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Blocks are the boxes of content (such as "Find a Wishlist" or "IndieBound Next List") that can be displayed in regions (such as header or sidebar) and be set to display on all or specific pages. Blocks can be composed of text, images, links, and other standard HTML. They can also be used to embed codes for widgets from outside sources like YouTube or Facebook.

Though we provide some blocks automatically, blocks are also made available to your site by enabling modules and creating your own. Once created, a Block can be modified to adjust its position and placement on your website pages, to determine which pages it is displayed on, who may view it and whether or not a user can adjust its visibility.

Items that can be found as blocks are listed below:

  • Default Blocks: In the system, these are generated for all sites and include blocks like 'Indie Next List,' 'Event Calendar,' 'Search Form, etc.
  • Menu Blocks: Any time a new menu is created, a block will also appear in the 'Disabled' section.
  • New Module Blocks: Some features that are activated upon request contain blocks. For example, 'Nice Menus,' 'Superfish,' or the 'Wishlist.'
  • User Generated Blocks: New content blocks that are created by admins.
  • View Blocks: When creating a view, the user is given the option to export the view as a block (this is an advanced feature).

Ready to start utilizing ‘Blocks’? Great! Here’s an overview of the ‘Block Administration’ page along with how to create a new block/modify an existing one.


Navigate to: Structure > Blocks

  1. Theme Tabs: These are the themes you have enabled, your regions for block placement are defined by each theme. Selecting the appropriate tab lets you organize your blocks on that theme.
  2. Demonstrate Block Regions: Lets you see what regions are available in a particular theme.
  3. Add Block: Lets you create your own block
  4. Block List: All of your available blocks will be displayed here. Blocks that have been placed in a region will display first under the category for the region they have been placed in. After all placed ‘blocks’ have been listed ‘Disabled Blocks’, which are those that have not been placed in a region yet will list. Whether placed yet or not, each contains menu options to set the region and to configure them further.
  5. Drag and Drop button: You can easily re-organize the order in which your blocks display using the drag and drop feature.
  6. Save Button: Any changes you make here have to be saved in order to apply to the site.

Note: We provide several blocks already loaded in the ‘Disabled’ section for you, such as the ‘Indie Next List’ and ‘Calendar of Events’ Make sure you take a look there!


Navigate to: Structure > Blocks > Add Blocks

There are several available fields for you to utilize to create the content of your page:

  1. Title: This text will be as the header on your block. If you do not wish for a title to be displayed you may leave it blank on your published page.
  2. Block Description: This is used to describe your block on the ‘Blocks’ administration page. It should be clear and easy to identify its content.
  3. Body: Use the built-in WYSIWYG editor to add text, images, links, and any type of content you would like to create.  Not familiar with the icons? Review our "WYSIWIG Editor Key".
  4. Text Format: By default will be set to ‘Full HTML’ but you have options to change it to:

    • Full HTML
    • Filtered HTML
    • Rich Text Editing
    • Plain Text
  5. Region Settings: Your website theme defines the regions available. Therefore, block placement in regions is organized per theme on the Block Admin page (Structure > Blocks). If you have more than one theme enabled on your site blocks can be placed differently for each theme. You can view the placement of your website theme regions by using the demo link on the Block Admin page.
  6. Visibility Settings: There are a few ways in which you can adjust the visibility settings of a block:

    • Pages: You can determine which pages a block appears on. By default, we exclude some of the secure pages such as:

      • node/add*
      • node/*/edit
      • node/*/delete
      • user
      • user/*
      • admin
      • admin/*
      • imce*
      • cart/*
      • cart
      • cart*
    • Content Types: If a particular block only pertains to a specific content type you can set it to display only on nodes created using that content type. For instance, you might be offering a discount on books associated with events, therefore you only want the block detailing that discount to appear on ‘Events’.
    • Roles: You can also restrict blocks to members of specific roles. Perhaps you have created a block detailing staff discounts, you could restrict it to appear only for users logged in under a ‘Staff’ role.
    • Users: You can allow your customer to determine whether or not they see a particular block when logged in. They control this setting on their ‘My Account’ page.
  7. Save Block: Once you have completed creating/modifying your block make sure to ‘Save’ it.

Remember to keep your blocks up-to-date with relevant information and to use different blocks on different pages to keep your website dynamic.


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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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