One of the most interesting aspects of the BLOX Content Management system is that a newsroom editor with little or no web development training can easily create a new website section in minutes.

So, in the spirit of the season, I thought it might be fun to walk through an example how to create a good-looking - and money-making! - special section for the holidays.

  • Under settings -> Tags -> Sections, create a new section that has a URL tied to it. In my example (below), I created "holiday_specials."

  • Go to the Block Editor and open your new URL. Here you can create new blocks from scratch, or clone existing ones, in order to piece together a new layout.

  • Nearly every block type has an example block already created for you in our Block Library. So it's very easy to find an existing block that is similar to what you want to do. Select it, click the "new" button, and choose "Clone selected block." This will create a new block that you can rename and modify slightly if needed.

  • In my example holiday site, I cloned new blocks from the following existing blocks:

    • ASSET | Map Block | Mappable assets: This block shows assets which have locations tied to them. If the assets don't have locations, they can't be mapped. In my example, I'm showing article assets.

    • ASSET | Lead Presetation | Top Story: This block will show a nice presentation of editorial content, such as a story about Santa's list, or the introduction to a Holiday Gift Guide.

    • CLASSIFIEDS | Top Local Deals: This block will show classified ads from BLOX Classifieds. They could be gifts, or coupons, or ads for Christmas trees.

    • CALENDAR | Headline List | Today's Events: This block shows a grouped-by-day presentation of Calendar events. In my example, I added a keyword tag of "holiday" to several holiday-themed events, and then populated a cloned block with that info.

    • ASSET | Image Centerpiece Master | Full Image: This block can show a graphical header which might introduce your special section.

  • Because the blocks were already set up properly (since they were cloned), I only had to change a few settings in order to show my new holiday content.

  • Each block can be re-arranged by dragging and dropping it on the page (or completely left off, if needed).

The page can now be monetized by selling advertising to this new section. If you want to sell a "sponsor" ad for the section, simply add a banner ad to a prominent position and ensure it is the only ad assigned to that position on that page (thus making it a permanent sponsor).

That's it! It may be a bit late for Christmas, but there's always New Year's.


Christine Masters is the Product Manager at TownNews.com. If you have any ideas, questions or comments about this article, or any of the products offered by TownNews.com, she can be reached via e-mail at cmasters@townnews.com. You can also follow her on twitter at @c_masters.