Blocks

In the CMS blocks are content items that you can add in either your unit sidebar or within the content itself.  

Adding a new block of content

  1. Click Structure->Blocks->Add block
     
  2. You will be presented with the following form:
    Screenshot of block form
    Block title: This is an optional field.  If you enter a title, it will appear above your content wherever your block is displayed
    Block description: This is a required field.  Name it something you will be able to easily identify
    Block body: This contains the content for the block.  You can add pictures, links, etc here.
     
  3. After entering the content, you will need to update the visibility settings to decide what pages the block will be shown on.
    Screenshot of visibility settings
    If you leave this section blank, it will allow the block to appear on all pages in your site.  If you would like to restrict it to certain pages only, type them into the box.  There are several visibility options you can choose from in this section
     
  4. Click "Save Block"

Adding blocks to your unit sidebar

Unfortunately the listing of all blocks inside the CMS has a rather complicated interface, but once you are comfortable with it it allows for a lot of flexibility.

  1. Click "Structure"->"Blocks"
     
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the block you created.  Your block will be labeled with whatever you entered in for its description.
    Screenshot of choosing a region for your block
    Once you find your block, click the select box next to it and choose "Unit/dept sidebar".
     
  3. Scroll back up to the top of the screen, you should now see the block listed in the Unit/dept sidebar section.  You can use the crosshairs to drag and reorder your blocks any way you see fit.
    screenshot of arranging blocks
     
  4. When you are done, remember to click "Save Blocks" at the bottom of the screen

Including block content inside a page

One of the most useful things you can do with a block is include the content on another page or pages.  This allows you to create/edit content in one spot and have update in multiple places.  

  1. The first thing you need to know is the machine name of your block.  Click Structure->Blocks.
     
  2. This next part is challenging.  Once you have identified the block of content you want to include, hover over the configure button and look in your browser's status bar (alternatively you can right click on the link, copy the link, and paste the link somewhere you can see it). 
    Screenshot of block name
    The part of the link address the appears before "configure" is what you need.  The first item is the blockname, the second is the delta.
     
  3. Using the above gotten name you can include this content anywhere on your site by typing into the body:
    [block:blockname=delta]
    In the above example this becomes:
    [block:block=5]

Including block content from another CMS website

Blocks that you create can also be shared to other CMS websites! This can be accomplished by using the following code:

[block:ku_include=site=sitename.drupal.ku.edu|block=number]

"sitename" is the prefix for the site (ie, cms, in cms.ku.edu). Replace "number" with the number of the block on the remote site.
Screenshot of block name

As an example, doing the above on this site I see that the workshop listing to the right has a block id of "2". Consequently, i could create a new block on my technology cms website and include the following code:

[block:ku_include=site=cms.drupal.ku.edu|block=2]

Remember, blocks can be included in your unit sidebar OR in your main content area. Following this method content can now be synchronized relatively easily across multiple sites. In addition, whenever the block content is updated on the site that owns the block, it will automatically update all sites that are pulling that block.


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