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Optimal sort order for published answers on the end-user page
Answer ID 2379   |   Last Review Date 02/25/2019

How can I specify the sort order for several answers fixed at the top of the answer list?


Customer Portal (CP), Analytics, Answers, Search Results Report


When configuring the report and view for the end-user search pages, Weight should be set to First Sort in descending order, and Computed Score should be the Second Sort in descending order.  These sorts allow your search results to display in the most intuitive manner when used by your site visitors.

Note:  By default, all Answers reports first sort on Weight and then by Computed Score.  This is true regardless of software version or which end-user page set is used for your site.

With this sort configuration, if a search is performed on a word or phrase, the results will be sorted by the weight value so that the strongest matches are listed at the top of the list. If a search is not performed, then answers are sorted by the numerical value for the answers based on how it is placed or fixed in the list. This allows you to utilize the Display Position feature as it is designed to be used.

In cases where an answer has been fixed to a position, only the computed score is affected. In this case, the computed score and score values are not equal, whereas for all other answers the computed score and score are equal in value. For this reason, the computed score should be used when sorting answers on the end-user page.

Fixing answers in a position: When you fix several answers in a certain position (such as at the top of your answers list), those answers typically have the same computed score value. When multiple answers are saved with the Fix at Top value set for the display position, by default, the answers are listed by answer ID in ascending order -- regardless of the order that they are saved.

In order to specify a different order of these multiple fixed at top answers, you can add a third sort value to the end-user page view, such as the date updated or some custom field. That would break the "tie" between the computed score values. This additional sort field does not need to be listed as an output column for the view. You can simply add the additional sort criteria.

For example, if you include date_updated as a third sort filter in the view, you could edit and save the answers in a specific order to determine the order that they should display. Note that if you were to use date_updated to determine the order, if you do have to edit an answer for content, you might have to save several other answers as well to re-establish the same ordering.

If you do include a third sort field, it will affect the sort order across all of your answers in that interface. That is, if you have several answers with the same computed score somewhere else within your overall list, the third sort option would apply there as well to break the tie. However, this impact is minimal, since these answers would be somewhere within the overall list and the specific order within the overall list is not very noticeable.

In order to configure the sort order for your end-user page view, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Configuration > Site Configuration > Interfaces, determine which report is listed in the End-User Answers Report field. 
  2. From the Analytics > Reports explorer, navigate to the report location and right click on the report and select Edit.
  3. From the Home tab, click Sort from the Analyze group.   
  4. The top two sort fields listed should be Weight and then Computed Score, both in descending order.
  5. Add a third sort field for the report -- such as Date Updated.
  6. Click Save or Save and Close.

Note: When defining the sort columns, you can only add columns that are included as output columns of your report. The field can be configured to be a hidden column, but it must be included as an output column.

Therefore, if the field of interest is not showing when you try to define the sort fields, close the sort window and then drag and drop the field as an output column. Then, right click on the column and select Hide Column. Now, you can add that field as a sort field.