Welcome to the TownNews customer community! Connect with other TownNews customers and with us to suggest features, share best practices and ask questions.

Though TownNews representatives often participate in discussions, this is not a customer service site. For immediate help, call 800-293-9576 or submit a support request via our online ticketing system.


Ban commenting not user

Nic Stevens 7 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 7
I would love to be able to ban someone from commenting without locking them out of their web site account. We have a column called It's Your Call and routinely we have people that push the limits and we have to determine if they are a subscriber BEFORE we can ban them because if they are a subscriber and we ban them, they can no longer get onto the web site. It's quite horrid to handle because you have to remember who you warned and once you banned them, you have to decide if you give them part of their subscription price back. We are on Facebook commenting for most things but this piece because we like the engagement it brings to the web site. Just sometimes don't like the comments. It's becoming weekly we have to make this call anymore. I also feel this would go along way to keep more and more pages with TownNews commenting instead of moving to Facebook commenting.


Batch upload

Jason Schaefer 5 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Maunette Loeks 4 months ago 24
It could be quite useful for the batch upload feature to be included in the story asset (child assets).

This would enable the copy desk to upload/attach photos to a story at one time instead of batch uploading separately then searching for files.

This feature was released with our Tuesday update to the CMS.


Online Merchandise Store

Charlie Clark 4 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 5

Hello everyone,

We are wanting to set up an online store, selling merchandise such as t-shirts etc for a host of promotional items we run. Currently, we have a https://PRINTful.com account set up this, but it looks like there is no easy way to integrate the API with Blox CMS? 

Does anyone have any other platform they may be using or work around without building out another site with a Shopify account or WordPress? Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 3.22.29 PM.png


Report comment for "guest" users?

Robert Armstrong 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

It seems that right now, the only way to report comments is if the user is logged in. Is there a way to activate the report button for all non-logged in users? I understand that this may lend itself to abuse, so having an option to have a higher threshold for "guest reports" or even the ability to remove the report button on a specific comment could help curb that.


The ability to unlock assets within the Blox Go mobile interface

Lonnie de Lambert 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

Having the ability to unlock assets within the Blox Go mobile interface will solve the problem of having to switch to desktop view on a mobile device and log into the CMS in order to unlock an article. This will save precious time, especially in a situation when multiple staff members are working on breaking or developing stories.


FR: Disable username display in e-Edition "River of News"

Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

(Apologies if I've simply been unable to find this setting and thanks in advance if anyone can show me where it exists already.)

We'd like the ability to disable the display of usernames in the e-Edition's "river of news." (See attached screenshots)

Showing them here doesn't add anything to the reader experience. They aren't clickable and just clutter up the display with un-useful information.

I'd be fine with them being simply removed completely but an option to enable or disable their display would allow other sites to make that decision themselves.

1. Create a cleaner reader experience by decluttering the display and removing information that is not useful.

2. Every day.

3. Every reader.



Under review

Embed form into story, or onto page

Meagen Finnerty 1 year ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 4 months ago 3

I'm not sure if this has already been cracked, but it would be so nice if forms generated embed codes so we could put them at the bottom of stories, or embed them onto a landing page. Right now, we either link to them or use a third-party form that we can embed. 


Disable e-Newsletter Confirmation Email

Sally Reynolds 9 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Ian McPhee 4 months ago 1

When a reader signs up to receive our e-newsletters (https://lancasteronline.com/newsletters/), they get an automated confirmation email from Constant Contact that must be clicked before they are actually subscribed to the e-newsletter. While I understand that the purpose is to maintain list quality, the unintended consequence is that the confirmation email is a barrier to the reader. As such, it reduces e-newsletter sign ups. The confirmation email is an optional feature in the Constant Contact platform. However, it is not optional for our e-newsletters due to (I assume) a decision made between Town News and Constant Contact. This affects all Town News clients who use the Constant Contact e-newsletter integration. I would like to ask for a reconsideration of this requirement, such that it be turned off globally for all of us.

Under review

Email Reach - filter out users who do not have active subscriptions

Kevin M. Cox 4 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated 4 months ago 6
We’re looking to create an email newsletter exclusively for subscribers, as opposed to our normal newsletters that anyone with an account can receive.

As such we’d love to see an option that would allow anyone to sign-up, but on send the system would omit the emails of users who do not have an active subscription at the time of the email.

This would create an automated system that we didn’t have to constantly manage by adding and removing users as subscriptions are bought and expire.

Please let me know what y’all think and if there is a possible this could be implemented.


FR: Additional analytics for Email Reach

Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

We'd like to request some additional analytics data be added for the Email Reach service.

• Statistics / Analytics / Email Reach: Add column for open rate. Yes we can do the math when needed but the system can do it much faster and have it available instantly when we need it or provide it in automated reports.

• Statistics / Analytics / Email Reach: We'd like to see columns related to active subscriptions. How many people on the "Sent" list had an active subscription when the email went out? How many of the "Opens" were active subscribers?

• Community / Email Reach: It could be helpful if the "Events" information was also available under Statistics / Analytics / Email Reach so it is all accessible from the same screen.

• Community / Email Reach / Contacts: Add a column for active subscriber status (yes/no).



Feature Request - Comment notification to Article Author

Ian McPhee 4 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 1

We've recently started using the BLOX commenting system. I would like for Authors to be able to receive a notification when someone posts a comment on one of their articles, as we are encouraging them to join in on the discussions / answer questions posed by readers. Right now the only way to set up notifications is to add their email to the "master list" which notifies them when a comment is posted on ANY article. 

If that's not possible, perhaps we could somehow achieve this through the "Per-URL settings"? If I could set an email to be notified by section that would work just as well too.



Adding collections to a story

akduncan 4 months ago • updated by Thomas Martinez 4 months ago 2

I'm just getting ready to launch, and am impatient. We have created several collections, but I can't get them to show up with stories. Any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong?


Google Analytics-prove site ownership

Sam 4 months ago • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 4 months ago 1

Due to unresponsive former students, I need to be able establish site ownership in order to be able to regain administrator access to our Google Analytics information. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to figure out how to go about uploading the required .txt file to the default URL or even add meta tags to be able to accomplish this. Any help would be appreciated.

Maureen Reinert 4 months ago

Do you have a Google site verification code? It's 40 characters long and made up of letters and numbers. If you have that, you can go to the Page customizations for the top level page on your site. Under the Meta Data section, there is a Google site verification field. That's where you enter that code. That will create the google-site-verification meta tag for you.


Comment length restrictions.

Nic Stevens 4 months ago in BLOX CMS 0

Is there any way to restrict the number of words in a post? We have one individual that continually posts at least 10 - 15 lines. We'd like to cut this down to only 180 words.


Can we get an integrated alternative for Google Maps since it's no longer free?

ShorthornAdam 9 months ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Kevin M. Cox 4 months ago 20

College newspaper here -- we resumed publication after summer break and noticed that all of the maps on articles were not working (grayed out with a "for development use only" message).  It looks like Google Maps has gone to a paid usage model: https://cloud.google.com/maps-platform/user-guide/

I had to go through a bunch of rigmarole of setting up a Cloud platform app, enabling a tons of APIs and putting in a credit card since usage is no longer completely free. It was annoying because we don't do any cloud computing and don't need any of the datacenter-type features.  They do provide $200 of free credits every month, but there is no easy way that I could tell to stop it from charging you $20 or $200 or $2000 or $20000 if the site gets DDOS'd or has a huge traffic spike, or to set a $199.99 max usage and then have it disable itself.

Would you all please start investigating the feasibility of having integrated maps that use a free/open alternative, like maybe OpenStreetMap?  

I would like to remove my credit card from Google and not have to think about it.



Hi guys!

As I said previously, we are investigating the ability to provide a new mapping option, and have been investigating different providers.

Right now we are very heavily leaning toward HERE, and have chosen to start development on that. I don't want to say it is a final choice because things may be discovered or could change as we build... but as Aidian said, the free 250k transactions appears to be the most generous.

You'll have to get an API key from HERE, but a credit card is not required. 

We will also begin to look at ways to store geo-data since this service allows that, and then for future map renders we don't need to geo-code each time. Our editorial application, for example, allows you to store your geo-data.

Anyway, as I said, we are still doing dev on this - but let me know if anyone has any thoughts or input. Thanks!