Page vs. Block: Organizing content in the AltaStreet CMS

The AltaStreet Content Management System (CMS) is built around one simple concept:  Flexibility.  Our goal is to allow you to create a website that represents each of our clients' uniqueness.  Our focus on flexibility provides limitless possibilities in design, functionality, and content layout.  This post will talk primarily about the two elements that provide so many possibilities in organizing your content, pages and blocks.

 

Pages

A website contains many types of content, such as informational pages, news items, blog posts, contact forms, etc...  In the AltaStreet CMS, each item of content is called a page.  Each page has a unique URL (www.example.com/my-page), and can optionally appear in the site's navigation.  For each distinct type of content we create a unique template with custom fields for that content.  For example, if you have an events page on your site, you can create an event template that has a title, starting date and time, summary, location, etc...  Each event will have its own page, but will also be aggregated into a listing page.  We often see these listing pages for news articles, blog posts, team bios, and more.  

 

Blocks

A block is a piece of content that doesn't have its own page, and can be placed in various regions on the page.  Examples of blocks are the search form, the market summary, and the industry news feeds.  A single block can show up on multiple pages, and can be placed in different regions on the page.  For example, you may want a listing block of the most recent articles on your homepage, so you can place that block in the right column.  However, you may choose to display that same block on the left column of the Services page.  This can be done just by dragging that block to the left column on that page.  

Custom blocks can also be added to provide more flexibility.  With a custom block you can add a YouTube video, Constant Contact newsletter signup, or login link to your Client Portal.  Or perhaps you'd like a different image in the right column for each page.  Just create a custom block for each page and add your image.

 

I hope this brief explanation has been helpful in better understanding the AltaStreet CMS.  As always, if you have questions please don't hesitate to call AltaStreet support during business hours, or email us after hours, and we'll do our best to help any way we can.

 

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