What they are and how to use them on the public site or home dashboards
Written by Sharlene Kowk
Updated 5 months ago

- Introduction
- Blocks on the public site
         - Create
         - Organize and use
         - Edit / Delete
- Block on the home dashboards

Introduction: What are blocks? 

Blocks allow you to display text, images, embedded videos, or link to an attached file or page in a small portion of the page area.

An example of blocks on the public site will look like this:

Here's an example of blocks being used on the logged-in view of a Choir Genius site, on the home dashboard.

Blocks have two main options for display:

1) As a block on the home pages/dashboard within the site for logged in users, or

2) As blocks on the public site.

You can read about both options below.

Using blocks on Public Site pages 

Blocks used on public pages have their display settings set in two phases:

1) They are placed in the various regions on the templates for the public pages. This gives them their general placement on the page. By default, they will display on every page in that region,

2) They then have their visibility settings, which can be used to fine-tune what pages they will appear on.

You currently have the Top 2 block in the "Home Top 1" region. This means it will display in that region on every public site page. But, you can fine-tune this by editing the block visibility settings and saying you only want this block to display on the listed pages, and then list <front>. This would tell this block to ONLY display on the front page. 

Often this kind of visibility adjustment is done for all the blocks in the "home top" regions because they also exist on the standard pages (like your "about" page) and people want to reduce the header space so people don't have to scroll as far down to see the content.

Another common configuration is to have a multiple blocks in the "right sidebar" region, but they're set to not display except for on the listed pages - and then they are given specific pages to display on. This might be a specific public event page, or maybe on the about page it would display a specific block about your director, or where the chorus rehearses. It gives you many options to display a small tidbit of information only on a specific page.

Create a block

Although there are several pre-built block options, sometimes, you may just want to create your own. Custom blocks can be used to display more static information - what you place in that block will be visible to everyone with access to the dashboard it's been placed on. You cannot make blocks with information that auto-fills based on the user, but you can share text, links, photos, and even embed youtube videos.

To create a custom block, first edit the dashboard (discussed above) and then click the "Create new custom block" button.

On this page you can configure the:
- Administrative name of the block. This displays internally for those editing dashboards.
- Block title. This is the name that will appear in the header bar of the block on the dashboard.
- Body. This is where you can add your text, links or upload an image. Use the "block images" field below to upload them. Do not copy and paste in images.

If you would like to embed a video or audio clip into a custom block, please refer to the information located here.

Organize and Use your blocks

To access your blocks for the public site, go to:
Admin Settings & Tools > Public Site > Blocks

To display a block, there are two settings to consider: 
- the region in which it's placed
- the visibility settings for the block itself

The Region is the area on the page that is will display. To the left of the blocks list, there are various regions displayed, such as Banner, Home Top 1, Home page First, etc.
To place a block in a region, click and drag it to the "drop" box for that region.
To remove it from a region, click and drag it back to the main block box on the right.
There are region settings for the home page of your public site, and a separate region settings layout for "normal" pages, which is every other page of your public site.

Blocks can only be used in one region at a time, so if you want to use a block in multiple regions, it will need to be created twice. Regions that appear on both the home layout and the normal page layout will always display the same blocks. For example, the Suggested Links block displays by default in the "First bottom widget" region of the home page and the same region on the normal page layout - because that region is present in both layouts. The banner block in the Banner region of the home page layout only appears on the home page because the Banner region is not part of the normal page layout region options.

The visibility setting for a block becomes important when you place blocks on the "normal" page regions. Typically, whatever you place in the Home page layout, you will want to always have displaying, so there's no reason to change it. When it's on the "Normal" page layout, you may want a block to display in that region for one page, but not another.

An example of this would be a custom block with a map to your rehearsal location. It makes sense to display this in the right sidebar region for a page about attending rehearsals/joining, but makes less sense when it's a page recognizing your sponsors.

To edit the visibility settings for a block, first edit the block by clicking the edit pencil icon next to its name, then click the "configure visibility" button below the body text area.

In the visibility settings, the most common option is to set the block to display "only on the listed pages", and then list the url of the page you want it to display on. You can use the alias, or, when it doubt, use the full url

There are other visibility options along the side, such as content type, roles and users, but they are generally not recommended to change unless you are very familiar with block visibility settings and behaviour.

Please note: block visibility settings will not affect blocks set on the internal dashboards.

You can always reset the blocks to go back to the default starting point if you get stuck, using the Reset blocks button below the available blocks area on the right.

Edit & Delete

If you need to edit a custom block, go to the blocks page (Admin Settings & Tools > Public Site > Blocks ) and then click the edit pencil to the right of the block's name.

To delete a custom block, first edit it, then click the delete button. All deletions are permanent.

If a block does not have the edit pencil icon next to its name, it cannot be directly edited. This is the case for many of the internal blocks, like "My upcoming events" which displays content automatically based on the events a user is invited to.

The banner block can be edited, but only for the text that appears over the banner. To edit the photo that appears in the banner, go to the  Theme Configuration page in your Public Site settings (under Admin Settings & Tools)

Blocks on the home page / dashboards

Displaying blocks on the internal home dashboards is controlled via the "configure this dashboard" button on each home page tab (leadership, members, public). Blocks set to display on these pages are unaffected by the visibility settings for the blocks.

You can read more about using blocks the home dashboards here.

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