- Create your first blog!
- Blog layout and template settings
- Creating Blog categories
- Creating your first blog post!
- Add Your Blog To Your Navigation & Menu
- Searching for blogs and posts
- Blog Merge Codes
BLOGS! Search engines love them, customers love them...
YOU need one.
And now you can have one!
Improve your search engine rankings, get more customers while improving the relationship with your
current customers through the built-in AmeriCommerce online stores blogging platform!
NOTE: This is a long and extensive article, so don't feel the need to take it all in one sitting. Use this
as a reference to return to as needed. That being said, we tried to organize it with the most commonly
needed info first. Also, feel free to comment at the bottom if you run into anything you need clarification or
more details on so we can improve this article to best serve everyone... thanks and Enjoy!
Create your first blog!
Blogs can now be created and edited natively in the AmeriCommerce online store admin console:
Here's how to setup your blog and create your first post.
1) Go to Content > Blogs
You can create any number of separate blogs and each blog is associated with a specific store. You can also add Blog Comment Moderation, Blogs, or Blog Posts to your new power features!
2) Click on the "new" button in the upper right.
Creating new blogs or editing blogs, blog categories and tags, and creating and editing posts can be done from the Blogs list, highlighted in the screenshot above
3) Here are the setting when creating/Editing a blog.
Note: When using Custom URL's you need to make sure you have custom URL's enabled in your SEO Settings. This setting is under Settings > Search Engine
Blogs also support syndication, and these options can also be configured from the blog edit page:
Blogs support multiple syndication types:
- Full - The full content of the post will be syndicated
- Teaser - The entire teaser description will be syndicated
- None - The posts will not be syndicated
- Short - Only a limited number of characters from the post content will be syndicated. This is determined by the Max Number Of Characters For Short Feed setting
- ShortTeaser - Only a limited number of characters from the post teaser content will be syndicated. This is determined by the Max Number Of Characters For Short Feed setting
We support both Atom and RSS formats for the syndication feed, and each blog can be configured either one of these (or both, or neither).
Blog layout and template settings
Additionally, from the blog edit page, you can specify blog specific layout information:
You can also specify a default layout and/or template for all posts within this blog. This can be overridden on each individual post.
These allow you to choose specific layouts and or templates for each theme so that one blog can appear distinct from other blogs in your store.
(Make sure you click "Save" after any changes have been made.)
Congrats! You've now setup your first AmeriCommerce online store blog!
Creating Blog categories
You can now create your first post, or configure your blog categories,
for this example, let's setup a few categories first.
Blog categories and tags are specific to each individual blog, meaning you must configure which categories and tags are available on each blog.
To do this, you'll go to Content > Power Features > Blogs and click on the "view categories & tags"
From here you can configure your blog category structure for organizing your posts.
Categories have a tree structure such that, in the example above, any post placed in the Baseball category is also treated as if it is in the Sports category.
Tags have no structure and simply allow you to mark specific posts with certain tags for better navigation and organization.
Creating your first blog post:
1) To Get to the blog posts page you can either click on the blog name from Content > Blog or by clicking on the magnifying glass icon from that same page.
Viewing the blog posts for a given blog will appear as such (assuming you've already got posts):
2) To create your first post, click the "new" button to the right.
Here's the setting when editing or creating a post:
Note that if a tag does not already exist, it will be created when entered on the blog post.
You can also override theme and blog roll defaults for layouts and templates for each individual blog post
3) Preview your post before publishing
Additionally, you have the ability to preview a blog post before actually saving it, so that you can see what the post will look like without having to publish:
4) Publish your post and view on Front-end
To publish your post, click on save in the upper right hand corner.
You can view your pubished post now by clicking on the view icon to the right of the preview button.
Understanding Blog Commenting:
When moderation is on, posts by front-end customers are entered with a pending status. The status can then be changed to approved or rejected.
Comments by admin users will not require moderation, even if moderation is enabled.
There are also 2 store level settings that affect blog commenting.
Comment interval is the number of minutes a commenter must wait between posting new comments. In this example, it is .5, so 30 seconds.
Comment Max Length is the maximum number of characters that can be entered in a comment. Comments longer than this will be trimmed.
How To Add A Navigation Link To Your Blog
Navigation links can now be created to point to a blog or specific blog category. If using a blog category, you can optionally have it generate flyout menus for the category structure:
Review this article for details on How to Change the Top Navigation Links
All blog posts are posted with a given profile, either a store profile or an admin user profile. Additionally, all comments are posted using either a customer profile or one of the other two aforementioned profile types.
Admin and user profiles can be created and edited from the admin console:
You can navigate here by going to Settings > Store Information > Profile
You can edit your personal information that you wish to display as well as a profile image you can upload.
Customer profiles can only be edited by the customer themselves on the front end.
When viewing a profile on the front end, you will see the profile’s public information, including contact information they have defined as well as any blog post comments, etc. they have made. If viewing an admin user or store profile, you will also see a list of actual blog posts they have made:
BLOG THEME PAGES AND WIDGETS
There are 3 new theme page types that are available:
Blog List, Blog Post (see below for descriptions)
Blog list: contains a list of all blogs for the given store
Blog post: contains the content for an individual blog post.
Additionally, there are several new widgets that are specific to blog features. You can add these to your theme or products, categories and content pages.
The Blog Roll widget has the same features as the blog roll page, except that it does not allow paging of posts and allows you to filter it to display specific posts from a given blog. This gives a great deal of power in how blog rolls are displayed and designed, because it means that you can embed an almost completely full featured blog roll page anywhere in your theme (including on the blog roll page itself, if you want certain posts to be displayed in a different manner on the blog roll).
Here are the options available for the blog roll widget:
The Blog Tag Cloud widget is a widget that displays available tags for the blog based on context. Tags that are used more frequently are more prominently displayed. Tags can be clicked to view the blog roll filtered to only posts with the specific tag applied.
Here are the options available for the tag cloud widget:
The Blog Drill Down widget is a context sensitive widget that allows you to navigate down the category structure for a given blog
Add Your Blog To Your Navigation & Menu
You can add your blog to your navigation menu list by going to Content > Menus & Navigation.
Edit an existing active list.
Click "Add New Link"
For our test blog we are going to call it "News". This is how we add it to our top navigation.
"News" now appears at the top of the list. You can move this to wherever you would like it to be placed on the navigation.
We chose to add it to the bottom. Let's take a look at how it looks on the main front end of the store.
There it is!
BLOG STORE TEXT
Numerous store text options have been added related to blogs. You can edit this in the WYSIWYG editor, or by switching to HTML.
Searching for Blogs and Posts
We expose blog posts and blogs in the front end search results page:
The following layout can be added to get these new sections:
<div class="BlogPostTitleLine"><a href="$$BLOGPOSTURL$$"><span class="BlogPostTitle">$$BLOGPOSTTITLE$$</span></a> <span class="BlogPostRelevance">$$BLOGPOSTRELEVANCE$$% Match</span></div>
<div class="BlogTitleLine"><a href="$$BLOGURL$$"><span class="BlogTitle">$$BLOGTITLE$$</span></a></div>
FRONT END VIEWS OF BLOG WIDGETS
Blog Roll Page/Widget Control Merges:
Blog Roll Page Control Merges (all of the above, plus):
Blog Post Page Control Merges:
Blog Entity Merges
Blog Post Entity Merges