gear icon to the right of your intended category, then click View Domains.
- Click the plus button to add a site or the import button to add multiple sites.
- In the popup, enter the site's domain, enter an optional note, and select Save or choose your file, and select Import. (Note that domains cannot include special characters)
Example: Pinterest is categorized by default into the Mature category (this is due to the lack of controls available within Pinterest to restrict the mature content on the site). You can create a custom category called Allowed Social Media and place Pinterest into the category. You can then also recategorize Twitter, placing it into your new Allowed Social Media category. Now that you have two sites in the category you can easily allow or block this category for different schools or grade levels.
Once you have created a Custom Category and have added websites to it, it will function the same as any other category.
For more information on how to create a Custom Category please click HEREread this article: Custom Categories.
Default Rules - Custom Allow/Block List
There is a 500 entry limit for the Custom Allow/Block List per Group/OU. To stay under the limit, use the lists for specific URLs and not entire websites whenever possible. For example, if you want users to be able to access a specific page on Facebook, but not the entire site you should enter in the full URL for that page instead of "*facebook.com*". This also works for certain sections of sites. Continuing with Facebook, let's say that The Virtual Art Room's videos need to be allowed, but not all of Facebook. To do this, enter in the video selection URL surrounded by wildcards. This will allow all the videos from The Virtual Artroom's Facebook page.