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

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Feature Request: Make the e-Edition half-circle "Pages" button transparent

Diane Cartwright 1 year ago in BLOX CMS 0

What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.

The Pages half-circle button is red and non-transparent, so some text on the page is always being hidden behind the button. This problem is especially noticeable once you’ve scrolled to the bottom of the page, are unable to read the text behind the button, and are unable to scroll down any farther to reveal the text. Subscribers have repeatedly expressed frustration to us about this problem. They get frustrated trying to guess to fill in the blanks on every page, and it becomes even more difficult on an ad (such as when it covers a price). The side arrows that aid in moving to the next and previous pages are transparent, so it’s much easier to see the content behind them. It would be great if the Pages half-circle button could also be transparent like those side arrows.

How often would you use this feature?

Our subscribers would use this feature daily.

How many people in your organization would use this feature?

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people would use this feature since our subscribers would also be using it.


Using email blocks without Constant Contact?

Carl Appen 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of BLOX CMS) 1 year ago 1

Has anyone used Email blocks, on an email URL, to send custom code emails without Constant Contact? E.g. we would set up newsletters on an email URL just like we would now, but send them using a different ESP. 

TN Customer Support has told me it's possible with a bit of development. I just wanted to first see if anyone else had tried, and how well it worked out. 


Yes, we have many sites that use external systems to scrape our email newsletter pages.

There are two important functions that our integrated solution takes care of for you that may pop up if you use our pages with an external system:

1. There are sometimes JavaScript or tracking information included in the templates (which are not appropriate for emails). Our system removes this automatically, so you may need to ask an external system to do that.

2. Our system creates special pages to help get breaking news out as quickly as possible (by creating a specialized version of the article page for email). It is possible that if you are using an external system to scrape BLOX pages, you may have issues with caching or may need to do cache busting to ensure you're getting an un-cached page.

Let me know if you have more questions about this!



Default images for article assets without photo

Jason Braverman 4 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of BLOX CMS) 1 year ago 2

We are using the grid block a lot on our sites -- and using some automatic feeds that pull in content from the TownNews Content Exchange and other sources. Some of these articles do not have images associated with them. It would be great if there was an option to have a "default" image load - rather than just leaving it empty. Similar to when you post an article to Facebook without an image, your default Facebook image loads. This doesn't necessarily have to be specific to grid blocks - but any article blocks. Anyone else like this idea? 


New Subscriber Forms

Bay Journal Jacqui 1 year ago in BLOX CMS 0

I hate that I have to select each new subscriber form to export it, then again to mark it PROCESSED. Is there a way to do this en mass?

Under review

Feature Request: Collection assets should include image thumbnails

Tom Houston 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated 1 year ago 2

When I use a collection to create a photo gallery with multiple image assets, it would be very helpful to see a small thumbnails presentation of each image so I can easily reorder the images if need be. Currently I have to do this blindly, while only seeing the assets title or I have to open each image individually to see what it is. Thumbnails would be much appreciated. 


Hi Tom!

I think this is a great idea!

As a temporary measure, however, just making sure you realize that if you hover over the icon you see a mini-popup? Not as user friendly as your idea, but good to know if you didn't. =)


Change by line color

Deven Meza 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of BLOX CMS) 1 year ago 3


Where can change the byline color for all articles posted on my site. It is causing accessibility issues with my website. I am using the flex template

Maureen Reinert 1 year ago

I'm not aware of any page customization or setting that would let you change the styling of the bylines.

I can think of a couple of ways that you can change it. The best way would be to edit the  css.utl in your site's  templates and create a style for your bylines. This would make the change everywhere on your site for old and new articles, and it would make it easy to change the color at any time in the future.

The other way, would be to edit they bylines in your user accounts to include a <span> tag around the byline with either a class or style= with the color you want. (Example: <span class="purple-font">Maureen Reinert | Web Developer</span> ) The biggest downside to this is it will only apply when you add the byline to a new article. Old ones would still have the bylines without any styling.


Scrollable Block

Deven Meza 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated by Maureen Reinert 1 year ago 1

Hello is there a scrollable block template similar to the "latest news" block in the link below?



REQUEST: ability to use wildcard in block TITLE query rule

Eric R 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated 1 year ago 0

We'd like the ability to use a wildcard in the block TITLE query rule. 

For instance, to exclude any file video from being displayed from an outside source, we could use TITLE DOES NOT MATCH " FILE: * "  ( note the * in the title).

Or, if we only wanted the Today In History articles it would be TITLE MATCHES " Today in History* " to match any history article that starts with that text BUT may have today's date added as part of the title like " Today in History: June 30, 2021 "

It could also be used to filter photo gallerys...  TITLE MATCHES " Photos: * "


Allow multiple FTP/SFTP accounts to share the same root directory

Kevin M. Cox 1 year ago in BLOX CMS 0

It seems like a very silly limitation that multiple FTP/SFTP accounts cannot share the same root directory. This is supported by every FTP/SFTP server I have ever run.

Limiting us to a single account per root directory means we have to share access credentials between staff members which is not a good security practice.

Please allow us to create multiple accounts to with the same root path.



Under review

Feature Request: Breaking News Emails - Faster Delivery Time

Tom Houston 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated by Christine Masters (Director of BLOX CMS) 1 year ago 1

As a competitive news provider, we pride ourselves in delivering Breaking News to our email subscribers as quickly as possible. 

Typically, it takes an average turnaround time of 10 minutes, from sending out an alert through "notifier" to delivery in to a subscriber's inbox. In that amount of time, our readers could be getting the story from one of our competitors.

I realize there are components involved that would not allow an email to be delivered instantaneously, but if the delivery time could be shortened to a maximum of 5 minutes rather than 10, that would be greatly appreciated. 

Under review

Just found out MyCapture photo reprint service is being discontinued...

Andrea 1 year ago in BLOX CMS updated by Maureen Reinert 1 year ago 6

The last day is June 30.  What other photo reprint services integrate with Blox?  

If you use another service what do you like/not like about it? 

I am officially scrambling, as I did not receive an alert email that they said they sent on April 28. 


Maureen Reinert 1 year ago

The service that TN partners with is Fotomoto. We've been using them for about a year now, and they seem to do a good job. We've had internal people order from them and they've been happy with the quality, and they fill the orders quickly. I've also had to contact Fotomoto support, and they've been quick respond to my questions/issues.

There are 3 different plans and which plan you pick determines the transaction fee that gets deducted from your sale

  • Free plan  ($0/mo + 22% transaction fee)
  • Pro plan  ($10/mo + 12% transaction fee)
  • Pro Plus plan ($25/mo + 10% transaction fee)

We're on the free plan. You can see the descriptions of each plan at https://www.fotomoto.com/home/pricing

You pick which products you want to offer and what the price is for each.

Because TN has partnered with them, they can automatically be set up to automatically pick up the hi-res version of the photo when someone orders it. However you need to go through TN to do the initial set up to take advantage of this.

There's more information in the TN help https://help.bloxcms.com/knowledge-base/applications/editorial/assets/faq/blox-photo-sales-with-fotomoto-onboarding/article_92e2f4ec-7e39-11ea-9dc8-c31bf63b68ab.html

Under review

inefficient repeated advanced search solutions?

D Sackett 2 years ago in BLOX CMS updated by Carl Appen 1 year ago 4

Anyone else have this problem? We have writers that use the public-facing site to look up story references. Consequently they're interested in a date-ordered search result, from recent to older, not the default 'relevance' search. They have to use advanced search, which newly includes a date range with calendar controls to pick the dates that default to today's date. This works OK for the one-off search, but for those who make a dozen such searches a week, they have to repeatedly set the starting date range, which is repetitive, time-consuming and frustrating.

What might answer this problem is if all users could set a default search order, or barring that, a default search window. 

On top of that, if you're logged into our site with access to more than one of our publications, results from all available publications are included. It'd be nice to get search results from one chosen publication.

I think this may be an issue for some readers who search frequently as well. Any one else bugged by this?


Feature Request: Expansion of Alexa service to other smart home devices

Elizabeth Stephens 1 year ago in BLOX CMS 0

We are requesting that TownNews provide support for adding skills to other smart devices, including Google Nest and Facebook Portal. KOMU records audio for briefings on Alexa devices, and we'd like to reach more household by being able to provide that to other devices. We provide news and weather briefings three to four times a day and want to reach as many people as possible with that.


Ability to override syndication importer embargo date restrictions

Eric R 1 year ago in BLOX CMS 0

We'd like the ability to optionally override the AP embargo restrictions for the syndication importer. While there are good reasons for AP to enforce the embargo, we are missing assets in Blox because the importer won't bring them in if the embargo date is in the future. This means that when AP pushes articles ahead of their intended publish date, the importer doesn't bring them in and they are completely missed.

For instance, they push out several "Today In History" articles in advance of the current day. We no longer get those items as the importer won't bring them in because the embargo date is in the future. If the AP sends the "Today in History" for April 26 on April 20 (with an April 26 embargo date), the importer ignores it.

We should have the ability to override this embargo issue in the importer, and bring in embargoed items that have the start date/time on the asset set to the AP embargo date/time.


SEO Webinar

Jesus Sanchez 1 year ago in BLOX CMS 0

Hello, Given the importance of SEO, it would be helpful to have a webinar dedicated just to the SEO features within Blox and how to take advantage of them. 

I know there's a lot SEO services and plugins out there but I would like to find out which would be helpful when it comes to Blox or not compatible. 

There was a recent webinar that only touched on SEO among many topics. I think it deserves its own. It would also be helpful if the documentation on SEO tools would be updated.