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Best practices for failed subscription renewals. Asking for a friend.

Jay Allred 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Rich Griffin | Product Manager (Product Manager) 3 weeks ago 1

We are just now experiencing our first round of failed annual subscription renewals for our membership program. 

Users whose cards have changed or whatever are calling and requesting help to renew their memberships (YAY!), but we are struggling with figuring out best practices within BLOX.

  • Is there a place where users can update their payment method ala Amazon or eBay?
  • If yes, where?
  • If no, how do your reps handle these issues? Setup new subscription?
  • Is there a renewal button we are missing within BLOX?

links within photo asset captions

Seth Bromley 2 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 weeks ago 2

I'm trying to get a clickable hyperlink to show up inside photo captions. It seems straightforward to add hyperlinks to the caption while in the back-end asset editor, but when I view the asset from the front end, the link will not be clickable. I just get the plain text.

I thought it might be a browser issue but it happens in both Chrome and Firefox.


Hi Seth!

I am just reviewing some photo-related questions on the site and I see this was missed.

HTML does work in the photo captions, however BR tags in general are removed if they are outside of "block" level elements.

If you want to keep the BR tags, you can put them inside of a block-level element, such as a div tag, and they should remain. Note that the div is counted as a paragraph as far as ads or paging in BLOX CMS.

Also note that inline elements, such as inline photos, can't be placed inside of a block-level element. So when you save it will be placed outside of the div.

Under review

Is it possible for centerpiece photo on hub page to be a gallery instead of an image?

Kyle Whitfield 2 years ago • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 weeks ago 3

So for example, on our site, we have a centerpiece headline, photo, summary text and related links ... it would be cool if there'd be a way to have the gallery arrows added to the top-right hand corner of the photo then, when a user clicks on the arrow, the a full-screen gallery would appear. I think it would allow for a lot of good interaction directly off a page that gets a ton of traffic. This something others have asked about?

Under review

Anyone else getting spam redirects on mobile devices?

Nick 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Greg 4 weeks ago 16

We've had several people call about spam redirects on our website in the past couple of weeks. And we've already had three in the past hour. I submitted a ticket to TownNews and they said it isn't coming from our website. They said it comes from insecure websites and apps.

I think it's coming from Outbrain. When I load a story page with Outbrain enabled the page doesn't load securely on my phone and I get redirects. I disabled Outbrain and the pages then load securely. I also stopped getting the spam redirects.

So I decided to turn Outbrain back on. The page stopped loading securely and I started getting the redirects. Turned it off again, no redirects.

If this isn't originating from our website why does disabling Outbrain stop the redirects? And if this isn't originating from our website why do we have a noticeable influx of complaints?


Getting around the paywall by turning off cookies- how do we stop that?

Nick K 4 weeks ago in BLOX Total CMS 0

We recently discovered that you can get around the TownNews paywall on our site by simply disabling cookies. I have also tested this on other TownNews sites and found that to work there as well. Is there any way we can set up the paywall so that if cookies are blocked, the user automatically has to sign in if they aren't already? Or some other deterrent that if the user disables the cookies that they aren't reading our site for free?


I would like the "Export CSV" within Marketplace / Banner Ads to show only what is on screen.

Jeff Sebestyen 4 weeks ago in BLOX CMS 0

Right now, when I am viewing only enabled ads in Marketplace / Banner Ads and I click 'Export CSV', it downloads data from all times.  

Is this meant to happen, or is this a glitch?

I am looking to quickly print out current banner ads to give to a supervisor, but this method give me 5 years of data instead.  I resort to using screen shots.  I just want to report it if this is an issue.  Other Wise I would like the Export CSV to provide me only what I have check marked.  


Font Awesome Question

Robert Dundon 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 weeks ago 1

Got a heads up on this change earlier: https://help.bloxcms.com/knowledge-base/releases/software_releases/image_418c9b9d-c5c1-5c36-b720-7be8da6ed52b.html, where Font Awesome will be upgraded to Font Awesome 5.

Font Awesome 5 seems to have 3 styles (besides brands),  Solid, Light, and

Is Bl ox CMS going with a particular style? Or are they going to allow site admins to pick within custom properties or something likethat?


Hi Robert!

I did respond to your email as well, but I will add some information here as well so that others can have it as a reference.

NOTE: We have a temporary "fallback" mode that we can enable on your site if you are worried about your icons. This mode will run Font Awesome 4 CSS and classes temporarily in case you (or we) need to make updates. Then, we turn off the "fallback" mode which will switch you back to Font Awesome 5. Please submit a Customer Support ticket if you think there will be an issue.

Firstly, there is more information in this link:


A few important things to note:

- We are not using ALL icons - only a subset, so we can keep the library as small as possible. If you need us to add an icon (we've had a few requests already), just let us know and we can evaluate it.

- For now we are only including some of the branding library, some solid and some regular. We don't use the "light" icons so those are not included at this time. The link above has links to lists of every icon we offer, and as we add more we will add them to those lists.

- Note that we are doing our own namespace for tnt-[name] as shown in the example in the link. This way it will be easier for us to make changes in the future.

- Styling for the FA5 icons will use the tnt-* prefix as well. Example: tnt-2x, tnt-fw, tnt-layers.

Let me know if anyone has questions or if you need more information!


<paid> field in RSS feed

Nick 1 month ago in BLOX CMS 0

I'm trying to get certain stories to be outside our Whiz app paywall. It seems like the app determines what's behind or outside the paywall based on the <paid> tag.  <paid>1</paid> is behind the paywall and <paid>0</paid> is outside. Is there a way to manually change that for specific assets?

I could do it with section tags but I don't want it to link to a section tag that's only reason for existing is to stop the paywall. The reason for this is I want to be able to send push notifications linking to specific assets but I want them to be free if I push them. I could set up a "push" section tag but on the website I don't want the asset to be on the URL /push/article_658aae14-6597-51fd-aaea-43d1056cf9a9.html.


Access block custom properties in UTL

Aidian 1 month ago • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 2

Anyone know syntax for access a block's custom property in UTL?  Context would be an to use as parameter in an if statement.  It's one of the (many, many) undocumented parts of the language.  Thanks folks!


From within the block? Use this.block.custom.(custom property name), depending on the custom property type.

It's in the docs, but kind of hidden there. There is a dev-specific part of the documentation with it.

Also, there's a little question mark in the top-right corner that has some reference stuff.


Article: How Hearst Newspapers changes its paywall to drive reader loyalty

Kevin M. Cox 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Paul Crawford 1 month ago 1

Good read, this level of flexibility looks great:


"At the Albany Times-Union, the first paper to test the flexible paywall, the total number of subscribers has doubled since it started tests in September, and the overall number of new subscriber numbers for Hearst Newspapers has jumped 10 percent."

Under review

Quiz asset

David Marsters 4 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Paul Crawford 1 month ago 12
Idea for the future: An asset that would support quiz questions, multiple choice answers and then providing the user a score at the end. We've used collection assets to fake quizzes before (1 image has the question as the caption, the next image has the answer, etc.) and they've been very popular on our website, so I think an actual quiz platform that provided the answers and score would be even more popular.
Also, can you show me a few examples?

Webinar recording now available | Refresh your site for spring with these best practices

Cherry Wolf (Marketing specialist) 2 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated 1 month ago 1

Watch the webinar recording now

Things move fast in the digital world—blink and you may just miss something! At our March customer webinar, we review recent features and updates you may have missed, and highlight improvements you can implement on your site today.

We showed you:

  • Behind-the-scenes advancements that make your site faster and more secure.
  • New design features and set-up options you can use to improve your site’s user experience.
  • Ad tech optimizations to help you grow local and programmatic revenue.
  • New and easy ways to boost audience engagement and time on site.
  • . . . and more!

Watch the webinar recording now

Under review

I'm having trouble setting up an Alexa Flash Briefing.

kathy 7 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 9

Support says I need a proxy server. Has anyone else got this working that would point me in the right direction please?

Under review

Subscribe with Google question

Rob Weir 1 month ago in BLOX Total CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 1

It looks like Google is offering up some new features with its Google News product, including a way for people to subscribe to newspapers with a Google account and a saved (with Google) credit card. It looks like this would streamline subscription for a lot of users, but I assume Google would also take a cut. 


Has TN been involved with this at all? Looks like some large publishers are on board.  


We have been consulted about the initiative as part of our Google partnership and as part of our AMP integration, but aren't yet part of the beta. 

We do have Single Sign-in available now through oAuth 2.0. Here is a page on how to do this: https://help.bloxcms.com/knowledge-base/applications/settings/users/federated_authentication/article_ec11c076-fab5-11e6-b45b-ef23752afc52.html

So, once authenticated, you can log into the BLOX front-end with no sign-in as long as you're signed in to Google.

(We have Facebook authentication as well, which is popular.)


serve HTTPS from blox app directory

Aidian 1 month ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 1 month ago 1

Anyone know if this is possible?  Our site is now HTTPS, but assets in the app directory aren't, so they won't display.


The /app directory should allow http or https as long as you are calling that from the original code. You would need to ensure that the reference in the code is actually pointing to https however. Protocol-less will also work, but these days we recommend just doing straight secure always, regardless of whether or not your site is secure.

In other words, if your website is asking for an image in the /app directory, it needs to say:

<img src="https://example.com/app/images/image.jpg">

instead of:

<img src="http://example.com/app/images/image.jpg">

If you're doing this already and it isn't working - please let me a link (you can create a job ticket also) so we can look.