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Blocks and how to edit them

This article focuses on using blocks in Public site themes. Other articles discuss blocks and their use on dashboards on the Members Only side of your site.

 

Blocks - what are they?

Blocks are "blocks" of content that can be placed on pages. There are two main types of blocks: "Smart blocks" and custom blocks.

Smart blocks are the majortiy of the blocks that are automatically included on your public site, and names do because they are "smart" enough to display content created elsewhere in the site. An example of a smart block is the "Recent news" block, which displays the last three public blog posts. You can control where smart blocks appear, but you cannot edit their content directly. Instead, you must edit the original content. So to continue the example, you cannot edit the recent news block, but you can edit the public blog posts that it displays. Creating a new blog post will make the oldest one disappear, and the newest one will replace it.

Custom blocks are any blocks that you create manually. They are usually basic text blocks, but can also be used for placing an adio player in the side bar on a page, or displaying links to your sponsors. Custom block content can be edited, and you can also control where the block appears.

 

How do I edit a block?

Depending on what you'd like to change about the block, there are two ways to edit a block.

 

Editing a block through the "blocks" page

Editing via the blocks page allows you to see the rgions blocks are already placed in. This can be helpful if you're currently looking for a block, but aren't sure where you've placed it - or maybe you know where it should be, but it's not appearing there.

Go to the main menu on the left hand side of the screen and search for "blocks", or go to: Settings & Admin > Site settings > Blocks.

This will bring you to a page with all of the regions for the pablic site theme, and a list of blocks.  If you're not sure which regions correspond to area on the page, click the link near the top that offers a demonstration of the block regions.

You can drag blocks to various region heading to move them, or change their order. You can also use the dropdown headings if you don't want to drag them from one region to another. 

To edit a block's settings more specifically - linke changing the specific pages it appears on, click the "configure" link on the far right. This will take you to the edit page for that specific block

 

Editng a block using the gear wheel

If you're on a page with a block you'd like to edit, using the gear wheel is often the easiest option.

Hover your cursor over the block, and after a moment, a small grey gear wheel will appear in the top right corner of the block. Click it, and then select "configure block".  This will take you to the edit page for that specific block.

 

Block settings

Options when editing a block include:

  • Block title
  • Region settings per theme
  • Page display settings
  • Content display settings
  • Role display settings
  • User display settings

 

Block title - You can change the displayed name of the block

Region settings - this is the area on any given page where the block will display. Make sure you you set the block to display in your current public site theme.

Pages - restrict the block so that is only displays on certain page, or displays on all pages except a few. Use <front> for the home page.  Other pages only need use the part of the url that comes after the .com/ portion of your url. If your page has an alias, use the alias. List a single page per line.

Content - this restricts the block to only appear on certain content types. It's not very common to use this setting.

Role - Since your visitors are anonymous users, it's not very common to use this setting. If you restrict a block to anonymous users, you will not be able to see this block while logged in.

User - Again, it's not very common to use this since your public site visitors will not be logged in users.